OEMAC Pre-Conference Speakers
Dr. Charl Els is a psychiatrist, addiction specialist, and medical review officer. He is first editor and co-author of a Health Canada-funded textbook on tobacco control. Els is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Alberta’s Department of Psychiatry as well as the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre. He serves on the ACOEM Guideline Committee and regularly conducts assessments on employees in a safety sensitive positions. He sits on the University of Alberta’s Health Research Ethics Board as well as on the advisory board for Physicians Against Forced Organ Harvesting.
Dr. Farnan has worked in the field of occupational medicine and addiction medicine for more than twenty five years. As well as being a member of the Occupational and Environmental Medical Association of Canada, he is Board certified in Addiction Medicine and Family Practice. He is a Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia.
His consulting with employers and unions has involved developing and delivering programs to assist employees whose work is impacted by addiction and other substance use problems. He has assessed and provided treatment recommendations for thousands of individuals with addictive disorders, especially those involved in safety sensitive work. He has a particular interest in the interface between workplace safety and impairment at work as a result of prescription medication use, as well as illicit drug use.
Sebastian Straube holds degrees in Medicine and Physiological Sciences from the University of Oxford (England) where he also did his DPhil (PhD). After clinical work and research at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals, Dr. Straube joined the Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine at the University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany. Here he completed his Habilitation (German postdoctoral qualification) and his postgraduate medical training in the specialties of Occupational Medicine and Social Medicine. Dr. Straube was an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Göttingen until he took up his current post as Associate Professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine of the University of Alberta’s Department of Medicine in 2014. He was appointed as Division Director for Preventive Medicine in 2016. Dr. Straube’s primary research interest is in evidence-based medicine (systematic reviews and meta-analyses).
Kelly is a partner in the firm of Lawson Creamer in Saint John, New Brunswick. He practices in the fields of litigation, labour and employment law and human rights, and has represented clients in hundreds of hearings before many tribunals and courts.
As a student of law, Kelly has completed both his Ph.D. and Master of Laws degrees in employment in the United Kingdom, his LL.B. at UNB and his B.A. at UPEI. He has also studied litigation techniques at the Trial Lawyers College, has completed employment law mediator training at Cornell University in New York and has obtained a Chartered Arbitrator designation. Kelly acts as an instructor in Administrative Law and Trial Practice at the UNB Law School and as an adjunct professor in the UNB Business Faculty. His current research interests include employee claims motivations, dispute resolution models and accommodation of disabilities.
For years, Kelly was a columnist on CBC’s former national business report, the Business Network, and he has been an invited lecturer for many national and regional organizations. Kelly’s articles and commentaries have appeared in Workplace Today magazine, the Solicitor’s Journal, the Canadian Bar Review, the Canadian Arbitration and Mediation Journal, the International Review of Human Rights Law and other publications. He has been asked for commentary on employment law issues by CBC Radio, CBC Television, CTV and numerous newspapers including The Globe & Mail. His book, titled Why Employees Sue, is due to be published by Thompson Reuters in April 2017.
Dr. Arnold completed his M. D. at Queen’s University at Kingston in 1968 and was certified in general surgery in 1973. From 1973 to 1981 he worked as a surgical consultant in Labrador and North-eastern Québec.
Dr. Arnold’s work in Occupational Health started in 1975 and has included roles with Quebec Cartier Mining Ltd, the Iron Ore Company of Canada, the Alberta Government, Dow Chemical Canada, Noranda, and Alcan where he was responsible for EHS globally and was also Vice – President of Alcan International.
Since retiring from Alcan in 2002, Dr. Arnold has worked as a consultant in HSE for the International Aluminium Institute, the International Council on Mining and Metals and several national and international companies. Dr. Arnold was a charter member and Chairperson (at the request of the Honourable Michael Kirby), of the Workforce Advisory Committee of the Mental Health Commission of Canada and is a Board member on several volunteer boards. He is a member of the CSA Z1003 Steering Committee and Task Force.
Dr. Arnold has published/presented over 100 scientific papers. He has been recognized for his work in Occupational Health by his peers as the CBOM Memorial Lecturer and the Mastromatteo Orator for OEMAC. In 2012, he received the Canadian Workplace Wellness Pioneer Award and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work in workplace psychological health and safety.
Denis Mahoney is a labour and employment lawyer at McInnes Cooper, in St. John’s. He assists employers in many sectors including transportation, mining, oil and gas, construction and service sectors in a wide range of labour and employment matters.
Denis engages in and advises employers in collective bargaining, provides advice and representation in occupation health and safety, and serves as employer-counsel before administrative proceedings including arbitration, labour relations boards, and human rights.
