Canadian Medical Association

Session 1

Harnessing our collective will to rebuild health care

On Mar. 29, CMA President Dr. Katharine Smart hosted the first session of the 2022 Health Summit Series – a Twitter Spaces discussion focused on Harnessing our collective will to rebuild health care.

Panellists included family physician Dr. Tara Kiran, health care activist Sue Robins, general surgeon Dr. David Urbach and Dr. Nel Wieman, president of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada.

Five key take-aways from the session are to:

  • Build health care so every Canadian has a family doctor
  • Connect all parts of the health system
  • Make it about patients – serving and supporting their needs
  • Ensure cultural safety is a cornerstone of patient care
  • Leverage innovation and creativity to rebuild health care

“To me, doing health differently means not squandering an opportunity to make much-needed reforms that will really give us a better and more resilient system as we move forward.” – Dr. David Urbach, Health Summit panellist

Follow the conversation at #CMAHealthSummit.



Dr. Katharine Smart

Katharine Smart is a pediatrician in Whitehorse, who works primarily with children who’ve experienced trauma and adverse childhood events. She is passionate about improving services for marginalized children in an effort to change their life trajectory. Katharine also enjoys acute care and provides on-call services at the local hospital. She is past president of the Yukon Medical Association.



Dr. Tara Kiran

Tara Kiran is the Fidani Endowed Chair of Improvement and Innovation in Family Medicine and Vice-Chair, Quality and Innovation in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Through her work, she seeks to improve the health care system to better meet the needs of patients. Her research has evaluated the impact of health policy reforms on the quality of primary care. Tara is a family doctor with the St. Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team, where she led the quality improvement program from 2011 to 2018.


Sue Robins

Sue Robins is a health care activist, speaker and author in BC. Her new book, Ducks in a Row: Health Care Reimagined, explores the need to shift from a corporate model of care to a rehumanizing of the health system. Her first book, Bird’s Eye View: Stories of a life lived in health care is a poignant memoir of her experience as a caregiver and cancer patient. Sue has also written for The New York Times, The Globe and Mail and CMAJ.


Dr. David Urbach

David Urbach is Head of the Department of Surgery and Interim Lead Medical Executive at Women’s College Hospital. In addition to his duties as a practising general surgeon, David is a senior scientist at the Women’s College Research Institute, where he focuses on developing new and better ways of providing surgical services that inform health policy decisions and address the issues of access to care, patient safety and health system costs. He is an internationally recognized expert in surgical quality measurement, evaluative surgical research methods and health technology assessment.


Dr. Cornelia Wieman

Dr. Cornelia (Nel) Wieman

Nel Wieman is Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the First Nations Health Authority in BC. She is Anishinaabe (Little Grand Rapids First Nation, MB) and lives, works and plays on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples – the səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Nel has served as president of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada since 2016. She is Canada's first female Indigenous psychiatrist and has more than 20 years of clinical experience working with Indigenous people in both rural/reserve and urban settings.