The pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy: Expert Advisory Group Members

The diverse expertise of members of the Expert Advisory Group (EAG) will ensure a wide range of perspectives and advice on the pan Canadian Health Data Strategy. The EAG comprises 19 individuals with expertise in health system, public health, and population health data with perspectives on analytics, data management, and privacy, and drawn from health agencies, innovators, and academia.


Dr. Vivek Goel

Health Data Champion, University of Waterloo

Professor Vivek Goel is the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo and a Professor in the Schools of Pharmacy and Public Health Science.  He is a Professor Emeritus in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Professor Goel is a distinguished scholar with an extensive background in teaching, research and university administration. He obtained his medical degree from McGill University and completed post-graduate medical training in Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Goel obtained an MSc in Community Health from U of T and an MS in Biostatistics from Harvard University School of Public Health. His research has focused on health services evaluation and the promotion of the use of research evidence in health decision-making.

Professor Goel previously served the University of Toronto as chair of the Department of Health Administration in the Faculty of Medicine from 1999 until 2001, then served as Vice-Provost, Faculty and subsequently was the University's Vice President and Provost from 2004 until 2008. He was a founding scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), where he continues as an Adjunct Senior Scientist. He served as founding President and CEO of Public Health Ontario from 2008 until 2014, where he was highly successful in building an academic public health services agency that provided scientific and technical advice to front-line practitioners. He then served as Chief Academic Strategist with Coursera, a global platform that connects universities and learners with online courses. He returned to the University of Toronto as Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives and served in that role from 2015-2020.

He has extensive experience in governance and serves on the board of Post Promise and the Canadian Institute for Health Information (Vice-Chair).

He is a member of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, and was the Scientific Advisor for CanCOVID, the national research platform for COVID-19 research.


Dr. Ewan Affleck

Senior Medical Advisor, Health Information, College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta

A graduate of the McGill School of Medicine, and Dalhousie University where he studied history, Ewan Affleck has worked and lived in northern Canada since 1992. He is currently serving as the Senior Medical Advisor - Health Informatics, College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta, and is a member of the Federal Expert Working Group on Virtual Care, and Chair of the Alberta Virtual Care Working Group.

He is the past Chief Medical Information Officer of the Northwest Territories, and was co-chair of the national Virtual Care Task Force. A digital health information systems expert, he pioneered the implementation of an enterprise electronic medical record system in the Northwest Territories that is unprecedented in Canada in its level of integration. He has served on boards in both the public and private sector, is a faculty member of the University of Calgary, maintains a half-time clinical practice, and is producing a film on inequities in health service to Indigenous people living in Canada. In 2013, he was appointed to the Order of Canada for his contribution to northern health care. Ewan is married and has two children.

Dr. David Castle

Professor, University of Victoria

Is a Professor in the School of Public Administration and the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria, Canada. His research is focused on science, technology and innovation policy, with a particular emphasis on regulation, standards, intellectual property and public consultation associated with life science innovation.

Dr. Castle is a member of the Science Advisory Committee of the Council of Canadian Academies. He is a Director for Canada's national research and education network provider, Canarie, is the Chair of Research Data Canada's Steering Committee, and has recently joined the Canadian National Committee for the Committee on Data (CODATA) International Science Council (ISC). Since 2019 he has been a member of the Scientific Committee of the ISC's World Data System (WDS). As a member of the OECD Global Science Forum Expert Group he contributed to the 2020 report, Building Digital Workforce Capacity and Skills for Data Intensive Science.

Through these and other efforts, Dr. Castle contributes to the Canadian and international research environments by focusing on the interactions between science, technology and innovation policy, supporting infrastructure, and capacity building.

Dr. Stafford Dean

Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Alberta Health Services

Stafford Dean is the Chief Data & Analytics Officer at Alberta Health Services. He has been using administrative and clinical data to support decision making for over 30 years in Alberta's health system. Stafford has also had data and analytic roles at the Alberta Ministry of Health, Calgary Health Region, and the Health Quality Council of Alberta. The analytics role enables decision making by providing timely, relevant data and reporting services.

Stafford's research interests include health system planning models and clinical analytics to support continuous quality improvement. Stafford has a PhD in Health Research, a master's degree in Economics and a bachelor's degree in Actuarial Science.

Dr. Jonathan Dewar

Executive Director, First Nations Information Governance Centre

Jonathan Dewar, PhD, is the Chief Executive Officer at the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC). An incorporated non-profit operating with a special mandate from the Assembly of First Nations' Chiefs in Assembly, FNIGC leads national-level research, including designing and implementing, with regional partners, the longstanding and influential First Nations Regional Health Survey, and provides OCAP® and information governance education and training. FNIGC envisions that every First Nation will achieve data sovereignty in alignment with its distinct worldview.

Jonathan has spent most of his 20+ year career directing research and knowledge translation initiatives on behalf of Indigenous-governed national NGOs and has been recognized as a leader in healing and reconciliation and Indigenous health and well-being education, policy, and research. He has published extensively on these subjects, with a specialization in the role of the arts in healing and reconciliation, and has lectured nationally and internationally.

From 2012-2016, Jonathan served as the first Director of the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre and Special Advisor to the President at Algoma University, where he led research, education, curatorial, and community service programming, and taught courses in Political Science and Fine Arts. From 2007-2012, Jonathan served as Director of Research at the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, where he led the Foundation's research and evaluation efforts. He has also previously served as a Director at the National Aboriginal Health Organization, as a senior advisor within the federal government, and within the Office of the Languages Commissioner of Nunavut.

Jonathan earned a doctorate from the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University, where his research focused on the role of the arts in health, healing, and reconciliation. He also holds an appointment as Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Jonathan is of mixed heritage, descended from Huron-Wendat, French-, and Scottish-Canadian grandparents.

Dr. Isabel Fortier

Scientist, Ri-MUHC, Montreal General Hospital, Assistant Professor, McGill University

Dr. Isabel Fortier is researcher at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, where she leads the Maelstrom Research Platform ( Maelstrom provides the international research community with resources (expertise, methods, and software) to leverage and support data harmonization and integration across epidemiological cohort studies. The team develops guidelines and software; conducts methodological research; generates comprehensive catalogues of study metadata; and creates infrastructures supporting data management, harmonization, and co-analysis. Maelstrom collaborated on data cataloguing and harmonization activities of over 30 national and international projects, and developed an online catalogue including 230 studies.

Mr. Michael Harvey

Information and Privacy Commissioner, Newfoundland and Labrador

Michael Harvey was appointed as the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Newfoundland and Labrador effective August 5, 2019. Michael joined the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in January 2006 and his time had been divided between Executive Council (Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat and Cabinet Secretariat) and line departments (Departments of Children, Youth and Family Services, and Health and Community Services).

His first executive appointment was in 2012 as Executive Director of Planning and Coordination in Cabinet Secretariat. In early 2015, he was seconded from that role to another within Cabinet Secretariat to lead a transition team drawn together to spearhead Government's acceptance of the recommendations of the 2014 Statutory Review of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. These recommendations involved the passage of an entirely new Act, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 (ATIPPA, 2015) through the House of Assembly and an associated, public-sector wide, change management exercise. Michael was appointed as Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy, Planning and Performance Management in the Department of Health and Community Services in August 2015, in which role his interest in access to information and privacy continued to grow. In this capacity, among other things, he was responsible for the ongoing statutory review of the Personal Health Information Act. He also worked extensively on Government's eHealth agenda, including promoting and facilitating the development of the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) Data Warehouse and Data Lab, increasing data analytics capacity for clinical decision-making and decision support, and advancing virtual care. He was also responsible for the Department's mandate to promote health research in the Province.

To advance these objectives he served on the Boards of Directors of NLCHI and the Health Research Ethics Authority.

Michael has lectured in political science and public administration at Memorial University, the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto. He is a graduate of Memorial University, with a BA (Hons) in Political Science; has a MA in Political Studies from Queen's University; and holds an Executive Certificate in Conflict Management from the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law/Stitt Feld Handy Group. He is a father of two, an avid cyclist and skier when conditions allow and an avid swimmer even when they don't.

Dr. Steven Hoffman

Director, Global Strategy Lab, Scientific Director, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Dr. Steven J. Hoffman is the Dahdaleh Distinguished Chair in Global Governance & Legal Epidemiology and a Professor of Global Health, Law, and Political Science at York University, the Director of the Global Strategy Lab, the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance, and the Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Population & Public Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He holds a courtesy appointment as a Professor of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact (Part-Time) at McMaster University. He is an international lawyer licensed in both Ontario and New York who specializes in global health law, global governance and institutional design. His research leverages various methodological approaches to craft global strategies that better address transnational health threats and social inequalities. Past studies have focused on access to medicines, antimicrobial resistance, health misinformation, pandemics and tobacco control.

