Thursday, October 24, 0830 – 1000

Opening Keynote: Greg’s Wings Project: Falling through the Cracks – Greg’s Story

Falling Through the Cracks: Greg’s Story is a short film on Greg Price’s journey through the healthcare system. The film gives a glimpse of who Greg was and focuses on the events of his healthcare journey that ended in his unexpected and tragic death.   In spite of the sadness of Greg’s Story, the message of the film is intended to inspire positive change and improvement in the healthcare system. We believe the film will resonate with the audience and create a platform for further dialogue. We hope people will feel empowered and challenge the status quo of the current healthcare system so we all end up with better care and outcomes. Click here to watch the movie trailer!

Teri Price, Executive Director, Greg’s Wings Projects

Teri Price is the Executive Director of Greg’s Wings Projects, a not-for-profit organization created to honour Greg Price. Greg was Teri’s brother and the impact of Greg’s journey combined with her own experience in the healthcare system has led to Teri’s commitment, along with her family, to drive improvements in care through the development of the website, ongoing involvement with IMAGINE Citizens Collaborating for Health, and as a member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada. The first project developed by Greg’s Wings is the Falling Through the Cracks: Greg’s Story film. Teri has her Masters in Disaster and Emergency Management and worked on Disaster Management Programs in Quito, Ecuador and Toronto before returning to her Alberta roots to do emergency response planning in the Oil and Gas industry.

Dave Price, Greg’s Wings Projects

David Price was born and raised as part of a mixed farming family in the area near Acme, Alberta.  He is one of the founders of what has now grown into the Sunterra Group of Companies.  He has been active as a member of a number of different local, provincial and national organizations, primarily associated with agriculture and the production and processing of food, and policies associated with trade and economics in this sector.  He also has been a member of the Board of Governors of the Olds College, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Golden Hills School Division.  He says though, that his family is most important, and they miss Greg, who died prematurely as the result of multiple failures and gaps in Alberta’s medical treatment system.

Dave and his family are working to encourage everyone to more prepared for partnering in care and to support work improvements at all levels.  They share their thoughts and experiences on the healthcare system through their Health Arrows website and more recently established a not-for-profit organization Greg’s Wings Projects. The first two projects developed by Greg’s Wings are the Falling Through the Cracks film and an online community called the Co-Pilot Collective that is a place to share information, experiences, and ideas that will create the future of health.

Thursday, October 24, 1300 – 1400

Leading through Fire

In 2015 the reverse osmosis (RO) dialysis water supply was contaminated with a toxic cleaning product at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. Four patients who were on dialysis at the time suffered significant clinical symptoms; one patient died within a few days of exposure. Dr. Johnston was the Facility Medical Director at the time of the incident and was significantly involved in managing the immediate crisis, disclosing to patients and families what had happened, dealing with the media, and conducting an investigation the led to recommendations that make dialysis water supplies safer not only at the Royal Alexandra Hospital but potentially across Canada. As Dr. Johnston shares this tragic story, he articulates key leadership lessons and insights that were learned as a result of this life-changing event.

Curtis Johnston, MD, FRCPC, Deputy Zone Medical Director, Edmonton Zone

Dr. Curtis Johnston is the Deputy Zone Medical Director for the Edmonton Zone. His focus is on physician leadership, talent recognition, development and training of physician leaders, and mentorship/coaching of new physician leaders. He has held multiple leadership roles in the past including Facility Medical Director of the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Associate Zone Medical Director in the Edmonton Zone.

His interests lie in helping leaders find solutions to difficult problems, developing their skills through tough times, and seeing unexpected success. He is passionate about improving the Patient and Provider Experience and seeing teams working together to improve patient safety and quality of care.

In addition to his administrative role, he continues to practice Intensive Care Medicine in the Royal Alexandra Hospital ICU. He is also a Clinical Professor in Nephrology and Critical Care with the University of Alberta.

Friday, October 25, 0900-1000

Plenary: The Ages We Live In: Embracing the Strengths of Diverse Generations

From Baby Boomers to Millennials, Generation X to Traditionalist, AHS has employees of all ages and every generation. Each generation has different goals, expectations and the different ways in which members of that generation interacts with their environments. This brand new session will explore the events that shaped each generation’s goals, characteristics and skills. We will discuss the general behaviours and expectations of each group. We will identify the unique skills, characteristics and gifts that each generation contributes and how to leverage those perspectives in our interactions with each other.