Denis has been recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada for his practice in Labour and Employment law since 2006 and is noted as a leading practitioner in the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory. Most recently, Denis was recognized as Best Lawyers 2017 Lawyer of the Year in Labour and Employment Law. Denis is a frequent volunteer and sits on various provincial committees and provincial boards.
OEMAC Conference Speakers – Monday, June 12
Anil Adisesh studied medicine at the University of Liverpool, UK, he trained in general medicine then qualified in family medicine followed by specialist training in occupational medicine. He moved to Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals (King’s College London, UK) as Clinical Lecturer in occupational medicine. He gained an MSc. in Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Manchester, UK undertaking early research with exhaled Nitric Oxide in occupational asthma. He later transferred to the University of Manchester for doctoral studies (MD) on the health effects of organic dust exposures. He has been a specialist physician since 1997 and from 2004 worked at the UK national Health and Safety Laboratory before moving to Dalhousie University in 2013. Dr Adisesh is Chair of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Working Group on Occupational Health for the Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). He Co-chairs the International Labour Organisation Working Group on diagnostic and exposure criteria guidance on occupational diseases.
Nicola Cherry graduated in medicine and epidemiology from McGill after obtaining a PhD in occupational psychology at the University of London (UK). She has worked in occupational health on both sides of the Atlantic, first with the UK Medical Research Council, then at the Institute for Occupational Health at the London School of Hygiene, followed by time in Quebec, at the Provincial Research Institute for Health and Safety at Work and then at the McGill School of Occupational Health and the Department of Epidemiology. From there she returned to the UK to be Director of the Centre of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Manchester and Head of the School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences. She joined the University of Alberta in 2000, and until 2006 served as Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences. As Director of the Division of Preventive Medicine, with the help of colleagues, particularly Jeremy Beach, and with financial support from the Imperial Oil Foundation, she established the Foundation Course in Occupational Medicine. Her research interests are wide and include the impact of occupational and environmental exposures on the nervous, reproductive and respiratory systems.
Dr. Kim is an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine and Director of Dalhousie Health and Environments Research Centre (HERC) Laboratory. Nanotoxicology and risk assessment have been his primary academic and research interests since the completion of his MSc degree in Environmental Toxicology at the University of Nebraska Center for Health and Environmental Toxicology. Following this, he commenced his PhD in Human Toxicology, where he was enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at the University of Iowa (US National Institutes of Health Fellowship).
In recognition of his contributions to nanotoxicology research, he has served on the Technical Committee for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Working Group on Nanotechnology. He has also received numerous awards including the “MB Research Award for Distinction in Practical In Vitro & Alternative Toxicology Methods” at the Society of Toxicology and “Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health’s Best Paper Award”, which is presented annually by the American Public Health Association in recognition of excellent scholarship and research in the U.S. Dr. Kim launches a program of research that builds capacity in nanotoxicology and exposure science at Dalhousie University. This is the first such program of nanotoxicological research in Nova Scotia and will be a foundation for the collaboration with the environmental health and occupation health community to support local research and policy development in occupational and environmental health.
Dr. Debbie Pestell joined the Canadian Forces in 1990. After graduating from McMaster Medical School in 1993, she boarded in Family Medicine in 1995. She spent four years as a Ship’s Medical Officer in Victoria, BC before completing a Master’s Degree in Public Health and a Fellowship in Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine with the US Air Force in San Antonio, TX and the US Navy in Panama City Beach, FL from 1999-2001.
Upon returning to Canada, Dr. Pestell spent 5 years at DCIEM in Toronto, ON providing medical support to the Experimental Diving Unit and teaching courses in diving and aviation medicine. She was posted to the Submarine Fleet in Halifax, NS in 2006 as the Consultant in Diving and Submarine Medicine, was the Course Director for the international Submarine Medicine Course for 6 years, and has served on several NATO diving and submarine medicine working groups.
Since retiring from the Canadian Forces as a Lieutenant Commander in 2011, Dr. Pestell has worked as a Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Consultant at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She also provides medical support to the commercial diving community in the Maritimes, consulting services for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, teaches international courses in diving medicine, and is the current President of the Canadian Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Association (CUHMA). She continues to serve in the Reserves.
Heather Carnahan has a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo and Postdoctoral Fellowship in Psychology from Western University. She is currently the Dean of the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation at Memorial University, and also holds a cross appointment at the Offshore Safety and Survival Centre at the Marine Institute. Prior to this she was the Interim Vice-President of Education at Women’s College Hospital and the inaugural Director of the Centre for Ambulatory Care Education in the Faulty of Medicine, University of Toronto. Heather also held the BMO Chair in Health Professions Education Research at the Wilson Centre while at the University of Toronto.
