New structure, new leaders: How we’re adapting to better serve you
We recognize that your needs and expectations are evolving. Over the past two and a half years, we have seen some of the greatest challenges in health care exacerbated by the pandemic. Although our vision for change was already in development before COVID-19 hit, the pandemic has reaffirmed our commitment to become a more member-focused organization that enables you to provide the best care for all.
Today, we are announcing an important milestone in that journey. I am very pleased to share with you our new organizational structure and I’d like to introduce you to our newest colleagues on the senior leadership team.
Aligning our structure to better serve you
We have established our new model around our core mission: establishing standards for specialty medicine and enabling physicians to continuously learn. This organizational model is evolving into a mission-driven structure rather than one organized around career stages.
As part of this, there are two key changes that I would like to highlight:
- the Office of Specialty Education (OSE) is replaced with the Office of Standards and Assessment, led by Glen Bandiera, MD, FRCPC
- the Office of Membership Engagement and Programs is replaced with the Office of Learning and Connecting, led by Guylaine Lefebvre, MD, FRCSC
Introducing new staff members on our leadership team
I am delighted to share that the following individuals will now form part of the leadership team, each of whom will play a critical role in serving you better.
Joining the Royal College effective January 16, 2023, as the director, Learning, Lyn will lead the unit responsible for continuous learning across the career continuum including maintenance of certification.
Joining the Royal College effective December 5, 2022, as the director, Member Experience and External Relations, Steven will lead a unit focused on improving your experience as a Fellow while coordinating our advocacy for specialty medicine.
Joining the Royal College effective January 16, 2023, as director, Standards and Accreditation, Damon will lead the unit responsible for accreditation processes and the development of Royal College standards.
In her new role of director, Indigenous Health, Sherry heads the Office of Indigenous Health to advance work towards Reconciliation at the Royal College.
In his new role of director, Assessment and Certification, André leads all work relating to Royal College assessment and certification, including exams.
Please join me in congratulating Lyn, Steven, Damon, Sherry and André, as they assume their new functions at the Royal College.
Understanding our guiding framework and ensuring it meets your needs
In addition to our new leadership team, another important step to ensuring we serve you better is closely reviewing our strategic plan. In April 2021 we launched a new vision and mission for the Royal College. While staying true to our core mandate and values, our vision to Advance learning for specialist physicians to deliver the best health care for all focuses on ensuring the Royal College is learning and adapting our services to support you, and in turn, your patients – both today and in preparation for whatever may lie ahead.
To help inform the next iteration of our Strategic Plan (2023-2026), last week we launched a five-minute survey to all members that focuses on our proposed strategic priorities. Your feedback is invaluable and I encourage all of you to complete the survey by October 20, 2022, through the link sent to you by our external partner Innovisor, so we are able to serve you better.
Apply to join a Royal College committee
The Royal College is recruiting to fill positions on 12 of our governing committees for terms beginning in February 2023. Current opportunities exist with committees that focus on specialty education standards, assessment, accreditation, research, health policy and more. Committees are essential to the Royal College. They guide and direct our organization and they make an indelible impact on residents, Fellows and the communities they serve. I hope you will consider applying. The deadline is November 6, 2022.
I am grateful to each of you for your ongoing support, and I hope you share in my enthusiasm for this continued growth of our Royal College.
Susan D. Moffatt-Bruce, MD, FRCSC, PhD, MBA, FACS
Chief Executive Officer
Lyn K. Sonnenberg, MD, FRCPC
Joining the Royal College effective January 16, 2023, as the director, Learning, Lyn K. Sonnenberg, MD, FRCPC, will lead the unit responsible for continuous learning across the career continuum including maintenance of certification. Lyn grew up in Mississauga, Ont. She earned her medical degree from McMaster University, completed her residency training in Pediatrics at Dalhousie and Developmental Pediatrics at the University of Toronto and received her Master of Education from the University of Alberta.
