The Therapeutics Initiative Oversight Committee is an independent advisory body of professionals with expertise in drug therapy, healthcare, and members of the public. The Oversight Committee makes recommendations to the Therapeutic Initiative regarding its activities, strategic planning and long-term goals. The recommendations of the Oversight Committee aim to improve and maintain the health and well-being of British Columbians.
Prof. Peter Burns, QC
Professor Peter Burns, Q.C., was called to the Bar of B.C. in 1975 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1984. From 1982-91, Professor Burns served as Dean of the Allard School of Law. He has also served on the B.C. Law Reform Commission (1985-92) and the B.C. Forest Resources Commission (1990-91) and was a board member of the B.C. International Commercial Arbitration Centre from 1986 to 1996.
Professor Burns was appointed Chair of the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy in 1993 and is a former President of the Society for the Reform of Criminal Law. He was a member of the UN Organization Committee Against Torture from 1977 to 2003, chairing that committee from 1987 to 2003.
Professor Burns has authored or edited several books and numerous articles in the fields of Torts, Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure and International Criminal Law.
Dr. Heather Davidson, PhD
Dr. Davidson holds a PhD in Psychology (Adult Development and Aging) from the University of Victoria, British Columbia. She has worked for the BC government since 1991 in a series of progressively senior positions, mostly in the Ministry of Health. She is currently Assistant Deputy Minister of the Partnerships and Innovation Division with responsibilities for research & innovation, legislation and intergovernmental relations. She was an early advocate for evidence-based policy and decision making and has maintained strong linkages with the research community throughout her government career. She sits on the Board(s) of the Academic Health Science Network, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the Institute for Health System Transformation and Sustainability and is a member of the Medical Services Commission.
Ms. Colleen Fuller,
Colleen Fuller is a health policy researcher and writer. After working in the trade union movement for 14 years in communications and research, she left to focus on the impact of privatization on universal access to health services. Since then, she has written extensively about Canada’s health care system, including issues affecting access to safe and effective prescription drugs and medical devices. Her published work includes Caring for Profit, How Corporations are Taking Over Canada’s Health Care System (1998), The Bottom Line: The Truth Behind Private Health Insurance in Canada (with Diana Gibson, 2006), and The Push to Prescribe: Women & Canadian Drug Policy (co-author, 2010).
Dr. Robert Halpenny, MD, MHA
Dr. Robert Halpenny is a health care consultant with extensive experience in his field. Previously, he was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with the Interior Health Authority. He completed his Family Practice Residency in 1982 after spending numerous clinical rotations in Kelowna and then setting up a practice in Vancouver. As the Vice President of Medicine at St. Vincent’s, he completed his Masters Degree in Health Administration from the University of Colorado and then spent six years in Grand Junction Colorado as the Vice President of Medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital. He returned to BC in 2002 as the Vice President of Medicine for the Fraser Health Authority and then accepted the position of Provincial Executive Director Cardiac Services at Provincial Health Services Authority. He started with the Interior Health Authority in January 2007 as the Senior Medical Director with a background in clinical care and Medical Administration. He presently serves as the Chair of the BC Medical Services Commission.
Mr. Mitch Moneo,
Mitch assumed the role of Assistant Deputy Minister, Pharmaceutical Services Division in 2017. Prior to his current appointment, Mitch was the Executive Director of the Division’s PharmaCare Information, Policy and Evaluation Branch where he was responsible for guiding the development, evaluation and research of pharmaceutical policies that support equitable and sustainable patient access to effective drug therapies. A key accomplishment was the drafting of BC’s Pharmaceutical Services Act, a comprehensive legislative framework for the one-billion dollar BC PharmaCare program.
Mitch joined the Public Service in 2001 as a Ministry of Health Communications Officer and has been with the Pharmaceutical Services Division since 2004, progressively taking on increasing responsibilities. In addition to his role at the Ministry, he currently serves as a director on the board of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health (CADTH) ; is vice-chair of the pan Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) governing council; and is a member of the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network steering committee.
Mitch obtained a Bachelor of Journalism and Communication at the University of Regina. He worked as a print journalist and editor at several daily and community newspapers during a 14-year career in that field. He obtained a Graduate Certificate in Health Systems Leadership in 2008.