Marni Panas, Program Manager, Diversity and Inclusion with Alberta Health Services

Marni Panas is the Program Manager, Diversity and Inclusion with Alberta Health Services where she is dedicated to creating safer, more welcoming and inclusive health care related environments. She holds a degree in Health Administration and a Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional. Marni has contributed to legislation and policy protecting human rights for individuals at the provincial and federal levels in Canada. She has also been invited to share her experiences and expertise on inclusive health and cultural safety for diverse health care providers, patients and their families locally, nationally and internationally.

Friday, October 25, 1445 – 1615
Plenary: Honoring Patient Choice: Delivering Quality Conservative Kidney Management Across Canada

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of a systematic approach to accessing and delivering quality Conservative Kidney Management (CKM)
  • Generate awareness around the development of a comprehensive, interactive, on-line CKM Pathway
    • Be able to facilitate shared decision-making conversations around CKM v. dialysis
    • Be able to access up-to-date best practices for CKM
    • Be able to access patient educational materials for CKM
  • Highlight opportunities for collaboration in the development of a national CKM Toolkit to operationalize and evaluate CKM nationally

Dr. Sara Davison, Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology & Immunology, Director, Kidney Supportive Care Research Group, University of Alberta

Sara Davison is a Professor, bioethicist and health outcomes researcher in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. She is a nephrologist with the Northern Alberta Renal Program. She is recognized internationally as a leader in Kidney Supportive/Palliative Care and is the Director of the Kidney Supportive Care Research Group ( Her program of research focuses on the many aspects of quality supportive/palliative care for patients with advanced kidney failure.

Saturday, October 26, 0900-1000

Plenary:From Certain Death to Lifesaving Treatment Options for Patients with End-stage Renal Disease

The last century has witnessed the development of lifesaving treatment options for those affected by acute and chronic kidney disease. From the initial description of death due to uremia by Richard Bright in 1836, to the early experience in hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis in the mid-20th century and the leap to organ transplantation, the path to modern dialysis and kidney transplantation has been characterized by tremendous innovation and perseverance. Dr. Cockfield will retrace those steps, highlighting experience from the renal failure program in northern Alberta.

Dr. Sandra Cockfield, Professor, Division of Nephrology and Transplantation Immunology, University of Alberta

Dr. Sandra Cockfield received both her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Toronto. After completing residency training in general internal medicine and nephrology in Toronto, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Philip Halloran for a research fellowship focused on the regulation of MHC expression and its relationship to cytokine gene expression. She joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta as an Assistant Professor and AHFMR Clinical Investigator in 1990. She is currently a Professor in the Division of Nephrology and Transplantation Immunology at the University of Alberta. She has served as Residency Program Director (1993-1999), Clinical Regional Program Director of the Northern Alberta Renal Program (1998-2002), and is currently the Medical Director of the Renal Transplant and the Nephrology Clinical Trials Programs and co-director of the Living Kidney Donor Program in Edmonton.

Saturday, October 26, 1330-1430
Closing Keynote: Finding the Funny

Beve Stevenson, an expert in ‘Finding the Funny’ firmly believes that humour really IS the best medicine – for everyone. Humour is a powerful and valuable tool not only for promoting interpersonal connection, but for coping with stressors involved in any workplace. Attendees will learn how to incorporate appropriate humour in their nephrological work (that extends into their personal lives) and hopefully have a few laughs along the way.

Beve Stevenson is a veteran emergency room nurse whose career has taken her to the Caribbean, the Arctic, the United States, a variety of ER’s, comedy clubs & speaking engagements.

This Humourist and Stand Up Comic attributes her present sanity – and survival – to her inexhaustible, slightly bizarre, and often dark sense of haha. She understands what’s it’s like to work far too many shifts dealing with trauma, death and terrible coffee. An expert on ‘Finding the Funny’, she has entertained and educated myriad audiences on the importance and power of humour as a coping tool to deal with the intense emotions, conflict and change inherent in today’s high-stress world.

A published writer, keynote speaker and stand up comic, Beve continues to practice as an RN in Calgary while pecking away at her first novel of fiction coming to a bookstore near you.