Discover some of our presenters.
Sébastien Audette is one of the prime movers of the Health Standards Organization (HSO).
In 2016, Accreditation Canada International (ACI) reframed itself as HSO, its focus as an organization being to form world class healthcare standards and design assessment programs, applications and cutting-edge activation services. Mr. Audette is the President of Global Programs at HSO, directing the portfolio of products, services and HSO partner organizations relationships, covering over 29 nations on five continents.
Mr. Audette has over 20 years of executive experience in the healthcare domain, many in the Canadian Armed Forces (Reserve) where he served as a Medical Technician and Healthcare Administrator. He has received the Canadian Forces’ Decoration and the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal, and remains active at 1 Canadian Field Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario.
Over the course of his career, he has occupied management positions in international affairs, marketing and business development within the governments of Quebec and Canada, assisting Canadian companies to provide value added internationally.
Sébastien Audette joined Accreditation Canada (AC) in 2008 and served as CEO at Accreditation Canada International (ACI) from 2010 to 2016. Under his guidance, ACI built an inspirational healthcare vision focusing on the quality of the healthcare experience and patient safety; this period also corresponded with the launch of the accreditation program Qmentum InternationalTM. Among his accomplishments during his time at ACI, we must mention the first worldwide standard for the reference network on rare and complex diseases, now used by the European Commission and 28 member states.
Mr. Audette is a former president of the Canada Dance Festival. He has volunteered at the Alzheimer Society of Montreal, and St John Ambulance. Sébastien still makes time to volunteer when he is not running after his three children.
He devotes his energies to the development of HSO, working to mobilise the power and potential of those who share his passion for the goal of quality healthcare services for all.
Charles Boelen is an international consultant on health care systems and health care staff. A graduate of the Université de Liège, Université de Montréal, Harvard University, Stanford University and the Université de Paris, Dr. Boelen is a medical doctor specialized in public health, epidemiology, medical pedagogy and health systems management.
He served on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization for 30 years, where he took on some major responsibilities in developing strategies on the health care workforce, in addition to collaborating with a number of government departments, university faculties, professional associations and international organizations around the world.
One of his internationally recognized projects was the WHO strategy, Towards Unity for Health, which aims to establish a partnership between policy makers, health managers, health care professionals, academic institutions and civil society in order to improve the relevance and performance of the health care system.
He also designed the “five-star doctor” model, which defines the essential skills of future doctors that all medical faculties should seek in their student recruitment, so as to meet societal expectations and the challenges facing health care systems. He also published a book entitled Consensus Mondial sur la Responsabilité Sociale des Facultés de Médecine. It was written to help medical faculties more effectively respond—in their missions of training, research and services—to the priority health needs of people and society in general and to have a greater societal impact.
In 2015, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada created the annual Charles Boelen International Social Accountability Award for faculties of medicine, recognizing him as a world leader in that regard.
Louise Bradley is the President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). A proud Newfoundlander, Ms. Bradley discovered her passion for mental health at the start of her career back in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, where she worked as a nurse. She is a graduate of Dalhousie University and Northeastern University in Boston and holds a Masters of Science with a specialization in Mental Health. She also earned a diploma in Psychiatric Nursing from Newfoundland’s Memorial University, after completing a practicum at its campus in Harlow (Essex), United Kingdom.
She has dedicated her career to improving the mental health of Canadians and is often called on to speak on matters affecting vulnerable and at-risk communities, among other things. The objective of her involvement is to reinvent the mental health system so that it focuses on the individual and recovery, which has enhanced patient care in large hospitals and popularized the concept of recovery in the judicial and correctional systems.
As President and CEO of the MHCC, Ms. Bradley piloted the development of the first Mental Health Strategy for Canada, launched the well-known initiative Opening Minds to Take the Stigma out of Mental Illness, established the world-renowned Knowledge Exchange Centre and led the development of the first National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, which has gained international recognition.
Her achievements were recognized in 2017 by the Canadian Psychological Association when it presented her with its Humanitarian Award. This award is in addition to the award she received for innovative leadership in health care from the Canadian College of Health Leaders and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Linda Cardinal is a professor at the School of Political Studies and the holder of the Research Chair in Canadian Francophonie and Public Policies at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Cardinal has a Masters in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. She also completed a Ph.D. program in Sociology at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France.
Her research is focused on comparing language regimes, as well as on language policies, French-speaking minorities in Canada and the provinces, Canadian constitutional policy, and debate on citizenship and identity in Canada and in Quebec. She has written numerous articles, reports and books on these issues. In 2015, she co-led a project called State Traditions and Language Regimes (McGill-Queen’s University Press) and another entitled Gouvernance communautaire et innovations au sein de la francophonie néobrunswickoise et ontarienne (Presses de l’Université Laval).
In 2013, Linda Cardinal was elected as a member of the Royal Society of Canada and named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes académiques in France. Lastly, in 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her research on public policy and language rights.
The Honourable René Cormier
Senator Cormier is a man of action committed to a citizen-driven approach to the development of Acadia, New Brunswick, and La francophonie. He has extensive professional experience in arts and culture.
