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CARC 2023 Speaker List (alphabetical by last name)


Dr. Vandana Ahluwalia  

Presenting on Day 1

Dr. Vandana Ahluwalia, MD, FRCPC, is a Rheumatologist in Community Practice in Brampton, Ontario. She is the past Corporate Chief, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine at the William Osler Health System. She is also the Past President, Ontario Rheumatology Association, and Canadian Rheumatology Associations. She has a keen interest in Models of Care and EMR efficiencies in rheumatology practice. She was the co-chair of the Canadian Rheumatology Association's Telehealth Working Group, along with Brent Ohata and Deborah Levy.

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Ms. Lene Anderson 

Presenting on Day 1

Ms. Andersen is an award-winning writer, advocate, and photographer living in Toronto, Canada. She was born and raised in Denmark, has lived with autoimmune arthritis since she was 4 years old, and has been using a power wheelchair since her early teens. She has a Masters’s Degree in Social Work and uses the combination of her professional and lived experience to help others live well with RA. Lene shares her home with a few cats and too many books.

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Dr. Claire Barber 

Presenting on Day 1

Dr. Barber is a rheumatologist and Associate Professor at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine. She is a Research Scientist with Arthritis Research Canada and is the Scientific Director for the Bone and Joint Health Strategic Clinical Network in Alberta. Her research interests include developing strategies to monitor the quality of care and optimizing care delivery for individuals living with rheumatic diseases.  

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Dr. Michelle Batthish 

Presenting on Day 1 

Dr. Batthish is a Pediatric Rheumatologist at McMaster Children's Hospital and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at McMaster University. Her research interests include the transition to adult care for patients with chronic rheumatic diseases. She has published on the transition readiness of patients with JIA and SLE and the role of health care providers in improving self-management skills in these patients. She is currently investigating the role of a transition coach as well as developing a transition readiness assessment for parents of youth with chronic disease. 

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Dr. Leigh Callahan 

Presenting on Day 1

Dr. Callahan is the Mary Link Briggs Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She is an Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC. She is the Associate Director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center and Director of the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance. She is currently the President of the US Bone and Joint Initiative. Dr. Callahan's research focuses on outcomes in rheumatic disease with a focus on osteoarthritis, social determinants and rheumatic disease outcomes, and community-based trials of physical activity and weight loss interventions in individuals with arthritis. 

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Dr. May Choi 

Presenting on Day 2 

Dr. Choi is a rheumatologist and clinician scientist who started on the faculty as an Assistant Professor at the Cumming School of Medicine, the University of Calgary in 2020 and is a Member of the McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health. As an early career investigator, her research is focused on biomarker discovery and validation for the prediction of clinical outcomes in autoimmune rheumatic diseases, and the prevention of autoimmune disease development and disease-related complications. She leads a research laboratory and biobank for local, national, and international collaborators. Her background and training include an MPH in Epidemiology at Harvard University and a lupus fellowship at the Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston, MA). 

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Keith Colaco 

Presenting on Day 1 

Keith completed a PhD in Medical Science, with a focus on cardiovascular disease in individuals with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. He is currently a Research Associate in the Rheumatology Program at Women's College Hospital, and an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Department of Health and Society at the University of Toronto. Keith serves as the External Affairs Officer for the Canadian Arthritis Trainee Association and collaborates with stakeholders to facilitate professional development of trainees across Canada.

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Dr. Adam Culvenor 

Presenting on Day 2

Dr. Culvenor is a physiotherapist and Senior Research Fellow at the La Trobe University Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, Australia. His research focusses on the prevention and management of knee osteoarthritis over the lifespan. This covers preventing knee injuries, identifying clinical and biomechanical risk factors for posttraumatic osteoarthritis, developing and testing novel osteoarthritis prevention strategies in young adults, through to older adults undergoing total knee replacement and determining its impact on individuals and society, and effective surgical and nonsurgical interventions. He has authored over 80 peer-reviewed publications in these areas.  

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Dr. Candace Feldman 

Presenting on Day 1

Dr. Feldman is a rheumatologist and health equity researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. She received her medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine, a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Doctor of Science degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. She conducts epidemiological studies and designs and implements interventions to understand and reduce avoidable outcomes and racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities among individuals with chronic rheumatic conditions. 

