Drugs and Therapeutics Advisory Committee

The Drugs and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (DTAC) is an advisory body of highly qualified health professionals who bring impartial and practical expert medical and pharmaceutical advice to the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program to promote improvement in the health outcomes of First Nations and Inuit clients through effective use of pharmaceuticals. The approach is evidence-based and the advice reflects medical and scientific knowledge, current utilization trends, current clinical practice, health care delivery and specific departmental client healthcare needs.

DTAC membership and qualifications

The DTAC is comprised of 8 to 12 core members, including First Nations or Inuit health professionals. At least 3 of the DTAC members must be physicians and at least 3 members must be pharmacists. Committee members contribute their expertise and do not represent an association, organization, corporation or industry.

DTAC members must hold a qualification and license in Canada as a physician, pharmacist, registered nurse or have other relevant qualifications.

Chairperson: Dr. Derek Jorgenson

Dr. Jorgenson is a professor of pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan. He teaches at both an undergraduate and graduate level and maintains a health services utilization research program.

Dr. Jorgenson has a background as a community pharmacist but has practiced in several specialty clinics and hospital based patient care programs in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. He also maintains a clinical practice, as the director, at the Medication Assessment Centre, which is a patient care teaching clinic located within the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition in Saskatoon.

Vice-chairperson: Dr. Marlyn Cook

Dr. Cook is presently working in the community of Pikangikum First Nation in northwestern Ontario and her home community of Grand Rapids. She was the Chief of Staff and Director of the Traditional Healing Program with Weeneebayko General Hospital in Moose Factory, Ontario. Dr. Cook is Cree and a member of the Grand Rapids First Nation in Northern Manitoba.

Dr. Cook has practiced medicine in the Mohawk community of Akwesasne, in Sioux Lookout Zone and in a number of northern Indigenous communities in Manitoba. She is active in her community serving as an advisor and board member to a number of organizations. Dr. Cook is known for her work blending Western and Traditional medicines and has been involved with sharing this knowledge with medical students and doctors throughout Canada. Her belief is that healing needs to be focused on all aspects of the person: spiritual, mental, physical and emotional.

Ms. Julia Bareham

Ms. Bareham graduated from the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Pharmacy and Nutrition in 2008 where she earned her Bachelor of Science of Pharmacy. She then returned to the University of Saskatchewan to pursue her Masters of Science in the division of Pharmacy focusing on comprehensive medication management, graduating in 2014.

Ms. Bareham has worked as a community pharmacist with Shoppers Drug Mart since 2008 and still works the occasional shift. She also worked with the RxFiles Academic Detailing Program and led the RxFiles Long-Term Care Project from 2009 to 2015. In late 2015, Ms. Bareham joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan where she was the pharmacist manager for the Prescription Review Program. In early 2019, Ms. Bareham returned to the RxFiles Academic Detailing Program.

Ms. Bareham was a board member with the Pharmacists’ Association of Saskatchewan from 2009 to 2017 and her Cree heritage originates with the Carry the Kettle First Nation which is located in Treaty 4 territory.

Dr. Ann Duggan

Dr. Duggan is a family physician who has spent much of her career working throughout the Northwest Territories and Nunavut and more recently working with the urban Inuit population in Ottawa. She is a fellow of the College of Family Physicians, holds a Masters in Public Health at Harvard and an honorary Doctor of Science at St Mary's. She is currently a clinician teacher at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Tara Gomes

Dr. Gomes is an epidemiologist and Principal Investigator of the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN), a provincial network of researchers with expertise in pharmaceutical utilization, outcomes and policy who rapidly conduct research for drug decision-makers in Ontario and across Canada. She is also a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. Her research is focused on pharmacoepidemiology, drug safety and drug policy research leveraging large, administrative databases and she has published over 160 peer-reviewed articles and over 90 policy reports in this area.

Dr. Gomes has worked closely with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies to develop evidence to inform policies related to opioid use and abuse in Ontario and more broadly across Canada. She has also served as an expert for the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Transportation in discussions related to opioid policies and regulations. In 2014, the ODPRN was awarded the Institute for Public Administration of Canada’s Bronze Public Sector Leadership Award in Health and Education.

Dr. Radha Jetty

Dr. Jetty has followed a life passion of advocating for vulnerable and marginalized populations. She completed her medical school training at McGill University. She went on to complete her general pediatrics residency training at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in 2007. Her initial interest in working with health disparate populations led her to work as Nunavut’s first full-time pediatrician from 2008 to 2012 where she developed Nunavut’s pediatric program. She returned to Ottawa in 2012 to lead the development of CHEO’s Inuit child health program. She joined the Division of Pediatric Medicine at CHEO as an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Ottawa while continuing part-time work in Nunavut. She established the first Inuit child health outreach clinic at the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team in Ottawa.

