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About Canadian Health
Leadership Network

Our Vision: Better Leadership, Better Health - Together

Founded in 2009, we are a not-for-profit network of 40+ Canadian health organizations (called Network Partners) formed on the values of trust and reciprocity. 

CHLNet Team & Secretariat

We are comprised of a small core team of staff, advisors, emeritus positions, and a Secretariat that works in partnership with the Network Partner organizations across Canada. 

Kelly Grimes

Executive Director


Grace Gemin

Project Coordinator


Graham Dickson

Senior Research Advisor

Deanne Taylor

Senior Research Advisor

Bill Tholl

Senior Policy Advisor

Stephen Samis

Senior Policy Advisor

CHLNet Secretariat

Kathy MacNeil


Maria Judd


Katherine Chubbs
BGen Scott Malcolm

CHLNet Network Partner Liaisons

Yvonne Mburu
Wendy Lei

Emerging Health Leaders

Alain Doucet

Canadian College of Health Leaders (Host Secretariat)

Wendy Nicklin

CHLNet Working Group Chair

Graham Dickson

Senior Research Advisor

Bill Tholl

Senior Policy Advisor

Kelly Grimes

CHLNet Executive Director (ex officio)

Past Co-Chairs

2010Don Philippon (Alberta Government), Elma Heidemann (Accreditation Canada)
2011Brian O’Rourke (CADTH), Lea Bryden (Capital Health Nova Scotia)
2012Brian O’Rourke (CADTH), Hugh MacLeod (Canadian Patient Safety Institute)
2013Brian O’Rourke (CADTH), Hugh MacLeod (Canadian Patient Safety Institute)
2014Brian O’Rourke (CADTH), Hugh MacLeod (Canadian Patient Safety Institute)
2015Brian O’Rourke (CADTH), Gillian Kernaghan (St. Joseph’s Health Care London)
2016Gillian Kernaghan (St. Joseph’s Health Care London), Graham Sher (Canadian Blood Services)
2017Gillian Kernaghan (St. Joseph’s Health Care London), Graham Sher (Canadian Blood Services)
2018Gillian Kernaghan (St. Joseph’s Health Care London), Chris Power (Canadian Patient Safety Institute)
2019Chris Power (Canadian Patient Safety Institute), Kathy MacNeil (Island Health)
2020Chris Power (Canadian Patient Safety Institute), Kathy MacNeil (Island Health)
2021Kathy MacNeil (island Health), Susan Moffatt-Bruce (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada)
2022Kathy MacNeil (island Health), Susan Moffatt-Bruce (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada)

CHLNet Emeritus

Chris Power

Her journey in healthcare began at the bedside as a front-line nurse. Her experiences and her values led her to the position of CEO of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute until 2021, as well as serving as president and CEO of Capital Health, Nova Scotia. Chris holds significant governance roles including past Chair of the Canadian Association for Health Services & Policy Research, past Co-Chair of CHLNet, and Board member of Colleges & Institutes of Canada. She is past Chair of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and past Co-Chair of HealthCareCAN. Currently she is a Board member of HDRN Canada, Pallium Canada and Simulation Canada. Chris participated as a member of the federal advisory panel on healthcare innovation. 

Gillian Kernaghan

Served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s) from 2010 to 2021. Prior to assuming this role, Dr. Kernaghan served for 17 years as the Vice President, Medical for various hospitals in London. Currently she is a member of the inaugural Board of Supply Ontario, a member of the Board of Ontario Health, Fanshawe College Foundation Board, and the Advisory Committee for the Centre of Studies in Family Medicine. Prior appointments include the OHA Board, past Chair of the CHAO, member of the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine, past Co-Chair of the Southwestern Academic Health Network, Co-Chair of the CHLNet (2014-2018) and President of the CSPL. (2011-13).  

