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Jody Arndt
Program Manager
jody.arndt@ahs.ca
403.472.3674

As AIM’s Program Manager, Jody leads a diverse and energetic team dedicated to providing education and coaching to front-line care providers and teams who are looking to improve access, patient self-management and patient-centred interactions in their clinics. Jody, who holds a PhD in Psychology and an MSc in Psychiatry, has extensive experience in primary healthcare.

Prior to joining AIM, Jody worked in primary healthcare at both the Health Quality Council of Alberta, and the University of Calgary Department of Family Medicine. She also holds an adjunct assistant professor position at the University of Alberta Department of Family Medicine. In these roles, Jody has had the opportunity to apply multiple improvement methodologies in practice, engage system leaders across multiple organizations, and promote the use of data to inform strategic priorities and support decision making at many levels across the healthcare continuum.

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Nicole Farago
Program Assistant
nicole.farago@ahs.ca
587.975.9984

As Assistant to AIM’s Program Manager, Nicole provides administrative support to the program, leadership team, steering committee and Calgary staff. She supports the logistics of AIM collaborative delivery, drafts project documents, tracks budget activity, and manages human resources and IT.

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Laila Fyith
Program Assistant
laila.fyith@ahs.ca
780.342.8615

Laila is currently AIM’s Program Assistant in the Edmonton office. She provides support to the program, faculty members and the Edmonton staff. Duties range from human resources, assistance with IT and travel requests, and timekeeping.

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Leanna Redford
Coordinator
leanna.redford@ahs.ca
587.747.2884

As an AIM Coordinator, Leanna provides support for the planning and delivery of AIM collaboratives, workshops, and province-wide initiatives. She coordinates access to online learning supports, helps to design and maintain branding and visual identity standards for communications and learning materials, and coordinates the development and management of service agreements and contracts with faculty, participants and other stakeholders providing services. She is also immersed in SharePoint as a site owner, designer, and mentor for interested learners in the primary health care department.

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Paul Collins-Williams
Project Manager
paul.collinswilliams@ahs.ca
780.342.8804

Paul’s responsibilities as Project Manager involve planning and coordinating projects to enhance the AIM brand.

Formerly a department head with a global HR services company, Checkwell Decision Corporation, Paul has hopscotched across the country while completing his BA at McGill University in Montreal and his MA in political science at Simon Fraser University just outside of Vancouver.

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Donna Biddell
Senior Improvement Consultant
donna.biddell@ahs.ca
403.561.7457

With a passion for team effectiveness, Donna is quickly earning a reputation as the AIM effective teams specialist. Donna’s personal and professional background, along with an empathic ear, assist her in guiding healthcare teams through the Effective Team Essentials Program, which launches, strengthens and develops higher performing teams. Donna also helps teams understand and apply the principles of measurement and improvement.

Donna holds a BHS-Nursing, MAL-Health, and was previously responsible for operational management of the outpatient services of the Alberta Bone Marrow Transplant Program. She has gained an appreciation for providing healthcare efficiently and effectively as an oncology RN both in Canada and the United States. Travel nursing shaped her ability to view health care with a lens of improvement and demonstrate the “power” of effective teams.

Areas of Focus:  Effective Teams

Zone Liaison:     South Zone, Central Zone

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Kathryn Coutts, BSc.OT(c)
Senior Advisor, Behaviour Change Methodologies
kathryn.coutts@ahs.ca
403-370-1806

Kathryn has been a clinical occupational therapist for the past 26 years. She has experience in addictions and mental health, as well as chronic pain management. Through individual and group-based therapy, she helped people learn to self-manage their conditions in order to regain function, independence and quality of life.

Kathryn brings that experience to her current role in supporting AHS providers and teams to operationalize person-centred care in their service delivery. Kathryn supports development and delivery of HealthChange® Methodology and other behaviour change supports within Alberta.

