CANHEART, led by PI Dr. Jack Tu, involves a team of over 20 investigators from across Ontario.
The CANHEART Steering Committee includes the following:
Dr. Gillian Booth is a Scientist in the Keenan Research Centre, located at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Booth is also an Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She has received numerous awards for her research and is currently supported by Mid-Career Investigator Awards from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Booth’s research focuses on health outcomes related to diabetes; specifically how socioeconomic, environmental and health care factors influence the risk of diabetes and its complications. She has extensive experience in using large provincial health care and survey databases, and in using geographic information systems (GIS) methodologies to study contextual factors influencing the development of diabetes. One of her major research interests is the role of the built environment as a risk factor for obesity and diabetes. Dr. Booth has made major contributions to diabetes policy and practice at both the national and provincial levels. She has served on several advisory committees for the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System and was the Methodology Chair for the 2008 and 2013 Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines.
Dr. Andrea Gershon, an ICES scientist, is also a respirologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Gershon completed her medical degree, residency, and fellowship at the University of Toronto where she trained in general internal medicine and respirology. She followed this with a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto and postgraduate research fellowships in health services research at ICES. Her research interests include health outcomes in individuals with respiratory disease, effectiveness and safety of respiratory medications, and disease surveillance.
Dr. Dennis Ko is a Senior Scientist at ICES, an Interventional Cardiologist at the Schulich Heart Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Ko’s research focuses on determining optimal clinical strategies and identifying opportunities for improvement in the prevention, treatment and outcomes of cardiovascular disease. These research efforts are intended to provide critical information to improve the quality of health care, monitor changes over time, and guide decisions about the allocation of scarce health care resources.
Dr. Thérèse Stukel PhD, is a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), Toronto; Professor of Biostatistics and Health Services Research, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover NH; Professor, Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. She was statistical director of the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care from 1995 to 2003. Her current research interests are in the effects of health system resources and organization on delivery of care and outcomes in Canada and the U.S., particularly whether higher health care spending is associated with better health systems outcomes. She has also focused on methods for the analysis of observational studies, particularly the use of instrumental variables to remove unmeasured confounding and survival bias. She developed the boundaries of Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) based on patterns of patient hospitalizations. With the support of a CIHR Team grant, she has created Ontario Multispecialty Physician Networks, virtual physician networks that mimic Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and is evaluating their efficiency (quality vs. costs) in managing patients with chronic disease. She has published over 160 peer-reviewed articles in medical and statistical journals.
Dr. Harindra Wijeysundera is an interventional cardiologist at the Schulich Heart Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and an assistant professor and clinician-scientist at the University of Toronto. He is also an adjunct scientist at ICES. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia and completed his specialty training in Internal Medicine and Adult Cardiology at the University of Toronto. He also completed fellowship training at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Interventional Cardiology and a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. His research program focuses on health technology assessment in cardiac disease using decision analytic models, which are populated and validated using real-world administrative data. This work is based at the Sunnybrook Research Institute, the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) collaborative, as well as ICES. In addition, his research program also involves estimating accurate longitudinal costs associated with episodes of illness using administrative data and changes in quality in life.
CANHEART Co-Investigators include the following:
Dr. Clare Atzema is a Core Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, and a staff emergency physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Atzema received her medical doctorate from the University of British Columbia, and followed this with a year as a visiting scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her residency in the Royal College Emergency Medicine Program at the University of Toronto, during which time she also obtained a Master’s Degree in Clinical Epidemiology. After residency she completed a Fellowship with the Canadian Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Team, under Dr. Tu. She is currently supported by a New Investigator Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Dr. Atzema won the Canadian Cardiovascular Society’s Young Investigator Award in Clinical Sciences in 2012. Her research focuses on cardiovascular disease as it presents in the emergency department, and continuity of care following discharge from the emergency department.
Dr. Peter Austin PhD, is a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), Toronto and a Professor in the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. His research is supported in-part by a Career Investigator Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation. His research interests are in statistical methods for the analysis of large observational databases. In particular, he is interested in the use of propensity score methods for estimating the effects of treatments and interventions, predictive models for cardiovascular outcomes, and statistical methods for hospital report cards and provider profiling. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles in medical and statistical journals.
Dr. Amit Garg is a Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Western University. He practices nephrology at the London Health Sciences Centre and cares for patients with chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury and individuals wishing to donate a kidney to a loved one. In team based environments, Dr. Garg conducts clinical and health services research to improve health outcomes for patients with kidney diseases including those receiving dialysis or a kidney transplant. He also aims to improve the efficiency by which renal care is delivered. He is the current Director of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Western Facility, Program Lead for the ICES Kidney, Dialysis and Transplantation Program and Director of the London Kidney Clinical Research Unit.
Dr. Cynthia Jackevicius PharmD, is a Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Western University of Health Sciences, an Assistant Professor with the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, an Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and a Clinical Pharmacotherapy Specialist in Cardiology at the VA GLA Healthcare System and the University Health Network. Dr. Jackevicius completed a baccalaureate Pharmacy degree at the University of Toronto, a Hospital Pharmacy Residency at Toronto General Hospital, a Master’s Degree in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto, and a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Shenandoah University in Virginia. Dr. Jackevicius’ research focuses on evaluating the quality of use of cardiovascular medications in clinical practice. This primarily includes the study of cardiovascular medication adherence, and impact of clinical trial evidence, drug policy and pharmaceutical marketing on cardiovascular drug use.
Dr. Moira Kapral MD, MSc, FRCPC is a general internist at the Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network. She is a Professor of Medicine and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Ontario (ICES) and the Toronto General Research Institute. She holds a career investigator award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. She is co-principal investigator of the Registry of the Canadian Stroke Network and is a theme leader with the Canadian Stroke Network, one of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence. Her research focuses on the evaluation of stroke care and outcomes in different populations and on the development of stroke quality indicators.