Government of Canada announces membership of new Scientific Advisory Committee on Health Products for Women

News release

Prominent physicians, award-winning researchers, and patient advocates to collaborate towards optimal health outcomes for women

April 26, 2019 - Ottawa, ON - Health Canada

Following an enthusiastic response of more than 80 nominees interested in lending their expertise in the field of women’s health, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, is pleased to announce the membership of the new Scientific Advisory Committee on Health Products for Women. The chair and nine core committee members come from across Canada and represent a wealth of knowledge, skills, and expertise.

Women and men don’t always respond to drugs and medical devices the same way, but women have not always been equally represented in research. Stronger evidence and advice about health products for women will improve gender balance and support the best possible regulatory decisions for all Canadians.

This new committee is an integral part of the government’s Action Plan on Medical Devices and will provide Health Canada with timely advice on current and emerging issues regarding women’s health and the regulation of medical devices and drugs. The committee will examine issues across the product lifecycle—from development to real‑world use—with a focus on patient perspectives and experiences.

Health Canada will also continue to work with provinces and territories and other government partners and seek additional expert input and consult ad-hoc members as needed to address key technical questions on specific topics.

The first committee meeting will take place in Ottawa in May 2019. The agenda for this inaugural meeting will include an examination of:

  • clinical evidence requirements for medical devices;
  • the lifecycle management of medical devices (including a case study on mesh implants); and
  • knowledge transfer to patients (including a case study on breast implants).

The committee is anticipated to meet twice each year and meeting materials, bios of the committee members, and other relevant information will be posted on Health Canada’s website.

Photo Details
Photo: Dr. Lorraine Greaves, MA, PhD

Dr. Lorraine Greaves, MA, PhD
Vancouver, British Columbia

Dr. Greaves has been selected as Committee Chair. Dr. Greaves is a medical sociologist and Senior Investigator at the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health. She is an international expert in sex and gender in research and a renowned researcher, writer and speaker. The recipient of many prestigious awards, Dr. Greaves has worked in academic, government, education, and non-governmental organization settings.

Core Committee Members
Photo Details
Photo: Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, MD, MSc

Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, MD, MSc
Montréal, Quebec

  • Sex and Gender-Based Analysis Scientist
  • Clinical Trialist
  • Women’s Health Practitioner
  • Professor of Medicine and Pharmacy, Université de Montréal
  • Scientific Director, Institute of Gender and Health
Photo: Dr. Ashley Waddington, MD, FRCSC, MPA

Dr. Ashley Waddington, MD, FRCSC, MPA
Kingston, Ontario

  • OBGYN, Assistant Professor Co-Director of Contraception Advice
  • Research and Education (CARE) Fellowship
  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Queen’s University School of Medicine
Photo: Dr. David Urbach, MD, MSc

Dr. David Urbach, MD, MSc
Toronto, Ontario

  • Senior Scientist, Women’s College Research Institute
  • Surgeon in Chief and Medical Director, Perioperative Services, Women’s College Hospital
  • Senior Innovation Fellow, Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care
  • Professor, Surgery, and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
Photo: Madeline Boscoe, RN, DU

Madeline Boscoe, RN, DU
North Vancouver, British Columbia

  • Founding Member, Institute Advisory Board, Gender and Health Institute, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and founding Chair of the Knowledge Transfer Sub-Committee of the Board
  • Executive Director, Marineview and Chesterfield Housing Societies
Photo: Dr. Sherif Eltonsy, BPharm, PhD

Dr. Sherif Eltonsy, BPharm, PhD
Winnipeg, Manitoba

  • Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy, University of Manitoba
  • Member, Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies (CNODES) and Research Scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM).
Photo: Gloria Letendre, MSc

Gloria Letendre, MSc

  • Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care, Alberta Health Services
Photo: Dr. Sharon Batt, PhD

Dr. Sharon Batt, PhD
Halifax, Nova Scotia

  • Adjunct Professor, Bioethics, and adjunct Professor, Department of Political Science, Dalhousie University
  • Author and freelance researcher and writer specializing in health issues and ethics
Photo: Constance L. Sugiyama, CM, JD, LLD (Hon)

Constance L. Sugiyama, CM, JD, LLD (Hon)
Toronto, Ontario

  • Independent corporate director, strategy and corporate governance advisor
  • Past Chair, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Board member Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, Gairdner Foundation
  • Retired corporate lawyer
Photo: Dr. Louise Pilot, MD, MPH, PhD, FTCPC

Dr. Louise Pilote, MD, MPH, PhD, FTCPC
Montréal, Quebec

  • Senior Scientist, Research Institute, McGill University Health Centre
  • Cardiovascular Health Across Lifespan Program
  • Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University


“I am extremely grateful to all of the members of our new Scientific Advisory Committee on Health Products for Women who have stepped forward to lend their knowledge and experience to improving the health and lives of women in Canada. I look forward to the advice they will provide to help shape future public policy for Canadian women.”

—The Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health

“Optimal health relies on sex and gender sensitive evidence and analysis, especially in regulating drugs and devices used primarily by women and girls. I look forward to this important opportunity to advise on actions for improving the safety and monitoring of women’s health products.”

—Dr. Lorraine Greaves, MA, PhD, Committee Chair


Thierry Bélair
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

Public Inquiries:

Page details

Date modified: