Asthma Canada’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee plays an advisory role in our knowledge translation framework for the public, healthcare professionals and government. The Committee members provide expert opinion based on evidence, editorial direction on materials and resources, and guidance on national initiatives and policies. The Committee is cross-disciplinary and cross-country.

Susan Balkovec, RRT, CAE
Member
Susan Balkovec is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and Certified Asthma Educator in the Respiratory Medicine Division at SickKids hospital in Toronto. In her role, she provides asthma education to families of children who have been hospitalized or been to the intensive care unit (ICU) for asthma. She collaborates with the multi-disciplinary team regarding asthma management and with the families during scheduled visits in the
ambulatory asthma clinic. As an educator, Susan has been very active within SickKids promoting standardization of asthma education and management with other staff members to improve programs. She has taught both students and teachers about proper asthma management at a number of schools in the Greater Toronto Area. Susan was also involved in the early stages of The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study, a prospective longitudinal birth cohort study still in progress which looks at early determinants of asthma and allergy. As the lead respiratory therapist, she directed the infant pulmonary function team looking at the role of lung function variables early in life.
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Chris Carlsten, MD, MPH
Member
Chris Carlsten, MD MPH is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Canada Research Chair in Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease and holds the Astra-Zeneca Chair in Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease at the University of British Columbia. He is the Director of the Air Pollution Exposure Laboratory and also holds adjunct positions at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, the UBC School of
Population and Public Health and the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation. The Carlsten laboratory focuses on the respiratory and immunological health effects of inhaled environmental and occupational exposures, using diesel exhaust, western red cedar, and phthalates as model inhalants. As director of the Occupational Lung Disease Clinic at The Lung Centre (Vancouver General Hospital), Dr. Carlsten welcomes patients with concerns regarding occupational or environmental exposures contributing to respiratory disease including asthma, COPD, interstitial lung disease, cancer, and pleural disease.
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Matthew Feldman, MD
Member
Dr. Matthew Feldman is currently a Pediatrics Resident at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa. Originally from Calgary, Dr. Feldman has lived with asthma all his life. He has been involved with Asthma Canada for since 2015 and has been an adviser on numerous projects such as redesigning Asthma Canada's asthma action plan. He has enjoyed being involved in educating and improving the care for
all individuals affected by asthma.
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Alan Kaplan, MD, CCFP(EM), FCPC
Member
Dr. Kaplan is a Family Physician practicing in York Region, Ontario, Canada. He is the Chairperson of the Family Physician Airways Group of Canada and the past- Chairperson of the Respiratory Section of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. He is a Senate member of the International Primary Care Respiratory Group and a representative of the College of Family Physicians of Canada to the SARS clinical working group.
A member of the Health Canada Section on Allergy and Respiratory Therapies, he also co-chairs Health Quality Ontario COPD Community Management standards committee and is a Board member of Thrombosis Canada. Dr. Kaplan is also the Vice President of the Respiratory Effectiveness Group.
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Stacey McNeilly, RRT, CRE
Member
Stacey McNeilly has worked in respiratory care at several sites, including BC Children’s Hospital, King Faisal Research Center in Saudi Arabia, and most recently at Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge. In 2015, Stacey and a colleague launched the first smoking cessation clinic in Fraser Health at Ridge Meadows Hospital, a clinic which is open to anyone looking to quit smoking. After working for many years with smokers and patients
with lung diseases, Stacey has developed a profound appreciation for how difficult it is to quit smoking. Her work in pulmonary rehabilitation has showed her firsthand the effects smoking has on a patient’s health and quality of life. Stacey has been involved with Asthma Canada for a number of years in various advisory roles. Her areas of expertise include: asthma, pulmonary rehabilitation and smoking cessation.
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Ron Olivenstein, MD, Pulmonologist
Member
Dr. Ron Olivenstein is an Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University. His research focuses on asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). His research interests include clinical trials in asthma and COPD, investigations into airway inflammation in severe asthma and innovative therapies such as bronchial thermoplasty. He has
collaborated extensively with industry in testing the effects of novel therapeutic agents in asthma and has helped to establish a well-characterized severe asthma cohort at the Montreal Chest Institute.
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Cheryl Sadowski, B.Sc, Pharm.D., FCSHP
Member
Dr. Cheryl Sadowski is a Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta. She has a clinical practice in geriatrics in an interprofessional Geriatric Outpatient Clinic at the Misericordia Community Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. Her area of expertise is geriatrics, and she has been responsible for developing geriatrics-related content throughout the 4 years of the pharmacy curriculum. She
also teaches students in rehabilitation medicine, nursing, and dentistry. Her research interest include geriatric syndromes and care, functional medication management, and interprofessional education. She has published research on the use, complexity, and scoring of inhaler devices, and interprofessional peer teaching regarding inhaler devices.
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Padmaja Subbarao, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Member
Padmaja Subbarao MD, MSc, FRCP(C) is a Clinician-Scientist and Pediatric Respirologist. She is the Director of the Pulmonary Function Laboratory at the Hospital for Sick Children. She is also the Director and Toronto Site leader of the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study. She is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Paediatrics and Physiology at the University of Toronto. She has held a New
Investigator Award from CIHR for clinical research and her lab has been continuously funded by CIHR and AllerGen NCE. Her interests are in studying longitudinal objective lung function measurements from infancy to improve diagnostics and phenotyping of asthma. In studying longitudinal trajectories of lung function and relating them to environmental exposures, she hopes to understand the developmental origins of chronic obstructive lung disease and factors related to persistence and remission.
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Susan Waserman, MSc, MD, FRCPC
Chairperson
Dr. Waserman obtained her MSc and medical degree from McGill University in Montreal. She specialized in Internal Medicine, followed by subspecialty training in Allergy/Clinical Immunology. She then completed a fellowship in Pulmonary Immunology at the Meakins Christie Laboratories at McGill University. She is currently a Professor of Medicine, in the Division of Allergy/Clinical Immunology at McMaster University in Hamilton.
She is the Director of the Adverse Reactions Clinic at the Firestone Institute of Respiratory Health, St Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. She is the past President of the Ontario and Canadian Societies of Allergy and Clinical Immunology where activities included CME for physicians, allied health professionals and the community, as well as practice guidelines in areas such as anaphylaxis, rhinitis and immunotherapy.
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