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HCP Conference 2017 – Speakers Bio


Choosing Wisely – Using diagnostic tests appropriately

Dr. Andrew Don-Wauchope – Vice President Clinical Services, LifeLabs;  Professor Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University.

Description: Choosing Wisely Canada: What it is and how the recommendations are made:

  • Describe Choosing Wisely Canada
  • Discuss the approach to making the recommendations
  • Provide some examples of recommendations that impact family practices and laboratories.

Laboratories have to deal with multiple players in selecting and optimising test menus. The Choosing Wisely campaign is gaining international attention as it provides information to inform healthcare providers and patients about the value of different aspects of healthcare. Many of these include reference to laboratory tests. However, most laboratory professionals have not had the opportunity to be involved directly in the selection or implementation of these recommendations. It is very helpful for a laboratory to support any initiative that provides good educational material to change ordering practices. This presentation will explain the rationale for Choosing Wisely, the process for selecting recommendations and then provide some examples of how this could be used by family practitioners and community laboratories to promote better use of the laboratory.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Don-Wauchope is a laboratory physician practicing as a medical biochemist and as a clinical endocrinologist.  Dr. Don-Wauchope trained and worked in South Africa and Europe and has been located in Canada since 2007. Initially with the Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program, a regional laboratory provider associated with the McMaster University academic hospitals and more recently with LifeLabs, Canada’s largest community laboratory service.
He holds a university appointment as Professor in Pathology and Molecular Medicine at McMaster University with an associate appointment in internal medicine (division of endocrinology). He is on the American Association of Clinical Chemistry Core Education Committee and a corresponding member of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry evidence based laboratory medicine committee.

He has a research interest in laboratory utilization and clinical practice guidelines and has published more than 50 peer reviewed papers. He is involved with the Choosing Wisely Canada campaign as a chair of the medical biochemistry group and a member of the clinical chemistry interest group.

Electronic Ordering (eOrder) and Evidence-based Decision Support

Dr. Akiko Campbell – Chief Information Officer, LifeLabs; and Chief Executive Officer, Excelleris

Description: eOrder and Evidence-based Decision Support: What is it and why is LifeLabs investing in it?


  • Objectives:

    • What is eOrder?
    • Why is it important?
    • What is on the horizon? – LifeLabs’ investment in eOrder

A significant majority of medical decisions are influenced by the results of clinical laboratory tests; however, it is suggested that a noteworthy proportion of laboratory testing ordered may not be appropriate. There is a need to ensure optimal utilization of laboratory tests for patient health and more efficient use of increasingly limited health care resources. This presentation will first outline the problems at hand and a technology solution Excelleris Technologies (a wholly owned subsidiary of LifeLabs) is developing. It will also present some examples for how this could be used by healthcare providers to improve the quality of results delivery and evidence based decision making for optimal test utilization.

Presenter Bio: As Chief Information Officer, Akiko leads LifeLabs’ information technology and e-health strategies. Leveraging two decades of system engineering and information technology experience, Akiko is responsible for ensuring that LifeLabs is a recognized industry leader for our innovation and investment in technology. In addition to being a key member of LifeLabs' executive leadership team, Akiko is also Chief Executive Officer of Excelleris Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of LifeLabs.

Prior to joining LifeLabs, Akiko spent eight years at Pacific Blue Cross, B.C.’s leading provider of private health insurance, where she was instrumental in designing and implementing one of the company’s largest organizational transformation programs. As a member of the IT senior leadership team, Akiko led enterprise architecture to transform legacy systems to state-of-the-art systems. Akiko also established the Innovation Centre to help IT drive technology-based innovation for increased customer satisfaction.

Akiko holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Linguistics from Keio University (Tokyo, Japan) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computing Science from Simon Fraser University.


The Diagnostic Management Team model – How it can help clinicians. Perspectives from Galveston, TX

Dr. Graham Segal - Assistant Professor - Departments of Pathology and Family and Community Medicine, University of Texas-Houston McGovern Medical School.

Description: Primary care physicians face many challenges in their daily practice, mainly due to the limited time they have with their patients. With regards to laboratory testing, there is limited time to research which lab tests are best for their patients. This leads to over and underutilization of lab testing, which often leads to a delay in diagnosis or misdiagnosis. Clinical pathologists have the potential to help primary care providers improve these two issues so that patients are diagnosed in a timely manner. This presentation will provide several examples in daily practice where input from a clinical pathologist would be valuable. In addition, Dr. Segal provides several examples of potential solutions to these challenges, some of which have been implemented already and others that are in progress.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Segal attended the University of Texas at Austin. He earned his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio. He completed a residency in clinical pathology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston and a residency in Family Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston.

He is board certified in both clinical pathology and family medicine and cares for patients at Memorial Hermann TMC. Dr. Segal also serves as the Assistant Director of the Family Medicine Clerkship at McGovern Medical School. He is actively involved in teaching medical students and residents and has won various teaching awards.

He maintains memberships in in the Harris County Medical Society, the Texas Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.


Should I have this genomics test? Four questions to ask

Dr. Martin Dawes – Professor of Family Practice, UBC, and founder of GenXys.

Description: Genomics covers a field of science that helps us understand the molecular basis of health and disease. The knowledge base covers everything from genetic test validity to big data. It is changing the world of medicine at an ever-increasing rate with new diagnostic tests, new diseases, new prognostic tests and new therapies. The complexity of all this new information can appear overwhelming. There are complex ways of assessing new health technologies and many questions that can be asked, but we don't have time for that in practice. To help us put it into a clinical perspective, Dr. Dawes will review some tests using the four rules that he and his colleagues have developed from their work.