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Dr. Bruce Forster 

Presenting on Day 2

Dr. Forster is a Professor at the University of British Columbia, Department of Radiology, recently finishing his 11.5-year term as Dept Head on Dec 31, 2021. Previously, he was the Director of Diagnostic Imaging for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics/Paralympics Games and is currently the lead Radiologist for the International Olympic Commission Medical and Scientific Games Group. As an Associate Member of the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre, he has been involved in the clinical, educational, and research aspects of sports imaging for 30 years, and is Associate Editor of the “British Journal of Sports Medicine” and Senior Deputy Editor of the Journal of the Canadian Association of Radiologists. Dr. Forster has delivered over 500 invited lectures, many internationally, and has served as a Visiting Professor in Canada, the United States, Ireland, Indonesia, Peru, Brazil, Singapore, Japan, Russia, and the Middle East. He is the author of over 160 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and 140 educational exhibits, has served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Radiologists and was recently the President of the Canadian Radiologic Foundation. He has led outreach work in UBC Radiology and serves on the Executive Steering Committee for the International Certificate for Radiology Fundamentals with Radiologists Across Borders. In 2019 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Canadian Association of Radiologists and was Runner-up for the BCPSQC’s Doug Cochrane Leadership in Quality Award. In 2022, he was awarded the Haughton Medal by the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and was inducted as an Honorary Fellow in the Irish Faculty of Radiologists. He is currently co-chair of the Canadian National Artificial Intelligence Council in Healthcare. Outside of Radiology, Dr. Forster enjoys cooking, music, and spending time with his family, including in sports such as downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, road and mountain biking, and golf. 

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Dale E. Fournier 

Presenting on Day 1

Dale is currently in the final year of the combined M.PT./Ph.D. program at the University of Western Ontario. His research is focused on better understanding a type of spine arthritis characterized by the formation of ectopic minerals between the bones of the spine. Upon completion of his training at Western, Dale expects to be a licensed physical therapist equipped with cutting-edge research abilities to excel as an academic clinician-researcher focused on spine disorders in Canada.

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Dr. Carol Hitchon 

Presenting on Day 1

Dr. Hitchon is a rheumatologist and clinical researcher in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her research is focused on outcomes in rheumatic diseases.

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Dr. Thomas Hügle

Presenting on Day 2

Dr. Hügle completed his medical studies in Freiburg, Germany, and Montpellier, France. His training was in internal medicine and rheumatology in Basel & Lugano, Switzerland, and at the Hopital Necker, Paris. He earned his Ph.D. in systemic sclerosis (laboratory) in Newcastle, UK. For 5 years now, he has been the head of the Rheumatology Department at Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland.

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Dr. Arif Jetha 

Presenting on Day 2

Arif Jetha, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and Scientist at the Institute for Work & Health. His research spans population health, systems science, and social policy to examine how the future of work affects vulnerable workers. He earned his PhD from University of Toronto and holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was the recent recipient of the six-year Stars Early Career Salary Award from the Arthritis Society, and he holds multiple Canadian Tri-Council grants as principal investigator. 

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Ms. Lamia Khan 

Presenting on Day 2

Ms. Khan is currently pursuing her Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Mohammed Osman, a clinician scientist and the director of the systemic sclerosis (SSc) clinic, at the University of Alberta. Her experiences to date have reinforced her passion for developing a deep and fundamental understanding of human chronic diseases that cause inflammatory arthritis such as SSc. By better understanding the pathogenesis of SSc, she hopes that her work may lead to developing novel therapies for patients with this devastating disease which may result in better outcomes for them.  

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Dr. Lauren King 

Presenting on Day 2

Dr. King is a staff rheumatologist at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, and an osteoarthritis clinical researcher. She is in the final year of a Ph.D. in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto, supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research doctoral award and as a Phillipson Scholar in the Clinician-Scientist Training Program in the Department of Medicine. She is a member of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI)-endorsed early-stage knee osteoarthritis initiative task force that seeks to develop classification criteria for early-stage knee osteoarthritis. 

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Ms. Cheryl Koehn 

Presenting on Day 1

Ms. Koehn is President of Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE), Canada's longest running and largest arthritis non-profit patient organization. She has survived rheumatoid arthritis for 33 years and become a national patient community leader, educator, research partner and published author. Ms. Koehn has dedicated her life to helping others living with arthritis. In her leadership role at ACE, she has led the development of patient-centred, in person and online education and information programs (jointhealth.org), fought for the treatment and care rights of people with arthritis at provincial, territorial and federal governments, and volunteered on government and research institution committees and boards for over 30 years. Today, she serves as the patient representative on the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Advisory Committee on Ethics and is helping to lead the community's efforts to bring equity in arthritis treatment and care to all who face the daily challenges of discrimination and racism in health care. 

