Meet your new Council members
With the launch of our Royal College Strategic Plan (2021-2023), we’d like to introduce you to a few individuals who will help us deliver on our new priorities: eight new Royal College Council members who were elected in February 2021.
What do these latest members bring to Council? What do they hope to achieve?
Influencing the direction of specialty medicine
“The privilege of being on the Council is an immense responsibility,” says Anurag Saxena, MD, FRCPC, MEd, MBA. Newly representing Region 2 (Manitoba and Saskatchewan) in the Division of Medicine, Dr. Saxena is a professor of pathology and associate dean of postgraduate medical education at the University of Saskatchewan. In addition to clinical service, he is actively engaged in administration, teaching and research.
“As a Council member, I see my role as remaining prudent about fiduciary care, oversight and solution-focused contributions to discussions and decisions about steering the [Royal] College in its strategic directions,” he adds.
Geneviève Milot, MD, FRCSC, shares Dr. Saxena’s forward-thinking outlook. Dr. Milot is a dedicated vascular neurosurgeon and clinical professor at Université Laval’s Department of Surgery. She joins Council representing Region 4 (Quebec) in the Division of Surgery.
“The opportunity to be amongst such a competent and diverse group is humbling and exciting,” she says, adding, “I will bring to Council a positive attitude towards [creating] change for the future as we strive to bring excellence to the profession.”
Meena Ballantyne, a new Public Member, was motivated to join Council because she sees the Royal College as a fundamental component of Canada’s health care system. Ms. Ballantyne has over 30 years of experience contributing to Canada’s public service, during which she managed challenges in large and complex organizations, predominantly at Health Canada, the Privy Council Office and Canadian Heritage.
“Given the aging population, and advances in medicine and technology, this a transformative time for specialty medicine to improve the health and quality of life for all Canadians. While I have worked on various components of the health care system, serving on the Council was a draw since it will provide an opportunity to advance specialty medicine at this pivotal point.”
Capitalizing on post-COVID opportunities
“The disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to ask ourselves the bigger questions about medical education in Canada,” says Henry Annan, MD, Council’s new Resident Member and a PGY-3 in Pediatrics at the Dalhousie Medical School. “With these reflections come new opportunities to meet the challenge of training the kinds of physicians and specialists that society needs, and the times demand.”
Dr. Annan, who is currently completing a Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, says he hopes to bring a strong learner perspective to meetings and to help identify what opportunities may emerge as a result of COVID-19.
New Public Member Susan Harley, MBA, shares a similar interest. Hailing from Saint John, N.B., she brings over 35 years of senior leadership/executive experience with three of the largest companies in Canada. Harnessing her considerable experience — including in marketing, finance and business development — she says she hopes to provide solid business and strategic guidance to the Royal College in the recovery from COVID-19.
“With any major event or crisis, there is always an opportunity to build on strengths and reset strategies to emerge even stronger,” she says. “I enjoy working with boards at times of change, being able to bring forward my experiences in strategic planning to charting a strong course for the future.”
Other new members of Council
Terry Colbourne, MSc, MD, FRCPC, newly represents Region 2 in the Division of Medicine. Dr. Colbourne completed his undergraduate and postgraduate training at the University of Manitoba. He remains in Winnipeg, Man., where he works as a respirologist at the Health Sciences Centre with a practice that includes inpatient respiratory and internal medicine.
Samuel Ogunbiyi, MBBS, MD (Research), FRCS(Edin), FRCSC, joins Council as a representative from Region 3 (Ontario) in the Division of Surgery. Dr. Ogunbiyi is a staff surgeon at Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston, Ont. He has 20 years of experience as a clinician, researcher and medical innovator.
Shafique Shamji is a new Public Member. He is the executive vice-president and chief information officer at The Ottawa Hospital. Mr. Shamji is responsible for Information Technology and Services within The Ottawa Hospital — one of the largest hospitals in Canada.
Want to learn more? Read full biographies of our Council members.