Drugs and Therapeutics Advisory Committee

The Drugs and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (DTAC) is an advisory body of highly qualified health professionals who bring impartial and practical expert medical and pharmaceutical advice to the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program to promote improvement in the health outcomes of First Nations and Inuit clients through effective use of pharmaceuticals. The approach is evidence-based and the advice reflects medical and scientific knowledge, current utilization trends, current clinical practice, health care delivery and specific departmental client healthcare needs.

DTAC membership and qualifications

The DTAC is comprised of 8 to 12 core members, including First Nations or Inuit health professionals. At least 3 of the DTAC members must be physicians and at least 3 members must be pharmacists. Committee members contribute their expertise and do not represent an association, organization, corporation or industry.

DTAC members must hold a qualification and license in Canada as a physician, pharmacist, registered nurse or have other relevant qualifications.

DTAC members

Chairperson: Dr. Derek Jorgenson

Dr. Jorgenson is a professor of pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan. He teaches at both an undergraduate and graduate level and maintains a health services utilization research program.

Dr. Jorgenson has a background as a community pharmacist but has practised in several specialty clinics and hospital-based patient care programs in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. He also maintains a clinical practice, as the director, at the Medication Assessment Centre, which is a patient care teaching clinic located within the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition in Saskatoon.

Vice-chairperson: Dr. Marlyn Cook

Dr. Cook is presently working in the community of Pikangikum First Nation in northwestern Ontario and her home community of Grand Rapids. She was the Chief of Staff and Director of the Traditional Healing Program with Weeneebayko General Hospital in Moose Factory, Ontario. Dr. Cook is Cree and a member of the Grand Rapids First Nation in Northern Manitoba.

Dr. Cook has practised medicine in the Mohawk community of Akwesasne, in Sioux Lookout Zone and in a number of northern Indigenous communities in Manitoba. She is active in her community serving as an advisor and board member to a number of organizations. Dr. Cook is known for her work blending Western and Traditional medicines and has been involved with sharing this knowledge with medical students and doctors throughout Canada. Her belief is that healing needs to be focused on all aspects of the person: spiritual, mental, physical and emotional.

Ms. Julia Bareham

Ms. Bareham graduated from the University of Saskatchewan's College of Pharmacy and Nutrition in 2008, where she earned her Bachelor of Science of Pharmacy. She then returned to the University of Saskatchewan to pursue her Master of Science in the division of Pharmacy focusing on comprehensive medication management, graduating in 2014.

Ms. Bareham has worked as a community pharmacist with Shoppers Drug Mart since 2008 and still works the occasional shift. She also worked with the RxFiles Academic Detailing Program and led the RxFiles Long-Term Care Project from 2009 to 2015. In late 2015, Ms. Bareham joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan where she was the pharmacist manager for the Prescription Review Program. In early 2019, Ms. Bareham returned to the RxFiles Academic Detailing Program.

Ms. Bareham was a board member with the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan from 2009 to 2017, and her Cree heritage originates with the Carry the Kettle First Nation, which is located in Treaty 4 territory.

Dr. Ann Duggan

Dr. Duggan is a family physician who has spent much of her career working throughout the Northwest Territories and Nunavut and more recently working with the urban Inuit population in Ottawa. She is a fellow of the College of Family Physicians, holds a Master in Public Health at Harvard and an honorary Doctor of Science at St. Mary’s University in Halifax. She is currently a clinician teacher at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Tara Gomes

Dr. Gomes is an epidemiologist and Principal Investigator of the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN), a provincial network of researchers with expertise in pharmaceutical utilization, outcomes and policy who rapidly conduct research for drug decision-makers in Ontario and across Canada. She is also a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. Her research is focused on pharmacoepidemiology, drug safety and drug policy research leveraging large, administrative databases, and she has published over 160 peer-reviewed articles and over 90 policy reports in this area.

Dr. Gomes has worked closely with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies to develop evidence to inform policies related to opioid use and abuse in Ontario and more broadly across Canada. She has also served as an expert for the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Transportation in discussions related to opioid policies and regulations. In 2014, the ODPRN was awarded the Institute for Public Administration of Canada's Bronze Public Sector Leadership Award in Health and Education.

Dr. Francois Lavoie

Dr. Lavoie is a pharmacist with a specialty (Ph.D.) in pharmacology who serves Indigenous clients in Quebec. He is currently the Vice President of the Board of l'Association des conseils des médecins, dentistes et pharmaciens du Québec. He graduated in pharmacy from the University of Montreal and has a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences.

Dr. Lavoie has been chief pharmacist for the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services for the region corresponding to the Cree territory of James Bay. He has also been the clinical representative on the advisory committee for the construction of the CMC Hospital Chissasibi and Community Miyupimaatisiiun Centre pharmacies. In 2008, Dr. Lavoie was appointed as an inspector for the College of Pharmacists of Quebec for the inspection of private community facilities.

Dr. Kunal Minhas

Dr. Minhas is an interventional cardiologist and director of Coronary Care Units for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. He is also an assistant professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Manitoba and is currently practising at the St. Boniface General Hospital. He reviewed and co-authored the Acute Myocardial Infarction Care Map, which encompasses all aspects of acute myocardial infarction care. His current practice involves a large proportion of First Nations and Inuit patients, as it is the only coronary care unit and cardiac cath lab for Manitoba, western Ontario and Nunavut. Dr. Minhas’ areas of interest include ST-elevation myocardial infarction care and acute coronary syndrome.

Dr. Michael Perley

Dr. Perley graduated from Dalhousie University in 1980. Dr. Perley has practised family medicine in Woodstock, New Brunswick and in Woodstock and Tobique First Nations. He has been actively involved in teaching medical students and residents of family medicine from both Dalhousie and Memorial Universities for over 20 years.

Dr. Perley has been involved in various national committees and initiatives over the years on behalf of First Nations health including: National Diabetes Initiative, National Diabetes Surveillance System, Federal Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, NIHB Drug Utilization Evaluation Advisory Committee and presently the NIHB Drugs and Therapeutics Advisory Committee. He was past president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick and was the past chair of their Fitness to Practice Committee. In 2012, Dr. Perley was awarded the honour of Family Physician of the Year from the Dalhousie Alumni Association and more recently received the Order of New Brunswick in November 2017.

Dr. Omar Rahaman

Dr. Rahaman is a chronic pain and addiction physician working at LifeMark Health Institute, a tertiary pain clinic in Edmonton, Alberta. He is a clinical associate professor at the University of Alberta, Department of Family Medicine. He has additional training in care of the elderly, palliative care, chronic pain management, and addiction medicine. He has worked as a family physician in Nunavut.

Mr. Jonah Dupuis

Mr. Dupuis graduated from the University of Toronto pharmacy program in 2002. Upon graduation, he served as the pharmacy manager at Rexall in Nipigon, Ontario, for 16 years. In 2018, Mr. Dupuis joined the newly formed Dilico Primary Care Travelling Team, a travelling health team that provides Primary Health Care for 13 Indigenous communities in Northwestern Ontario. Working as a clinical pharmacist, Mr. Dupuis provides in-home and in-clinic medication reviews for Elders and other vulnerable community members, ensuring medication compliance and troubleshooting drug-related issues. A proud member of the Red Rock Indian Band, Mr. Dupuis specializes in the areas of addictions medicine, diabetes care, wound care management, and pediatric epilepsy.

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