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Dr. Deborah Levy 

Presenting on Day 1

Dr. Levy is the Clinical Director, Division of Rheumatology at SickKids, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto. As Director of the SickKids Lupus clinic her research primarily focuses on the long-term medical and psychosocial outcomes of childhood-onset SLE. She is also interested in alternate models of care for children with rheumatic disease and is working with advanced practitioners to develop a new network of pediatric rheumatology providers for children in underserved communities within Ontario. 

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Dr. Erin Macri 

Presenting on Day 2

Dr. Macri is a Canadian-trained physical therapist who completed her PhD in 2017 at UBC. She currently holds an appointment at Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, initially as a CIHR Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in 2018, and since 2020 as a Senior Researcher. Her work focuses on characterizing risk factors for knee and hip osteoarthritis. Dr. Macri is an associate editor for the British Journal of Sports Medicine and is also on the editorial board for Arthritis Care & Research.  

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Mr. Darren Mazzei 

Presenting on Day 2

Mr. Mazzei is a physiotherapist and is undertaking a PhD in Health Economics under the supervision of Dr. Deborah Marshall at the University of Calgary. Darren is interested in evaluating the socioeconomic impacts of osteoarthritis management to inform resource decisions in learning health systems. Darren's thesis project is investigating the need, value and affordability of first-line therapies for people living with hip and knee osteoarthritis in Alberta. This research will provide foundational knowledge to support decision-makers as they strive to achieve the quadruple aim: better outcomes, better experiences, better quality, and better value for money. 

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Dr. Brent Ohata

Presenting on Day 1

Dr. Ohata is a clinical assistant professor of rheumatology at the University of British Columbia. He was the cochair of the Canadian Rheumatology Association's Telehealth Working Group, along with Deborah Levy and Vandana Ahluwalia. Through the Canadian Rheumatology Association, they developed position statements, best practice guidelines and educational tools on virtual health for rheumatologists. He was awarded the UBC Division of Rheumatology Innovation Award in 2017 for promoting telehealth to reach underserved communities. He is passionate about health equity and has established outreach rheumatology clinics to the Carrier Sekani First Nations and the downtown eastside of Vancouver. 

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Lissa Pacheco-Brousseau 

Presenting on Day 1

Lissa is a physiotherapist pursuing a Ph.D.in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Ottawa under the co-supervision of Drs Dawn Stacey and Stéphane Poitras. Her doctoral work focuses on the appropriateness of hip and knee joint replacement for osteoarthritis and how to support healthcare professionals and patients in the decision-making process. Lissa's research interest is to advance the science of person-centered care rehabilitation by using implementation science methods with a physiotherapy lens. 

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Dr. Brooke Patterson 

Presenting on Day 1

Dr. Patterson is a physiotherapist and research fellow at the La Trobe University Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre. After working in a variety of public, private, and sports settings, she completed her Ph.D.in 2020, investigating the risk of arthritis at a young age after an ACL injury, and how physiotherapist-led interventions can help improve outcomes beyond the typical rehabilitation period. Brooke has sustained an ACL injury herself, played in the first three seasons of the women's national Australian Football League, and is now coaching. Currently, she is coordinating a clinical trial in women's community Australian football, evaluating if a supported implementation strategy can increase uptake and reduce the risk of serious knee and head injury. 

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Ms. Margaret Peters

Presenting on Day 2

Ms. Peters is the founder of Unmasking Psoriasis, a Saskatchewan-based not-for-profit group to support people living with psoriasis. 

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Dr. J. Denise Power

Presenting on Day 2

Dr. Power is an epidemiologist and scientific associate at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, University Health Network in Toronto. 

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Laurie Proulx 

Presenting on Day 2

Laurie has over twenty years of experience working in human resources and works as an independent consultant offering services focused on community engagement, disability and health policy, and workplace inclusion. She was previously a board member with the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance where she brought over thirty years’ experience of living with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, advocating for patient-centered health care policies and practices for people living with rheumatic diseases.