Area of Expertise – Self-Management, Behaviour Change Methodologies

Zone Liaison – Provincial HealthChange® Liaison

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Julie Robison RN BN
Senior Advisor, Behaviour Change Methodologies
julie.robison@ahs.ca
403.607.1406

Julie has a deep-rooted passion to improve the health and wellness of Albertans by supporting them to take control of their health and live their best lives. As a Senior Advisor, Behaviour Change Methodologies, Julie empowers clinicians and multi-disciplinary teams across the province to approach their delivery of care in a way that demonstrates person-centred care. As a master trainer in HealthChange® Methodology and Better Choices, Better Health®, Julie provides behaviour change support for both clinicians and patients throughout AHS.

She has spent the last decade as a registered nurse in a variety of rural healthcare settings with experience in emergency, obstetrics, public health and chronic disease management.

Area of Expertise – Self-Management, Behaviour Change Methodologies

Zone Liaison – Provincial HealthChange® Liaison

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Jennifer Fernandes
Senior Improvement Consultant
jennifer.fernandes@ahs.ca
587-773-7149

Jennifer brings over 17 years of health related experience working in both the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Continuing Care environments, including clinical work as an Emergency Medical Technician in the City of Edmonton providing direct patient care. Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Alberta and brings over 15 years of combined experience in project management and quality improvement initiatives. Jennifer was the recipient two North American awards for her work in falls prevention, including the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS Award and the Nicholas Rosecrans Award for excellence in injury prevention.

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Meredith Scroggins Niewczas
Consultant
meredith.scrogginsniewczas@ahs.ca
403.816.3720

Meredith is driven by opportunities for improvement. When challenges arise she stays grounded in principles of health promotion (empowerment, collaboration, participation, and equality) to help guide teams through change.

Meredith’s career has spanned from community-based programs to front-line clinical management. She has led work in population and public health, primary health care and care transitions.

As a member of AIM, Meredith sees every new experience with teams as a learning opportunity, and a chance to have a positive impact on the health system and the patients it serves.

Zone Liaison:      Calgary

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Sandy Lyon
Senior Planner
sandy.lyon@ahs.ca
780.246.8062

As a Senior Planner, Sandy advances complex system-wide initiatives and projects. Sandy’s passion for high-quality, efficient service delivery is backed by a Project Leadership Certificate; LEAN Six Sigma (Green Belt) Certificate; and certificate-level training in mediation and negotiation. In 2014, she completed the Art and Science of Innovation and Improvement (ASII).

A registered social worker with the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW), she is authorized to perform psychosocial interventions. She was privileged to receive the ACSW Award for Excellence in Social Work Practice; AHS REACH award for Customer Service, and was nominated for AHS President’s Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievements in Quality and Safety Improvement.

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Heather MacDonald
Senior Improvement Consultant
heather.macdonald@ahs.ca
780.342.8823

As a Senior Improvement Consultant, Heather has a passion for quality improvement and facilitating teams through change. She has a master’s degree in Psychology, and is trained as a Prosci change advisor, improvement advisor (Art and Science of Innovation and Improvement), and AIW Greenbelt.

In her previous role as a primary care manager, she served on various PCN governance and other committees. Heather has facilitated five AIM Alberta teams. She also worked as a QI consultant with Integrated Quality Management for over two years, facilitating projects in acute care, addiction & mental health and continuing care. Prior to her QI roles, Heather worked in various management, project management and research positions in healthcare.

Areas of Focus:  Psychology of change

Zone Liaison:      Edmonton Zone, North Zone

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Kelly Malach
Senior Improvement Consultant
kelly.malach@ahs.ca
587.787.2562

Kelly brings nearly two decades of broad healthcare experience that ranges from a private multi-disciplinary clinic manager to acute care and then to quality improvement in primary care. She started in healthcare as a clinical dietitian in nutrition and then advanced to a number of human resource roles. She was also the director of a nutrition department across multiple sites during a union amalgamation.