Steven previously worked as a Project Manager for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and as a Fellow in the Executive Office of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York City, where he offered strategic and technical input on a range of global health issues. He also previously worked for a Toronto law firm specializing in cross-border intellectual property litigation, health product regulation, and government relations. Steven advised the World Health Organization on development of a global strategy for health systems research and was lead author on the background paper that provided the strategy's conceptual underpinnings. For three years he convened an academic advisory committee on science reporting for Canada's only national weekly current affairs magazine. He was previously an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa (2014-2017), Adjunct Professor of Global Health & Population at Harvard University (2015-2020) and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford (2018-2019).

Steven holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences from McMaster University, an MA in Political Science and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto, a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University, and a doctorate in law from Sciences Po Paris.

Dr. Bartha Maria Knoppers

Professor and Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy, Faculty of Medicine, Human Genetics, McGill University

PhD (Comparative Medical Law), is a Full Professor, Canada Research Chair in Law and Medicine and Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. Since 2005, she has led the Policy Committee of the Canadian Stem Cell Network and chaired the Ethics Working Party of the International Stem Cell Forum (2005-2015). Additionally, she was the founder of the Public Population Project in Genomics (P3G) and CARTaGENE Quebec's population biobank. She was the Chair of the Ethics and Governance Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (2009-2017), is currently Chair of the Ethics Advisory Panel of WADA (2015- ), and was the Co-Chair of the Regulatory and Ethics Workstream of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) (2013-2019). In 2015-2016, she was a member of the Drafting Group for the Recommendation of the OECD Council on Health Data Governance and gave the Galton Lecture in November 2017. She holds four Doctorates Honoris Causa and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Hastings Center (bioethics), the Canadian Academy Health Sciences (CAHS), and the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). She is also an Officer of the Order of Canada and of Quebec, and was awarded the 2019 Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research, the Till and McCulloch Award for science policy (2020) and served on the International Commission on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome Editing. Currently, she serves on Canada's Vaccine Task Force, CanCOGen's HostSeq project and the COVID Cloud (DNAstack).

Ms. Alies Maybee

Head, Patient Advisors Network

Collaborates as a patient partner in many aspects of healthcare including partnering on research projects and areas of service delivery and policy. Professionally, Alies has been a product manager designing large CRM systems servicing the financial services sector and has helped design an EMR clinical management system. She is a co-chair of the Toronto Central LHIN Citizens Council's Digital Health Working Group and is on the Toronto Digital Health Advisory Committee. She is on the Toronto Region Digital/Virtual Care Task Force and co-chairs the digital working group for her local Ontario Health Team. Alies is a co-founder of the Patient Advisors Network (PAN), a national community of practice for patient and family advisors/partners. She leads PAN's Innovation Team for advisors interested in technology and innovation projects many of whom collaborate on digital health evaluation projects for the Centre for Digital Health Evaluation at Women's College Hospital. Alies led the PAN team of patient partners authoring a report: Person Generated Health Data Principles through the Patients' and Caregivers' Lens.

Dr. Muhammad Mamdani

Vice President, Data Science and Advanced Analytics, Unity Health Toronto, Odette Chair in Advanced Analytics, Faculty Affiliate – Vector Institute, Director - University of Toronto Temerty Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research and Education in Medicine, University of Toronto

PharmD, MA, MPH: Dr. Mamdani is Vice President of Data Science and Advanced Analytics at Unity Health Toronto and Director of the University of Toronto Temerty Faculty of Medicine Centre for Artificial Intelligence Education and Research in Medicine (T-CAIREM). Dr. Mamdani's team bridges advanced analytics including machine learning with clinical and management decision making to improve patient outcomes and hospital efficiency. Dr. Mamdani is also Professor in the Department of Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine, the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation of the Dalla Lana Faculty of Public Health. He is also adjunct Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and a Faculty Affiliate of the Vector Institute, which is a leading institution for artificial intelligence research in Canada.

