High Performing Health Systems: Key People

Speaker Biographies

John G. Abbott, BA MA
Chief Executive Officer, Health Council of Canada

John G. Abbott is currently Chief Executive Officer with the Health Council of Canada. Prior to joining the Health Council, John was a management consultant specializing in public policy analysis and development. Previous to this, John was Deputy Minister of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Health and Community Services where he oversaw the re-organization of the province’s system of regional health authorities and the expansion of the provincial drug program to meet the needs of low-income families and those with high drug costs. Between 1989 and 1999, he held a number of other senior positions: Assistant Secretary to the Treasury Board, Associate Deputy Minister of Health and Community Services, Chairman and CEO of the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, Deputy Minister of Works, Services and Transportation and Deputy Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

Mr. Abbott served with distinction as a senior government executive in Newfoundland and Labrador for which he was recognized with the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Public Administration by The Institute of Public Administration of Canada. He has a BA in Political Science and Economics from Memorial University of Newfoundland and an MA in Public Administration from Carleton University (Ottawa).

He is also active in community affairs, has an interest in heritage property re-development and enjoys hiking (recently hiking Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro).

Christophe André, DESS
Economist, Public Economics Division, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Christophe André is an economist in the Economics Department of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He holds a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Paris (France). Since joining the OECD in 1997, he has taken part in the work of the organization in several fields, including macroeconomic analysis, modelling and forecasting and fiscal and monetary policy. Between 2003 and 2007, he contributed to several editions of the OECD Economic Outlook. He is also involved in research in housing and health economics. From 2007 to 2010, he was part of a project aimed at assessing the efficiency of the health care sector in OECD countries and links between performance and policy settings. A book summarizing the findings of the project, Health Care Systems, Efficiency and Policy Settings, was published in 2010.  

Mr. André is now on the United Kingdom and Finland desk in the OECD Economics Department, monitoring the macroeconomic evolution of these countries, producing forecasts and writing economic surveys.

Reinhard Busse, MD MPH FFPH
Professor, Department of Health Care Management, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.

Prof. Busse studied medicine in Marburg, Germany, Boston and London, as well as Public Health in Hannover, Germany.

Reinhard Busse is department head for health care management in the Faculty of Economics and Management at Technische Universität Berlin, Germany. He is also a faculty member of Charité, Berlin's medical faculty as well as Associate Head of Research Policy and Head of the Berlin hub of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, a member of several scientific advisory boards as well as a regular consultant for WHO, the EU Commission, the Worldbank, OECD and other international organizations within Europe and beyond as well as national health and research institutions.  

His research focuses on methods and contents of comparative health system analysis (with a particular emphasis on the reforms in Germany, other social health insurance countries and central and eastern Europe, role of EU, financing and payment mechanisms as well as disease management), health services research including cost-effectiveness analyses, health targets, and health technology assessment (HTA). His department has been designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Health System Research and Management. He is the director of the annual Observatory’s summer schools in Venice and the coordinator of the EU-funded project “EuroDRG: Diagnosis-Related Groups in Europe: towards Efficiency and Quality” (7th Framework; 2009-2011). He is also involved in five other EU-funded projects under the 7th Framework, e.g. on the relationship between nursing and patient outcome (RN4Cast), mobility of health professionals (PROMetHEUS) and evaluating care across borders (ECAB). 

Cy Frank, MD FRCSC
Director, Department of Surgery, Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute - Calgary

Cy Frank is currently a Professor in the Division of Orthopaedics/Department of Surgery, University of Calgary/Calgary Health Region; an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Scientist; the McCaig Professor of Joint Injury and Arthritis Research; and Executive Director of the provincial Alberta Bone & Joint Health Institute. He practices knee surgery and enjoys research and teaching at the U of C. Dr. Frank helped develop the University of Calgary Sport Medicine Centre and the McCaig Institute in Calgary. He was the inaugural Scientific Director of the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Deputy Editor of the Journal of Orthopaedic Research. He currently has 228 peer-reviewed publications, 39 book chapters and 366 co-authored abstracts locally, nationally and internationally. Dr. Frank is one of 300 current members recently elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS), for whom he was the National Chair of a Blue Ribbon International Panel on “Defining the Best Framework and Metrics to Capture Returns on Investment in Health Research,” published as a report in January 2009.

