Board of Directors

Dr. John O'Neil

Chair

Dr. John O’Neil, PhD, FCAHS is professor and dean in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University since September 2007, and a fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Previously, he was head of the Department of Community Health Sciences in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine.

O’Neil received his PhD in medical anthropology from the University of California (San Francisco/Berkeley) in 1983. He currently serves on the advisory board of the National Collaborating Centre on Aboriginal Health at the Public Health Agency of Canada, the board of directors for the NeuroDevNet Network of Centres of Excellence, and as a trustee on the Providence Health Care Research Institute Board of Trustees.

He was awarded a Senior Investigator Award (2000 – 2006) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, in recognition of his research contributions in the field of community-based participatory approaches to health systems research with indigenous communities. He is currently working with the BC First Nations Health Authority to restore health equity to First Nations communities in British Columbia. He is also working in Vietnam with funding from IDRC and Grand Challenges Canada to scale up maternal/child health services and primary mental health services in rural and remote areas. He has led HIV/AIDS prevention projects in India, Afghanistan and China and worked with indigenous organizations in Siberia, Taiwan, and Latin America. This work has involved building partnerships with NGO’s and CBO’s to deliver health programs to vulnerable communities.

Dr. Evan Adams

Of Tla’amin First Nation, Dr. Evan Adams works closely with government partners on population and public health matters that affect First Nations and all British Columbians.

In December 2014 Adams assumed the role of the chief medical officer for the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), the first province-wide health authority of its kind in Canada.

Prior to joining FNHA Adams served as deputy provincial health officer. Appointed in 2012, in this role he provided independent direction on First Nations and Aboriginal health issues to the BC Ministry of Health. He was previously Aboriginal health physician advisor to government and the First Nations Health Council.

Adams completed his Doctor of Medicine (MD) at the University of Calgary, his Aboriginal Family Practice residency at St Paul’s Hospital/UBC (as Chief Resident) and has a Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. He is the past-president of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada (IPAC), and the former director of the Division of Aboriginal People’s Health in UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. He is also a 2014 Indspire Award winner in health.

Dr. Nadine Caron

Dr. Nadine Caron is a general endocrine surgeon at Prince George Regional Hospital and an assistant professor at University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Northern Medical Program.

As the first female First Nations student to graduate from UBC’s medical school, Caron won the Hamber Gold Medal as the top graduating student and was named one of Maclean's "100 Canadians to Watch." During her surgical residency, she completed her Master of Public Health from Harvard University and was awarded UBC's Top Student Award. Passionate about Aboriginal health and Canadian health policy, she has served on numerous committees including the BC and Canadian medical associations, the BC Ministry of Health, and the Native Physicians Association of Canada. Through role modelling, speaking engagements and formal committees, Caron aims to share her passion and foster ongoing opportunities to eliminate health disparities in rural, remote, northern and Aboriginal communities.

Robin Ciceri

Robin Ciceri is president of The Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia (RUCBC).

Ciceri joined the Council in 2010 after a career in the BC government where she held a number of leadership positions including Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development and CEO of the Public Sector Employers' Council. Prior to this, she was Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Deputy Minister of Small Business and Revenue. Her experience also includes senior positions in intergovernmental relations, economic development, and health.

Ciceri currently serves on the boards of the BC Academic Health Sciences Network, the BC Council for International Education and LifeSciences British Columbia. She was formerly on the boards of the BC Innovation Council, the Immigrant Employment Council of BC and the Commonwealth of Learning. She is also a member of the Presidents’ Group, a committee of prominent business leaders in the province who provide advice to the Minister of Social Development and Innovation. Ciceri holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Professional Certificate in Secondary Education, and a Master’s of Public Administration.

Dr. Heather Davidson

Dr. Heather Davidson is assistant deputy minister with the BC Ministry of Health's Planning and Innovation Division.

Davidson has worked with the provincial government since 1991. She has worked in a variety of roles within the Ministry of Health and has also worked in housing policy with the Ministry of Housing and Constructive Standards and income and disability assistance with the Ministry of Social Development. She has been an assistant deputy minister with the Ministry of Health since 2010.

Her current responsibilities include strategic planning and policy for the health sector, performance monitoring and analytics, and health research. The Seniors Directorate, which is responsible for implementation of the Seniors Action Plan and Healthy Aging, is also part of her portfolio.

Davidson holds a PhD in Psychology (adult development and aging) from the University of Victoria.

Jack Falk

Secretary-Treasurer

Jack Falk was most recently the vice-president of finance and operations at the University of Victoria (UVic) before retiring in 2006.

While at UVic, Falk was responsible for budget and planning, finance, human resources and labour relations, computing, student services, capital projects and physical plant, and audit and risk management. Some of his significant contributions include the introduction of a new budget and planning system, the proposal of a major five-year capital plan, and being part of UVic's team that established the joint UVic-UBC medical school initiative.

Prior to UVic, Falk was vice-president of administration and finance at Okanagan University College, where he was involved in the purchase and building of a new campus, which is now the core of UBC Okanagan. Falk has been an active board member with numerous organizations, including BCNET, Heritage Reality, Neptune Canada, Vancouver Island Technology Park, and UVic’s Foundation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a Master of Public Administration.

Dr. Tom Feasby

Dr. Tom Feasby is currently a professor of neurology and was dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary until June 2012.

He does health services research, examining the quality and appropriateness of medical interventions. Feasby has published over 100 scientific research papers as well as op-ed pieces in leading Canadian newspapers. He received his MD from the University of Manitoba; trained in neurology at the University of Western Ontario; completed a research fellowship at the Institute of Neurology in London, UK; and trained in health services research at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California and UCLA.

Feasby serves on the Board of Directors of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and on the Strategic Advisory Board of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health. He was awarded an Honourary Doctor of Science degree by Western University in 2013 and the Medal of Distinguished Service from the Alberta Medical Association in 2014. In 2016, he was a recipient of an inaugural Rhodes Trust Inspirational Educator award.

Steven Kinsey

A veteran of the telecom sector and IT industry for more than 20 years, Steven Kinsey has been active in helping industry recognize the innovative role of technology in advancing goals and objectives.

As executive vice-president of strategy and planning at Charter, a leading communications technology firm, he collaborates with the executive, sales, engineering and operations teams to build and execute on Charter’s Run, Grow, and Transform plans.

Prior to joining Charter, Kinsey was executive vice-president of sales at CounterPath after spending six years with Cisco Canada—first as regional manager for the Western Canada public sector team and then as vice-president of Cisco’s Canada West operations. Previous to Cisco, Kinsey was Western Canada regional manager at Nortel Networks.

Kinsey attended executive training at Harvard Business School and the Banff School of Advanced Management. He also has a diploma in yacht design and has a long history in boating—from design, to construction and sales—and holds a number of records as a competitive sailor.

In addition to sitting on the board of MSFHR, including as a member of the finance and audit committee, he served for 11 years on the board of BCNET, a not-for-profit shared information technology services organization that represents the interests of post-secondary and research institutes in BC.

Dr. Roslyn Kunin

Dr. Roslyn Kunin is one of those rare economists who can make the often difficult subject of economics understandable and even interesting.

She was educated in Quebec and Ontario, finishing her studies with a PhD in economics from the University of British Columbia. The University of Victoria has granted her the degree of Honorary Doctor of Laws. The Institute of Corporate Directors has granted her the ICD.D designation.

Kunin is the past chair of the Haida Enterprise Corporation and has served the community in many positions including chair of WorkSafe BC, chair of the Vancouver Stock Exchange, director of the Business Development Bank of Canada, director of the Canada West Foundation, governor of the University of British Columbia, and chair of the Vancouver Crisis Centre.

She is a member of the Order of Canada and has been awarded the Crystal Ball Award by the Association of Professional Economists, the Woman of Distinction Award by the YWCA, and a Canada 125 medal for service to Canada.

Suromitra Sanatani

Suromitra Sanatani is a corporate director who is passionate about driving change within an organization that benefits the social, cultural, and economic development of society.

She brings extensive corporate governance and business leadership expertise to MSFHR's board. She is currently a member of the Royal Bank Independent Review Committee GAM and a board member of Canadian Blood Services and the Edmonton International Airport. She previously served as chair of the Royal BC Museum, director of the Victoria Airport Authority, the Federal Panel on Conduct for Responsible Research, and the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council.

Sanatani began her career in litigation before transitioning from the practice of law to senior corporate positions in the non-profit, public, and private sectors. In her role as vice-president (BC & Yukon) of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Sanatani actively represented the interests of small and medium-sized businesses locally, provincially and nationally. Later, as vice-president, corporate and government relations at Partnerships BC, she played a pivotal role in establishing this crown agency which specializes in public-private partnerships.

Dr. Sally Thorne

Past Chair

Dr. Sally Thorne is an academic nursing leader with a program of research in the fields of psychosocial cancer care and health care communication at the University of British Columbia's School of Nursing, where she is a professor and associate dean of applied science.

Her research and writing have focused attention on the human experience of seeking and obtaining appropriate care in the Canadian context. She has also been active in developing and refining qualitative methods for application to the inquiries of applied health professions and to knowledge transfer within an evidence-based care context. In her academic role, she teaches graduate courses in the philosophy of science, and serves as editor-in-chief of the scholarly journal Nursing Inquiry, as well as associate editor and editorial board member for several other journals in her field. She brings to the Foundation extensive non-profit board experience, including the BC Cancer Agency, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. 

Dr. Elinor Wilson

Vice-Chair

Dr. Elinor Wilson has worked in the academic and public sectors, and at the international, national and provincial levels. She has published extensively on a variety of public health issues including women’s health.

Wilson served most recently as president of Assisted Human Reproduction, a federal regulatory agency established to promote health, safety, dignity and rights for Canadians who use or are born of assisted human reproduction technologies. Previously, she served as CEO of the Canadian Public Health Association, where she was responsible for managing an operating program and project budget of more than $15 million and for building relationships with stakeholders in the public, private, and non-governmental sectors.

Wilson holds a PhD in administration management from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a Master of Health Sciences degree from McMaster University. Her numerous professional activities include membership of the Institute of Population and Public Health Advisory Board at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She was formerly vice-president of the World Heart Federation, president of the Inter-American Heart Foundation, and chair of the Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st Century.