Virtual Care Summit & AGM


Notices & Advisories

Upcoming Events


Virtual Care Summit & 2019 AGM

On May 31st and June 1st, 2019, the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association held a Virtual Care Summit in conjunction with the 2019 NLMA AGM to explore how virtual care technologies are transforming the landscape of health care. During the Summit, the NLMA released its Virtual Care Strategy. 


Virtual Care Strategy




Event Program




Virtual Care Summit

Attendees will hear from leading e-heath experts and innovators about the current state of virtual care, and how emerging technologies have the potential to solve many of our challenges in delivering health care in this province. National and local speakers will provide a broad overview of the challenges and benefits of using technology-driven care, including how it can improve patient access, health outcomes, and provider satisfaction. The NLMA will also be unveiling its Virtual Care Strategy during the Summit.


The Summit is open to all NLMA members and invited guests only. Attendees must pre-register for the Summit. There is no cost to attend and lunch and nutrition breaks will be provided.


The deadline to register for the Virtual Care Summit is 5 p.m. Friday, May 24, 2019. Please register by clicking here.


2019 AGM

The AGM will be held on June 1 at 3:30 p.m. at the St. John’s Convention Centre immediately following the Virtual Care Summit. The President’s Dinner will be held at the Rooms in St. John’s. All NLMA members are invited to attend the AGM to debate resolutions and help the Association set policy that will shape the future direction for the NLMA. The Business meeting will include an address from the NLMA President and the stewardship report from the Executive Director.


While registration is not required for the AGM Business Session, we kindly ask delegates planning to attend to register here.


President’s Dinner

Following the AGM Business Session, we will hold our annual President’s Dinner at the Rooms to install incoming NLMA President Dr. Charlene Fitzgerald. The dinner will also feature a keynote address from CMA President-Elect Dr. Sandy Buchman and presentations of the NLMA and CMA Honourary Life Awards. This year, the NLMA is honouring Dr. Grenfell Bert Adams, Dr. Faith Stratton and Dr. Alan Hoi-Lun Kwan. CMA Honourary Life Awards will be bestowed to Dr. Donald Andrew Tennent and Dr. Randolph Chiu-Lun Tsang.


To facilitate the ordering of food, you must pre-register for the President’s Dinner. Tickets to the President’s Dinner will not be sold at the door. The deadline to purchase tickets for the President’s Dinner is 5 p.m. Friday, May 24, 2019. Attendees can register for the President’s Dinner here.


President’s Dinner no-shows will be billed unless cancellation notice is received by 5 p.m. May 30. Registration is not required to attend the AGM Business session.


EMR User Session Meeting

The EMR User Session Meeting will take place from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Friday, May 31, ahead of the Virtual Care Summit Ketnote Address. To register for the EMR session on May 31, email


AGM Webcast

This year’s AGM will be available to members via webcast. Please register to attend virtually by clicking the registration link below. Prior to the AGM you will be emailed a link to view the webcast. Please note, you must attend the AGM in person to vote on or speak to resolutions. The Virtual Care Summit will not be webcast.





**For attendees coming from out of town, the NLMA has blocked off a group of rooms at both the JAG hotel ($199/night) and the Alt Hotel ($99 May 31, $159 June 1). To book the JAG, call (709) 738-1524. To book the Alt, click here:




Presenters & Panelists


Friday, May 31


Keynote Address: Virtually Health Care – Global Trends and Predictions for the Future of Telehealth and Virtual Care


Seamus Blackmore



Seamus Blackmore has been developing technology for 25 years. He received a bachelor of computer engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland and currently holds the position of chief architect of the product and solutions group at Deloitte. He is responsible for providing technology designs and long-term strategy for many industries, while specializing in digital health. He is a leader in Deloitte’s digital health practice and is product owner of Deloitte’s global digital health offering - Health Connect. Seamus’ team delivers transformative projects globally in virtual health, telemedicine, long-term care, community care, home care, and remote device monitoring. His most recent project has him designing the solution for Deloitte’s US Military Health System’s Virtual Care pursuit, including remote care in the field of war.


