Join Canadian Club Toronto on March 28 for a virtual panel discussion featuring former CEO of UHN, Dr. Peter Pisters, former CEO of SickKids, Dr. Michael Apkon, and Elizabeth Buller, moderated by leading healthcare consultant Georgina Black. The discussion will be focused on what’s worked well and what hasn’t, and how Canada can learn from other countries to seek to improve care for its citizens, as we continue to rework and improve our healthcare system.
Dr. Michael Apkon – President, Sand Street Advisors
Elizabeth Buller – President & CEO, St. Joseph’s Health System
Dr. Peter Pisters – President, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Georgina Black – Vice Chair & Canadian Managing Partner, Government, Public Services, Health & Life Sciences, Deloitte Canada
Dr. Apkon is a physician executive and physician scientist serving in C-level leadership roles at top academic hospitals in the United States and Canada as well as in advisory and governance roles for health and life sciences companies. He has a unique perspective on both the US system and the Canadian single payer system. He most recently served as the CEO at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. In that capacity, he led a 415 bed hospital staffed by 6,000 employees, scientists, medical staff, students and volunteers with a $1 BB budget. The Medical Center comprised subsidiaries including the New England Quality Care Alliance (NEQCA), a network of 1800 physicians, as well as the Tufts Physician Organization.
Prior to his role at Tufts Medical Center, Dr. Apkon was the President and CEO at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto Ontario. He has also held senior executive and academic roles at top academic health science centers including Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and the Chief Medical Officer for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) as well as roles at Yale University School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Health System including being the Vice President for Performance Management at the Yale New Haven Health System and the Vice President/Executive Director leading Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. He has held faculty positions at the University of Toronto, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University’s School of Medicine and School of Management.
Dr. Apkon has extensive international management and governance experience in both pediatric and adult-oriented healthcare including mental health, working with organizations and governments in the UK, Europe, China, Africa, and the Middle East as well as North America. He has consulted widely on business development, capacity development, and management systems as well as quality and safety improvement. He has served as a director for healthcare companies from early stage through exit to the public markets and acquisition including 7D Surgical (acquired by Seaspine Holding) and MindBeacon (acquired by CloudMD). Currently he serves as an advisor or director for health and life sciences companies including: Refactor Health, Homecare Hub, Transcend, Brain Space, Outro, and Guardian Lane as well as serving as an advisor to Continuum Health Ventures and Integrated Investment Partners.
Dr. Apkon is a board-certified pediatrician and intensive care specialist with a BSc degree in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University as well as MD and PhD degrees from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and an MBA from the Yale School of Management where he taught healthcare management.
Elizabeth is an accomplished health care executive with more than 30 years’ experience. As the President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health System, Liz leads one of Canada’s largest and most comprehensive academic health care networks, comprised of six-member organizations comprised of multiple sites and an International Outreach Program in partnership with McMaster University. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from McMaster University, a Master of Health Administration from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Training, Royal Roads University. Elizabeth has an ICD.D designation from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. In 2019, Elizabeth was recognized by the Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada’s top 100 most powerful women.
Peter WT Pisters, M.D., MHCM, returned to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as its president on Dec. 1, 2017. He previously served the institution in faculty and leadership positions for more than 20 years. His appointment to the presidential post followed an international search and unanimous naming as sole finalist by The University of Texas System Board of Regents. In this role as president, Pisters reports to The University of Texas System Chancellor and serves as MD Anderson’s Governing Body.
Renowned as a cancer surgeon, researcher, professor and hospital administrator, Pisters earned his medical degree at Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. He completed his master’s degree in health care administration at Harvard University School of Public Health and did his postgraduate work at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he was chief administrative fellow. He earned designation as a Certified Physician Executive in 2014 and was named a fellow of both the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American College of Surgeons.
Prior to rejoining MD Anderson, Pisters led more than 14,000 employees and 1,700 physicians as president and chief executive officer of the University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, Canada. UHN is Canada’s largest academic medical center. Affiliated with the University of Toronto, which recently ranked as the 12th most outstanding academic institution in the world, UHN has a $400 million research enterprise. It advances studies in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. In Toronto, Pisters also served as president and chief executive officer of The Michener Institute of Education and professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto.
Originally arriving at MD Anderson in 1994, Pisters joined the faculty as an assistant professor of Surgery. He rose to full professor with tenure in 2004 and was repeatedly honored during his two decades at MD Anderson, earning two Fellows Outstanding Teacher awards and three Faculty Excellence awards. Pisters became medical director and eventually vice president for MD Anderson’s regional care system, comprising of multiple Houston-area locations. He previously serves as clinical consultant for the Center of Global Oncology (now MD Anderson Cancer Network®), section chief for Sarcoma Surgery and assistant medical director of the Sarcoma Center. He specialized in helping patients with sarcomas and gastrointestinal (GI) cancers and remains a board-certified surgeon. His research, focused on sarcomas, GI cancers and other malignancies, has resulted in nearly 400 peer-reviewed and additional articles, book chapters, teaching aids and other publications.
Pisters is on the Board of Directors for the Greater Houston Partnership and the CEO Roundtable on Cancer. In 2021 he was named a Top CEO by Glassdoor, ranking third out of 100 leaders nationally as part of the Employees’ Choice Awards, and The Houston Business Journal named him one of Houston’s Most Admired CEOs. He was also honored as CEO Communicator of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America’s Houston Chapter in addition to being elected as a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas. Pisters is also part of the Telluride Science Depot Advisory Board.
In her role as Managing Partner Government, Public Services, Georgina leads a team of professionals committed to preparing Canada for a healthy, prosperous, and sustainable future.
Georgina has over 30 years’ experience as a trusted advisor, business leader, entrepreneur and volunteer. An experienced strategist and collaborator, Georgina has a track record of working with leaders across governments, health and social care organizations and the private sector to shape and drive change agendas to improve outcomes for stakeholders.
Recognized as Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, Georgina is a frequent speaker and panelist on the future of government and the future of healthcare. She has recently co-authored a number of reports: Catalyst- A Vision for a Thriving Canada 2030; Reimaging Seniors Care; Digital Equity and most recently contributed to a Public Policy Forum paper, Taking Back Healthcare. Georgina serves on the Public Policy Forum’s Advisory Committee on the Future of Healthcare and the Longwoods Publishing Advisory Board.
Georgina has served on several boards in healthcare and education and is currently serving as a Director for Special Olympics Canada and is Co-Chair of the Ridley College Campaign. She studied Political Science at McGill and is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors.