The Health Data Coalition’s purpose is to enable data informed healthcare for physicians and the healthcare system with a trusted source of community physician data and aggregate measures to improve patient care and population health. I am excited to welcome our new board directors who will help us pursue our vision where community physician data is shared and transformed into knowledge for better health outcomes.

I am thankful to the Divisions of Family Practice proxies who voted in support of our new board members. I am confident that the board composition will continue to contribute to effective board governance as we gain momentum to embed a data-informed approach through a physician-driven quality improvement lens. Welcome to our new Physician Board Directors:

Dr. Melissa Duff has been a family physician for over 15 years, and has worked as a family physician in emergency, military, hospitalist, rural, urban, walk-in clinic, and community longitudinal medicine.  Melissa is a Board Director of the Victoria Divisions of Family Practice and the Primary Care Network (PCN) Physician Lead for the James Bay / Fairfield / Fernwood / Oaklands neighbourhood. She recently joined the Board of Directors of BC Family Doctors, is a UBC clinical instructor, and a Representative Assembly member at the Doctors of BC. Determined to be an effective advocate for family medicine, she is pursuing an MBA at UBC.

Dr. Karen Forgie started her professional career as an outpost nurse, midwife and nursing administrator in Newfoundland and Labrador before deciding on medicine. The Sunshine Coast is considered home after 32 years of practicing full service longitudinal Family Medicine supplemented with locums in Canada’s north.  Karen’s passions are rural health care, teaching medical learners, working with physician lead and supported organizations, inspiring the provision of the best care for all peoples, and protecting patient and physician data privacy. 

Dr. Christie Newton is an Associate Professor, and Associate Head (Education and Engagement) in the UBC Department of Family Practice, and the Associate Vice President Health (pro tem) in the Office of the Vice President, Health. Through her work, she aims to shape the workforce of tomorrow, catalyze interdisciplinary collaboration in health research, and advocate for and assist in building capacity for positive health system change. Christie has long recognized the importance of data to drive change; feedback is essential for improvement at the individual, clinic, community, and system level. She looks forward to the day when team-based care is the standard in BC and teams are well supported to provide accessible care for their communities.

I would like to also acknowledge Dr. Samuel Abraham, as our acclaimed Public Board Director for a second term. Sam served in a variety of positions at the BC Cancer Agency. He has championed many projects to facilitate transfer of innovation from research to clinic that involved collaborative partnerships, data sharing and network building, which is also aligned to HDC’s commitment to continually improve evidence-based practice, supported by province-wide data collection and sharing.

Finally, I cannot thank Dr. Shirley Sze, Dr. Brenna Lynn and Dr. Julie Nguyen enough for their contribution and service. You have left your imprint on this organization in many ways and I am grateful for your leadership and mentorship. Our organization is better because of your involvements.

For a full list of the HDC Board of Directors, please visit our website for more details.

Humbly Yours,

Dr. Omesh Syal, MD, CCFP
HDC Interim Board Chair