She is presently a full professor, Pediatrics, at the University of Alberta where she works as a neurodevelopmental pediatrician. She is well known for her work in Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity, and Accessibility and holds national and provincial teaching awards for her excellence in both teaching and clinical innovation.
Prior to assuming her new role at the Royal College, Lyn will be stepping down from her current role as vice president of the Medical Council of Canada, as well as associate dean, Educational Innovation & Academic Technologies, at the University of Alberta.
Steven Bellemare, MD, FRCPC
Joining the Royal College effective December 5, 2022, as the director, Member Experience and External Relations, Steven Bellemare, MD, FRCPC, will lead a unit focused on improving your experience as a Fellow while coordinating our advocacy for specialty medicine. Steven completed his medical training at the University of Ottawa and his residency in Pediatrics at the University of Alberta. He worked at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa. Steven spent the last 13 years at the Canadian Medical Protective Association where he was most recently director of Strategic Engagement and Advocacy.
Prior to this, he had a leadership role in the Practice Improvement department, where he led the development of several award-winning and innovative continuing professional development programs. Steven currently works part time as an investigating coroner and obtained his designation as a Certified Physician Executive in 2016.
J. Damon Dagnone, MD, FRCPC
Joining the Royal College effective January 16, 2023, as director, Standards and Accreditation, J. Damon Dagnone, MD, FRCPC, will lead the unit responsible for accreditation processes and the development of Royal College standards. Damon comes to the Royal College from Queen’s University, where he is currently an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine. He is also an attending physician in the Emergency Room (ER) with Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), where he works on the trauma team and as a resuscitation team hospital leader.
Previously the CBME faculty lead for Queen’s University (2015-2020), Damon was the lead applicant for a transformative Fundamental Innovations in Residency Education (FIRE) proposal, which saw the launch of 29 postgraduate specialty programs to competency-based curriculums all at once. He is now immersed in numerous endeavours including as program director of the Medical Education fellowship in Emergency Medicine, Competence Committee chair of the FRCPC Emergency Medicine Program, co-lead of the Humanity in Healthcare Series for Health Sciences at Queen’s University, advocate for the role of Doctor as Person, and host of On Camera with Damon Dagnone, a videotaped podcast series on physician champions and patient advocates.
Raised in Kingston, Ont., Damon earned his medical degree from Western University, completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine at Queen’s University, and earned master’s degrees from Queen’s University (MSc) and the University of Dundee, Scotland (MMEd).
Sherry Sandy, MSW
In her new role of director, Indigenous Health, Sherry Sandy, MSW, heads the Office of Indigenous Health to advance work towards Reconciliation at the Royal College. Sherry joined the Royal College last year as the Indigenous Health program manager in June 2021. Prior to that, she had a decade of experience in progressively senior positions with a track record of accomplishments in Indigenous Health, program development, partnership, and collaboration building. She has thirty years plus working with Indigenous Peoples, communities and organizations at the grass root, regional, and national levels. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work from McMaster University and a Master of Social Work from Wilfred Laurier University.
In her new role, Sherry works with individuals at all levels of the organization, including members of the Council, its Executive Committee, the Indigenous Health Committee (IHC), Elder’s Council and standing committees, leaders and staff.
André St-Pierre, MBA
In his new role of director, Assessment and Certification, André St-Pierre, MBA, leads all work relating to Royal College assessment and certification, including exams. André has been with the Royal College since July 2012, where he has filled a number of key roles in The McLaughlin Centre for Evaluation, including overseeing the Examinations and Credentials Units. Prior to joining the Royal College, André spent 30 years in the retail field progressively moving to more senior roles within operations, compliance, change management, process improvement, risk management and safety, and project management. He also sits as the Royal College member on the Kuwait Institute of Medical Specializations’ Assessment Committee supporting examination development and delivery in Kuwait.
André has led teams and held senior roles with some well-known retailers across Canada such as Sobeys, The Home Depot and Eaton’s. He also worked overseas in Germany with CANEX as part of the support team for the Canadian Forces. André obtained his MBA in 2005 from the University of Athabasca.