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Dec 10

Canadian Surgical Waitlists and COVID-19: Lessons for the Second Wave

Webinar with Dr. Mohit Bhandari, Dr. Ann Collins, Dr. Ronald Denis, Dr. James Kinross and Dr. Kimberley Simmonds

Sponsored by:

As Canada enters the second wave of COVID-19, healthcare providers are still struggling to tackle the staggering backlog of deferred procedures from the spring. Join the C.D. Howe Institute on December 10 for a discussion on how provincial healthcare systems can prepare for continuing surgical procedures during subsequent waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the federal government can play a supporting role.

C.D. Howe Institute events and webinars are open to members and their guests.

To register for the event, please contact Jacquelin Wong at jwong@cdhowe.org


Dr. Mohit Bhandari, Professor and Associate Chair of Research in the Department of Surgery, McMaster University; President, Ontario Orthopedic Association

Dr. Bhandari currently serves as Professor and University Scholar at McMaster University. He is the Associate Chair of Research in the Department of Surgery and holds a Senior Tier Canada Research Chair. He received his Masters Degree in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics from McMaster University and his PhD Degree from Goteborg University (Sweden). He  is recognized a global leader in  evidence-based surgery and orthopaedic research receiving the fields highest awards including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Medal, the Edouard Samson Award, and  the Kappa Delta Award. A top cited orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Bhandari has published over 1000 papers, secured over 60 millions dollars in research funding, and has lead edited several of his field’s major research textbooks, including  “Evidence-Based Medicine (Wiley Publishers). Dr. Bhandari’s commitment to evidence-based practice, high quality globally relevant research and translation of evidence to patient care has garnered him recent induction into the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, the Canadian Orthopaedic Association’s Award of Merit, and McMaster University’s Distinguished Alumni Award. 


Dr. Ann Collins, President, Canadian Medical Association

For three decades, Dr. Ann Collins ran a full-time family practice in Fredericton, New Brunswick, which she started after serving three years with the Canadian Armed Forces in Kingston, Ontario. In addition to providing office and hospital care, she also provided nursing home care for over 20 years and was a family medicine residency teacher at Dalhousie University from 1998–2019. Dr. Collins graduated from Dalhousie University in 1985.

Dr. Collins has served as president of the New Brunswick Medical Society (NBMS) and spent five years as chair of the NBMS Board of Directors. She has led two NBMS governance reviews and served on the 2008 CMA Governance Review Committee Task Force. Prior to taking on the role of CMA president, she spent seven years serving as the New Brunswick representative on the CMA Board of Directors.

Her community involvement has been highlighted by a six-year term (two years as chair) on the board of governors of St. Thomas University, a leading liberal arts school in Fredericton.


Dr. Ronald Denis, Surgeon and Head of the Department of Surgery, CIUSSS du Nord de l'Île de Montréal; Director, Trauma Program, Associate Clinical Professor, University of Montreal

A graduate of the University of Montreal in general surgery, Dr. Ronald Denis completed his specialization in traumatology in Detroit in the United States in 1983. In addition to practicing the profession of general surgeon for almost 30 years, he has dedicated himself since the beginning of his career in the development of traumatology at the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur in Montreal, where he participated in the creation of the first trauma unit in Quebec. Throughout his professional development, Dr. Denis has introduced innovative method within the establishment and enhance the global offer in Quebec in traumatology and surgery, in partnership with the Quebec network. Highlight the main positions he held within the establishment:

  • 1986–1993 Head of Trauma Unit
  • 1994–1997 Medical coordinator in the operating room
  • 1989–1997 Head of the general surgery department
  • 1990–1997 Head of the General Surgery Unit
  • 1997-2006 Head of the Trauma Program
  • 1997-2015 Head of the HSCM Surgery Department
  • 2015 to date Head of the CIUSSS NIM Surgery Department
  • 2003 to date Head of robotic surgery
  • 2006 to date Director of the supra-regional tertiary trauma program

Over the years, Dr. Denis has also held other administrative responsibilities in several sporting events. It should be noted that the medical teams led by Dr. Denis during the Canadian Grand Prix and the Nascar race have become a benchmark not only in intervention but also in injury prevention.

Dr Denis is also very active within the next generation of universities. Since 1990, he has also been an associate clinical professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Montreal. As head of the Department of Surgery at the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, he also supervises a team of 150 surgeons.

To date, Dr Denis has presented over 100 scientific papers at regional, national and international congresses and participated in the writing of nearly 70 books, brochures and scientific articles.


Dr. James Kinross, Founder, PanSurg Collaborative; Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, St. Mary's Hospital London; Clinical Senior Lecturer in Colorectal Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Imperial College London

Dr. James Kinross is a consultant colorectal surgeon, at St. Mary's Hospital London. His clinical interests are in minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgery for the treatment of colorectal cancer. He also has an interest in surgical nutrition and modulation of the gut microbiota by pro and prebiotics for improved operative outcomes. He was trained in Northwest London, and he was an NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Surgery and an Ethicon Laparoscopic Fellow in Colorectal Surgery. He was awarded a Royal College of Surgeons of England training fellowship during his PhD and he was funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences as an early stage lecturer. He is a visiting Professor at the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland. He is currently funded by Bowel and Cancer research and the Imperial BRC. You can follow him on Twitter at @bowelsurgeon. 

He performs translational research into computational and systems biology in surgery. Specifically, he is involved in clinical trials using intra-operative mass spectrometry (known as Real-time Electrospray Ionisation Mass Spectrometry or REIMS) for improving precision in the surgical treatment of colorectal cancer. This technology is also known as the iknife, and he is working on both surgical and endoscopic applications. Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) is complimentary to REIMS and provides novel insights into tumour biology and tumour phenotypes. Dr. Kinross's research is establishing if metabonomic approaches such as these can be used for stratifying the treatment of both early and advanced cancers. 

Dr. Kinross also studies the role of the gut microbiome in the aetiology of colon cancer, Crohn's disease and obesity. This is because intestinal inflammation is a common pathway across all conditions. He is performing clinical research at Imperial College London and at the Royal Marsden Hospital. The aim is to develop novel biomarkers for the early detection of bowel cancer, and to develop novel therapies for its treatment based on a deeper understanding of how the microbiota that reside in the gut influence tumour biology and the response of cancer to treatment. As part of this I collaborate internationally with researchers in the USA and across Europe.

Finally, he has a separate interest in the educational application of virtual worlds and gaming technologies for surgical and medical education. He works as part of a team that is building next generation, immersive simulators for use in major incidents and trauma training.


Dr. Kimberley Simmonds, Executive Director, Health System Planning & Quality Branch, Alberta Ministry of Health; Chief of Analytics, Alberta COVID Response

Dr. Simmonds has a PhD in hospital epidemiology. She has worked in healthcare in a variety of settings and roles. Currently, she is heavily involved in the Alberta Surgical Initiative in Alberta. Kim is passionate about evidence informed policy. Kim is an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary.


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