Chris Ham, CBE PhD MPhil FRCP (Hon)
Chief Executive, The King’s Fund

Chris Ham took up his post as Chief Executive of The King’s Fund in April 2010.

He has been professor of health policy and management at the University of Birmingham, England, since 1992. From 2000 to 2004 he was seconded to the Department of Health where he was director of the strategy unit, working with Ministers on NHS reform. Prof. Ham is the author of 20 books and numerous articles about health policy and management. His work focuses on the use of research evidence to inform policy and management decisions in areas such as health care reform, chronic care, primary care, integrated care, performance improvement and leadership.  

Prof. Ham has advised the WHO and the World Bank and has served as a consultant to governments in a number of countries. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and of the Royal College of General Practitioners, a companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management, a senior associate of the Nuffield Trust, and a visiting professor at the University of Surrey.  

In 2004 he was awarded a CBE for his services to the National Health Service.

Fred Horne, MBA
MLA Edmonton-Rutherford and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Wellness

Fred Horne was elected to his first term as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Edmonton-Rutherford on March 3, 2008. In addition to his regular duties as MLA, Mr. Horne currently serves as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Wellness, and as a member of the Agenda and Priorities Committee of the Government of Alberta and the Standing Committee on Health of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Previous appointments include Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Seniors and Community Supports, Chair of the Standing Committee on Health, and Deputy Chair of the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities.  

In 2009-10, Mr. Horne served as Co-Chair of the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Health. The Committee’s final report, A Foundation for Alberta’s Health System¸ was released in January 2010. Recommendations included a new principles-based legislative framework for Alberta’s health system (the Alberta Health Act), establishment of an independent entity to support evidence-based decision-making in the province, and a commitment by government to ongoing engagement with Albertans with respect to priority-setting and changes to legislation, regulation and policy.  

Upon government’s acceptance of the recommendations, Mr. Horne was subsequently appointed to lead a province-wide consultation on their implementation. His report, Putting People First, was submitted and released in September 2010 and included 15 recommendations which were accepted by government. The report provided the foundation for the Alberta Health Act. This legislation formalizes guiding principles for decision-making, mandates a Health Charter for Albertans (now in development), establishes a Health Advocate for Alberta, and sets out requirements for public notice and public consultation with respect to future changes. Future reviews of Alberta’s health statues and regulations will be guided by the framework set out in the Alberta Health Act.

Prior to his election to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Horne worked as a health policy consultant for over 25 years. He has led many initiatives to improve access and quality in Canadian public health care and has worked extensively with organizations such as the Conference Board of Canada, the Alberta government, and Mayo Clinic.  

Mr. Horne holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Royal Roads University and post-graduate certification in Dispute Resolution from York University. An avid volunteer, he has served on numerous boards including the Alberta Mental Health Board, Athabasca University, the Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre of Edmonton and the Canadian Student Debating Federation. For his continued contributions to the development of debate and speech programs, Mr. Horne received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.  

David E. Johnstone, MD FRCPC FACC
Clinical Director, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and Co-Chair of the Alberta Cardiac Clinical Network

David Johnstone is the Clinical Director of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and Professor of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. His professional interests include congestive heart failure, access to cardiac services, best practices and clinical outcome studies. He is the Chair of the Cardiac Quality Indicators Committee, a joint initiative of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society as well as the Co-chair of the Alberta Cardiac Clinical Network.

He has served as President of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, Vice President of the Interamerican Society of Cardiology and a Governor of the American College of Cardiology. He has been a board member of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta as well as Canada. He was a principle investigator of several international trials in Cardiology. In Halifax, he was Head of the Division of Cardiology at Dalhousie University.

Dr. Johnstone received his Undergraduate and Medical degrees from McGill University. He received his cardiology training at the Toronto General Hospital and postdoctoral training at Yale University.