Before joining Deloitte he was chief technology officer of a telemedicine company where he developed a clinical decision support system (CDSS), a disease management platform and population health system. During that time he ran the technical operations for telehealth projects all over North and South America. He has worked on projects across the spectrum of virtual health provincially, nationally and globally including: CHF, COPD, triage, home care, community care, long-term care, cancer care, mental health, and remote device monitoring. In Canada, he has provided virtual health recommendations and strategy for projects in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC. He currently leads largescale digital health projects in New Zealand and Israel.


Saturday, June 1


Virtual Care in Newfoundland


Dr. Gabe Woollam: Labrador Virtual Care Experience




Dr. Woollam is a practising physician at the Labrador Health Centre in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. He has served as chief of medical staff for the Labrador Health Centre since 2010. Since joining Labrador-Grenfell Health in 2008, Dr. Woollam has also had extensive involvement in training medical students through the Northern Family Medicine (NORFAM) program in association with the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University. Dr. Woollam is a clinical assistant professor in family medicine at Memorial University. He is a recipient of several awards, including the Award of Excellence from the College of Family Physicians of Canada.



Dr. Kris  Luscombe: Office to Home Demonstration Project



Dr. Luscombe has been the staff psychiatrist at Central Health in Grand Falls-Windsor since August 2004 and regional chief of psychiatry since 2015.  His work includes acute psychiatric inpatient care, consultation liaison psychiatry, emergency psychiatry, child andadolescent psychiatry, and general outpatient psychiatry.


Dr. Luscombe has been an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Rural Medical Education Network of Memorial University since 2009. There he has a special interest in collaborative mental health care relating to integrating clinical care systems across disciplines, including enhancement of collaboration and communication between family physicians and specialists. He is also the director of Killick Health Services (2008 to present), offering telepsychiatry services on provincial telehealth network from a private clinic.



Dr. Jackie Elliott: Virtual Care - We are Ready



Dr. Elliot is a family doctor working and living in Port Blandford. She graduated from MUN medical school in 2005 and completed her residency in family medicine at MUN in 2007. She is active in teaching medical learners at all stages and is a former president of the Newfoundland and Labrador College of Family Physicians. Dr. Elliott is part of the team that brought forward eConsult in NL.


Kimberly Ghaney: Remote Patient Monitoring Demonstration Project

Kimberly Ghaney is the program manager for the Remote Patient Monitoring Program within the Health Care Technology and Data Management of Eastern Health.



Virtual Care Enablers


Lindee David: Virtual Care is Transforming Health Globally – Why Not in Canada



Ms. Lindee David is the chief executive officer of Joule, a subsidiary of the Canadian Medical Association. She is a strategic, innovative senior health care executive with blended experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors.


Under Lindee’s leadership, Joule has become the hub of Canada’s health care innovation eco-system. Having brokered key relationships amongst system players, Joule is able to identify, curate and create digital solutions while also empowering the adoption of digital innovations that have the potential to improve access to health care for all Canadians.



Dennis Benoit: Conne River Health and Social Services – Telehealth to Virtual Care, Our Journey as a First Nations Community



Dennis Benoit was born and raised in the community of Miawpukek First Nation, Conne River, located on the south coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.  He graduated from Se’t A’newey Kina’matino’kuom in 1989 at the top of his class with honours. Dennis registered at Memorial University and completed a bachelor of science degree with a concentration in biology, an area of keen interest. Upon graduation Dennis went back to his community to work, but quickly realized he wanted to further pursue educational opportunities. 


In April 2004, Dennis graduated with a bachelor of nursing degree from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. At the time of graduation, he was awarded the Senior Award for Nursing Excellence. He was then hired to work in his community, which started him on another career path into advanced nursing practice. For two years he worked as a registered nurse, providing nursing care while consulting with local doctors in a neighbouring community.  Dennis realized while working as a nurse in his home community that, compared to the general population, there were many more health challenges. Facing these challenges, his scope of practice was critically limited. Dennis returned to university once again and in 2009 he graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner (Family all Ages stream). 


