A Board of Directors governs the Queensway Carleton Hospital on behalf of the residents in our community. Ensuring that the hospital is able to meet the needs of our community is foremost for the Board of Directors. They also provide strategic leadership and, working with the senior management team, develop future directions for the hospital and the services it offers.

 

QCH Board Members

Atul Aggarwal, Board Chair

Atul Aggarwal

Atul Aggarwal

Board Chair

Atul is President & CEO of Marcan Pharmaceuticals Inc., a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer based in Ottawa. He has been actively working in the healthcare industry for 30 years. Atul co-founded A & A Pharmachem Inc. in 1992 and continues as its Chairman. A & A Pharmachem Inc. is a leading Canadian supplier of healthcare ingredients used to manufacture both pharmaceutical & nutraceutical products. In 2005, Atul founded Marcan Pharmaceuticals Inc. which manufactures generic drugs and is supplying medicines to pharmacies and hospitals across Canada. He sold Marcan to a global multinational generic drug manufacturer in 2015. He continues to run Marcan, as its President & CEO. Atul received a Bachelor of Mathematics Degree from the University of Waterloo in 1987. He is also a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), and has a Masters in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. He has experience on non-profit boards including the Young President’s Organization (Ottawa Chapter) as Chair. He is currently the Chair of the Board of Joan of Arc Academy (an all-girls non-profit private school). Atul has lived in Ottawa/Nepean for over 50 years and is married with three daughters.

Stephen Abraham

Stephen Abraham

Stephen Abraham

Board Member

Stephen Abraham is the Director of Examinations at the Medical Council of Canada. He is a seasoned executive with a professional career spanning 35 years working in several sectors including assessment, education, insurance, software development, telecommunications, Information Technology consulting and broadcast television in roles including Software Developer, IT Director, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Information Officer, Business Unit Director and Founder and CEO of an Innovative Startup. Board positions held include an elected Board position on the Algonquin College Board of Governors, President of local chapter of Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Director and Chair of the Ontario Council of College CIOs, Director of the Canadian Council of College CIOs and Director of Programs of the Ottawa Chapter of the CIO Association of Canada.
Throughout his career, Mr. Abraham has been in continual pursuit of unique and innovative ways to use emerging technologies to improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency. With a passion for collaborative teamwork to create meaningful, positive change, he has led large-scale organizational changes through the conception, development, introduction and support of transformational systems and processes. He graduated Magna Cum Laude, on the Dean’s Honour Roll with an Honours B.Sc. in Computer Science (University of Ottawa). Believing in lifelong learning, he completed further studies in areas including Artificial Intelligence (MIT), Executive Management (McGill University), Executive Leadership (Queen's University), Financial Securities (Canadian Securities Institute) and Project Management (Project Management Institute). Stephen is a father of four adult children and long-time resident in the Briargreen community in Ottawa west where he lives with his wife, artist Patricia Kenny.

Rana Chreyh

Rana Chreyh

Rana Chreyh

Board Member

Rana Chreyh is a business leader and a licensed professional engineer with over 20 years of experience and a deep commitment to making a difference in industries with positive human impact. She has held various leadership roles ranging from Chief Operating Officer, Executive Consultant, Director PMO and Director of Engineering in the medical device industry, mHealth Technology and healthcare delivery spaces. Rana has experience in both the private sector and broader public sector including at Abbott and IBM and has served at Canadian Blood Services and The Ottawa Hospital. She is a graduate of Queen's University B.Sc. Chemical Engineering with first class honours Rana also holds a dual executive MBA from Queen's University and Cornell University with academic distinction. Rana lives with her family on the west end of Ottawa and is delighted to be serving as a member of the Queensway Carleton Hospital Board of Directors.