Mr. Bob Nakagawa,
Bob is a registered pharmacist with over 35 years of experience in both hospital pharmacy and public health administration. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from UBC in 1980, Bob began his career as a staff pharmacist at St. Paul’s Hospital before moving to Lion’s Gate Hospital where he spent 13 years, serving as director in a number of different areas including pharmacy; pharmacy and clinical nutrition; community drug utilization; clinical nutrition and palliative care; and patient care services. From there he moved into roles which included: Pharmacare director with the Ministry of Health and Director of Pharmacy Services for both the Simon Fraser Health Region and the Fraser Health Authority.
Bob served as the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Pharmaceutical Services Division of the Ministry of Health. During his time with the Ministry, he was responsible for PharmaNet, drug-use optimization programs and other provincial drug programs. He also implemented an innovative evidence-based, policy-making model that has become the gold-standard for public drug plans in Canada.
Bob also has extensive experience as an industry leader in BC’s pharmacy profession, having served as President (board-chair) of the College of Pharmacists of BC, and of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists. He also served as the Federal government representative on the Health Council of Canada and chaired the Medical Services Commission, the BC Drug Benefits Committee, and the Federal Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee for Canada.
Dr. Christie Newton, MD, CCFP, FCFP
Dr. Christie Newton graduated from medical school at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, in 1995, and completed her family medicine residency in 1997. She earned her Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP) in 1997 and Fellowship in the College of Family Physicians of Canada (FCFP) in 2011.
Dr. Newton started her career at the Queen’s Family Practice Teaching Unit in 1997 and completed a fellowship in women’s health in 1998. In 2001 she moved to the West Coast and joined the University of British Columbia (UBC)’s Family Practice Teaching Clinic in Vancouver. In 2005 She became an academic faculty member in UBC’s Department of Family Practice and since 2017 has served as interim co-head of the Department. Dr. Newton continues to maintain a part-time teaching practice at the UBC Health Clinic on campus where she also serves as Medical Director.
Dr. Newton has served on the Board of Directors of the British Columbia College of Family Physicians since 2010, including a term as President from 2015 to 2017. She was a CFPC Board Director in 2014 and 2015. Dr. Newton has been a member of numerous CFPC committees, including the Patient Education Committee, the National Committee on CPD, the CanMEDS-FM Working Group on the Collaborator Role, and the Patient’s Medical Home Steering Committee. She began her current term as Director-at-Large with the CFPC Board of Directors in 2018.
Dr. Newton’s scholarly interests centre on interprofessional education to enhance patient centred collaborative practice. Her work focuses on the design, implementation and evaluation of programs to support health practitioners in developing collaborative competencies. Dr. Newton was presented with the UBC Faculty of Medicine Distinguished Service to CPD Award in 2017 in recognition of her leadership in the field.
Dr. Tom Noseworthy, MD
A critical care physician and graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Tom Noseworthy’s record of leadership spans numerous health innovation, academic and health care delivery settings. He has previously served as Associate Chief Medical Officer for Alberta’s Strategic Clinical Networks; head of the Department of Community Health Sciences in the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine; chair of Public Health Sciences at the University of Alberta; and CEO & President of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton.
Dr. Noseworthy is highly-recognized for his numerous contributions to the field. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2007, has been named one of the “100 Physicians of the Century” in Alberta, and is a recipient of the Alberta Centennial Award. He received the Leadership Award while he was at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, where he was the CEO and President.
Mr. Carl Roy,
Carl Roy was appointed President & CEO of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) in 2014. He is known for his commitment to innovative change, people-focused management and passion for solving challenges. Having joined PHSA in 2010 as Senior Vice President, Mr. Roy served as executive officer for the Emergency and Health Services Commission (now BC Emergency Health Services). In this role, he successfully led the integration of the BC Ambulance Service into the health sector. In 2012, he was promoted to the position of executive vice president & chief administrative officer, providing leadership across PHSA that centred on performance enhancement and service integration. Prior to joining PHSA, Mr. Roy served as CEO for Providence Health Care in Vancouver, President of the Caritas Health Group in Edmonton, and President & CEO of Sudbury General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Sudbury, Ontario, as well as several health care companies.
