Oct 2019

Meet PHC’s Strategic Pillar Physician Leads and Advisors


Physician leaders are representing the voice of Medical Staff in Providence’s new, seven-year plan and in Mount Saint Joseph’s (MSJ) Clinical and Master Plan. These roles enable stronger representation, collaboration and two-way communication among physicians, clinical and corporate leaders around the work to move Providence forward.  See more here >

  • The 4 Consultant Physicians for the Providence strategic plan will be connecting physicians with particular skills or knowledge to the relevant organizational projects, and attaching physician priorities to those areas (including some of those put forward last December).
  • The 2 MSJ Planning Leads have co-led the processes and engagement to develop the Options Analysis Report for PHC’s Board (on hold due to COVID-19).
  • These roles are funded by the PHC Physicians & Surgeons Association (PASS) Facility Engagement Initiative.
  • As a key stakeholder working alongside PHC leadership and administrators to shape our organization’s future,  the Consultant Physician will influence decisions relating to each area of strategic priority.
  • They will bring a voice of Medical Staff to the priority, and keep them informed of priority projects, measures and accomplishments.
  • These roles will be instrumental in engaging physicians in the Strategic Plan.  Leveraging medical staff input from consultations in late 2018 and early 2019, these strategic directions will drive the organization forward.
  • The Consultant Physicians will engage PHC Medical Staff and seek their input in key areas of high impact to bring their voice to the strategic priority.


Physician Lead: Dr. Adrienne Melck >

Endocrine and General Surgeon, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery – 9 Years at SPH: “My elective practice focuses on the surgical treatment of thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal disease.”

What are you passionate about at work? Joint decision-making with my patients: I spend a great deal of time explaining things to them with pictures to ensure they fully understand their disease process and their options for treatment. I strive to provide compassionate care and I serve on a number of committees aiming to improve the quality of the surgical care that we provide. I love the multidisciplinary and collaborative nature of my work.

Outside of work? My family​. I treasure every dance class, soccer practice and school concert I am able to attend and every finish line I can cheer at when my husband finishes a race. I enjoy travel and exercise and I’m currently trying to learn Italian.

What do you look forward to in this role? Being a conduit for clear communication between the medical staff and the leadership. I want to make sure I bring what matters to the medical staff to the forefront when high level decisions are being made about providing exceptional quality, safety and value. I also want to help promote a just culture of safety that encourages error reporting for the purpose of shared learning. I’m excited to create more forums to share quality improvement projects being done by frontline staff across the organization so we can all learn from what others are doing to improve care for our own patients.

PHC VP Sponsor: Dr. Janet Kow

Physician Advisory Committee:

  • Dr. Kristine Chapman
  • Dr. Sabrina Gill
  • Dr. Garth Hunte
  • Dr. Shannon Jackson
  • Dr. Trina Montemurro
  • Dr. Janet Simons
  • Dr. Eileen Wong


Physician Lead: Dr. Vishal Varshney >

Anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist at St. Paul’s Hospital and Mount St. Joseph’s Hospital: “I finished my anesthesia residency at UBC in 2018, and have been at PHC since early 2020.”

What are you passionate about at work? I’m passionate about the scope of care I’m thankful to provide, in being able to manage complex patients in both acute and chronic situations. Chronic pain management has come a long way in the last decade, and our program at SPH has grown substantially to provide patients with access to advanced pain management therapies, especially neuromodulation.

Outside of work? I enjoy spending time with my wife, exploring the city’s restaurants, and watching Indian movies. She’s a much better dancer than me!


What are you most looking forward to in this role?​ I am looking forward to engaging with colleagues in a variety of disciplines, and advocating for their needs. I believe we have a lot to be proud of in the work we do at PHC, and look forward to communicating that with my colleagues.

PHC VP Sponsor: Brian Simmers


Physician Advisory Committee:

  • Dr. Lawrence Cheng
  • Dr. Dr. Joe Finkler
  • Dr. Julia Raudzus
  • Dr. Debbie Rosenbaum
  • Dr. Ana-Luiza Sayao
  • Dr. Tony Wan (to Feb. 2022)


Physician Lead: Dr. Amin Sajan >

Emergency Medicine: “Apart from two stints working abroad,  I’ve been at Providence Health Care since the start of my residency in 1995.  I’ve worked in the Middle East on two separate occasions: 2 years in Riyadh just after 9/11 and most recently 6 years in Abu Dhabi.”

What are you passionate about at work?  As an Emergency Physician,  the unpredictable and sometimes chaotic environment that puts a premium on collaboration and team work to deliver quality patient care. I am most passionate about optimization of operational efficiency and management of scarce resources.

Outside of work? I enjoy independent travel with my family and focusing on developing health tech startups.

What do you look forward to in this role? I am looking forward to engaging with creative problem solvers within Providence to support an innovation ecosystem that leads to an exportable brand for the organization.

