About Us

Canadians highly value their health care. Demands for care have been growing while the workforce has been under increasing pressures, exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This situation has developed over time and will take many groups working collaboratively to resolve. The right information and tools needed for planning will be critical – as will sharing information on solutions.

Health Workforce Canada is a new, independent organization established by an Interim Steering Committee, supported by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), and funded by Health Canada. It has been created in recognition of the need to bring together health workforce experts and those in the health care field to learn from each other and strengthen health workforce data and planning to help ensure health workers are there to provide the care people in Canada need.

We will work with and serve the broad network of health workforce partners across Canada to provide advice on health workforce data development.

Health Workforce Canada will convene and collaborate with health sector partners to advance approaches to current and future challenges by:

  • Identifying the sector’s priority needs in support of perspectives and solutions, working in partnership with CIHI and others to facilitate access to data and information while respecting Indigenous data sovereignty
  • Providing insights and guidance to inform effective policy for supply and distribution of the workforce, health equity based planning, health and mental health of the workforce, and innovations in retention and recruitment
  • Gathering and sharing information on practical solutions and innovative practices to address key gaps and implementation challenges.

Health Workforce Canada will support key partners in addressing the current health workforce challenges and allow for long-term planning. 

We will advance knowledge and evidence-based information to support effective policy development, and draw on best international practices.

Board of Directors

Portrait of Glenda Yeates

Glenda Yeates


Glenda Yeates is a consultant and mentor. She is a former Deputy Minister of Health Canada, former President and CEO of the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and former Deputy Minister of Health for Saskatchewan. She is a member of the Order of Canada.

Portrait of Dr. Kimberlyn McGrail

Dr. Kimberlyn McGrail


Kimberlyn McGrail is a researcher and Professor at the University of British Columbia. She is CEO and Scientific Director at the Health Data Research Network Canada and Scientific Director at Population Data B.C. She is a special advisor to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

Portrait of Dr. Alika Lafontaine​

Dr. Alika Lafontaine

Alika Lafontaine is an anesthesiologist and health leader. He is immediate past president of the Canadian Medical Association and a recognized expert on health systems and health policy, with unique experience in Indigenous Health Systems.

Portrait of Dr. Carl-Ardy Dubois​

Dr. Carl-Ardy Dubois

Carl-Ardy Dubois is Dean of the School of Public Health at the Université de Montréal (ESPUM) and full professor in the Department of Management, Evaluation and Health Policy. He has a multidisciplinary background, with a degree in medicine and graduate studies in epidemiology, biostatistics, health services administration and public health. He has had a distinguished research career for more than 20 years and has demonstrated exceptional leadership in health workforce capacity building and has provided expert advice to ministries of health and health organizations across the world.

Portrait of Janet Davidson​

Janet Davidson

Janet Davidson works in health care consulting with a focus on strategy, organization management and design, and governance. Formerly, she served as Deputy Minister of Health for Alberta. She has more than 40 years of experience in health care in the government, voluntary and hospital and community sectors in a number of Canadian jurisdictions and internationally. She is Administrator of the Nova Scotia Health Authority and a Board member of Bayshore Healthcare and the Hospital for Sick Children. She is the inaugural Johnson Fellow with the C.D. Howe Institute and co-chairs their health policy council and an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Portrait of Jeannine Herritt​

Jeannine Herritt

Jeannine Herritt serves as an Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for health service delivery and health workforce planning at the Department of Health and Community Services, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. As a Registered Nurse, she brings extensive experience in health care garnered from various direct care and leadership positions held within Newfoundland and Labrador’s health service delivery organization and the provincial government.

Portrait of Dr. Linda McGillis Hall​

Dr. Linda McGillis Hall

Linda McGillis Hall is a professor of health systems and research at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. She is a leader in nursing health services and systems research, focused on health human resources and the nursing work environment. 

Portrait of Dr. Karima Velji​

Dr. Karima Velji

Karima Velji is Chief of Nursing and Professional Practice and an Assistant Deputy Minister for Ontario. She is a Registered Nurse and has held senior leadership positions in several academic health science centres and has operated a successful consulting company. Dr. Velji is a sought-after consultant for system level projects and has led external reviews of several organizations. She is a surveyor with Health Standards Organization (HSO), Accreditation Canada.

Portrait of Dr. Marcia Anderson​

Dr. Marcia Anderson

Marcia Anderson is Cree-Anishinaabe and grew up in the north end of Winnipeg with roots in Peguis First Nation and Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. She practices internal medicine, and serves as Vice-Dean, Indigenous Health, Social Justice and Anti-Racism in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba. She has won multiple awards, including the 2022 Doctors Manitoba Physician of the Year award, Community Development Award from the Mahatma Gandhi Centre of Canada and the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration.

Portrait of Dr. Verna Yiu​

Dr. Verna Yiu

Verna Yiu is Provost and Vice-President Academic, University of Alberta. She is past president and CEO of Alberta Health Services, and a Board member at the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI). 

Dr. Zubin Austin

Zubin Austin is professor and Murray Koffler Research Chair at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto, cross-appointed to the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation – Temerty Faculty of Medicine. His research focuses on the professional and personal development of the health workforce.

Executive Team

Portrait of Deb Gordon​

Deb Gordon

Interim CEO

Deb Gordon is a Registered Nurse and health leader who worked more than 15 years in executive leadership roles at Alberta Health Services, most recently as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In that role, she was responsible for the effective provision of patient-focused, integrated and sustainable health services across Alberta. Prior to her executive leadership career, she worked in progressive clinical nursing and leadership roles in British Columbia and Alberta.

Portrait of Dr. Deborah Cohen​

Dr. Deborah Cohen

Chief Operating Officer

Deborah Cohen has more than 20 years’ experience in health care and health workforce data systems through the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI). She is an Adjunct Professor with the School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Ottawa. She holds a PhD in Population Health with a research focus on modelling, equity and health system performance.

Portrait of Kelly Hogan​

Kelly Hogan

Director, Engagement and Operations

Kelly Hogan has more than 14 years’ experience in program management and engagement roles at the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI). Before that, she supported health workforce priorities and research at the Canadian Pharmacists’ Association and the C.T. Lamont Primary Health Care Research Centre.

Portrait of Lynn McNeely​

Lynn McNeely

Director, Data and Planning

Lynn McNeely has more than 15 years’ experience in health data, standards and systems for the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI). Most recently, she was Manager of Health Human Resources, Data Development. Before that she worked as a Registered Nurse in multiple clinical and case management roles across health care sectors.

Alison Steeves

Senior Leader, Communications and Engagement

Alison Steeves has more than 20 years of experience in health care communications and engagement. She has worked with a range of organizations, focusing on communications strategy, planning and execution. Previously, she was Director, Communications at Health Quality Ontario and has held a number of leadership positions in the non-profit and for-profit health sector.