Inspired advice guides our mission

CoMPASS is the unique volunteer team helping us map the route toward major impact
Dr. Karin Humphries and Caroline Lavallée

CoMPASS members Dr. Karin Humphries (left) and Caroline Lavallée at a recent Heart & Stroke event.

The Heart & Stroke Council on Mission: Priorities, Advice, Science and Strategy (CoMPASS) plays a key role in setting direction for Heart & Stroke’s work toward achieving our mission.

The council comprises around 35 senior volunteers, including Canadian researchers, clinicians and people with lived experience of heart disease and stroke. CoMPASS provides strategic advice on the foundation’s mission priorities to the Heart & Stroke board of directors, through the CEO.

“The council’s advice touches all areas of our Heart & Stroke mission including research, health policy, advocacy, government relations, systems change, and patient engagement and support,” says Yves Savoie, Heart & Stroke CEO.

CoMPASS also plays a critical coordinating role. It’s where the recommendations of other key Heart & Stroke advisory groups are reviewed and aligned. Those groups include our Scientific Review Committee — which advises on our research program and conducts gold standard peer review of our research grant applications — as well as our six Mission Critical Area (MCA) councils,each of which is working to identify the most important priorities and questions related to a specific disease area such as stroke, heart failure and heart rhythm. 

CoMPASS co-chairs

Co-chairs Michael McGillion and Kim Griffin were appointed in September 2018. Together they bring senior research and business leadership to this important role.

Dr. McGillion holds the Heart and Stroke Foundation/Michael G. DeGroote Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Nursing Research at McMaster University School of Nursing in Hamilton. Dr. McGillion is an internationally recognized researcher in the area of persistent forms of cardiac pain.

Yves Savoie

The council’s advice touches all areas of our Heart & Stroke mission.

Yves Savoie CEO, Heart & Stroke

Ms. Griffin, a collaborative business leader with a proven track record of moving ideas into implementation, is the recipient of a number of North American and Canadian communications awards. She currently leads customer service, corporate communications and public affairs for Maritime Electric in Prince Edward Island. Through her husband’s family Ms. Griffin has direct experience of the toll of heart disease; her appointment underlines Heart & Stroke’s commitment to including the voices of people with lived experience and their families in all its work. 

“CoMPASS members are subject matter experts and personally committed to the mission and goals of the foundation,” says Savoie. “We welcome the appointment of Dr. McGillion and Ms. Griffin as co-chairs and feel certain that Heart & Stroke and the council will derive enormous benefit from their insights, strategic thinking and willingness to act as champions and spokespeople for Heart & Stroke.” 

CoMPASS members 

Mr. Rick Adams (PEI): chartered accountant; executive director, Health PEI; stroke survivor; co-chair, Heart & Stroke MCA stroke council

Mr. Dave Allingham (Ont.): nuclear equipment program manager, heart transplant recipient; co-chair, Heart & Stroke MCA heart rhythm council

Dr. Rob Beanlands (Ont.): founding director, National Cardiac PET Centre; Tier 1 uOttawa Chair in Cardiovascular Imaging; head of cardiology, University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Ms. Debbie Benczkowski (Ont.): past chief operating officer, Alzheimer Society of Canada; volunteer, Heart to Hand program; co-chair, Heart & Stroke MCA vascular cognitive impairment council

Dr. Sandra Black (Ont.): Brill Chair in Neurology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and University of Toronto; co-chair, Heart & Stroke MCA vascular cognitive impairment council

Dr. Jafna Cox (N.S.): staff cardiologist, Capital Health; Heart & Stroke Foundation Endowed Chair, Cardiovascular Outcomes; professor, department of medicine, Dalhousie University 

Dr. Jonathon Fowles (N.S.): Clifford Shand Chair in Physical Education and director, Centre of Lifestyle Studies, Acadia University; chair, national advisory council, Exercise is Medicine Canada

Dr. Richard Frayne (Alta.), ex-officio member: deputy director, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and director, Vascular Imaging Laboratory, University of Calgary; executive vice chair, Heart & Stroke Scientific Review Committee 

Dr. David Hammond (Ont.): past advisor, World Health Organization; CIHR-PHAC Chair in Public Health, University of Waterloo

Dr. Terry Hébert (Que.): researcher and thought leader, GPCR and G protein signaling; recipient, Chercheur National Award, FRSQ; McDonald Scholar, Heart & Stroke