Dr. Jetty is involved with undergraduate and postgraduate Indigenous health medical education while helping to develop the Canadian Pediatric Society’s Indigenous child health curriculum and giving regular lectures to medical students and residents. As the chair of the Canadian Pediatric Society committee for First Nations, Inuit and Metis health she has lobbied for Indigenous children’s rights at federal government consultation meetings on children in care and tuberculosis as well as negotiating advocacy campaigns with provincial governments and the media.

She had the opportunity to bring to light the situation of Indigenous children in Canada at the Inter-American Human Rights Commission in Bogota, Columbia in 2018. She strives to advocate for health equity among Canadian Indigenous children through policy development and through developing strong partnerships with academic institutions, governments, national and international advocacy organizations and community partners. She was recognized for her advocacy work with the 2018 Dr. Guillermo Gutierrez Award for Advocacy at CHEO.

Dr. Francois Lavoie

Dr. Lavoie is a pharmacist with a specialty (Ph.D) in pharmacology who serves Indigenous clients in Quebec. He is currently the Vice President of the Board of l’Association des conseils des médecins, dentistes et pharmaciens du Québec. He graduated in pharmacy from the University of Montreal and has a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences.

Dr. Lavoie has been chief pharmacist for the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services for the region corresponding to the Cree territory of James Bay. He has also been the clinical representative on the advisory committee for the construction of the CMC Hospital Chissasibi and Community Miyupimaatisiiun Centre pharmacies. In 2008, Dr. Lavoie was appointed as an inspector for the College of Pharmacists of Quebec for the inspection of private community facilities.

Dr. Kunal Minhas

Dr. Minhas is an interventional cardiologist and director of Coronary Care Units for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. He is also an assistant professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Manitoba and is currently practicing at the St. Boniface General Hospital. He reviewed and co-authored the Acute Myocardial Infarction Care Map, which encompasses all aspects of acute myocardial infarction care. His current practice involves a large proportion of First Nations and Inuit patients, as it is the only coronary care unit and cardiac cath lab for Manitoba, western Ontario and Nunavut. Dr. Minhas’ areas of interest include ST-elevation myocardial infarction care and acute coronary syndrome.

Dr. Michael Perley

Dr. Perley graduated from Dalhousie University in 1980. Dr. Perley has practiced family medicine in Woodstock, New Brunswick and in Woodstock and Tobique First Nations. He has been actively involved in teaching medical students and residents of family medicine from both Dalhousie and Memorial Universities for over 20 years.

Dr. Perley has been involved in various national committees and initiatives over the years on behalf of First Nations health including: National Diabetes Initiative, National Diabetes Surveillance System, Federal Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, NIHB Drug Utilization Evaluation Advisory Committee and presently the NIHB Drugs and Therapeutics Advisory Committee. He was past president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick and was the past chair of their Fitness to Practice Committee. In 2012, Dr. Perley was awarded the honour of Family Physician of the Year from the Dalhousie Alumni Association and more recently received the Order of New Brunswick in November 2017.

Dr. Omar Rahaman

Dr. Rahaman is a chronic pain and addiction physician working at LifeMark Health Institute, a tertiary pain clinic, in Edmonton, Alberta. He is a clinical associate professor at the University of Alberta, Department of Family Medicine. He has additional training in care of the elderly, palliative care, chronic pain management, and addiction medicine. He has worked as a family physician in Nunavut.

Dr. Howard Zacharias

Dr. Zacharias is a consultant in geriatric medicine and has worked in that capacity for the Central Regional Health Authority in Manitoba, a region which contains 5 First Nations communities. He has an interest in rural healthcare delivery and the healthcare of the elderly and has worked as a clinician and consultant in Zambia, Brazil, Belize, Paraguay as well as Canada.

He has served as the provincial geriatrician for Prince Edward Island, establishing the Provincial Geriatric Service. He was a consultant to Veterans Affairs Canada and served on its gerontologic advisory council. He was adjunctive assistant professor of Geriatric Medicine at Dalhousie University and assistant professor of medicine and family medicine at the University of Manitoba. He is a past member of the Atlantic Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs and Therapeutics.

Dr. Peter Zed

Dr. Zed completed a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Dalhousie University, a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Memorial University of Newfoundland, a pharmacy practice residency with the Royal Columbian Hospital and a Doctorate of Pharmacy at the University of British Columbia. He is currently professor and associate dean of Practice Innovation at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and associate member of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Zed has practiced in emergency medicine since 1998 and has also been actively involved in teaching undergraduate pharmacy students, pharmacy residents and Doctor of Pharmacy students as well as many other healthcare professionals. He has sustained a productive research program for both clinical and practice-based research and has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications and over 125 conference research abstracts.

He has been the recipient of many awards for research, teaching and service which includes being a 2 time recipient of the Dr. Jessie I. MacKnight Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College of Pharmacy at the Dalhousie University and Preceptor of the Year award for the Doctorate of Pharmacy program at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia. Dr. Zed is 9 time recipient of national awards from the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacy. He has delivered over 300 invited presentations at local, provincial and national events and has a long-standing professional service record serving as chair or member of numerous provincial and national committees.

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