Ellen Nolte, PhD MPH
Director, Health and Healthcare Policy Programme, RAND Europe

Ellen Nolte directs the Health and Healthcare Policy programme at RAND Europe. Her background is in public health; she holds a PhD from London University and a master’s degree in public health (MPH). Before joining RAND, Dr. Nolte was Senior Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine where she held a prestigious Career Scientist Award by the National Institute for Health Research, England, to undertake a five-year research programme into chronic diseases. Her expertise is in comparative health policy and health systems research including health system performance assessment and international health care comparisons on a range of health policy issues, with a particular interest in the development of innovative approaches linking health systems and population health outcomes.  

She has published widely on health system performance assessment, European health policy and the health implications of political and socio-economic transition in Central and Eastern Europe.

Tom Noseworthy, CM MD MSc MPH FRCPC
Professor, Health Policy and Management, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary; Director, Centre for Health and Policy Studies, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary

Tom W. Noseworthy is a Professor of Health Policy and Management in the Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary.  

Dr. Noseworthy is the former Vice President, Medical Services, and CEO of the Royal Alexandra Hospitals, and Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta. He holds a Master of Science in Experimental Medicine from the University of Alberta, and a Master of Public Health - Health Policy and Management from Harvard University.  

Dr. Noseworthy is a physician with specialty certification in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the American Colleges of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, and American College of Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Noseworthy has been a member of the National Statistics Council since 1999. He served as a member of the Prime Minister’s National Forum on Health from 1994-1997, and chaired the Steering Committee; co-chaired the Advisory Council on Health Infostructure (Federal Health Minister) from 1997-1999; chaired the Senior Reference Committee for Alberta Wellnet from 1997-2002; and, was Chair of the Western Canada Waiting List Project from 1999-2006, and now chairs the research collaboration known as the Western Canada Waiting List Investigators. He was a founding Director of Canadian Doctors for Medicare in 2007.  

Tom Noseworthy’s research has been published in over 90 papers and book chapters and focuses on health care access and improving quality management of waiting times for scheduled services.

In 2005, Dr. Noseworthy was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal by the Province of Alberta for contributions to health care and policy and was named as one of Alberta’s top 100 Physicians of the Century by the Alberta Medical Association and College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. In 2007, Dr. Noseworthy was named by the Governor General as a Member of the Order of Canada for contributions to health policy and Medicare.

Deborah Prowse, MSW LLB
Patient Advocate and Board Member, Canadian Patient Safety Institute

Deborah Prowse has a professional background in Social Work and in Law. She is a private consultant in the areas of respectful workplace, human rights and conflict management offering mediation, investigation, and training. Deborah served as Panel Chair for the Alberta Human Rights Commission for four years. For the past ten years, she has been a Sitting Justice of the Peace in the Provincial Court of Alberta, Traffic Division.  

Ms. Prowse is a single mother of a 14 year old son and is very active in his school and extracurricular activities. She is a very committed and a founding member of the Calgary Health Region’s Patient/Family Safety Council. Her mother’s tragic death in 2004 was a triggering event for the Calgary Health Region, and health care professionals to think, plan and practice differently when it comes to the safety of patient care. She had a significant role in speaking about her families’ experiences in a series of patient safety sessions targeted to leaders in the Region as the new patient safety policies and procedures were being launched. She is often asked to give similar addresses in other regions and health systems where there is a desire to listen, learn and make improvements to safety from the patient/family perspective.  

Deborah Prowse is a member of the Board of Patients for Patient Safety Canada, a newly formed organization associated with the World Health Organization Alliance for Patient Safety.

Catherine Pryce, RN MN
Vice President, Addiction and Mental Health, Alberta Health Services

Catherine Pryce is the Vice President of Addiction and Mental Health with Alberta Health Services and has worked in health care in Canada for 35 years – primarily in Public Health and Addiction and Mental Health.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from the University of Toronto and a Master of Nursing from the University of Calgary. She is registered with the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta and is a surveyor with Accreditation Canada. Ms. Pryce holds adjunct appointments with both the Faculty of Nursing and the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary.

Ms. Pryce is responsible and accountable for providing the vision and leadership to a diverse team in the development, design and implementation of provincial Addiction and Mental Health services in support of the vision, mission and business plan of Alberta Health Services. She is committed to improving addiction and mental health services for Albertans.

Murray N. Ross, PhD
Vice President and Director, Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy

Murray Ross is Vice President, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, and leads the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy in Oakland, California. The Institute seeks to leverage evidence and experience from the nation’s largest private integrated health care delivery system to shape policy and practice. His current work focuses on how the U.S. health system can make more effective use of new drugs, devices, and medical procedures and how to encourage greater integration of care delivery to improve quality.

Before joining Kaiser Permanente in 2002, Dr. Ross was a policy advisor to the United States Congress. He served five years as the executive director of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an influential nonpartisan agency charged with making recommendations on Medicare policy issues to the Congress. Previously, he spent nine years at the Congressional Budget Office, ultimately leading the group charged with assessing the budgetary impact of legislative proposals affecting Medicare and Medicaid.

Dr. Ross earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and completed his undergraduate work in economics at Arizona State University. He enjoys distance running, writing, and traveling.  

A. J. P. (Guus) Schrijvers, PhD
Professor of Public Health, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht

Guus Schrijvers studied Economics in Amsterdam, focusing on post-war economic conditions and self-care departments in hospitals. His doctorate, from Maastricht, examined the regional development and financing of British, Swedish and Dutch healthcare. In 1987, Prof. Schrijvers also became a Professor of Public Health for the Medical Faculty of the University of Utrecht. With this appointment, his research focus shifted to macroeconomic subjects ranging from the arrangement of the health insurance system to smaller projects investigating the education of diabetics. Schrijvers has also focused on innovations in home care and chains of emergency care. His expertise in these subjects is reflected in the book ‘Moderne Patiëntenzorg in Nederland’, which he co-wrote in 2002 with deputy chief inspector Drs. Nico Oudendijk.  

Enhancing education in social and public health have also been priorities for Prof. Schrijvers throughout his career. In 1999 a new curriculum for medical students was developed, which led to very busy years for Schrijvers and his colleagues as they kept pace with the developments in the Social Health educational program. Since June 2007, Prof. Schrijvers’ research activities have been jointly undertaken in the Julius Centre, which he founded in 1996 with Prof. Rick Grobbee, and the University Medical Center Utrecht.

Prof. Schrijvers is chief editor of the peer reviewed International Journal of Integrated Care. He has served on the town counsel of Utrecht, where he handled cases regarding public health, welfare, culture and finance, and he is also a member of several committees on public health, as well as a frequent public speaker on the subject of emergency care and chronic care.

Chris Wood, MD 
Medical Director for Information Systems, Intermountain Health Care

Chris Wood currently serves as the medical director for information systems at Intermountain Healthcare. In this position he is responsible for developing a system wide migration strategy for a newly developing enterprise-wide charting system (GE ECIS). In addition he is responsible for coordinating physician input into the development of ECIS. Dr. Wood has developed a consultant tracking database. Dr. Wood has held his current position for three years.

During Dr. Wood’s tenure with Intermountain, he worked as a faculty member for their family practice residency at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. In this position at Utah Valley he streamlined patient tracking, communication and billing processes, instituted a successful employee retention program, and developed software solutions for tracking sample medications reaching JCAHO compliance. This software is now used in many Intermountain Healthcare clinics.

Dr. Wood earned his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Utah and his M.D. from the University Of Utah School Of Medicine. Dr. Wood conducted his residency with the Waukesha Family Practice Residency Program, a three year program associated with the Medical College of Wisconsin. He participated in a two year academic faculty development fellowship after residency with the Medical College of Wisconsin combined with a one year fellowship in community-based faculty development with a medical informatics focus.

Dr. Wood is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Informatics Association and the Utah Medical Association. In addition he has received several awards including, one of the Best Family Doctors in Milwaukee Magazine, Edward J. Lennon Endowed Clinical Teaching Award, one of the Best Doctors in America (2000-2007), the Innovative Educational Project Award and a clinical teaching award from the Medical College of Wisconsin.