Who we are...
Wellness Alberta brings together thousands of individuals including business, health, recreation and sport leaders and non-governmental organizations who support a meaningful investment in the prevention of disease and injuries.
Through a sustainable investment in an Alberta Wellness Foundation, Albertans will benefit from improved health outcomes and reduced demands on health care, which will greatly enrich the quality of life for current and future generations.
Wellness Alberta is coordinated by a Campaign Team. The members of the Team are:
Jim Gray, Campaign Chair
Mr. Gray is an exploration geologist who, for over 50 years, was engaged in the oil and natural gas exploration business in Western Canada. In 1973, Mr. Gray co-founded Canadian Hunter Exploration Ltd., one of Canada's larger natural gas producers. Over the 28 years of his involvement with Canadian Hunter, he served in the positions of Executive Vice President, President and CEO, and Chairman until the company was purchased by Burlington Resources in December 2001 for $3.4 billion ($Cdn).
Mr. Gray is Chairman of the Energy Group of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. He is currently a director of Atlanta Gold Inc. His previous directorships included Brookfield Asset Management Inc., Cequence Energy Inc., Phoenix Technology Services, Emera Inc., Hudson’s Bay Company, and Canadian National Railway of which he is Director Emeritus. Mr. Gray served as a member of the Alberta Premier’s Council for Economic Strategy from 2009 to 2011.
Mr. Gray was awarded an Honourary Doctor of Laws degree in 1991 by the University of Calgary, the YMCA Fellowship of Honour in 1995, and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1995. In March of 2001, Mr. Gray received the Energy Person of the Year Award from the Energy Council of Canada. He was inducted into the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame in October 2001. In October 2002, Mr. Gray was invested as a Member of the Alberta Order of Excellence. Mr. Gray was inducted into the Calgary Business Hall of Fame in October 2004 and the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in May of 2005.
Mr. Gray has participated in a wide range of community activities and projects. Among his current activities, he is Chairman of the Calgary Academy, Honourary Chair of the Canada West Foundation and an Honourary Life Director of the Calgary YMCA. Mr. Gray is passionate about the need for transformational change to promote and protect wellness and improve the quality of life for all Albertans.
Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti MD, PhD, MPH, FRCPC, FACPM
For many Albertans, Dr. Francescutti has become synonymous with public health and safety. He received his combined MD / PhD from the University of Alberta in 1987 and, while training as a general surgery resident, became fascinated with the subject of trauma. He went on to complete further studies in injury while doing a Masters of Public Health and a preventive medicine residency at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in Baltimore. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine.
In 1995 he returned to Edmonton to become an emergency and preventive medicine physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Over the past two and a half decades, Dr. Francescutti spearheaded a number of public safety awareness initiatives and campaigns and is the Founder of the Coalition for Cellphone-Free Driving and former director of the Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research. He has chaired numerous committees and task forces that deal with public health and injury prevention. He is also a professor at the University of Alberta and a frequent national health columnist for television and radio. He has given over a thousand presentations world wide on the topic of injuries.
In 2005, he was selected as one of Alberta's Hundred Physicians of the Century. In 2007, he was awarded a Champion for Children Award and a Paul Harris Fellowship from the North East Edmonton Rotary Club. In 2010, he became the 41st President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In 2011, he was appointed as Honorary Colonel of 1 Field Ambulance Edmonton. In 2011, he was selected by Alberta Venture as one of Alberta’s most influential people. In 2013 Dr. Francescutti became the President of the Canadian Medical Association.
Dr. Kim Raine PhD, RD, FCAHS
Dr. Kim Raine is a Professor in the Centre for Health Promotion Studies, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton. She is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She was trained as a registered dietitian.Dr. Raine’s research has explored the social determinants of the obesity epidemic, and population interventions to address healthy eating and active living. She was Principal Investigator of Healthy Alberta Communities, a community-based project to prevent obesity and chronic diseases, and is a founding member of the Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention that applies policy interventions to create supportive environments for healthy living. From 2008-2013 she held an Applied Public Health Chair funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF). She has published over 100 peer reviewed articles, and has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences.
Kate Chidester is a seasoned health service executive with leadership experience in clinical operations, professional practice, policy and strategy development. She has led clinical operations and program development across the continuum of service including prevention, acute care, ambulatory and continuing care services. Currently, in her role as Vice President of Health & Research with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Kate leads health promotion, advocacy and research initiatives and represents The Foundation on the Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention. Kate facilitates The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s role of providing financial oversight of the Wellness Alberta Campaign. She has a strong history of establishing successful relationships with key stakeholders, working together to strengthen the health of communities. As a Master’s prepared Registered Nurse, Kate is passionate about reducing demand on health services and improving quality of life.
Judy Williams is a communication and change management strategist, with experience in all facets of external and internal communications, including brand, media, and issues management and stakeholder relations. During her career, she has worked on a number of high profile advocacy initiatives including the privatization of AGT and creation of TELUS, the provincial VLT plebiscite, hospital closures in Calgary, and the tax component of gas pump prices across Canada. Judy has also been active in a number of provincial and federal political campaigns, most recently in the Calgary Centre bye-election.