Further, Dr. Mamdani is a member of the Human Drug Advisory Panel of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB). Previously, Dr. Mamdani founded the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN), which is among the world's most impactful collaborations between researchers and drug policy decision-makers. He was also the Founding Director of the Li Ka Shing Centre for Healthcare Analytics Research and Training (LKS-CHART) of Unity Health Toronto and the Founding Director of the Applied Health Research Centre (AHRC) of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of Unity Health Toronto, which is Toronto's leading academic research organization focused on the design and implementation of multicentre clinical research initiatives. In 2010, Dr. Mamdani was named among Canada's Top 40 under 40. Prior to joining the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and Unity Health Toronto, Dr. Mamdani was a Director of Outcomes Research at Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals in New York.

Dr. Mamdani's research interests include pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoeconomics, drug policy, and the application of advanced analytics approaches to clinical problems and health policy decision-making. He has published over 500 research studies in peer-reviewed medical journals, including leading journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the British Medical Journal, and Annals of Internal Medicine. His research has been cited over 35,000 times and has an h-index of over 90. Dr. Mamdani obtained a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in 1995 and subsequently completed a fellowship in pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research at the Detroit Medical Center in 1997. During his fellowship, Dr. Mamdani obtained a Master of Arts degree in Economics from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan with a concentration in econometric theory. He then completed a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University in 1998 with a concentration in quantitative methods, focusing on biostatistics and epidemiological principles.

Dr. Kim McGrail

Head, Health Data Research Network-Canada

Kimberlyn McGrail is a Professor in the UBC School of Population and Public Health and Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Director of Research for UBC Health, and Scientific Director of Population Data BC and Health Data Research Network Canada. Her research interests are quantitative policy evaluation and all aspects of population data science. Kim is Deputy Editor of the International Journal of Population Data Science, the 2009-10 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Associate in Health Care Policy and Practice, 2016 recipient of the Cortlandt JG Mackenzie Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and 2017 recipient of a UBC award for Excellence in Clinical or Applied Research. She is currently a member of the Global Partnership for AI, which includes members from 15 countries who are nominated by their national government. Kim is part of both the Data Governance and the Pandemic Response working groups as part of this partnership. She holds a PhD in Health Care and Epidemiology from the University of British Columbia, and a Master's in Public Health from the University of Michigan.

Mr. Jeff Nesbitt

CEO and Registrar, Canadian College of Health Information Management/Canadian Health Information Management Association

Jeff Nesbitt is the CEO and registrar of the Canadian College of Health Information Management and CHIMA, Canada's health information management association. Nesbitt has extensive experience in the health care, technology and not-for-profit sectors, where he has led transformative public-private partnerships to improve the economic wellbeing and health of Canadians. His current role serves to open the minds of people to the critical roles that health data and certified health information professionals play in driving policy, funding, and the care that Canadians receive.

His previous leadership roles include chair of the board of directors for the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network, VP at Agfa HealthCare, and other senior executive roles in the innovation and health promotion industries. Nesbitt holds a Master of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, post-graduate certificate in innovation from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, bachelor's degree in economics and computer science from the University of Waterloo, and community leadership experience through the Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference.

Dr. Cory Neudorf

Professor, Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Neudorf is the Medical Director of Health Surveillance and Reporting with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and Professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan. He received his medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan, a Master of Health Science degree (Community Health and Epidemiology) from University of Toronto, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada with Certification in the specialty of Public Health & Preventive Medicine.  He has held various leadership roles in Public Health at the national level in Canada, including:

  • Chair of the Canadian Population Health Initiative Council,
  • President of the Canadian Public Health Association and
  • President of the Public Health Physicians of Canada.

He is currently serving on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Public Health and the Strategic Analytic Advisory Committee of the Canadian Institutes for Health Information. He is President of the Urban Public Health Network of Canada and is a liaison member with the Regions for Health Network (WHO Europe).

His research interests include intervention research to improve health equity; health status indicators and surveys; and integrating population health into health system performance improvement and strategic planning.

Glynda Rees

President, Canadian Nursing Informatics Association

Glynda Rees teaches at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Vancouver, British Columbia in the Bachelor of Science program. She is the current President of the Canadian Nursing Informatics Association.

Glynda‘s interests include the integration of health informatics in undergraduate education, open accessible education, and the impact of educational technologies on nursing students’ clinical judgment and decision making at the point of care to improve patient safety and quality of care.

Glynda co-authored the Open Educational Resources Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care and Health Case Studies, and the Digital Health Nursing Informatics E-Resource with the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing. Glynda is currently co-leading a provincial initiative to develop an Interprofessional Educational Electronic Health Record for teaching and learning in healthcare.  Glynda is also leading the development of an advanced certificate in Digital Health at BCIT.