Brian O'Rourke

Served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of CADTH from 2009-2020 following a distinguished career as a pharmacist and healthcare executive with the Canadian military. He is a leading expert in the science and practice of health technology assessment (HTA) and continues to play an active role in the global HTA community. He is Chair of the HTA Steering Committee at the Centre for Innovation in Regulatory Science, Chair of the HTA Council at the Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), and he was recently selected as President-elect of ISPOR. In November 2020, Dr. O’Rourke was appointed Colonel Commandant (Honorary) of the Royal Canadian Medical Service.

Rachel Maillet (Bard)

Joined CHLNet as the founding East Champion in 2014 and transitioned into the Emeritus role in 2016. Before retiring in 2013, she served as CEO of CNA (2009 to 2013) and held numerous leadership positions with the government of New Brunswick including Deputy Minister of Environment and DM of Post-Secondary Education, Training & Labour. She was a coach for the CFHI Extra-Force and the Long-Term Care Programs and served on the Board of the Canadian Bar Law for the Future Fund (2014-2021), and on the Board (2015 to 2021) for the Collège Communautaire du NB including 3 years as chair. Rachel helped to found the ‘’Groupe des infirmières et infirmiers du NB’’ and currently is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Atlantic Ballet Canada.

Chris Eagle

Joined CHLNet as founding West Champion in 2014 and transitioned into the Emeritus role in 2016. He trained as a cardiac anesthesiologist and had a successful academic career culminating as Professor Emeritus at the University of Calgary. He has held a number of leadership positions including President and COO of the Calgary Health Region, President and CEO of AHS, President and CEO of the Calgary Health Trust. He has served as a Board member on several health organizations including the Health Quality Council of Alberta and the CIHI. Currently, he is chair of the board of trustees of Alberta Cancer Foundation and is an advisor on healthcare matters to the Enoch Cree Nation. 

Wendy Nicklin

With degrees from McGill University, Wendy Nicklin has a background in critical care, and has held senior administrative hospital positions, until becoming President and CEO of Accreditation Canada (2004-2016). Her strong commitment to improving the quality and safety of healthcare has permeated every experience of her career, leading her to work with Patients for Patient Safety Canada, the WHO PFPS Network, and the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua). Wendy has extensive governance experience and numerous publications to her name.  She is the recipient of the 2018 Legacy of Leadership Award, a lifetime achievement award from HealthCareCAN. 

Hugh MacLeod

Retired from the Canadian Patient Safety Institute as CEO in January of 2015. Prior to joining CPSI, Hugh held senior positions with the Government of Ontario including Associate Deputy Minister for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Currently an Adjunct Professor, School of Population & Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Hugh has authored over 120 leadership and transformation essays/articles/papers and in July 2019 released a book titled “Humanizing Leadership.” Sub-Title: “Reflection Fuels, People Matter and Relationships Make the Difference.” 

Don Philippon

Don (PhD, FCCHL) is a Founding Co-Chair of CHLNet, a Professor Emeritus and Founding Director, Fellowship in Health System Improvement at the University of Alberta. During his long career in health, he held senior leadership positions in Government (ADM Saskatchewan, DM Alberta), health system operations (VP Referral hospitals) and academic health sciences. He maintains a strong interest in health through his academic and consulting work in health policy, comparative health systems, health leadership and interprofessional health education. He was involved in the development of the LEADS framework and is a lifetime member of the Canadian College of Health Leaders where he serves as preceptor for its Fellowship program. 

Elma Heidemann

Elma (MHA, FCCHL, LFACHE) is a Founding Co-Chair of the CHLNet. She is a former CEO of Accreditation Canada (1993-2004). She is a former President and Board member of the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) and a current surveyor in their international accreditation and evaluation program (IEEA). She has served on numerous national and international boards and committee, including local, provincial, and national health care organisation and international governments and health evaluation organisations. She has also provided consulting services to both the WHO and the World Bank. She currently serves as an international consultant for accreditation and evaluation programs.  