Ms. Suzanne Solven,
Suzanne Solven is the Executive Director of Audit, Investigations and Quality Assurance and Interim Chief Risk Officer at Pacific Blue Cross. Pacific Blue Cross is British Columbia’s leading health benefits provider. Suzanne brings over 25 years of strategic leadership experience to the position. She leads the fraud investigation branch to ensure health benefits plan sustainability as well as leads the Internal Audit and Risk Management branches to ensure appropriate controls and enterprise-wide risk management are in place for value add to the business.
Prior to her work at Pacific Blue Cross, Suzanne was the Deputy Registrar of the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia for over 9 years. In her capacity as Deputy Registrar, Suzanne assisted the Registrar in ensuring successful execution of the College Board’s strategic plan, enhancing stakeholder engagement and inter-professional collaboration, as well as leading the complaints, investigations and legislation departments. Suzanne led the development of the award winning DrugSafe BC Initiative, changes to the ownership provisions in the pharmacy legislation, successful undercover pharmacy investigations and first in Canada successful investigative collaboration with the US Food and Drug Administration.
Prior to her work at the College, Suzanne was employed by the government of British Columbia for over 13 years in the positions of Executive Director and Senior Pharmacist of the BC PharmaCare program. While with government Suzanne led inter-professional drug policy initiatives such as evidenced based drug review processes, limited use drug coverage, special authorization expert committees and standardized product listing agreements. She was also a provincial partner in the development of the Common Drug Review.
Suzanne is a current member of the Alumni UBC Advisory Council, past member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC Prescription Review Panel, past Co-Chair of the National Pharmaceuticals Strategy, and past chair of the Advisory Committee on Pharmaceuticals, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health.
Suzanne received her Bachelor of Science of Pharmacy degree in 1987 from the University of British Columbia and has a commitment to life-long learning with a particular focus on strategic leadership.
Ms. Johanna Trimble,
Johanna is a passionate patient advocate and a member of several local, national and international patient groups. She presents both nationally and internationally. Her focus is on working to prevent over-medication of the elderly and helping to improve home-based, team-delivered, coordinated, community care since our present over-reliance on residential and acute care is neither optimal, preferred or sustainable.
Johanna’s background in library science and educational media has predisposed her to compulsive researching which has been useful in her present work within health care. As well as her background in post-secondary libraries, she was an educational media coordinator and buyer for post-secondary institutions at the ministry of education in BC. Following this, she moved to the private sector and was the Western Regional Manager of one of Canada’s largest educational media distributors. Johanna also has experience in both educational and corporate video production.
She is the public member on the Steering Committee of the Polypharmacy Risk Reduction initiative in British Columbia, Canada. She also serves as a public member on the Faculty of the Clear project. She is the public member on the Geriatrics and Palliative Care Committee for Doctors of BC and co-teaches first year medical students at UBC in the Department of Family Practice, Community Geriatrics. Johanna is a council member with the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council.
Dr. Colin Dormuth, ScD
Colin Dormuth has extensive experience using administrative health care databases to evaluate pharmaceutical policy changes and physician prescribing behaviour. He has been a member of the Therapeutics Initiative since 1995. His research focuses on drug safety and effectiveness, as well as the design and evaluation of reimbursement policies for prescription drugs. He has training in economic theory, applied econometrics, epidemiology, health services outcome research and biostatistics. Dr. Dormuth holds a Sc.D. and S.M. in epidemiology from Harvard University, an M.A. in economics from the University of Victoria, and a B.A. in economics from the University of Manitoba.
Dr. Ken Bassett, MD, PhD
Ken Bassett conducts systematic reviews of the efficacy and safety of new and established drugs, as well as pharmaco-epidemiologic studies of serious adverse events associated with prescription drug therapy in British Columbia. His ongoing research interests are in the systematic review of drug therapy and drug funding policy.
Dr. James M. Wright, MD, PhD, FRCP(C)
James (Jim) Wright obtained his MD from the University of Alberta in 1968, his FRCP(C) in Internal Medicine in 1975 and his PhD in Pharmacology from McGill University in 1976. He is a practicing specialist in Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Therapeutics Letter. He sits on the Editorial Boards of PLoS One and the Cochrane Library.
Dr. Wright’s research focuses on issues related to appropriate use of prescription drugs (particularly antihypertensive and lipid lowering drugs), Clinical Pharmacology, clinical trials, systematic review, meta-analysis and knowledge translation.