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Oct 26

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

Webinar with James Brodie, Dr. Chris Simpson and Altaf Stationwala - Hosted by Rosalie Wyonch

Sponsored by:

When the COVID-19 virus started spreading across Canada, hospitals across the country delayed procedures to reduce risk and reserve critical resources for the pandemic. Months later healthcare systems are now struggling to tackle a staggering backlog of deferred procedures and patients are suffering from the delays. Join the C.D. Howe Institute for a webinar series on lessons learned from the first wave of COVID-19 and ways of increasing surgical capacity to ensure Canadians have access to the care they need in the event of subsequent waves of COVID-19.

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

To register for the event, please contact Tammy Trepanier at ttrepanier@cdhowe.org.​

James Brodie, General Manager, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies of Canada

James Brodie is an executive leader in the Canadian healthcare industry. For nearly 25 years, James has held senior roles across the Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical divisions of Johnson & Johnson.

Currently, James is General Manager of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (JJMDC) in Canada. In Canadian healthcare and across the world, JJMDC is unparalleled in its breadth, depth and reach across surgery, orthopaedics and interventional solutions.

In his role, James oversees setting and delivering the strategic priorities and profitability for the five JJMDC businesses within Canada including Ethicon, DePuy Synthes, Biosense Webster, Cerenovus, and Mentor. James is a member of the JJMDC North American Leadership Team and is Chair of the JJMDC Canada Leadership Team.  Working in partnership with the Board of Directors of Medtech Canada, James plays an active role leading strategic committees within the Canadian industry association.

Previously, James was Vice President, Marketing, Ethicon and DePuy Synthes Canada. He played a critical role in the turnaround of the DePuy Synthes business by establishing a more efficient organizational structure and optimizing the capital deployment process. During this time, James was also responsible for leading the Ethicon team to consistent above-market growth and building strong collaboration between the Ethicon and DePuy Synthes Sales and Marketing teams. 

For 20 years before joining Medical Devices, James held a wide range of senior positions at Janssen Canada. His last role in Pharmaceuticals was Business Unit Director for the Specialized Therapeutics Business Unit. In this role, James was responsible for leading both sales and marketing for the Virology and Oncology portfolios, contributing to strong growth in Oncology as a key disease area stronghold for Johnson & Johnson.

James has an exceptional track record of strategic performance and a breadth of experience in Sales and Marketing, while contributing to and leading key organizational priorities in the areas of innovation, employee development and customer engagement.

James has a Bachelor of Kinesiology and an MBA in Health Services Management from McMaster University.


Dr. Chris Simpson, Chair, Surgical and Procedural Planning Committee, Government of Ontario; Vice-dean, School of Medicine, Queen’s University

Chris Simpson was born in Moncton in 1967 and raised in Nackawic, a small pulp mill town of 1,000 people in western New Brunswick.  Torn between pursuing a career in music or medicine, he obtained a BSc at the University of New Brunswick while playing saxophone with The Thomists, a 20-piece big swing band based in Fredericton and well-known across the Atlantic provinces. 

He went on to medical school at Dalhousie University in Halifax and obtained his MD in 1992.  He subsequently completed internal medicine and cardiology training at Queen’s University in Kingston and then a Heart and Stroke Foundation Clinical and Research Fellowship in Cardiac Electrophysiology at the University of Western Ontario, under the supervision of Dr. George Klein.

After returning to Kingston in 1999, he founded the Heart Rhythm Program at Kingston General Hospital, establishing catheter ablation and implantable defibrillator programs as well as the inherited heart rhythm disease clinic. From 2006-2016 he served as Professor and Head of Cardiology at Queen’s University, as well as Medical Director of the Cardiac Programs at Kingston General Hospital/Hotel Dieu Hospital.  Currently, he is Vice-Dean (Clinical) of the Queen’s University Faculty of Health Sciences and Medical Director of the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO). He is also an Affiliate Scientist with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES-Queen’s) and a member of the Queen’s School of Policy Studies Health Policy Council.

Dr. Simpson’s primary non-clinical professional interest is health policy – particularly access to care, seniors’ care, wait times and medical fitness to drive.  He served as the chair of the Wait Time Alliance (WTA) – a federation of 17 medical specialty societies and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) – and is a past chair of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society’s (CCS) Standing Committee on Health Policy and Advocacy.  He has served on the Cardiac Care Network of Ontario (CorHealth) Board of Directors, is a past member of the CCS executive and a former governor of the American College of Cardiology.  He served as the Canadian representative at the World Medical Association. He currently serves as chair of Ontario Health’s Quality Standards Committee.  In 2020, he was appointed Clinical Science Lead of the Ontario Health COVID-19 Oversight Table, where he has led the development of clinical guidance on personal protective equipment, assessment centres, and health system restart and maintenance.

He served as the first president of the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society – the national association of heart rhythm specialists and allied health professionals.  Over the years he has served on numerous editorial boards and advisory committees, and has chaired or been a member of several national consensus conferences and guidelines statements, including the CCS Consensus Conference on Medical Fitness to Drive and Fly, of which he was co-chair.  He is a co-editor of the CMA Driver’s Guide. 

He served as the 2014-2015 President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), during which he championed seniors’ care and helped to guide the profession on the issues of medical aid in dying (MAID) and medical marijuana.  In 2015, Dr. Simpson was elected to fellowship in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and in 2020 began his term as the Academy’s president. 

An active clinician, educator and researcher, Dr. Simpson has authored or co-authored over 350 peer reviewed papers and abstracts and has won numerous teaching awards.  His clinical and research interests include access to care and medical wait times, medical fitness to drive, atrial fibrillation, sudden death in the young, catheter ablation and cardiac resynchronization therapy. 

Outside medicine, Dr. Simpson is a proud supporter of University Hospitals Kingston Foundation and Queen’s Advancement. He has served as Chair of the Kingston Blue Marlins Swim Team Board of Directors and as a director on the Board of Cantabile Choirs of Kingston.  The proud father of three daughters and a son, he immensely enjoys watching and cheering their academic, musical and athletic pursuits.


Altaf Stationwala, President and Chief Executive Officer, MacKenzie Health; Chair of the Board, Ontario Hospital Association

Altaf Stationwala was appointed President and CEO of Mackenzie Health in 2010. Under his leadership, Mackenzie Health received Accreditation with Exemplary Standing consecutively in 2013 and 2017 – the highest rating a Canadian healthcare provider can achieve – and numerous awards for its commitment to safety and quality patient care, as well as approval to build the organization’s second hospital – Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital scheduled to open in early 2021. In June 2015, Altaf established the Mackenzie Innovation Institute, which includes the first-in-Canada Innovation Unit initiative, a unique integration of advanced technology that transforms the delivery of care. Prior to joining Mackenzie Health, Altaf held the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer at Mount Sinai Hospital, and previous to that he was Site Executive - Brampton Civic Hospital and Vice President, Patient Services at the William Osler Health Centre.

Altaf was presented with the Canadian College of Health Service Executives Canada's Outstanding Young Health Executive of the Year Award in 2007 for his demonstrated leadership in improving the effectiveness and sustainability of the country's health system. He has a diverse educational background with undergraduate degrees in Economics, Geography and Business Administration, as well as a Master’s in Health Administration. Altaf is adjunct faculty at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME), Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and a surveyor with Accreditation Canada. Altaf is the past Chair of the Ontario Hospital Association.

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