Kelly holds a master’s degree in psychology which brings an additional level of understanding to organizational development and inter-relationships between people, processes and teams. She brings strong experience and understanding of both strategic and operational roles in healthcare and welcomes opportunities to walk through the challenges this can bring with clinicians, teams and programs.

Dr. Brad Bahler, MD

Dr. Brad Bahler is a practicing physician in Sylvan Lake Alberta for the past 14 years. He continues to practice comprehensive family medicine including hospital care, urgent care, geriatrics, and palliative care while working with the health care team at the Sylvan Family Health Centre.

Dr. Bahler initially developed an interest in quality improvement and practice redesign at a local level. He continues to work on innovations in his own clinic Sylvan Family Health Centre, and on community initiatives such as delivery of after-hours care.  He has been involved in provincial work around quality improvement, education, and access working with Alberta AIM, Mark Murray and Associates, Towards Optimized Practice, the Alberta Medical Association, and the Alberta College of Family Physicians.

He is the Provincial Medical Director for Primary Care Network Evolution working with PCN’s, AHS and AH on multiple initiatives designed to improve the way the system can support the citizens of Alberta. He has also worked closely with primary care teams, specialty

programs and Primary Care Networks around issues of redesign and improvement across the province. His latest role is that of the Senior Medical Director for the Primary Health Care Integration Network, part of the AHS SCN family. His belief is that the measurement, relevant data, physician engagement, service integration and practice facilitation are vehicles to achieve the goal of a Patient’s Medical Home for all Albertans.

Darcy Jessen, MSW, RSW

Darcy is a Clinical Social Worker who currently works as an Area Manager with rural addiction and mental health in the Calgary Zone for Alberta Health Services. She has worked as an instructor at Mount Royal University, mental health therapist, manager with shared mental healthcare, inpatient psychiatry and access mental health. She is also a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Brief Therapy Institute. In 2010, Darcy led two of her teams through AIM where they streamlined the intake process, incorporated caseload size measurements and ultimately eliminated wait times for clients. She became a faculty member in 2012 and since then, has taught on a number of collaboratives. Most recently, she has been involved as a coach in the Art and Science of Innovation and Improvement (ASII) program through AIM Alberta.

Dr. Hilary Adams, MD

Dr. Adams has been a Quality Improvement (QI) Physician for Alberta Health Services (formerly CHR) Department of Family Medicine since May 2002. She was practicing in the Deer Run Clinic, but left the clinic in January 2007 and has been doing locums since then. Dr. Adams has been involved in various QI initiatives in CHR including running the Calgary team in IHI Collaborative on Access and Efficiency in Clinical Office. Dr. Adams audited the first AIM collaborative in Calgary. She is also national faculty for Safer Healthcare Now! for medication reconciliation (lead physician for CHR team).

Dr. Janet Craig, MD

Dr. Janet Craig is a Family Physician at the Glenora Medical Clinic in Edmonton. She has worked as a family physician since 1991. In 2006 she became involved in AIM Alberta , initially as a participant in a collaborative, and then as a faculty member. Dr. Craig is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta, as well as a member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Alberta Medical Association.

John Lester

John Lester is a Quality Improvement Coach and facilitator based in Sherwood Park, AB. John helps groups creatively and collaboratively make decisions and achieve their improvement goals.  When not consulting John indulges in music and travel with his wife, Julie.

Marcia Kashani, RN, BSN, MBA

Marcia Kashani is the Director for Inpatient and Ambulatory Services at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. She has over 30 years of nursing experience in Acute care, home care and primary care. Marcia has been working in process improvement for the past 10 years with primary care and regional program teams. She participated in the development of the AIW (Alberta Health Services Improvement Way) and has taught the fundamentals course. Marcia completed the Improvement Advisor Program through the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and holds an EMBA from Athabasca University. She is currently registered with the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta.

Mirella Chiodo

Mirella Chiodois the Quality and Informatics Supervisor for the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. Her responsibilities include leading quality improvement and patient safety initiatives as well as electronic medical records meaningful use at the four academic teaching clinics. Prior to that, she spent 25 years with Capital Health/AHS, starting with a laboratory background and eventually spending 20 years with the Royal Alexandra Family Medicine Centre as the business manager and project coordinator. Mirella is also certified in the Prosci change management methodology.

Nolan Schaaf, RN

Nolan currently works as a Quality Consultant with Alberta Health Services in the South Zone, working with teams in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and surrounding communities. His daily work includes assisting teams to improve all areas of service, from care in the community in enabling behaviour change, to reducing emergency department length of stay and improving patient experience. As a registered nurse, Nolan has worked in a variety of settings, from rural emergency to the Department of Clinical Neurosciences in Calgary; and as an RN, project coordinator and clinical educator. From 2008-2013, he worked as an improvement facilitator in the Chinook Primary Care Network, working often with AIM and learning all about improvement in primary care and patient flow. Nolan completed the Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma, a clinical microsystems coaching program.

Dr. Rick Neuls, MD

Dr. Rick Neuls has worked as a Family Physician at the Allin Clinic since 1997. He primarily has a geriatric practice though does do some office based procedures including no-scalpel vasectomies. He also works outside his clinic on the orthopedic unit at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital and is the site medical director of two LTC facilities. He was involved in the development of the Edmonton Oliver PCN and was on the PCN board from 2005-2011. He participated in the first AIM Alberta collaborative and returned as a faculty member in 2015. He is also a clinical lecturer at the University of Alberta. Dr. Neuls is a member of the Alberta Medical Association and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Dr. Sudha Koppula, MD

Sudha is an Academic Family Physician in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. In addition to caring for a broad family practice including maternity care, Dr. Koppula has administrative, research and teaching roles, including teaching with AIM Alberta.

Dr. Tobias Gelber, MD

Dr. Tobias Gelber is mainly a Primary Care Physician, with additional training in GP-anesthesia. He practices comprehensive primary care which includes low-risk obstetrics, rural ER work and management of in-patients, GP anesthesia, care of the elderly and palliative care. He currently works in Pincher Creek, but completed his medical school, residency, and anesthesia fellowship all in Calgary. Immediately after completing his training, he moved to Pincher Creek and has been there since 2002. He has done some anesthesia coverage in Yellowknife, Fernie, Crowsnest Pass and Cardston over the years. Dr. Gelber has been AIM faculty for seven collaboratives, and was invited as a guest speaker in three other collaboratives.

Arvelle Balon-Lyon, RN, BSN (consultation only)

Arvelle Balon-Lyon has worked exclusively in leading healthcare improvement for the past 15 years. She has planned, implemented, delivered and advised on small and large scale improvement initiatives with measureable and published impact. Her current position as Acting Program Director of the Alberta Toward Optimized Practice (TOP) Program focuses on assisting Alberta physicians and their teams to implement evidence-based practices to enhance the care of their patients. The program balances the use of evidence and innovation to influence change. TOP partners with government, provincial healthcare delivery organizations, physician organizations and researchers to develop, deliver and study initiatives based on priority health system and clinical care issues.

Dr. Ernie Schuster (consultation only)

Dr. Schuster is a full service, comprehensive Family Physician and Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta. He is a former associate zone medical director for community and mental health with Alberta Health Services in the Edmonton Zone. He also currently holds the office of the deputy speaker of General Council of the Canadian Medical Association. He is a past board member of the Edmonton West Primary Care Network and a past senior medical advisor for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. Dr. Schuster has 30 years of comprehensive family practice experience including emergency, urgent care, obstetrical and inpatient care. He was the medical director for primary care for Capital Health and department head for the Department of Family Practice at the University of Alberta Hospital and the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton.