The Canadian Academy of Lifestyle Medicine

Meet the CALM Team

CALM is a group of like-minded physicians, healthcare professionals, interested practitioners, and business leaders who have come together to create and promote better healthy lifestyle options through information, education and participation. All our members are volunteers who give their time to improve the wellbeing of our nation and promote a more holistic approach to health and the treatment of chronic conditions.

The CALM team began in Ontario, but we are looking for CALM Champions across Canada to join the revolution.

CALM Board of Directors

Dr. Larry Schmidt

President of Board of Directors, Medical Director & Co-Founder

Dr. Larry Schmidt is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University, London, Ontario. He is a Certificant and Fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. His practice of broad-based family medicine spans 30 years, including obstetrics, delivering more than 1600 healthy babies and providing in excess of 225,000 patient visits.

He is a distinguished and decorated teacher at all levels in the medical school and has mentored hundreds of medical students, residents, nurse practitioners and midwives. He has always believed in collaborative, team-based care and became interested in alternative methods of practice, which led to him becoming certified in Functional Acupuncture late in his career.

Through his own journey of health and wellness, Dr. Schmidt became intensely interested in Lifestyle Medicine. After attending the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine Conference in Boston and then the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, it became apparent to him that the most effective method of helping patients to deal with chronic health issues was through lifestyle choices, primarily nutrition and exercise.

Rebecca Brown

Wellness Director, Secretary & Co-Founder

Rebecca Brown has a Master's degree in Social Work and after almost 30 years in the areas of Medical Social Work, Child Protection and Domestic Violence, she developed a keen interest in how trauma work impacts professionals who care for others. The majority of her career was spent as a Supervisor within the Ontario Child Protection System, where she was a Coordinator of the Critical Incident Debriefing Team and a Provincial Curriculum Trainer, teaching the module on Wellness and Self-Care.

With certification as a Compassion Fatigue Educator, Rebecca lectures extensively on the topics of Vicarious Trauma, Compassion Fatigue and Resilience in Canada and the USA through her association with the TEND Academy.  Rebecca has been certified as a Health & Wellness Coach using Lifestyle Medicine approaches to help people in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, stress reduction and mindfulness.

Rebecca believes passionately in the connection between mind, body and spirit and knows that when we take care of ourselves, we thrive. An accomplished marathon runner, she strives to lead by example and together with her husband, Dr. Larry Schmidt co-founded the Canadian Academy of Lifestyle Medicine to share this message with Canadians.

Web:rebeccabrown@linkedin.com

Email: Rebecca.brown@calmlifestylemedicine.ca

Facebook: canadianacademyoflifestylemedicine

Twitter: @CALifestyleMed

Dr. Garth Mann

Member of Board of Directors

Dr. Garth Mann practiced as an optometrist in Calgary, Alberta for 22 years and then branched into the business world as a developer in the areas of seniors care centres, resort and residential properties, professional leadership training, and medical research collaboration.

Realizing that Health Care budgets in Canada are unsustainable without a different approach, Advanced Medical Group (AMG) by Statesman in London, Ontario was created. Recognizing the benefits of the Allopathic, Lifestyle Medicine and Functional Medicine approaches to patient care, AMG is poised to facilitate evidence based approaches toward comprehensive wellness.

In collaboration with the Canadian Academy of Lifestyle Medicine and their global partners, the professionals at AMG are committed to addressing the root cause of chronic disease and changing the trajectory of preventable disease.

The objective at Advanced Medical Group’s Senior Care is to provide research, education and clinical care to promote health and reduce the risks of chronic illness as well as dementia related diseases.

Dr. Mann is of the opinion that we only make it through this world once; therefore let’s make the best of it!

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Dr. Sonja Reichert

Member of Board of Directors

Dr. Sonja Reichert is a Family Physician, an Associate Professor at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, with a particular interest in Diabetes and exercise.

While completing her undergraduate degree, Sonja was involved in almost every application of exercise available to her. She volunteered as a therapist for the Varsity Athletic teams for 3 years and completed her Professional Fitness Lifestyle Certification (PFLC). She then shared this experiencing working at Women’s College Hospital and later completed her Masters in Science in the field of cardiac rehabilitation.

As a Family Physician, she chose to sub-specialize in the area of Diabetes care. Sonja was involved in revising the 2013 Canadian Diabetes Association Guidelines, and specifically the chapter on Exercise. Her goal is to prescribe exercise to almost every patient she sees in the clinic.

In addition to clinical practice, Sonja participates and enjoys research, most recently collaborating with a research team from Edmonton, Alberta on the CHANGE Project. This Randomized Control Trial intervention is placing a Kinesiologist into primary health care settings to coach patients with Metabolic Syndrome.

Dr. Reichert is passionate about her goals of being involved in primary prevention of disease and obesity as well as secondary prevention of further complications in all patients, regardless of age or ability, through the positive power of healthy lifestyle.

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Dr Victoria Coleman

Member of Board of Director

Dr. Victoria Coleman is a Chiropractor and Functional Medicine expert. Over the past 20 years, she has practiced in health care delivery both clinically as an integrative chiropractor and in business development. After successfully running two wellness clinics, Victoria became the president of Douglas Laboratories Canada where for the past 13 years she has built relationships with numerous health care providers She currently is the VP of Clinical Education for Atrium Innovations where her mission is to further, through education and service, lifestyle based medicine to enhance the health of her patients.

A constant pursuit of learning allowed her to complete her Certification in Functional Medicine through the Institute for Functional Medicine. Victoria lectures internationally on the topics of Functional Medicine, the health effects and risks of extreme exercise, and is skilled in the field of nutrigenomics. Furthering the movement of proactive health care is a passion for Victoria along with a love for fitness. Her interest in sport and nutrition is reflective in her commitment to complete several marathons, including Boston and New York City.

Dr. Coleman is passionate about the role that she can play in encouraging others to implement lifestyle changes to optimize their health potential.

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Maryann Kovljenic

Member of Board of Directors

Maryann Kovljenic brings a unique set of knowledge, skills and perspectives to the work of the CALM board. Her keen interest in system and service innovation, preventative health and lifestyle medicine has grown over many years and is inspired by her clinical/professional experience in cancer care, geriatric mental/behavioural health, palliative care, rehabilitation and community care.

With a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Bachelors degrees in Social Work, Gerontology and Sociology her varied background has proven to be beneficial in the initial stages of CALM’s development and she looks forward to making ongoing future contributions. Maryann has a variety of interests including hiking, mindfulness/meditation, art appreciation, recreational volleyball, dodgeball, the therapeutic use of humour and life-long learning pursuits. Born in Hamilton Ontario,

Maryann is an alumni of McMaster University and Wilfrid Laurier University.

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Shannon Sibbald

Board Member & Social Media Director Shannon

Shannon Sibbald is an Assistant Professor with appointments in Family Medicine, School of Health Studies (Faculty of Health Sciences) and the Schulich Interfaculty Program in Public Health at Western University.

As a health systems researcher, her interests span the health care continuum. Her current research focuses on process, outcomes and evaluation of health care teams. Dr Sibbald’s program of research includes implementation science: the study of knowledge processes (capturing, sharing, using, storing) in health systems. She is also involved in research around ethics, health promotion and resource allocation.

Dr Sibbald uses primarily qualitative research methods including multiple-case comparison, narrative approach, grounded theory, content and discourse analysis. Dr Sibbald teaches across the university at both undergraduate and graduate level.

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CALM Advisory Committee

Andrew Campbell

Andrew Campbell has a degree in Commerce, is a Chartered Accountant - CPA and is functionally bilingual. Andrew founded the management-consulting firm ACAInc in 1983 that served over 250 world-class companies.

As a columnist, conference speaker and author of book on business, he has coached and mentored executives to visualize success, align their organization and achieve record performance.