Christine Desloges, Vice Chair

Christine Desloges

Christine Desloges

Vice Chair

Christine joined the Board of Directors of the Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH) in 2018. She was confirmed Chair of the Board’s Governance Committee in June 2020. Christine was a Board Director (2016-2020) of the Toronto-based Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation. She remains a member of the Quality and Client Service Committee of the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care. With 800+ long-term care home beds, it is the largest non-profit nursing home in Canada. These inter-related Board/Committee responsibilities enable Christine to familiarize herself with the quality and delivery of long-term care services for seniors (the fastest growing population segment in our community), which is also one of the priorities of QCH. Christine was Vice-President (2017-2019) of the 35,000-member Ottawa Chapter of the National Association of Federal Retirees. She was also Chair of its Membership and Services Committee, where she spearheaded a comprehensive review to provide more effective services to meet the multiple needs of its members and their spouses. Christine retired in 2015 as a federal Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) after 35 years of service with Global Affairs Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat and Passport Canada. She brings to the QCH Board her proven skill sets acquired through various leadership roles in governance/compliance, strategic resource deployment, organization transformation and IT-enabled service delivery. As well, she has extensive experience in consensus building in multi-disciplinary/cultural and inter-jurisdictional public-private settings. Christine, a certified Corporate Director with the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D), has an MA in International Affairs (Carleton University) and a BA in Spanish Studies (St Thomas University). She had also studied Spanish (Universidad Menendez Pelayo, Spain) and Mandarin Chinese (Singapore National University). She was recipient of the Head of Public Service Award of Excellence (Management /2006); Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (Public Service /2012) and National Association of Federal Retirees Award (Collaboration/2018).

Jonathan Dewar

Jonathan Dewar

Jonathan Dewar

Board Member

In January 2024, Jonathan Dewar, PhD, returned to the role of Chief Executive Officer at the First Nations Information Governance Centre, having previously been with the organization from 2017-2022. The FNIGC leads national-level research, designing and implementing national surveys, including the longstanding First Nations Regional Health Survey, as well as related research initiatives, and provides information governance, information management, and OCAP® education and training.

He has spent most of his 20+ year career directing research and knowledge translation initiatives for national Indigenous-led organizations. During that time, his work has focused on governance, strategic planning, health and wellbeing, data sovereignty, and truth, healing, and reconciliation.

Jonathan has previously served as the Director General and Vice President, Collections, Research, Exhibitions, and Repatriation at the Canadian Museum of History; Director of the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre and Special Advisor to the President at Algoma University; and Director of Research at the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, among other leadership roles.

Jonathan received a doctorate from the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University and holds an appointment as Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Jonathan is of Scottish- and French-Canadian heritage and a member of the Huron-Wendat Nation. He was born and raised in Ottawa, the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation.

Dr. Andrew Falconer, Secretary

Andrew Falconer

Andrew Falconer

Secretary

Andrew has been an Emergency Physician at Queensway Carleton hospital since 1987, served as QCH's Chief of Staff from 2008 to 2019, and currently serves as the Hospital's President and Chief Executive Officer. He graduated from the University of Ottawa School of Medicine in 1985, completed his Family Medicine residency at the University of Ottawa in 1987 and later received his Emergency Medicine Specialty Certificate. Andrew served on the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario from 2012 to 2015 and also served on the discipline committee. In addition, he received his advanced Health Care Leadership Program certification and financial literacy certification from Rotman School of Business and completed his Masters in Health Administration from the University of Regina in 2018. Andrew recently served as President of Saint Mary's General Hospital before moving back to Queensway Carleton Hospital to take on the role of President and CEO.

Al Hamdani, Vice Chair

Al Hamdani

Al Hamdani

Vice Chair

Al Hamdani is a seasoned financial services executive and leader with over 25 years of experience in corporate finance, enterprise risk management and transformation who believes that strong healthcare and social services are critical to community prosperity. Al is also on the Board of Directors of Service Coordination Support, an entity which works with the Ontario government to empower people with developmental disabilities through various services. Al is currently an executive at the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV), where he helped start up a subsidiary which provides debt and equity financing to companies impacted by the pandemic and now oversees a $7 billion portfolio. Previously, he held several leadership roles at Export Development Canada (EDC), including Chief Risk Officer where he led a major transformation of EDC’s risk and governance practices and Global Head of Project Finance, where he built a successful infrastructure financing business and closed project financings across various industries in numerous countries around the world. Earlier in his career, Al also had roles at a major Canadian corporate bank as well as at the Bank of Canada. Al is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has an MBA from the Rotman School of Management. Al is an avid golfer, runner and snowboarder as well as an amateur guitarist who loves all kinds of music. Al lives in Kanata and feels fortunate to have benefited from the care of the Queensway Carleton Hospital many times and is excited and honoured to serve on its Board of Directors.

Dr. Michael Herman, Vice President of the Medical Staff

Dr. Michael Herman

Dr. Michael Herman

Vice President of Medical Staff

Dr. Michael Herman has been a practicing Emergency Medicine physician at Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH) since July of 2019. He graduated from the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University in 2012. He subsequently completed his Family Medicine residency at Dalhousie University (P.E.I. site) in 2014 and earned his Emergency Medicine fellowship through the practice-eligible route in 2017. Before coming to Queensway Carleton Hospital, he worked in Cape Breton, N.S., and St. John’s, N.L., where he also served as a clinical assistant professor at Memorial University. In addition to his work in the Emergency Department, Dr. Herman is also involved in QCH’s Medical Assistance in Dying Program as an assessor and provider. When not at the hospital, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife Carrie and rescued Greyhound Hobbes, as well as cycling, cooking, and watching the Leafs and Bills let him down year after year.