  • To demystify genomics
  • Help clinicians understand principles to help assess when it can be used in clinical practice today.
  • What is in the future for biological medicine?

Presenter Bio: Professor Dawes is a professor of family practice at the University of British Columbia. He started his clinical practice as a family physician in Oxford, England, and looked after 1800 patients for 17 years. He provided full office practice, obstetrics, home care, and in-hospital care. In 1992, following the completion of his PhD he helped develop a Master’s program in evidence based health care at the University of Oxford.

He was a senior lecturer at Oxford and ran the UK Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine there and in 2002 became Professor and Head of Family Practice at McGill University. He moved to UBC in 2010 to be Head of Family Practice. His research includes ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, implementation of pharmacogenomics in primary care, and lifestyle interventions to prevent diabetes.


Urine Drug Testing in Substance Use Disorders

Dr. Jan Palaty – Clinical Biochemist, LifeLabs

Description: We will review current drug testing methods, both lab-based and office-based, and suggest how they can be used most effectively to comply with current college requirements for monitoring chronic-use drugs with a high potential for misuse and diversion. We will also discuss the under-appreciated risks of sample substitution and adulteration, as well as the upcoming Comprehensive Drug Analysis method intended to replace conventional drug screening and confirmation.

Presenter Bio: Jan Palaty obtained his MSc in organic chemistry at the University of British Columbia in 1990, followed by a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences in 1995. He was certified as a clinical biochemist in 2000 and has been with LifeLabs and/or BC Biomedical since 2005, working primarily in the toxicology department.

Dr. Miguel
Dr. Whellams

Update on Infectious Diseases Diagnostics

Dr. Miguel Imperial – Medical Microbiologist, LifeLabs; and Clinical Instructor Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC

Dr. Diana Whellams – Medical Microbiologist, LifeLabs

Description: Despite remarkable progress in public health, infections remain one of the most common reasons people seek health care. We will review how the new paradigms of syndromic testing to diagnose respiratory and diarrheal illness promises to alter how we approach these common illnesses. We will also review some practical diagnostic challenges of urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted infections. Controversies in the diagnosis of Borrelliosis will also be reviewed.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Miguel Imperial trained at the University of British Columbia for both his MD and specialty training in medical microbiology. He received additional training in tropical medicine at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. He practiced as a GP before finishing his specialty training and currently still works as a Hospitalist in Fraser Health and as a Medical Microbiology consultant to LifeLabs. Together with several other energetic faculty, he co-developed and lectures at the Tropical and Geographic Medicine Course at the UBC School of Public Health. He also teaches at the undergraduate BMLSc, undergraduate MD and the Med Micro/ID residency programs at UBC.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Whellams completed a Master’s degree in Public Health at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver in 2009. She subsequently pursued her MD and residency training in medical microbiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Dr. Whellams joined LifeLabs in the summer of 2017. She has interests in quality assurance and education.


Haematology Potpourri – NOACs, coagulation monitoring and common cases

Dr. Khaled Ramadan – Hematologist, LifeLabs; Hematologist, Providence Healthcare; and Clinical Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

Description: In the past few years, three novel oral anticoagulant (NOAC) medications have become available: apixaban (Eliquis), dabigatran (Pradaxa), and rivaroxaban (Xarelto). A fourth NOAC, edoxaban was approved by Health Canada in 2016. It is anticipated that newer anticoagulants will be added to list in the coming years.

Although it is exciting time and treating physicians have many alternatives to Warfarin, we need to understand the appropriate use of these medications. There are no direct comparison data for these drugs and the comparisons were made to the standard of care, Warfarin. However, we can draw some inferences from the major NOAC trials

Although NOACs have many attractive features, such as minimal interaction with medications and foods and no need for blood work monitoring, they also have several important limitations. We will review the currently available NOACs indications, monitoring and limitations.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Ramadan received his medical degree in 1997 and completed his training in internal medicine in Ireland in 2000. He completed his hematology / hematpathology training in the UK in 2005. He then went on to do a clinical and research fellowship in lymphoma, leukemia and bone marrow transplant in Vancouver between 2005 and 2006.

He is a fellow with the Royal College of Physician of Ireland, The Royal College of Pathologists of the UK, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

He joined the Division of Hematology at St. Paul’s Hospital as a clinical hematologist in 2007. He currently holds an appointment at the University of British Columbia (UBC) as a Clinical Associate Professor and is a hematopathologist at LifeLabs. Dr. Ramadan is dedicated to clinical research, has a clinical and research interest in chronic lymphocytic leukemia and multiple myeloma and has 22 peer-reviewed publications in mainstream hematology/oncology journals.



Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia – Co-Founder of Pacific Autism Family Network and Chief Executive Officer, Century Plaza Hotel & Spa and Absolute Spa Group, Canada

Description: Short description of the topic to follow

Presenter Bio: Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia is the co-founder of the Pacific Autism Family Network and Chief Executive Officer of the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa and Absolute Spa Group, Canada’s largest independent spa chain.

Wendy is known not only for her entrepreneurial drive but also for her philanthropic endeavors. As co-founder of the Pacific Autism Family Network, her goal is to make a significant difference for those living with Autism Spectrum Disorder and all differing abilities.

In 2015, Wendy received the Order of British Columbia. She has also been awarded with an Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa) from the Justice Institute of British Columbia for her first responder initiatives and autism training volunteer work; the C.H.I.L.D. Foundation Humanitarian Award; BC’s Most Influential Business Women; Vancouver’s Most Powerful Top 50; Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame Inductee; YWCA Women of Distinction Community Champion Award 2017; and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

more to follow

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