Dr. Janet Smylie

Director, Living Well House

Dr. Smylie is the Director of the Well Living House Action Research Centre for Indigenous Infant, Child, and Family Health and Wellbeing, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Advancing Generative Health Services for Indigenous Populations in Canada, and Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Dr. Smylie's research focuses on addressing Indigenous health inequities in partnership with Indigenous communities. She is particularly focused on ensuring all First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples are counted into health policy and planning wherever they live in ways that make sense to them; addressing anti-Indigenous racism in health services; and advancing community-rooted innovations in health services for Indigenous populations. She maintains a part-time clinical practice at Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto and has practiced and taught family medicine in a variety of Indigenous communities both urban and rural.    A Métis woman, Dr. Smylie acknowledges her family, traditional teachers, and ceremonial lodge. 

Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy

Vice President of Research and Innovation, Nova Scotia Health Authority

Vice-President, Research, Innovation and Discovery & Chief Nurse Executiveat the Nova Scotia Health Authority, Halifax, Nova Scotia and the Director of the WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre on Health Workforce Planning and Research at Dalhousie University. Gail is an internationally recognized expert in population needs-based approaches to health systems and work force planning, evaluation and research. As NSHA's Vice President Research Innovation and Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive, she has provided visionary leadership for research and innovation in NS's healthcare system. Gail leads and co-leads national and international research teams consisting of clinicians, health care leaders, senior policy-makers, and researchers from government, universities and health care organizations and has been an Expert Advisor on health workforce to the World Health Organization and PanAmerican Health Organization since 2005.Gail'swork has been widely published and she has authored many policy documents and commissioned reports. Her research has garnered extensive interest from governments and other stakeholders because of its potential to significantly impact health policy in Canada and abroad.

Dr. Graham Tipples

Medical-Scientific Director, Alberta Public Laboratories

Education and Certification: PhD in Medical Microbiology, FCCM and D(ABMM) Clinical Microbiology certification)
Current position: Medical-Scientific Director, Public Health, Alberta Precision Laboratories (ProvLab)
Specialization Area(s): Public health microbiology diagnostics, research and surveillance Laboratory Quality Systems
Specific interests in molecular epidemiology

Core responsibilities and tasks:

  • Overall responsibility for all aspects of the Provincial Public Health Laboratory and the public health response for Alberta Precision Laboratories.
  • Ensure timely laboratory response to emerging diseases (e.g.COVID-19,suspect Ebolacases, Zika virus, MERS-coronavirus).
  • Laboratory support for Alberta Health Services Medical Officers of Health and the Alberta Health Chief Medical Officer of Health–early detection of emerging diseases, notifiable disease diagnostics and surveillance.

Past experience:

  • 16 years with the Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory(NML)including Executive Director, Director of Surveillance and Reference Services and Chief of the Viral Exanthemata Laboratory.
  • Involved in the NML response to SARS and pandemic influenza among other emergingpublic health issues.
  • Former President of the Canadian Association of Clinical Microbiology and InfectiousDiseases (CACMID)
  • Past provincial co-chair of theCanadian Public Health Laboratory Network (CPHLN)
  • Participated on the WHO measles-rubella global laboratory network including WHOtemporary advisor assignments for lab inspections and training courses.
Dr. Michael Wolfson

Former Assistant Chief Statistician of Statistics Canada

Dr. Michael C. Wolfson, B.Sc., (Toronto - mathematics, computer science and economics 1971), Ph.D. (Cambridge – Economics 1977) retired as Assistant Chief Statistician, Analysis and Development, at Statistics Canada in 2009.  He was awarded a Canada Research Chair in Population Health Modeling in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa in 2010.
Dr. Wolfson's areas of expertise include program review and evaluation, tax/transfer policy, pension policy, income distribution, design of health information systems, microsimulation modeling of socio-economic policy and health dynamics, and analysis of the determinants of health.

He held positions in the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Department of Finance, the Privy Council Office, the House of Commons, and the Deputy Prime Minister's Office prior to joining Statistics Canada.  He was also a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Program in Population Health (1988-2003).

His numerous articles have addressed topics such as assessing the inter-generational equity of Canada's pension and health care systems, the design of an appropriate system of health statistics, modeling disease determinants and treatments, income  inequality and polarization trends, and income and income inequality as determinants of population health.

Dr. Wolfson is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.

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