 

Rebecca Hickey

Rebecca Hickey

Rebecca Hickey

Board Member

Rebecca is a communications strategist with a passion for making our community a better place. She is currently the Director, Communications and Marketing at Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation. Prior to joining Ingenium, Rebecca held communications leadership roles at NAV CANADA and Hydro Ottawa. Her experience includes government relations, issues management, digital communications and marketing.


Since 2018, Rebecca has served on the Board of Directors at Ottawa Community Housing, the largest social housing provider in the nation's capital.


Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Journalism and Communications, and an MBA from Carleton University. Rebecca is married and has two daughters, both born at the Queensway Carleton Hospital.


Dr. Katalin Kovacs, Chief of Staff

Atul Aggarwal

Dr. Katalin Kovacs

Chief of Staff

 

Dr. Kovacs has been a psychiatrist at Queensway Carleton Hospital since June 1997 and has been instrumental in building our psychiatry team since taking the position of Department Chief in 2017.  In October 2020, Dr. Kovacs was appointed to the position of Chief of Staff. Dr. Kovacs has an open-door policy for all physicians and staff.  She cares deeply for the well being of our physicians.  A proud mom and grandmother, Kathi enjoys spending her downtime with her family and taking long walks with her husband in nature.

 

Cynthia Mar

Cynthia Mar

Cynthia Mar

Board Member

Cynthia has had a multi-faceted career in the healthcare and life sciences industries for more than 20 years, ever since receiving her Masters in Health Administration. Cynthia started her healthcare career with Cerner, a global healthcare solutions provider, and then began leading large, complex healthcare transformations for Capgemini Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She has also led global marketing for Healthcare and Life Sciences at SAP and run the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa, leading them to obtaining their best accreditation results ever. Cynthia has always given back and has sat on Boards for Western Alumni, Ivey Alumni, Alpha Gamma Delta, the National Capital Sommelier Guild, the Ottawa Centre Minor Hockey Association, as well as volunteering with numerous charitable organizations since she was a teenager. In 2010, she was one of the founders of Dress for Success Ottawa. Cynthia also holds an HBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University and is a certified sommelier.

Wendy Nicklin, Vice Chair

Wendy Nicklin

Wendy Nicklin

Vice Chair

With a background in critical care and emergency nursing, Wendy taught at Queen’s university and then held progressively senior positions at The Ottawa Hospital. She assumed the position as President and CEO of Accreditation Canada in 2004, stepping down early in 2016. Wendy has considerable governance experience, most recently as the Board Chair of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua). Past governance work includes the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada and the Champlain Local Integration Health Network. Currently she serves on the Boards of Hospice Care Ottawa and Salus Global Corporation. She is a member of the Committee on Accreditation of Medical Schools and recently joined Patients for Patient Safety Canada. With a strong commitment to effective governance and focusing on quality, safety, accreditation and leadership, Wendy has numerous publications to her name and has given many presentations nationally and internationally. She has an academic appointment to Queen’s University. Wendy has a B.N. and M.Sc.(A) from McGill University and is a Fellow of ISQua and a member of the International Academy of Quality and Safety in Health Care. She is a certified Corporate Director with the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D).

Hugh O’Toole

hugh otoole

Hugh O'Toole

Board Member

Hugh is a senior member of the Ottawa Police Service. He has been actively involved in law enforcement and community safety for over 26 years, including several years as a homicide investigator. He currently manages the Customer Service directorate, where he developed a number of innovative quality assurance programs to improve accountability. Hugh obtained a BA from Saint Mary’s University in 1993. A strong proponent of continuing education, he obtained a JD from the University of Ottawa in 2013 and was called to the Bar the following year with focus in administrative law. An advocate for the vulnerable, Hugh led successful appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal on issues impacting victims of sexual violence and impaired driving. Recognizing quality and accessible healthcare as fundamental to the development and maintenance of healthy and safe communities, Hugh also serves as Board Chair at the Salvation Army Ottawa Grace Manor. A long-time resident of West Ottawa, Hugh lives with his wife Tara and their three children.

Michel Piché

Michel Piche

Michel Piché

Board Member

Michel Piché joined Carleton University as Vice-President (Finance and Administration) in July 2016. Prior to joining Carleton, he served in a variety of agencies and enterprises including the National Research Council of Canada, Central Wire Industries Ltd., the Canadian Red Cross Society, Explosive Technologies International, and Northern Telephone Ltd. Mr. Piché completed a Masters in Public Administration at l’Ecole Nationale d’Administration Publique of the Université du Québec. He is also a Chartered Director (C.Dir.), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). He is involved with CPA Ontario in developing and presenting workshops on Integrated Planning and Budgeting and a member of the Board of the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO). He previously taught at Nipissing University for their B. Comm. distance learning program, served on the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO) and oversaw the NRC’s annual GCWCC (United Way) fundraising campaign.

Chad Schella

Chad Schella

Chad Schella

Board Member

A graduate of Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec, Chad Schella is the Associate Vice-President, Government Relations (Canada) at CIBC. Prior to this, Chad spent over 10 years as the General Manager, Government and Community Affairs and Director, Government Affairs at Canada Post. Previously he worked for two leaders of a federal political party and then with the Canadian Construction Association in Ottawa before spending 4 years in Toronto with the Royal Canadian Golf Association (now Golf Canada) and then pharmaceutical-based company, Pro-Pharma. Chad returned to Ottawa in 2003 to work with the Ottawa Senators Foundation to help create, build and open Roger Neilson House. Following the successful completion of this pediatric, palliative care facility, he spent 8 years with the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club and sat as a founding Board Member of Roger Neilson House for seven years. Chad and his wife Catherine Clark live in Carp with their two children, Alexandra and Charlie, who were both born at the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

Dr. Sameer Vakani, President of the Medical Staff

Dr. Sameer Vakani

Dr. Sameer Vakani

President of Medical Staff

Dr. Vakani is a Critical Care physician at Queensway Carleton Hospital. He completed his training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa, followed by sub-specialty training in Critical Care Medicine at the University of Toronto. He has an interest in health systems, health policy, and health services management and completed his M.Sc. in Public Health through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

 

Outside of his medical work he is an avid reader and sports fan, and can be found enjoying the outdoors, plodding through training runs, or working through the Sunday crossword.

Yvonne Wilson, Vice President of Patient Care & Chief Nursing Executive

Yvonne Wilson

Yvonne Wilson

Vice President of Patient Care & Chief Nursing Executive

Yvonne Wilson is the Vice President, Patient Care & Chief Nursing Executive at Queensway Carleton Hospital. She has been a nurse for 35 years and has held a variety of leadership roles in Ottawa over the past 17 years. Her extensive experience in clinical roles has given her valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by nursing professionals, and she has used this knowledge to support and mentor her teams. She has led the strategic development of the QCH 7-point plan, the QCH interprofessional model of care, and a partnership with Carleton University to establish a new School of Nursing. She was born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo and now resides in Ottawa. Yvonne has two sons and loves adventurous travel.

QCH Community Members

Markirit Armutlu

Markirit Armutlu

Markirit Armutlu

Community Member

Markirit Armutlu joined the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) as Principle (Performance Audit Priorities) in October 2021. Markirit has a long-standing passion for healthcare quality and patient safety. Prior to joining the OAG, Markirit was a senior policy advisor for Indigenous Services Canada and served in a variety of healthcare related not-for-profit organizations in leadership positions responsible for healthcare quality and risk management, performance, ethics and education, including the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Accreditation Canada International, the Canadian Association of Radiologists, the Jewish General Hospital (Montreal) and St. Mary’s Hospital (Montreal). Markirit was an active member of the Groupe vigilance pour la sécurité des soins, a patient safety advisory group to the Quebec Health Ministry from 2009-2015, and an Accreditation Canada Surveyor up until 2019. Markirit has a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy and a master’s degree in Experimental Medicine (Bio-medical Ethics) both from McGill University. She completed the McGill Executive Institute’s Leadership Program, she is a Certified Association Executive with the Canadian Society for Association Executives and a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Markirit believes in life-long learning and is currently completing her PhD in Health Quality at Queens University. Markirit moved to Orleans from Montreal in 2015. She thoroughly enjoys taking long walks with her dog and exploring the Capital region’s vast green belt.

Michele Brenning

Michele Brenning

Michele Brenning

Community Member

Prior to joining QCH Board as a community member, Michele served as a Board Director with Ottawa Community Housing. Michele is also the volunteer Chair of the Health Issues Committee for the Council on Aging (COA) of Ottawa and advocates on issues such as Home Care and Long Term Care. She is a certified NCCP Coach in swimming and is involved in community sports and is the Head Coach for the Special Olympics Orleans and Nepean Riptides Swim clubs.

Before retiring in 2016, Michele served 32 years with the Government of Canada. She retired from Correctional Services Canada (CSC) as Assistant Commissioner of Health Services. As the ADM she led the delivery of psychiatric and medical services in the CSC regional hospitals and the mental health and physical health clinical services (including dental and pharmacy services) to federal inmates housed in 43 prisons across Canada. Michele was accountable for managing a $260 Million operating budget and led a team of over 1600 health professionals.

Michele holds a Masters of Business Administration from University Ottawa (1995) and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from University of Manitoba (1984). Michele is married and has two adult sons who both reside in Ottawa.

Ahmer Gulzar

Ahmer Gulzar

Ahmer Gulzar

Community Member

Ahmer is a technology leader with a wide range of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. As the Director of Information Systems and Web Services, he is a member of the senior leadership team at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) where he is responsible for aligning organizational goals with technology strategy and implementation. Ahmer is co-chair of CCSA’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee since the committee’s inception in 2020. Prior to working for CCSA, Ahmer held several management positions in the insurance and telecommunication industries. His areas of expertise include technology strategy, enterprise and business architecture, digital services, cybersecurity, people leadership, human resources and EDI. He holds an Executive MBA from the University of Ottawa, Bachelors of Engineering from Carleton University, is a licensed professional engineer, a Project Management Professional and is ITIL certified. Ahmer concurrently serves on the board of directors for the Shepherds of Good Hope. Ahmer resides in Ottawa west with his wife, young daughter and son, who were born at QCH. He adores spending time with his family and giving his time back to the community.

Jacqueline Miller

Jacqueline MillerJacqueline MillerJacqueline MillerJacqueline MillerJacqueline MillerJacqueline MillerJacqueline MillerJacqueline MillerJacqueline Miller

Jacqueline Miller

Community Member

Jacqueline is currently the Director of Learning and DEI and NAP at the Native Women’s Association of Canada. Jacqueline recently completed a Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership from Saint Paul University, University of Ottawa. She also completed the Master of Arts Degree in Political Science with Special Designation in Public Policy from the University of Regina. She has also fulfilled the requirements for the Third-Party Neutral Program in Mediation, Group Conflict and Facilitation Studies from the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution at Saint Paul University. Finally, she holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) with specialization in Not-for-Profits.

Jacqueline has 20+ years of experience with strategic planning and economic development initiatives for community. Her extensive experience with stakeholder relations has provided her with the skills to successfully collaborate with the private sector, industry, education sector, Indigenous communities, all levels of government, and not-for-profit community organizations in a respectful and diplomatic manner. She is a connector of people and ideas. Jacqueline demonstrates strategic thinking with superior communications skills for sharing complex or sensitive messages with various audiences, combined with excellent interpersonal skills. Her passion for people and community is what drives her work.

Shoba Ranganathan

Shoba Ranganathan

Shoba Ranganathan

Community Member

Shoba Ranganathan is currently the Acting Executive Director of the Department of National Defence (DND) Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, as of May 2022. She began her substantive position with the same organization as Director of Operations in March 2021.

Prior to this, in August 2011, Shoba began her position of Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer for the Canadian Forces Health Services (CFHS) within the Department of National Defence. In fact, Shoba has spent the majority of her career working with and for DND, joining the Public Service in 2006 as the Quality Improvement (QI) Manager in Greenwood, Nova Scotia and then in Kingston, Ontario. Prior to that, Shoba was a healthcare placement coordinator with the health services support contract.

With a keen interest within quality and patient safety, Shoba completed a Master of Laws at Queen’s specializing in Health Law in 2012. Her project compared the national regulatory structure of flight safety in Canada and determined if a national patient safety framework could find similar successes. She also completed her Master in Health Services Administration from Dalhousie University in 2003 and holds a Master in Science in Anatomy and Cell Biology from Queen’s University.


QCH Board of Directors Meeting Information

Next meetings of the Board

Meetings are held on the last Wednesday of the month. 2023-2024 Board Meeting Dates:

  • September 27, 2023
  • October 25, 2023
  • November 29, 2023
  • December – no meeting
  • January 31, 2024
  • February 28, 2024
  • March 27, 2024
  • April 24, 2024
  • May 29, 2024
  • June 26, 2024

Location

Queensway Carleton Hospital, Discovery Room

 

Meeting materials 

Meeting packages and approved minutes of QCH Board Meetings are available upon request by contacting Lisa Buffam at lbuffam@qch.on.ca.

 

Background materials and policies 

Board Policy on Access to Meeting