Andrew has been recognized as a Canadian management expert. He was privileged to design the Canada Awards for Business Excellence, and has represented Canada on two overseas trade missions, in addition to co-founding a hi-tech tele-medicine company. Andrew has served on many boards and has been a guest lecturer and mentor at the Ivey School of Business to MBA/HBA students. Andrew is an active member of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference Alumni.

Attuned as a Reiki Master, Andrew contributed to a second book on illness and healing. He now actively encourages 4th year medical students to embrace world-class integrated approaches to health and wellness.

Now retired, he volunteers for several Not For Profit and philanthropic projects which encourage leadership, education and wellness.

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Dr. Owen Garrett

Dr. Garrett received his Ph.D. (1992) and MA in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario. His clinical training and work experience have been guided by a strong interest in the area of Health and Rehabilitation Psychology. This has led to a variety of clinical and teaching opportunities working with patients, other health care professionals and within the insurance industry.

For 5 years he served on an education committee under the auspices of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC that focused on teaching Physicians behavioural approaches to management of chronic pain syndrome. He has also served as clinical co-director of an interdisciplinary pain program.

Through his clinical work experience in rehabilitation he has learned that the best outcomes are often achieved through collaborative relationships forged with other health care disciplines and providers. He has come to appreciate that without addressing an individual’s lifestyle behaviours even the best medical treatment for chronic illness conditions caused by poor lifestyle choices will fall short.

To keep himself focused on living a healthy life he practices mindfulness meditation, enjoys learning new skills for cooking healthy and keeps his dogs happy through frequent and lengthy walks!

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Shirley Garrett

A Personal Trainer and Medical Exercise Specialist (A.C.E. certified since 2001), Shirley has been inspiring her clients in White Rock, BC to pursue and achieve their best health and fitness through Functional exercise programs, outdoors or in the gym so they can age actively, happily and with the best possible function and mobility.

She is also an A.C.E.certified Health Coach. Local Physicians and Physiotherapists recognize her skill, compassion and knowledge and regularly refer patients with Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease and other health concerns, who need assistance to safely integrate exercise and activity back into their lives after surgery, illness or an accident.

Since 2013, after attending several conferences presented jointly, by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America, Shirley recognized the importance of teaching culinary skills to her clients and her community. In order to ensure to continue to provide the opportunity for the best possible health and wellness outcomes, she recently earned a Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts, adding “Fitness and Food Forum” healthy, interactive Cooking Classes to the services she provides.

An avid runner and the “Mom” of two athletic dogs, Shirley enjoys spending as much time outdoors as possible participating in activities such as hiking, scuba diving , cycling. She’s also an active volunteer for several “animals-at-risk” charities.

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Katherine Gigante-Burnett

Katherine Gigante Burnett has been interested in Lifestyle Medicine from a very young age, being brought up in a home that knew the benefits of exercise and nutrition. This continues today while she incorporates an active and healthy lifestyle into her own family, as well as her professional life.

After obtaining an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Western Ontario in London, and Post Graduate studies in Business Administration, Katherine began working in the private sector in the areas of Operations Management and Client Relations within several different sectors, including health care, not for profit, and technology.

Katherine believes that ongoing education is critical to both personal and professional growth, and has continued her education in the areas of Project Management, Lean Operational practices, Leadership,‎ and a Chronic Care Professional Certificate in Health Coaching. Through her career, Katherine has managed multiple teams, relationships, and projects.

Most recently, Katherine has been integral in the development of The Advanced Medical Group, a Statesman development in London, Ontario. This state-of-the-art Medical Building incorporates allied health care, with Physicians and Specialists, all working together collaboratively to improve the health and wellbeing of patients. The attention placed on Lifestyle Medicine is a perfect fit with the Canadian Academy of Lifestyle Medicine, and Katherine is thrilled to be a part of the Academy's vision and growth!

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Meaghan Jansen

Meaghan Jansen is co- owner of Employee Wellness Solutions Network [EWSNetwork] with her husband Garth. EWSNetwork is a corporate and employee wellness provider and industry-leader that has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally.