 Dr. Robert Hegele (Ont.): director, Lipid Genetics Clinic, Robarts Research Institute; distinguished professor of medicine and biochemistry, Western University; co-chair, Heart & Stroke MCA coronary artery and vascular disease council

Dr. Michael Hill (Alta.):Heart & Stroke/Hotchkiss Brain Institute Professorship in Stroke Research, University of Calgary director, stroke unit, Calgary Stroke Program; co-chair, Heart & Stroke MCA stroke council

Dr. Karin H. Humphries (B.C.): co-chair, Women’s Heart and Brain Health Committee; associate professor, division of cardiology, University of British Columbia; UBC-Heart & Stroke Foundation Professorship in Women’s Cardiovascular Health

Dr. Moira Kapral (Ont.): director, division of general internal medicine, University of Toronto; senior scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Toronto General Research Institute

Dr. Andrew Krahn (B.C.): head, division of cardiology and Sauder Family chair, University of British Columbia; associate editor, Heart Rhythm; co-chair, Heart & Stroke MCA heart rhythm council

Dr. Mary L’Abbé (Ont.): Earle W. McHenry Professor and chair, department of nutritional sciences, University of Toronto; member, World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Nutrition 

Ms. Caroline Lavallée (Que.): communications professional; co-chair, Women’s Heart and Brain Health Committee; Heart & Stroke volunteer and spokesperson

Mr. Kelly J. Lendsay (Sask.): social entrepreneur; president and CEO, INDIGENOUS WORKS; Canadian Indigenous leader 

Dr. Peter Liu (Ont.): chief scientific officer and vice president of research, University of Ottawa Heart Institute; president, International Society of Cardiomyopathy & Heart Failure

Dr. Ariane Marelli (Que.): cardiovascular program leader, McGill University Health Centre Research Institute; director, McGill Adult Unit for Congenital Heart Disease; co-chair, Heart & Stroke structural heart disease council

Dr. Gary Newton (Ont.), ex-officio member: president and CEO, Sinai Health System; executive chair, Heart & Stroke Scientific Review Committee; associate professor of cardiology, University of Toronto

Dr. Philippe Pibarot (Que.): Canada Research Chair, Valvular Heart Disease, Québec Heart & Lung Institute; Laval University

Dr. Andrew Pipe (Ont.): professor of medicine, University of Ottawa; vice chair, board of directors, Heart & Stroke; member, Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame

Ms. Catherine Praamsma (Ont.): retired senior health executive; executive member, Canadian College of Health Care Executives; past NWT president and board member, Canadian Public Health Association

Dr. Jeff Reading (B.C.): founding director, Centre for Aboriginal Health Research, University of Victoria;; professor, Simon Fraser University; First Nations Health Authority Chair, St. Paul’s Hospital 

Dr. Heather Ross (Ont.): head, Ted Rogers Centre of Excellence in Heart Function, University Health Network; co-chair, Heart & Stroke MCA heart failure council

Ms. Shelagh Ross (B.C.): co-founder, Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance (CCHA); co-chair, Heart & Stroke MCA structural heart disease council; managing editor, K2 Animal Health Publishing

Dr. Mike Sharma (Ont.): stroke neurologist; chair, Canadian Stroke Consortium; researcher, Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University

Dr. Eric Smith (Alta.): stroke neurologist, Katthy Taylor chair, vascular dementia; medical director, Cognitive Neurosciences Clinic, University of Calgary

Dr. John C. Spence (Alta.): professor and associate dean, faculty of physical education and recreation, University of Alberta; senior research associate, Alberta Centre for Active Living

Ms. Wendy St. Denis (Ont.): stroke, angina and vascular disease survivor; national board member, Skate Canada; section chair, Skate Ontario, co-chair, Heart & Stroke MCA coronary artery and vascular disease council

Dr. Julie St-Pierre (Que.): president, Quebec Cardiovascular Health Action Association (Canada); president, American Heart Association Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health; professor of clinical medicine, Sherbrooke University

Ms. Sandra Thornton (Alta.): communications leader; co-chair, Heart & Stroke MCA heart failure council; volunteer

Dr. Christian Vaillancourt (Ont.): associate professor, emergency medicine, University of Ottawa; senior scientist, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; associate medical director, Regional Paramedic Program for Eastern Ontario

Dr. Thomas Warshawski (B.C.): consultant pediatrician; chair, Childhood Obesity Foundation; associate clinical professor of pediatrics, University of British Columbia

  • Learn more about Heart & Stroke research