Her research involves applying current motor control and learning theory to studying the acquisition and retention of technical skills in various real life domains such as the safety and survival skills associated with marine transport, zero gravity environments, and health care. The effective design and use of simulation based training is also a focus of her research.
OEMAC Conference Speakers – Tuesday, June 13
Dr. (Captain (Navy) (ret’d) )Cyd Courchesne retired from the Canadian Armed Forces after 30 years of service before joining the Department of Veterans Affairs as Director General of Health Professionals in October 2014. She was appointed Chief Medical Officer of Veterans Affairs Canada in February 2015. Dr. Courchesne is a General Practitioner who obtained her Doctor of Medicine from Université de Montréal in 1987. She also holds a Diploma in Aviation Medicine from Kings College University, London, England, and a Master Certificate in Healthcare Management from the Sprott School of Business. She is also a surveyor for Accreditation Canada for 14 years and a Master Facilitator of the Patient Safety Education Program (Canada).
Throughout her career, Dr Courchesne held a number of senior medical positions responsible for leading multidisciplinary Primary Care clinics at Canadian Forces Bases to being responsible for the delivery of Primary Care for the Canadian Forces across the country. She is currently responsible for the management of all Health Professionals of the Department and for overseeing the Mental Health Support and Services for Veterans.
Dr. Jim Thompson MD CCFP(EM) FCFP is the Research Medical Advisor in the Research Directorate at the Veterans Affairs Canada. Prior to medicine, Jim served as an Infantry reservist in the Canadian Forces and was a research biologist in the federal department of fisheries and oceans. Jim held faculty appointments in the Department of Family Medicine at The University of Calgary where he was Director of the Alberta Family Practice Research Network, and in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Dalhousie University. He currently holds an appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Queen’s University. Jim’s research interests are the well-being of the Veteran population and the intersection of science and policy. He has several scientific publications in the field of Veterans’ well-being.
Dr. Joan Saary is a physician with a longstanding interest in aerospace and diving medicine who has experience not only in commercial and military aviation medicine but also in space medicine. In addition to a specialty license in Occupational Medicine, Joan has several graduate degrees and also has advanced aerospace and diving medicine training from various institutions. Joan teaches at the University of Toronto and at the Canadian Forces School of Operational Medicine. She consults regularly to industry, governmental agencies and tribunal boards and has substantial experience in the areas of medical selection standards and safety-critical work. Joan is involved in aircrew selection for the Royal Canadian Air Force; she is a Transport Canada Civil Aviation Medical Examiner; and she is a consultant to the Canadian Space Agency for various activities and is currently the Chair of the Medical Standards and Health Evaluation working group for the International Space Station (ISS) program. She has served on the Medical Selection Board for the last 2 Canadian astronaut recruitment campaigns (2008-9, 2016-17). She has represented Canada internationally both in Occupational and in Aerospace Medicine roles and is proud to have mentored hundreds of interested learners on their own unique career paths.
Dr. Sisson is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. She initially trained in general practice in Ireland before specialising in Occupational Medicine in the USA in 1996. She is American Board Certified in Occupational and Environmental Medicine and in Public and Preventive Medicine. She has a Masters’ in Public Health (Epidemiology) from the University of Minnesota. Following her return to Ireland in 1998, she became a fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine in the the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland (RCPI). She initiated the setting up of national Professional Competence Schemes and Assessment Processes for Poorly Performing Doctors following legislation in her role as Director of Professional Competence in the Irish Medical Council in 2007.
She is currently the Vice Dean Elect in the Faculty of Occupational Medicine in the RCPPI. She is a member of the committee in the Faculty of Occupational Medicine that successfully attracted the ICOH conference to Dublin for 2018, and is actively involved in the preparations for this conference.
She currently lectures in the Institute of Leadership in the Royal College of Surgeons and is a trainer for Specialist Registrars in the RCPI.
She has many years clinical experience in both the public and private sectors including pharma, healthcare, tele-communications amongst many others. In 2016 she was appointed as the National Clinical Lead on Occupational Medicine in Ireland and is currently focusing on the development of standards for Occupational Health Services in the Irish health services and developing a strategy for the health and wellbeing of Irish doctors.
Dr Pamela Forsythe is a community based general psychiatrist at Horizon Health and the Director of Student Affairs for Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick. Dr Forsythe is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick, completed her medical training at Dalhousie University and her psychiatry specialty at the University of Toronto and Dalhousie University. In practice as a psychiatrist since 1985, Dr Forsythe has also been involved in medical administration and in clinical research. She is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University and Memorial University of Newfoundland, teaching medical students and residents. She is a past president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association and the Schizophrenia Society of Canada. She chaired Mental illness Awareness Week 2010 and 2011 for CAMIMH (Canadian Alliance for Mental Illness and Mental Health). She is the Board Chair of the Canadian Psychiatric Association. In Saint John she has served as chair on a variety of hospital, nursing home and mental health boards. Dr Forsythe has received awards from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Canadian Psychiatric Association and the Schizophrenia Society of Canada for her clinical and volunteer efforts. Dr Forsythe is committed to eliminate the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health matters. Her current academic position also fits with her interest in physician health and career satisfaction across the professional lifespan.
