Meet the Advisory Committee and Project Team

The Way Forward integration initiative is guided by an Advisory Committee―a group of health care leaders with a vested interest in advancing hospice palliative care.  These leaders are involved in the Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition and providing guidance on behalf of its 37 members.


Sharon Baxter, Executive Director, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and Executive Member and Secretariat of the Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada.


Sharon has worked on national health policy for twenty years. She was the co-chair of the coordinating body of the Canadian Strategy on Palliative and End-of-Life Care and sits on many national committees and coalitions looking at end-of-life care issues specifically around health policy. Sharon also sits on the Board of Trustees for the International Children's Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) and the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA) and chairs the WPCA Advocacy Committee. Sharon holds a Masters of Social Work degree in Public Policy and Administration.


Srini Chary, MD, Consulting Physician, Palliative Care Services, AHS, Calgary Zone & University of Calgary; Acting Chair, Pallium Foundation of Canada.


Dr. Chary was born in India, studied in Britain, completed his surgical training in England and obtained surgical fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Scotland. In Canada, initially he had worked in Uranium City, Saskatchewan as a GP-Surgeon. Following that in London, Ontario, he had completed his training in Radiation Oncology. A family tragedy made him to move to Saskatoon, where he worked as the Medical director, Regional Palliative Care Services, Saskatoon Health Region for over 15 years. Since 2005, Dr. Chary has been in Calgary working as a Medical consultant in Palliative & Hospice Care and Chronic Pain Clinic at Holy Cross Medical Centre, working in a multidisciplinary, tertiary care service of Alberta Health Services in Calgary Zone. He is the acting chair and director of the Pallium Foundation of Canada.

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Nadine Henningsen, BSc., Executive Director, Canadian Home Care Association; President, Canadian Caregiver Coalition.


Nadine is involved in national initiatives that support advocacy, awareness and the enhancement of home care across Canada.  Projects include strategic planning, health systems review, human resources development, primary health care and information technology.  She has written numerous papers and presented to federal commissions, senate committees and provincial / regional planning groups on home care and caregiver related topics.  She is an active participate on two national coalitions; as the President of the Canadian Caregiver Coalition, and a member of the Quality End of Life Care Coalition of Canada.   In 2012, Nadine was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for her outstanding contribution to home care and family caregivers.


Melody Isinger, DHCE, Ethicist, Canadian Medical Association


Melody has worked as an ethicist for the Canadian Medical Association since 2004. She came to the CMA from the Royal Alexandria Hospital in Edmonton, where she was the Clinical Ethics Resident in 2003-2004. She also serves as Bioethicist on Bruyère Continuing Care Research Ethics Board and is a member The Ottawa Hospital's Committee on Ethics. Dr. Isinger is a member of the Board of Directors of the Champlain Community Care Access Center. Dr. Isinger received her Doctor of Health Care Ethics (DHCE) and a Certificate in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA; and a Master of Arts (Philosophy) and Bachelor of Arts (Hon.) from the University of Saskatchewan.


Julie Lachance, Senior Policy Analyst, Continuing Care Unit, Chronic and Continuing Care Division, Health Care Programmes and Policy Directorate, Strategic Policy Branch, Health Canada


Julie has been a Senior Policy Analyst at Health Canada since 2003, with primary responsibility for federal policy advice and initiatives on palliative care.  From 2003 to 2008, Julie led the Research and Surveillance Working Groups of the Canadian Strategy for Palliative Care.  Julie's other policy work includes innovative models for health care system renewal, such as models of integrated care for persons with chronic or complex conditions. From 1995-2003, Julie was a Research Associate at the Institute of Palliative Care (and its 36-bed palliative care unit) where she worked with an interdisciplinary team conducting clinical research to improve palliative care. Julie holds masters degrees in cultural anthropology and epidemiology.


Deborah Dudgeon, Senior Scientific Leader, Person-centered Perspective, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer


Dr. Deborah Dudgeon is the W. Ford Connell Professor of Palliative Care Medicine and Professor of Medicine and Oncology at Queen’s University. In September 2013 she started as the Senior Scientific Leader for the Person-centered Perspective for the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. She is the Head of the Palliative Care Medicine Program for Queen’s University andKingston GeneralHospitaland has been in this position since 1997. Dr. Dudgeon is the co-chair of the Advisory Committee on Palliative Medicine for the Conjoint Training Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.  She is a Past President of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians. She was the Provincial Program Head for Palliative Care for Cancer CareOntariofrom 2004 to 2010. Dr. Dudgeon served as the co-chair of the Symptom Control Committee of the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group and a member of the Advisory Committee on Research for the National Cancer Institute of Canada.

Mary Schulz     

Mary Schulz, Director, Information, Support Services and Education, Alzheimer Society of Canada 

Mary Schulz has been the Director, Information, Support Services and Education at the Alzheimer Society of Canada since 2006.  She has spent her career in health care, working primarily with older adults and their families as well as helping to plan and implement programs and services throughout the health care continuum.  Mary obtained her Bachelor degree in Social Work from Ryerson University and holds a Masters degree in Social Work from York University.  

Project Team

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Leanne Kitchen Clarke, Project Manager


Leanne Kitchen Clarke is a consultant working as the Project Manager for The Way Forward Integration Initiative.  Leanne has worked in health in both the private and non-profit sectors for the last 20 years in public affairs, strategy, communications and disease management.  She was most recently Vice President, Public Affairs at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer leading a portfolio that included Communications, Cancer Journey, and First Nations, Inuit and Metis Cancer Control.  Leanne has worked with the hospice palliative care community since 2000 while at GSK, directing The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation and its work with the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and the Living Lessons program.  Leanne has a BA Economics from Western University.

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Savanah Ashton, Project Coordinator


Savanah Ashton is the project coordinator for The Way Forward Integration Initiative.  She graduated in 2011 from the University of Ottawa with a Master's degree in Conflict Studies.  She received her Bachelor's degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Carleton University in 2009. Before working with the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, Savanah worked as a policy coordination officer in the stabilization and reconstruction taskforce at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development Canada.

The Way Forward
thanks these former Advisory Committee members for their support during the initiative's early stages:

  • Bobbi Greenberg, Mississauga Halton Community Care Access Centre
  • Denise Page, Canadian Cancer Society
  • Doreen Oneschuk, MD, The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, University of Alberta
  • Irene Nicoll, MBA, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
  • Catherine Bancroft, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
  • Shelagh Campbell-Palmer, Canadian Pharmacists Association