As Vice President of Corporate Relations with Alberta Blue Cross, Brian oversees the Alberta Blue Cross Customer Services and Corporate Communications areas—which include responding to telephone, online and in-person inquiries; internal and external communications; advertising and marketing, media and government relations; issues management and environmental monitoring. Brian’s portfolio also includes community engagement initiatives in accordance with Alberta Blue Cross’s unique focus on the health and wellness of Albertans. This includes the Alberta Blue Cross Healthy Communities Grant Program, through which the organization has committed $1 million over five years to promote wellness and active living initiatives across the province, and the www.workplacewellnessonline.ca web site hosted by Alberta Blue Cross to promote workplace wellness. Brian’s background includes Diplomas in Journalism and Public Relations, a Degree in Education and completion of the Queen’s Executive Program. He is also an Accredited Business Communicator through the International Association of Business Communicators, and in 2012 was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his record of service to the community. As the parent of a very active five-year-old daughter and newborn twins, Brian has a vested interest in seeing a healthy future for all Albertans—and recognizes the value of investing in wellness today for future generations.
Dr. Chris Eagle
Dr. Chris Eagle is the former President and Chief Executive Officer for Alberta Health Services. Formerly President and Chief Operating Officer in the Calgary Health Region, Dr. Eagle is an adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta, and the University of Victoria.
Dr. Eagle graduated from the University of Calgary (MD 1977) and the University of Western Ontario (MBA). He specialized in cardiac anesthesiology. In 1991, he was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Anesthesia at the University of Calgary. He has published more than 70 articles and has made many addresses to various professional societies, many in the area of health care quality and safety. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (1981), Diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiologists (1982), and is an honorary Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthesia (1995).
Dr. Eagle has had a long career in health care administration. He has served as Executive VP and Chief Clinical Officer, VP and CIO of the Calgary Health Region, Associate Chief Medical Officer, Executive Director of the Foothills Hospital (Calgary), and Head of the Department of Anesthesia. He has also served as Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary. He has also served as Chair of the Specialty Committee of Anesthesia, Chief Examiner in Anesthesia, and Examiner in Anesthesia for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Dr. Eagle has served as a Board member on a number of health organizations. He was on the inaugural Board for the Health Quality Council of Alberta and until recently served on the Board of the Canadian Institute of Health Information.
William (Bill) Wells is the Chief Executive Officer of the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA). ARPA is a provincial, not-for-profit, charitable organization made up of volunteers, professionals, practitioners, academics, business people and locally elected officials committed to building healthy citizens, communities, and environments in Alberta through recreation and parks. ARPA delivers a number of wellness based programs and services across Alberta. A current initiative involves establishing a base line of healthy foods in recreation centres with the goal of increasing the availability of healthy foods in recreation facilities across Alberta.
Bill’s background includes a city councillor for 6 successive terms (18 years) with a demonstrated emphasis on recreation, arts and culture, the environment and the introduction of preventative public health programs, the CEO of a provincial educational organization with an emphasis on the development and maintenance of many critical relationships with organizations that were key partners and as a consultant for a number of community development and recreation organizations and municipalities. Bill is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina and is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his record of service to the community.
David Fraser worked for Edmonton Public Schools for almost twenty-five years before retiring in February 2015. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree, specializing in human resources and accounting. He has held a number of roles in Human Resources including several years as Chief Negotiator. David led or worked on a number of health and benefits related projects, including the Early Intervention Pilot Project with the Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan and the Alberta Teachers’ Association, organizational health, and development of the first comprehensive occupational health and safety system in Alberta school jurisdictions. At the time of his retirement, he was Executive Director, Corporate Services, responsible for overseeing several operational departments including Financial Services, Human Resources, Communications, Planning and Student Transportation, Facilities Services and District Technology. He believes that more health resources need to be focused on working across silos and within partnerships to develop policies that address the physical, mental and emotional health needs of children. Since retiring, David has started his own company, Fraser Tompkins HR Consulting Ltd. He is currently working on a number of contracts with several clients.
Les Hagen is a veteran public health advocate and organizational leader who has shaped provincial and national strategies to reduce tobacco use and improve public health. Les believes we need to shift from a remedial healthcare treatment system toward an upstream primary prevention model in order to improve the quality of life and to reduce demands on healthcare. Les serves as the Consulting Director of Wellness Alberta and is he is the Executive Director of Action on Smoking & Health. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alberta School of Public Health. His awards include the Alberta Government’s Barb Tarbox Award of Excellence in Tobacco Reduction and the Canadian Public Health Association’s Award of Merit.
Shandy Reed has a background in social work and a MSc. in Health Promotion Studies. She’s a passionate advocate for tackling public health issues through a comprehensive approach and has co-lead the development and implementation of several strategies in the areas of addictions, tobacco reduction, early child development and health promotion within both the provincial and federal government. Shandy originally joined the Wellness Alberta Campaign Team as a representative of the APCCP, a provincial coalition that collaborates with its member organizations to develop, implement and evaluate actions to influence and develop healthy public policy. With a new role focused on partnership development and workplace health promotion in the education sector, Shandy continues on as a member of the Team.
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Strategies and focus
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