Dr. Cooper retired from the Royal Canadian Medical Service (RCMS) in November 2015. Prior to his retirement he was the Head of Psychiatry and Clinical Leader of Mental Health Services at the Canadian Forces Health Services Centre Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he continues as a civilian psychiatrist on a part-time basis. He also has a private practice in Halifax with a focus on psychological trauma. Additionally, he is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry with the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. He deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1990-91, and to Kandahar Airfield (KAF), Afghanistan with the Canadian Role 1 Health Services Unit in 2011. He was a member of the 2009 and 2016 RCMS Military Suicide Prevention Working Groups, and from 2011 to 2015 was the RCMS representative of the NATO HFM-RTG working group on military suicide prevention. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada (1978), Dalhousie University (1984 and 1988) and the University of Toronto (1994). He completed his internship through Dalhousie University in 1989. He completed his residency in psychiatry through Dalhousie University in 2002.
Born in Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Labrador, Dr. Goodland completed his BScH at Acadia University in 1992 and then completed his MA and PhD at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario. As part of his academic training, he worked for two years at the Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University’s Department of Medicine and Behavioural Sciences. During that time, he spent much time completing assessments and treatment at Detroit Receiving Hospital, which was at that time the largest trauma-specific hospital in the United States of America. After completing his training, Dr. Goodland moved back to eastern Canada and has worked in several positions in Halifax and Truro. From 2002 through 2014, he worked at the Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centre (OTSSC) located at CFB Halifax, where the focus was operationally-related psychological injuries, such as PTSD. During that time he served as the Psychology Practice Leader. Since April 2014, Dr. Goodland has been working full time in private practice and he has continued his focus on assessing and treating individuals with a diagnosis of PTSD. His clientele almost exclusively consists of currently serving and retired members of the military and the RCMP.
Vice President and Medical Director, Employee Health and Wellness, Erickson Living
Craig Thorne is the Vice President and Medical Director, Employee Health and Wellness for Erickson Living http://www.ericksonliving.com/ where he is responsible for implementing and supporting on-site occupational health and wellness clinics and directing occupational health and workers’ compensation services for Erickson Living’s diverse workforce of 14,000 employees in 19 locations across the country. In 2016, Erickson Living was awarded the prestigious ACOEM Corporate Health Achievement Award for their excellence in integrated employee health, safety and well-bring programs.
He is a U.S. citizen who was born in Newfoundland, Canada and received the Bachelor of Medical Science degree and M.D. in 1990 from Memorial University of Newfoundland, followed by the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore in 1995. He then completed fellowship training and the Chief Residency in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1997. He completed Internal Medicine training and the Chief Residency at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. in 1995. He received a M.B.A. degree in Medical Services Management from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in Baltimore in 2013. He a past-president of the Maryland College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. He continues to precept and lecture to physicians in training as an Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Prior to joining Erickson Living, he directed clinical care, conducted research and lectured at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore and was the Medical Director, Employee Health and Safety at the University of Maryland Medical Center from 2001-2007. From 1997-2001, he was the Associate Medical Director of Police and Fire Clinic in Washington, D.C. where he provided and directed clinical care (for work related and non-work related conditions), preventive services, medical surveillance and disability/return-to-work services for Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters/EMTs, including the U.S. Secret Service. During his years at the University of Maryland, he also monitored veterans returning from the Iraq wars that were exposed to depleted uranium through friendly fire incidents.
As a personal health enthusiast, Craig enjoys hiking, cycling, active travel, and long distance running to maintain his own fitness and work-life balance. In 2016 he completed his eleventh consecutive Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Joel Andersen is a fully qualified medical practitioner licensed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and holds certification in Occupational Medicine from the Canadian Board of Occupational Medicine, since 1995. He is a certified by the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners, since 1999. Dr. Andersen has represented a variety of clients including insurance companies, corporations, unions, the legal profession, in the court setting, and is considered to be an expert witness in occupational health matters. He acts as Medical Director for a number of Corporations, handling Occupational Health and Safety and accommodation/disability management Issues. Dr. Andersen is an assistant professor in the Division of Clinical Sciences, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and an adjunct professor in the School of Public Health, Lakehead University. He is the research coordinator for the Family Practice Residency Program at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.