Meaghan was awarded London’s 20 Under 40 Award for 2013, her company has been featured in Business London and Benefits Canada Magazine a number of times, and has won corporate accolades through several wellness initiatives.

Meaghan earned a Bachelor of Science (biology and psychology) and then completed her Masters of Science in Kinesiology (exercise nutrition) and played for the University on the women’s soccer team.

The notion of employee and workplace health snuck into the margins of her Masters thesis. From there, a preventative, proactive model to employee health was developed and has been implemented with various organizations and companies across Canada and the US.

Meaghan and Garth have two young children and are a very busy and active family. Meaghan has completed four marathons, including the 2015 Boston Marathon. Her husband has completed 4 triathlons, even their the kids are following suit and are participating in mini-triathlons.

Meaghan’s passion is healthy living. She is a dynamic and accomplished International speaker. She and Garth recently spoke to groups about health and wellness in Trinidad, Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica. She loves to educate audiences about living well: be it nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep and any other wellness-related topic!

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Robert Kayser

Robert H. (Bob) Kayser is President of RHK Consulting Inc., a company providing consulting services in general management, strategic marketing, product development and transition strategies for medical technology companies in the health care industry.

Retiring in 2001, after a career of nearly 30 years with Medtronic, Inc., the Minneapolis-based leading medical technology company dedicated to cardiovascular, neurological, spinal and ENT devices, his career includes management and executive positions in Canada, United Kingdom, Switzerland and USA. The Medtronic Mission of “Towards Full Life” engrained a long-standing interest in Lifestyle Medicine in an ever-aging population, which is essential to the healthy survival of people and health care delivery systems.

Graduating from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) in Montreal with a Bachelor of Science degree, his additional training includes International Marketing programs at the University of Western Ontario (1983) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (1997).

Bob’s community commitments include board and volunteer positions with several local agencies largely focused on the issues of women, children and health care as well as serving as an Executive in Residence at the Richard Ivey School of Business, providing mentoring and life coaching to MBA candidates.

Bob has been married for 49 years and his passion is spending time with his family and grandchildren while not golfing.

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Françoise Mathieu

Françoise Mathieu is the Director and Founder of Compassion Fatigue Solutions Inc., whose aim is to offer consulting and training to helpers on topics related to resilience, wellness, vicarious trauma, burnout and compassion fatigue. She is a Certified Mental Health Counsellor and a Compassion Fatigue specialist.

Her experience stems from 20+ years in the field, working in a variety of settings such as crisis counselling in a community mental health clinic and hospital ER, providing psychological counselling to the military, police and correctional staff and working in the domestic violence field.

Françoise’s positive outlook and commitment to helping clients grow are hallmarks of her work. Françoise is one of the leaders in Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma education in Canada. Since 2001, Françoise has given hundreds of seminars on compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma across the country to thousands of helping professionals in the fields of health care, trauma services, law enforcement, education and addiction treatment.

She is the author of The Compassion Fatigue Workbook and The Compassion Fatigue Train the Trainer Workbook. Françoise is also an organizational health consultant with Fisher and Associates Solutions and together they have joined to form the TEND Academy to focus on a larger scale of reaching organizations across North America.

Françoise’s work provides a direct link to the philosophy of Lifestyle Medicine and her work in this area is important for stress reduction and healthy work-life balance.

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Meredith McQuade, MSc(c), RD, CDE

Meredith believes in lifestyle medicine because it brings together a community of progressive thinkers who want to proactively manage and prevent disease. Meredith is interested in seeing lifestyle medicine systematically and comprehensively integrated into standard medical practice.

As a registered dietitian (RD) and certified diabetes educator (CDE), with training in behavior change psychology, Meredith’s practice is holistic in nature. Evidence-based practice, using high quality research and analyses, is the cornerstone of her work. Meredith is known for her warm and gentle approach that leaves patients feeling motivated to make positive, long-term, lifestyle changes.

Meredith has an insatiable palate for learning, especially when it’s related to health and nutrition. She completed her training in nutrition and psychology at Western University and her clinical dietetic internship at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), in London, ON. 