Educated in music at the Université du Québec à Montréal and in theatre at the École internationale Jacques LeCoq, in Paris, this multidisciplinary artist has held a number of positions within Canada’s cultural ecosystem.
A renowned leader and accomplished artist, Senator Cormier has been working for nearly 40 years to ensure that arts and culture are better integrated in every aspect of Acadian and Canadian society. Among his accomplishments, he managed the États généraux des arts et de la culture dans la société acadienne au Nouveau-Brunswick within the Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du Nouveau-Brunswick. He worked closely with the health and welfare sector during this major societal project, in particular with the Mouvement Acadien des Communautés en Santé du Nouveau-Brunswick and the Société Santé et Mieux-être en français du Nouveau-Brunswick.
Over the course of his career, he has provided artistic direction for countless cultural organizations and events, including the Théâtre populaire d’Acadie, the National Arts Centre’s Zones Théâtrales biennial and the 2009 Congrès mondial acadien.
Senator Cormier has received several awards and served as president of a number of national and international organizations, including the Commission internationale du théâtre francophone, the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française and the Société Nationale de l’Acadie.
After a career spanning 34 years in a university setting, Michel Doucet retired on July 1, 2017 from his position as Full Professor in the Faculty of Law at the Université de Moncton and Director of the International Observatory on Language Rights. He was formerly Dean of the Faculty of Law at the Université de Moncton (1995–2000). He holds a degree in Political Science from the Université de Moncton and a Law degree (common law program) from the University of Ottawa, in addition to a Masters of Law from the University of Cambridge.
Outside of his academic career, during which he published a host of articles, books and legal studies, Mr. Doucet used his expertise, on many occasions, to defend the rights of minority Francophones and Acadians. He acted in the capacity of lawyer (specialized in language rights) and was a member of New Brunswick’s provincial education commission (1996–1998), the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (2002–2010), and the Agence internationale de la Francophonie (AIF), where he served as Program Director to support democratic processes and promote human rights (1992–1993) and as an expert in legal and judicial cooperation.
He was awarded the Ordre des francophones d’Amérique by the Government of Quebec (1990) and received the Citation for Citizenship from the Government of Canada (1991). In 1999, the Association des juristes francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick named him Jurist of the Year. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2008 and 2009, and the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick presented him with the A.-M.-Sormany award for his contribution to the advancement of the Acadian community.
Vincent Dumez is the founder and director of the Patient as Partner Program in the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal, co-director (with Philippe Karazivan) of the Department of Patient Collaboration and Partnership of the Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, and co-lead (with Dr. Antoine Boivin) on the Strategy for Research in Partnership with Patients and the Public, an initiative of the Unit for Support to Patient-Oriented Research in Quebec.
Mr. Dumez earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a master’s degree in Management Sciences at HEC Montréal. He was a strategic advisor for some major Quebec companies for 13 years, helping them transform their organizations.
A patient himself, with three chronic diseases over a number of decades, he is a frequent user of health care services. Mr. Dumez has been actively involved in promoting the concept of “patients as partners.” He is collaborating on a variety of projects related to patient engagement for some leading institutions, including Quebec’s Ministère de la santé et des Services Sociaux (MSSS), the Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada (IRSC), Accreditation Canada and the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement . He sits on several governance committees and task forces of these institutions.
Aitor Montes, MD, was born in Basauri (Basque Country, Spain, Europe). He is bilingual with Basque and Spanish as mother tongues. He studied medicine at the Basque Public University (UPV/EHU)and specialized in Family and Community Medicine at the Galdakao Hospital (Basque Country. He works in the Debagoiena Integrated Care Unit of Osakidetza, Basque Health Organization, as a general practicioner.
He is also a member of the OEE, non-profit organization for the promotion of a more equitable and better health care in Basque (a minority language). He is working with the Basque University in the organization of Summer Courses regarding health care and language.
He is promoting the Basque pathways from primary to hospital care, in line with patient centered care, where fostering Basque is a safety and quality issue. He presented the first clinical pathway in ICIC17th (Dublin, 2107) with the abstract `Empowering Minorities – Pathways for Basque Language Integration in a bilingual setting´.
Aitor Montes is one of the few doctors who transcripts patient´s electronic clinical records exclusively in their language of choice (Basque or Spanish). He writes opinion articles in daily newspapers, both in Basque and in Spanish.
Gwerfyl Roberts is a senior lecturer at the School of Healthcare Sciences, Bangor University, Wales, where she leads on promoting Welsh-medium provision in health research and education, and supporting organisational transformation on language awareness. Her research focusses on facilitating enhanced access to Welsh language services and supporting workforce planning and development for the bilingual healthcare context.
Gwerfyl also leads LLAIS, the language awareness methodology support hub, funded by the Welsh Government, to advise the research community across Wales on language awareness in health research; and to establish Welsh translations and linguistic validations of health outcome measures www.micym.org. She has numerous publications in the field, and collaborates with colleagues in Canada and the Basque Country on bilingualism in healthcare where she has lectured to international audiences.