MacNaught–Taillon Leadership Award in Health Policy, Health Information & Health Informatics

The MacNaught-Taillon (M&T) Award, awarded every three years, was established in 2008 to honour the outstanding and lasting contributions of Don MacNaught and Serge Taillon to the Canadian health care system. The award is accompanied by a bursary to support further training, research or education in health informatics and/or health policy that will be presented to an up-and-coming leader who will be designated at the discretion of the M&T Award recipient. The M&T Award involves a partnership of three organizations: Canadian Health Leadership Network, Healthcare Excellence Canada, and the e-Health Conference host organizations. 

2023 M&T Award Winner

May 3, 2023 (Ottawa): The Canadian Heath Leadership Network (CHLNet), Healthcare Excellence Canada and eHealth 2023 (hosted by Canada Health Infoway, Canadian Institute for Health Information and Digital Health Canada) are pleased to announce the 2023 recipient of the MacNaught-Taillon  Leadership Award (M&T award): Vivek Goel, MD, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo. The award is accompanied by a $1,500 bursary to an emerging health leader as selected by the M&T award winner. This year, the recipient is Ashley Cid, a PhD Student in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo. The formal presentation will be made May 28-30th at eHealth 2023 in Toronto, Ontario.

2020 M&T Award Winner

The 2020 award winner was Jennifer Zelmer PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI now Healthcare Excellence Canada). Dr. Jennifer Zelmer clearly demonstrates a life-long commitment to collaboration and dedication in service of others that personify the values reflected in the M&T Leadership Award. In the spirit of the Honourable Justice Emmitt Hall, she is fully committed to the ideals of advancing our universal Medicare programs and to using better information systems in scaling and spreading leading practices. Dr. Zelmer continues to make an enduring contribution to the advancement of Canadian health information systems and evidence-informed decision making. Dr. Zelmer has asked that this year’s award be given to a patient partner leader to be adjudicated by other patient leaders. The highly deserving recipients are Kim Daley and Payal Khazanchi.

2017 M&T Award Winner

The 2017 award winner was Dr. Brian Postl, Dean of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Postl is a recipient of the Order of Manitoba (2012) and a recognized builder in advancing health research capacity locally through the establishment of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. Nationally, Dr. Postl is a recognized leader, including serving as a Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Wait Times, advocating for and serving as a mentor for others under the EXTRA Program. He also oversaw the introduction of electronic medical records during his tenure as CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. He is the former chair of the CIHI and a past Chair of the CFHI. He is also a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Dr. Postl designated the bursary to Deepa Singal, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Community Health Sciences.

2014 M&T Award Winner

The 2014 award winner was Leslie Roos, who is a Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba and a founding director of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. He is among the most highly cited Canadian scientists. Mr. Roos is particularly interested in the diverse uses of information-rich research environments. He is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a member of the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada. He has been an associate of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and a fellow of the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy. Dr. Roos designated the bursary to Elizabeth Wall-Wieler, a graduate student in Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba.

2011 M&T Award Winner

The 2011 award winner is Richard Alvarez. As former CEO of Canada Health Infoway, he was a catalyst for accelerating the development of electronic health records in Canada. As former CEO of CIHI, he helped CIHI evolve into a well-known and respected organization with strong ties to the research community. He established strong, collaborative relationships with the federal, provincial and territorial governments and other stakeholders as the foundation for solid progress. Mr. Alvarez articulated a broad national vision for reforming Canada’s health care system through innovation and technology. On the international front, he has helped to position Canada as a world leader in health care renewal. His dedicated high potential, high performance mentee is Simon Hagen, who was the Director Benefits Realization and Quality Improvement. 

2008 M&T Award Winner

Denis Protti, the inaugural recipient of the M&T Award, was recognized for his establishment of Canada’s first School of Health Information Science at the University of Victoria in the early 1980’s. This program has produced hundreds of health informatics professionals, many who work within Canada’s health system. Mr. Protti was Director of the School from 1981 to 1993 and has continued his affiliation with the school as a professor and researcher. More recently, he has worked to establish graduate level programs for both early and mid-career professionals. Founder of Partnerships for Productivity, which for 20 years has brought together health sector leaders from around the world. Founding member of the Canadian Organization for the Advancement of Computers in Healthcare (COACH). The bursary was awarded to Michael Bowen.