IHE Innovation Forum IX - Early Childhood Development

Early Childhood Development: Key People

Speaker Biographies

Keynote Speaker

Professor Sir Albert Aynsley-Green Kt.
Children's Commissioner for England, 2005-2010

Sir Albert Aynsley-Green Kt. profile pictureSir Al Aynsley-Green is one of the world's leading authorities on children's services, child health and childhood. Through his distinguished early career as a pediatric endocrinologist and clinical researcher, he developed a deep interest in the circumstances of children in society, especially the influence of poverty and deprivation. Sir Al has been involved in the political arena of Children's Services since 2000. He was appointed Chair of the UK National Health Service Taskforce for Children, and then the government's first National Clinical Director for Children. He was appointed the first Children's Commissioner for England in 2005, completing his five-year term in 2010. He was Knighted in 2006 for his services to children and young people. He holds five honorary doctorates and is currently Founder and Director, Aynsley-Green Consulting; Professor Emeritus of Child Health at University College London; Honorary Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford; President of the Association of Young People's Health; and an Honorary Fellow of UNICEF UK, as well as many other positions.


Ms. Robyn Blackadar
President and CEO, Alberta Centre for Child, Family & Community Research

Robyn Blackadar profile pictureRobyn Blackadar is President and CEO of the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research. Ms. Blackadar joined the Centre from the position of Vice President of Leading Practices and Innovation at Alberta Health Services. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from the University of Calgary.

Ms. Michelle Craig
Alberta Human Services

Dr. April Elliott
Chief of Division of Adolescent Medicine, Alberta Children's Hospital

April Elliott profile pictureDr. April Elliott is a Pediatrician and Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at the Alberta Children's Hospital, and an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary. She has developed Adolescent Health as a sub-specialty in Calgary, including a large Eating Disorder Program, a Youth Health Program, and a Street Youth Health Clinic, called the Calgary Adolescent Treatment Services (CATS). She is a member of the Canadian Paediatric Society, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and was the president of the International Chapter from 2007-2009. In 2011, she received an Alberta Medical Association Medal for Distinguished Service.

Ms. Karen Ferguson
Assistant Deputy Minister, Early Childhood and Community Supports Division Alberta Human Services

Karen Ferguson profile pictureKaren Ferguson is the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Early Childhood and Community Supports Division in the Ministry of Human Services. In partnership with her colleagues from Health and Education, Karen is responsible for leading the Early Childhood Development Priority Initiative, one of five government priorities. In addition, she is responsible for implementing preventive programs and building capacity to effectively use partnerships to enhance community-based services for children, youth, and families; supporting the delivery of child care services, and the integration and settlement of newcomers into their communities.

Dr. Robert R. Moriartey
Division Head, General Pediatrics, University of Alberta

Robert Moriarty profile pictureRobert (Bob) Moriartey trained in Calgary, Toronto and Edmonton, and has been in practice as a pediatrician in Edmonton for more than 30 years. He is currently Clinical Professor and Division Head of general pediatrics at the University of Alberta, coordinating 56 general pediatricians in the ongoing development of community practice. He is also the President-elect of the Canadian Pediatric Society, and a past President of the Alberta Medical Association Pediatric Section. Bob is a strong advocate for children in care, and has been a leader in creating new programs for evaluation and assessment of their medical needs.

Dr. Lorne Tyrrell
Chair, Institute of Health Economics

Lorne Tyrrell profile pictureThe former Dean of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta, Dr. Tyrrell is the Board Chair of the Institute of Health Economics. He is the CIHR/GlaxoSmithKline Chair in Virology at the University of Alberta. He is also Chair of the Gairdner Foundation and a member of the Research Council of the Canadian Institute of Academic Research. Dr. Tyrrell is a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence, an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He received the F.N.G. Starr Award from the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) in 2004, and the Principal Award of the Manning Foundation in 2005 for his work on the development of oral antivirals for the treatment of HBV. He was inducted into the CMA Hall of Fame in 2011.

Ms. Susan Williams
Chief Strategy Officer, Alberta Health

Susan Williams profile pictureSusan Williams is Chief Strategy Officer for Alberta Health. She is responsible for strategic services and health policy, research (including health technology assessment), primary health care, family and population health, and addiction and mental health. She leads strategic management and priority-setting, and integrates policy development across the health ministry. She supports the ministry and minister in working with federal, provincial, and territorial health departments on current and emerging intergovernmental issues. Susan holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alberta and a Master of Arts from McGill University.

Mr. David Woloshyn
Alberta Education