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Ms. Maureen Quigley 

Presenting on Day 1

 Ms. Quigley lives with genetic Osteoarthritis. She served as a Director of Arthritis Society Canada from 2004-2012 and as Board Chair from 2010-2012. She was nominated by Arthritis Society Canada for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and remains involved with TAS as a donor and most recently as a Community Member of the 2022 Innovation Grants Review Panel. Maureen is also a patient member of a UHN Schroeder Research Institute Team in receipt of a CIHR grant to study the relationship between Osteoarthritis and Diabetes. In her professional capacity, she has recently retired after thirty-three years as an independent consultant in the Canadian healthcare and broader public and not-for-profit sectors, specializing in strategy, corporate restructuring, and Board governance. This was preceded by 12 years of progressively senior experience as a provincial and municipal public servant. Maureen has been retained by and served on several national and provincial Expert Panels in the health sector. 

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Dr. Jos Runhaar

Presenting on Day 1

Dr. Runhaar is a human movement scientist, working as an assistant professor at the Department of General Practice of Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. His research focuses on early diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders in primary care. As a PI, dr. Runhaar led the first-ever preventive trial in osteoarthritis research and with his team worked to further the knowledge on osteoarthritis prevention ever since.  

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Ms. Antonella Scali 

Presenting on Day 2

Ms. Scali is the Executive Director of the Canadian Psoriasis Network (CPN), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (psoriatic disease) in Canada and led by a Board of Directors who are affected by these conditions. Antonella is a registered social worker with a background in direct clinical services and in policy analysis in community mental health in Ontario.

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Mrs. Linda Truong

Presenting on Day 1

Mrs. Truong is a PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia and clinical physiotherapist. Her research focuses on understanding the role of social support after a traumatic knee injury. The goals of her research will be identifying and integrating social support to interventions aimed at delaying osteoarthritis risk after a knee injury.  

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Dr. Jackie Whittaker

Presenting on Day 2 

Dr. Whittaker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, at the University of British Columbia, and Research Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada in Vancouver, Canada. She holds a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award and Arthritis Society's STARS Career Development Award. As a recognized clinical specialist in musculoskeletal rehabilitation and clinical epidemiologist, her research takes a lifespan approach to preventing osteoarthritis, with a particular emphasis on the post-traumatic knee osteoarthritis. This includes reducing the burden of sport-related knee injuries by improving our understanding of their long-term consequences and developing and evaluating exercise-based interventions to promote knee health. Central to her research is an integrated knowledge translation approach, involving patients, health professionals and other stakeholders throughout the research-to-practice continuum. Recently Jackie led an international consensus exercise called OPTIKNEE which produced seven meta-analyses and consensus recommendations for preventing osteoarthritis after traumatic knee injury. 

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Mr. Thomas Wilson 

Presenting on Day 1 

Mr. Wilson is a Research Associate in the Musculoskeletal Genomics Laboratory led by Dr. S. Amanda Ali at the Henry Ford Health (HFH) Bone and Joint Center in Michigan, USA. He holds a BSc in Environmental Geoscience from Michigan State University. Thomas worked for 5 years at the Beaumont Health System, Department of Radiation Biology, focusing on cancer and Alzheimer's disease research. He joined the Ali Lab in 2020 where he helped establish the HFH Osteoarthritis (OA) biobank comprising human joint tissues and biofluids from individuals with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Utilizing this resource, Thomas is investigating microRNAs as biomarkers and therapeutic targets for arthritis.

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Dr. Rae Yeung

Presenting on Day 2

Dr. Yeung is a Professor of Pediatrics, Immunology, and Medical Science at the University of Toronto, and Senior Scientist in Cell Biology Research, and the Hak-Ming and Deborah Chiu Chair in Translational Pediatric Research at The Hospital for Sick Children. The goal of Rae's research is to understand the mechanisms governing autoimmunity, specifically the mechanisms involved in initiating and sustaining the immune response in childhood arthritis and rheumatic diseases. Dr. Yeung is leading both national and international efforts in precision child health, where basic science findings have been translated into clinical correlates, which in turn are leading to new therapeutic interventions to improve the outcomes in affected children. 

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Dr. James Young

Presenting on Day 2

Dr. Young holds positions as the Postdoctoral Fellow in Integrated Arthritis Care in the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, Krembil Research Institute, at the University Health Network and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Muscle and Joint Health at the University of Southern Denmark. He is currently supported by a Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from Arthritis Society Canada for his work investigating treatment outcomes following total joint replacement versus patient education and exercise therapy programs in people with knee and hip osteoarthritis.