Gwerfyl is an active member of the Welsh Language in Health and Social Services Partnership Board of the Welsh Government and represents the health disciplines on the Academic Board of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. She has recently been appointed to the HSO Technical Committee for Communication in Health Services to co-design a new evidence-based standard to improve the access of Canada’s two official linguistic minorities to safe, high quality health and social care services.
Stéphane Robichaud is Chief Executive Officer of the New Brunswick Health Council, an agency responsible for engaging citizens in improving health care services, as well as measuring, monitoring and reporting on the performance of the health care system.
Before joining the New Brunswick Health Council, Mr. Robichaud was Vice-President of Planning and Operations at the Beauséjour Regional Health Authority.
Mr. Robichaud has close to 20 years of experience in organizational management and in development of public policy, including economic development, tax policy and human resources development.
Since 2008, he has been working to engage citizens in improving health care services, in addition to measuring, monitoring and reporting on the performance of New Brunswick’s health care system.
At the same time, he sits on several boards of directors and recently completed two terms with the Université de Moncton as President of AlUMni (the alumni association), member of the Board of Governors and Chair of the Finance Committee.
Jean A. Roy
Sally Scott is the Director, Health Care Programs, within the Strategic Policy Branch at Health Canada. She is responsible for leading the renewal, implementation, oversight, redesign and management of key contribution programs for Health Canada, including the Official Languages Health Contribution Program, the Health Care Policy Contribution Program, and existing funding agreements with two Pan-Canadian health organizations (Canada Health Infoway and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer). Sally has over 20 years of experience in negotiating and maintaining effective partnerships, providing strategic advice on policies, programs and initiatives, and effectively mobilizing people, organizations and partners to deliver results.
Leslee J. Thompson
Leslee is the driving force behind the People Powered Health movement ignited by Accreditation Canada and the newly created Health Standards Organization (HSO). After her appointment as CEO in 2016, she led a 12-month global consultation and business design process, and now Leslee and her team are unleashing the power and potential of people around the world who share their passion for achieving quality health services for all.
Armed with 25 years of senior executive and corporate director experience that spans multiple geographies and sectors including heath care, medical technology, government and retail, Leslee is a leader who makes things happen. Her clinical roots as a Registered Nurse continue to influence her relentless pursuit of quality and safety in health care, and Leslee has become internationally recognized for her work on partnering with patients to improve outcomes.
Having successfully led many organizations and systems through tough periods of change, including the high-profile turnaround of a major teaching hospital where she was CEO, Leslee is frequently asked to speak, write, and serve on influential boards and panels. She has been Board Chair of the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, Chair of Council of Academic Hospital Ontario, Assistant Professor at Queen’s University and a member of Ontario Health Innovation Council to name a few.
Case studies and articles have been written about her leadership and Leslee has received numerous awards and honors including being named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. Today, she is an active volunteer on the Daughters for Life Foundation Board which is dedicated to the belief that if you educate a girl you can change the world.
All of this makes Leslee the right leader at the right time for HSO and AC – two organizations on the move building global health care standards and innovative assessment programs so that people in their own jurisdictions can save and improve lives.
After earning his qualifications as a surgeon at the Université de Montréal, Stanley Vollant became Quebec’s first Indigenous surgeon. He practised surgery at a variety of centres, such as the Centre hospitalier régional de Baie-Comeau, Chicoutimi’s Centre de santé et de services sociaux (CSSS) and Hôpital Montfort in Ottawa. Dr. Vollant was also involved in academic endeavours at the University of Ottawa and the Université de Montréal.
He was President of the Québec Medical Association and sat on the Canadian Medical Association’s Board of Directors. In addition, he served on the Health Council of Canada, the Health Canada Science Advisory Board, the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Rural Health, the Quebec Conseil de la santé et du bien-être and Comité d’éthique des sciences et technologies, as well as a number of health-related task forces.
Stanley Vollant has received numerous awards over the course of his career, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (2004), the Médecin de cœur et d’action award from the Association des médecins de langue française du Canada (2005), the Association prévention suicide Premières Nations et Inuits du Québec et du Labrador award (2010 and 2013), the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) and the Prestige Award from the Québec Medical Association (2013). He was also named Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec (2014), received the Hommage bénévolat-Québec award from Quebec’s Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale du Québec (2016) and the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Exceptional Merit (2017).
Host of the Rendez-vous : Véronique Soucy
Véronique Soucy has been working as a broadcaster/journalist in the National Capital’s media community for close to 20 years. This multi-skilled, bilingual communicator successfully demonstrated her additional skills as entrepreneur and organizer after accepting the job of CEO of Unique FM 94.5 in 2012.
Born in Eastern Ontario, she is proud to be actively involved in the Franco-Ontarian community. Véronique attended École secondaire publique De La Salle before earning a BA in Communications at the University of Ottawa.
She was a radio host at Rock Détente and Radio ÉNERGIE, and later became a cultural reporter at Radio-Canada for both radio and TV. Véronique has been host at countless galas, festivals and forums, such as the Brain Injury Association of the Ottawa Valley’s gala, the Prix Bernard-Grandmaître (awards ceremony) and the Festival Franco-Ontarien.
She is a mother of two who believes strongly in the values of family and the virtues of teamwork. Meeting challenges and achieving her goals remain the key elements to her motivation.