PHC VP Sponsor: Dr. Darryl Knight

Physician Advisory Committee:

  • Dr. Peter Van den Elzen
  • Dr. Jesse Greiner
  • Dr. Lik Hang Lee
  • Dr. Jeanne Macleod
  • Dr. Ron Ree
  • Dr. Tony Wan


Physician Lead: Dr. Grace Li>

I’m a physiatrist, and finished my residency at UBC in 2014. I work in various hospitals, including Holy Family Hospital   (stroke and orthopedic rehab hospital), GF Strong (EMG), and Sunnyhill (pediatric rehab).

What are you passionate about in your work? Within my clinical role, I enjoy helping patients and their families to navigate and troubleshoot their recovery. I see patient of a range of ages, and interface regularly with different disciplines and allied health professionals, which helps me to keep a broader perspective of neurologic/ MSK recovery.

Outside of work? I enjoy travelling, and have merged this with outreach clinics into smaller communities, such as Whitehorse and Prince George. Outside of work, I’ve developed some new isolation-friendly interests of cooking and gardening.

What are you most looking forward to in this role?​ I look forward to helping to increase awareness of physician engagement within our organization, and helping to broaden the scope of this work with outside organizations.

PHC VP Sponsor: Ms. Deborah Mitchell

Physician Advisory Committee:

  • Serena Chee, NP
  • Dr. Jani Laramée
  • Dr. Lik Hang Lee
  • Dr. Pierre-Paul Lizotte (to August 2020)
  • Dr. Clare Alexander (to October 2020)
  • Dr. Adrian Huang (to March 2021)

Meet MSJ’s Clinical and Master Plan Physician Teams

Dr Nora Cummins and Dr Victor Tsang, who have been selected to provide physician leadership for the Mount Saint Joseph (MSJ) Clinical and Master Plan.

Working in collaboration with the PHC senior executive leadership team, physician leadership for Redevelopment, and Medical Affairs, Drs Cummins and Tsang will bring the physician perspective to future planning for MSJ in three main areas:

      • Clinical Planning and Management: A review of current MSJ clinical services, volumes and practices as a baseline for an overall strategic, population-based, future state clinical delivery plan.
      • This will lead to an MSJ Master Plan Options Analysis Report, which will be presented to the PHC senior leadership team and Board. Provision of leadership, input, direction, and work collaboratively with the Corporate Director Strategic and Operational Projects to address non-clinically focused priorities, such as site infrastructure, communication, stakeholder engagement, and contract/ procurement of expert resources as appropriate.
      • Integration of clinical, clinical support and clinical administrative support service planning.

MSJ Clinical & Master Plan

Co-Leads: Dr. Nora Cummins & Dr. Victor Tsang

PHC VP Sponsors: Ms. Deborah Mitchell, Dr. Ron Carere.  Liaison: Dr. Jeff Pike

Physician Advisory Committee:

  • Dr. David Albiani
  • Dr. Harpreet Chauhan
  • Dr. Rudy Chow
  • Dr. Pierre-Paul Lizotte
  • Dr. Amie Padilla-Thornton
  • Dr. Chris Schneck

Dr. Nora Cummins: MSJ Co-lead>

Internal Medicine: “Medicine is a fascinating challenge: every patient I meet has a unique clinical puzzle that we work through together.  I came to Vancouver for my residency and I started my clinical practice at Mount St Joseph Hospital in 2003.  I have worked in various capacities in the Lower Mainland since then including private office, facility consultation, and also hospital-based with both rapid access clinic and acute care roles.”

What are you passionate about at work? Helping my colleagues and myself care for our patients to the best of our abilities within the system that we work.

Outside of work? Appreciating “the now.”

What do you look forward to in this role?  I look forward to being able to truly understand the role that MSJ plays now and what the regional needs are.  I hope we can work together to offer optimal and efficient care to the patients in both our local community and regionally.  I am so pleased to be working in a team with Dr Victor Tsang and Ms Jen Duff.

Dr. Victor Tsang: MSJ Co-lead>

General Surgeon: “I graduated from the University of Toronto Medical School in 1995 and completed my residency in General Surgery at UBC in 2001. I was fortunate enough to immediately find work as a community general surgeon upon completion of my surgical residency and have been working at the MSJ site ever since.”

What are you passionate about at work?  Seeing the beauty in technically satisfying solutions to surgical problems. I enjoy connecting with patients, learners and fellow staff on a human level and learning from them. I love working in a team environment and making everyone feel valued and respected.

Outside of work? I am a tennis fanatic. I watch too many Youtube BBQ videos. My family is my joy.

What do you look forward to in this role? MSJ is ultimately a family of dedicated compassionate staff who share a rich history of providing amazing health care to our local community.

I am looking forward to seeing how our particular history and expertise might serve the current and emerging needs of our community. Being new to this kind of endeavour, I am eager to learn how carefully thought out visions and dreams can become reality.

I am also looking forward to the new relationships that I will be making as I listen to and learn from experts, leaders and the many front line workers. Finally, I am thrilled to be working closely with Dr. Nora Cummins and Ms. Jen Duff. Their dedication and skills have already impressed me and I look forward to making this a highly productive collaboration.