Featured Presenters

Cindy-Lee Dennis

Mental Health Across the Perinatal Period

Dr. Cindy-Lee Dennis is a Professor in the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Perinatal Community Health and was recently appointed the Women’s Health Research Chair at Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital. She is currently the principal investigator of seven large, multi-site studies and is a co-investigator on twenty-four other research projects concerning maternal, paternal, and infant health outcomes. She holds over $23 million in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and has over 160 peer-review publications. She is the lead author on eight Cochrane systematic reviews and has provided over 150 invited presentations. Lastly, Dr. Dennis has worked with the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health, and Public Health Ontario to influence policy and improve the care provided to women and their families across the perinatal period.


Chelsea Elwood


Vaginal Seeding and Placentophagy: Understanding the Controversy

Dr. Chelsea Elwood completed her B.M.Sc. and M.Sc. in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Western Ontario and subsequently worked in infectious disease research as a microbiologist at the same institution prior to completing her medical training at the University of British Columbia. Currently, Dr. Elwood is completing fellowship in Reproductive Infectious Disease at UBC, after her residency Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She is actively engaged as a translational researcher in both basic science and clinical research focusing on the vaginal microbiome in women’s health. She is also a member of the SOGC Infectious Disease committee whose role is to make recommendations in reproductive care as it relates to infectious diseases. She will be joining the Department of OBGYN as a faculty member with interest in both general OBGYN and RID at both BCWH and St Paul’s hospital in 2018.


Louis Hugo Francescutti


Life is Simple: So why do we screw it up?

Dr. Francescutti received his combined Doctor of Philosophy (Immunology) in 1985 and his Doctor of Medicine in 1987 from the University of Alberta. In 1994, he completed his further studies in injury control while working toward a Masters of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

He is currently an emergency physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and the Northeast Community Health Centre in Edmonton. As a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, he teaches graduate courses in leadership, advocacy and public health.

Louis has published research on topics including emergency medicine, health promotion and leadership. His outstanding research and initiatives have earned him prestigious grants from a variety of funding agencies. He holds seven fellowships and four honorary fellowships from colleges around the world. Louis has delivered over 1,750 presentations worldwide.

Dr. Francescutti was selected as one of Alberta’s Top 100 Physicians of the Century by the Alberta Medical Association/College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta and he was also awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal from the Government of Alberta in 2005. In 2011, he was selected by Alberta Venture as one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal. In 2016, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada. Louis was selected as the Concordia University of Montreal 2016 Alumni of the Year.

From 2010-2013 he served as the President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and in 2013-2014 he then became the President of the Canadian Medical Association.

He is the Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Armed Forces 1 Health Services Group in Edmonton.


Belinda Fu

Improvisation and the Art of Medicine: Adaptable skills for an uncertain world

Belinda Fu, MD, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington, faculty in the Swedish Family Medicine Residency Program–First Hill in Seattle, Washington, and founder of the Mayutica Institute, an education and research organization. She received her BA at Stanford University, her MD from the University of California, San Francisco, and completed her residency and faculty development fellowship at the University of Washington. Dr. Fu is a professional actor, and a Theatresports™ ensemble member and improv instructor at Seattle’s Unexpected Productions. She is co-founder of the Annual International Medical Improv Train-the-Trainer Workshops, and creator of ImprovDoc.org, an educational resource about improvisation in medicine.


Plenary Panel: Shaping Practice to Promote Vaginal Birth in BC

Dr. Patricia Janssen, Professor and Lead, Optimal Birth BC, UBC School of Population and Public Health
Dr. Glen Hamill, Family Practice Physician, Fort St. John, BC
Erin O’Sullivan, RN, BScN, MPH, Regional Perinatal Program Development and Evaluation Lead, Island Health Authority
Dr. Erica Phelps, Department Head, Langley Memorial Hospital
Dr. J. Strydom, Family Practice Physician, Terrace, BC
Dr. B. Wagner, Senior Medical Director, VCH-Richmond