Dennis currently practises in his own First Nation Community of Conne River providing primary health care. With increased access to care, community members are seeking care earlier and chronic diseases are treated sooner. Practising in his home community has created a ripple effect leading to lasting change. Dennis has been instrumental in leading national work on projects with Western University, with regards to diabetes, and serves on various boards and committees. He serves on the Memorial University of Newfoundland Medicine Interview Committee, Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs, Public Health and Primary Health Care Committee with Health Canada, and the Mental Health Team for Conne River Health and Social Services. In addition, Dennis has served as Vice Chief and is still a Member of Council for Miawpukek First Nation, Conne River.



Gillian Sweeney: Enabling the Future of Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring in Newfoundland and Labrador



Gillian Sweeney is vice president of clinical information programs and change leadership at the NL Centre for Health Information. She leads the team responsible for provincial leadership of eHealth projects and clinical information programs, including the provincial EHR and EMR, as well those that support virtual care delivery throughout the province. She also ensures the development and formulation of an ehealth change management framework to support clinician adoption of these solutions that enable health care.


Ms. Sweeney has a clinician-based background with extensive management experience. She holds a bachelor of nursing and master's degree in business administration from Memorial University. She is currently a director on the Digital Health Canada Board of Directors and also serves as the secretary/treasurer on the Board’s Executive Committee. With more than 15 years of experience in health care and private industry, she provides expertise and leadership in the areas of electronic health record management and change management of digital health solutions.



Dr. Daniel Tardif: Virtual Care Challenges



Dr. Daniel Tardif obtained his medical degree in 1986 from the Université de Montréal. He began his career as a family physician in a rural community in Eastern Québec where he held appointments in various settings, such as hospital, emergency room, private practice, industrial health, and home support. He quickly became interested in the human aspects of organizations, which led him to complete an MBA program at the Université de Sherbrooke to develop his knowledge of human resources management and to obtain credentials as a Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) and Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE).


In early 2000, following several years in public health where he combined the duties of medical officer and advisor in occupational health and safety, he held positions as medical director and advisor in a service organization within a regional authority and at Health Canada. Throughout his career, he has provided expertise to small, medium, and large Canadian companies in the areas of public health and workplace absenteeism management. In 2015, he became associate president and chief executive officer of the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais. With more than 30 years of experience, he is a sought-after author and lecturer in the associations sector. Dr. Tardif joined the Canadian Medical Protective Association in 2019 as Director, Regional Affairs.



Virtual Care Across Canada


Payam Pakravan: Telemedicine in Ontario – Learnings and Strategic Imperatives



Over the past 15 years, Payam Pakravan has held progressively more senior roles in health system transformation initiatives in Ontario, with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, eHealth Ontario, and now at the Ontario Telemedicine Network.  As vice president of strategy and analytics at OTN, Payam oversees strategic planning, policy and partnerships, analytics and business intelligence, and government relations. In addition, he provides executive leadership for a number of priority corporate initiatives, including a provincial program to enhance access to primary care using virtual tools, and a hospital partnership program that integrates virtual care into ambulatory and ED diversion strategies. Previously, Payam held economic policy and research positions in climate change and trade, international development, and post-secondary education.


Payam holds honors and master's degrees in commerce from the University of Melbourne, and a master of economics degree from the University of Toronto.



Paul Young & Dr. Brett Belchetz: Telerounding - A First in Canada Virtual Physician Hospital In-patient Coverage Model at a Rural Canadian Hospital



Paul Young has worked in health care for the past 15 years in both public and private industry in several provinces throughout Canada. He is currently the administrator of Community Hospitals West for Health PEI and has been in this role for the last 5 years. Paul holds an MBA in innovative management from UPEI and is a certified health executive from the CCHL. He sits on a number of health care and community boards, both at the provincial and national level. Paul has always had a passion for working in health care as an advocate for system change to create a better experience for the residents of PEI through strategy and innovation. 



Dr. Brett Belchetz is a practising ER physician in Toronto. He is also the CEO and co-founder at Maple (, Canada’s first and largest national telemedicine provider connecting Canadian patients and doctors for online medical visits. He is a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and works as an on-air medical expert for CTV and Global News. Brett previously worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. He is passionate about health care policy, and writes editorial content for the National Post as well as several other Canadian newspapers.