Meredith keeps CALM by making time for the things she loves, such as: running, speed skating and traveling the world. She ran in the Boston Marathon, for the first time, this year, and she’s looking forward to going back to run again in 2016.

Dr. Rob Petrella

Bio coming soon

Gord & Kathy Rayner

Gord Rayner is a retired auto mechanic and together with his wife, Kathy, a semi-retired Registered Emergency Department Nurse at University Hospital in London, Ontario, they are passionate about health and wellness.

Kathy and Gord have been involved in Lifestyle change medicine since 2001 when they chose to become plant based. Kathy and Gord became facilitators of the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) 12 years ago, and have now led 22 CHIP programs. As facilitators of the CHIP program,

They have seen firsthand how changing to a plant based diet from an animal based diet, adding exercise, and drinking only water can help lower blood cholesterol, hypertension, lower blood sugar levels, relieve constipation and reduce weight, as well as many other health benefits. They have also done speaking engagements on health topics such as Reasons to Eliminate Processed Food, Strategies to Decrease risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and How to lower risk of Hypertension and the newest series, “Depression the Way Out”.

Gord and Kathy Rayner are active members of the CALM Advisory Committee and provide a valuable asset to the area of nutrition, healthy living and the power of social support.

Web: www.londonchip.ca

Email: gord.rayner@sympatico.ca

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Yoah Sui

Yoah Sui is a second year Kinesiology Master's student at Western University, having completed his Bachelor's in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo.

His research is Sedentary Behavior; specifically using behavioral models to predict change and adherence to change in the sedentary profiles of university students. Yoah has always had passion for exercise and reducing sedentary behavior, and the incredible role they have for health improvement and well-being.

Yoah sits on the Executive of the Exercise Is Medicine On Campus, and plays an active role in many initiatives. To keep CALM, Yoah enjoys mountain biking, longboarding, weightlifting, and rock climbing.

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Dr. Jane Thornton

Jane Thornton returns to Canada with a wealth of international experience in the field of preventative medicine. Specifically focusing on physical activity as both prevention and treatment of chronic disease, Jane began her medical residency in Europe to gain firsthand knowledge from the leaders in the field.

Based in Switzerland, her international collaborations have given her insight into improving healthcare for Canadians. She has developed educational resources and medical curricula in Switzerland, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, and Canada and lectures on the topic internationally. Throughout this time abroad, Jane maintained strong connections to Canada, working with top Canadian experts such as Dr. Mike Evans to create patient-centred web-based materials, and delivering her first lecture to University of Toronto medical students just months after graduation.

Having already earned her PhD, Jane completed her MD to put her research into action and be at the forefront of rethinking health-care delivery in Canada, drawing on lessons about the power of a shared vision from her years of representing Canada as a World Champion and Olympic rower. Jane believes that lifestyle modification is central to good prevention and keeps CALM herself by being physically active and outdoors as much as she can.

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Sarah Westaway

Sarah Westaway is currently working at the London Community Foundation and Tru Hot Yoga Studio. She graduated from Ball State University with an Honours Bachelor of Science in School Health and Physiology. She is a certified elementary and secondary school teacher in Ontario and Indiana.

Sarah is active in a variety of sports, including being a former NCAA Division I golfer. Sarah is passionate about leading a healthy, active, and balanced lifestyle and feels that Lifestyle Medicine is the preventative approach that will empower Canadians to do so also.

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Dr. Dale Ziter

Dr. Dale Ziter is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and practices comprehensive Family Medicine in Windsor, Ontario. He is an Adjunct Professor of Family Medicine at the Schulich School o Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, Windsor Campus. Dale Ziter is the Academic Director for the Family Medicine Residency Training Program in Windsor.

For 30 years, Dr. Ziter has emphasized lifestyle choices in his approach to care with patients and in his discussions with students and residents. He achieves an active lifestyle and role models wellness to his patients, students, staff and family.

Dale Ziter is pleased to join the collective voice of CALM.

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