Meet the Plenary Speakers

Opening Ceremonies Keynote Address | Monday, May 28, 2018 
8:30 am – 10:00 am

Grand Debate: Systemic Transformation versus Incremental Change – Canadian Digital Health for the Future

This session will examine strategies, approach, challenges and lessons learned on the journey to connected care. It will also look at public/private sector relationships and how to foster innovation in a public-sector market and debate large scale province-wide implementations vs small scale implementations in a provocative and informative debate style format. The session will also be challenged by the innovation theory of small scale community implementations as trials to build and learn from.


Penny Rae
Chief Information Officer, Alberta Health Services

Full Biography

Over the last five years, Penny Rae has been leading the Information Technology department at Alberta Health Services (AHS), as the Chief Information Officer (CIO).  Penny is part of a triad that leads the Connect Care Program, a clinical transformation underpinned by an integrated clinical information system.

As CIO, Penny oversees the AHS IT department, sets direction and coordinates IT service delivery across the province.  She has built a team to deliver results by aligning IT and business goals with a focus on three strategic themes:  strengthening the foundation, optimizing operations and transforming care

Prior to that role, she was the Senior Vice President Capital Management, responsible for the physical infrastructure that supports Alberta’s health care system.

Also a professional engineer, Penny has held senior leadership roles in both the public and private sectors. 

Josh Blair
Executive Vice-President, TELUS Health and TELUS Business Solutions West and Chair, TELUS International

Full Biography

Josh oversees TELUS Health and Payment Solutions, a Canadian leader in electronic medical and health records, consumer health services, and benefits and pharmacy management solutions. In addition, Josh has oversight of TELUS Employer Solutions, a leading provider of innovative human resources, talent management and wellness solutions.

He also oversees TELUS’ customer experience, product marketing and Internet of Things (IoT) teams focused on business clients nationally, in addition to business sales and customer marketing in Western Canada.

As well, Josh is the Chair of the Board for TELUS International, the global arm of TELUS that is led by President and CEO, Jeffrey Puritt. TELUS International’s approximately 30,000 team members across North America, Central America, Asia and Europe, provide contact centre, business processing and information technology solutions to major corporate clients worldwide.

Josh also serves as TELUS' Chief Corporate Officer, supporting the company's Board on selected activities and priming relationships with many of TELUS' external stakeholders. In addition, he oversees TELUS Ventures, a team dedicated to investing in promising start-up companies with innovative technology solutions that can help TELUS operate more effectively and succeed in the marketplace.

As a strong supporter of TELUS’ commitment to give where we live, he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Sandbox Project and the Board of Advisors for the Cures for Kids Foundation as well as being Vice-chair of the TELUS Vancouver Community Board.

Josh is a professional engineer and his 23-year career at TELUS started after he graduated with distinction from the University of Victoria’s Electrical Engineering program. In 2015, he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Victoria in recognition of his professional achievements and community contributions. Josh is also a graduate of the Executive Program at Queen’s School of Business.

Monday Afternoon Plenary | Monday, May 28, 2018
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Details to be announced soon! 

Tuesday Morning Plenary | Tuesday, May 29, 2018
8:30 am – 9:30 am

Big Ideas, Building from the Ground Up

 This panel will spotlight healthcare start-ups new to the digital health industry. Key topics to be discussed include: How they came up with the idea; how the fundraising process worked, who supported them, and the challenges they encountered; how they entered the market and impediments they faced; what SOLUTIONS they think are feasible in the short and medium term; and how they can partner with others to succeed.  It will also touch on how procurement, funding models or other innovation approaches can be used to actually foster young Canadian companies to thrive in this market.

Speakers to be announced soon!

Lunch Closing Keynote Address | Wednesday, May 30, 2018
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm


Workplace Wellness For A Better Bottom Line

In the digital health industry we are always trying to do what is best for others – specifically for the clinicians and the patients we serve.  However, we often forget to manage our own wellness and self-care. The process of executing towards one of our goals that further advances our health care system can feel all-consuming.  We often work long hours to achieve results, and when burnout sets in and productivity declines, passion is snuffed out by resentment, dread, and stagnation.  In this presentation, Nova shares the 5 main workplace complaints along with the solutions for helping manage our own wellness. The audience will learn to proactively identify red flags at work and use various techniques to create boundaries & prioritize self-care. This session will be helpful for leaders, employees, and individuals.  Nova’s actionable takeaways will help audience members get more out of their personal and professional relationships, while organizations will learn new ways to encourage wellness at work.


Nova Browning Rutherford

Full Biography

Nova lectures on the importance of mental health, social and emotional intelligence in the academic, public and private sectors. 

A wellness expert who demonstrates the strength in vulnerability with warmth and relatable humour as a common denominator through difficult topics. She has been named one of the Top 5 Life Coaches in Toronto and is a certified council facilitator with the global organization, Mindfulness Without Borders

A fixture on the internationally syndicated talk show CTV's "The Social", Nova has been profiled in outlets like Huffington Post, The Globe And Mail, Chatelaine, CBC, CTV, and the Oprah Winfrey Network. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Canada Pension Plan, Ontario Nurses Association, and dozens of North American universities are some of the organizations that have benefited from Nova has a speaker and a programmer.

Connect with Nova on social media!