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Board

Board of Directors

The Board is a governing Board under the Bylaws of the Alberta College of Family Physicians. The ACFP Board ensures that:

  • the association is properly managed;
  • its property and assets are suitably cared for; and that
  • high-quality services are provided to all its members

The ACFP President is also the Board Chair and is the official spokesperson on issues that arise during and between Board meetings.

The Board consists of nine Directors. Director terms of office are three years, beginning at the Annual Meeting of Members (AMM) held each year in March, with the option of a second three-year term.

Non-Voting Board Liaisons

In January 2016, the structure and mandate of the ACFP Board was changed from a representative governance Board to a smaller skills-based governing Board. At that time, the Board adopted a new recommendation to invite Medical Student Liaisons and Family Medicine Resident Liaisons from the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary to attend all of the meetings of the Board as contributors without voting privileges.

2022-2023 Board of Directors

Noel DaCunha
President
Sudha Koppula
Past President
Douglas Tuck
Treasurer
Melanie Hnatiuk
Secretary
Simon Colgan
Director-at-Large
Donna Mumert
Director-at-Large
Anila Ramaliu
Director-at-Large
Dinesh Witharana
Director-at-Large
Terri Potter
Executive Director
Munib Ali
Resident Board Liaison – University of Calgary
Karanpreet (Preet) Bath
Resident Board Liaison – University of Alberta
Emily Cox
Medical Student Liaison – University of Calgary
Roja Suthaker
Medical Student Liaison – University of Alberta

Dr. Noel DaCunha

I’m Dr. Noel DaCunha and I live and work in Westlock, a small town an hour north of Edmonton. I have practised rural family medicine in Alberta for thirty-two years, having previously trained in London, England.  Teaching students and residents is one of my greatest joys and I embrace all that rural Alberta has to offer.

Since joining the board, I have grown to appreciate the challenges facing family medicine in Alberta and Canada and the need for strong leadership, advocacy, as well as well directed professional development programs and research.

I am proud of the leadership role that our board has taken with respect to the opioid crisis and our active engagement with the developing and rapidly changing primary care landscape in Alberta.

I enjoy being a Board member and a member of the Awards and Recognition Committee because it is very gratifying being a member of a team that supports our family physicians and is committed to improving the lives of all Albertans.

I joined the board because I felt I had accumulated sufficient knowledge and experience to add to the perspective of the board and hopefully make a positive contribution.

Dr. Sudha Koppula

I’m Dr. Sudha Koppula and I was born at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, where I also completed my family medicine training. I now enjoy a broad range family practice located at the MacEwan University Health Centre.

I have benefited from knowledge and mentorship from many sources. These have been instrumental in inspiring my academic career at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta, and my interest in medical education, especially faculty development.

In addition to my work in Edmonton and teaching in rural Alberta communities, I serve on committees with the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and present at national and international conferences.

My experience as a Board member
I’ve learned about how innovative Alberta family physicians are and the positive impacts they can make. I enjoy being a Board member because we do meaningful work while enjoying ourselves at the same time.

Dr. Doug Tuck

I’m Dr. Douglas Tuck and I’m a family physician who attended Medical School at Dalhousie (‘11), Halifax NS, and Residency at U of A (‘13). I’ve been living and practising in Alberta ever since.

Concurrently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) until July of 2019, I practised in both the federal and provincial health care systems. This afforded me the opportunity to deploy and practise in the United States (RIMPAC), Jordan (Syrian Refuges), and Ukraine. I also served as the Senior Medical Authority in a multidisciplinary facility for 18 months prior to my retirement from the CAF. During this time, I assisted in the development of Quality Assurance initiatives and the adaptation of a care delivery systems.

Giving back to the community has always been a priority for me. There has rarely been a period in my life where I have not volunteered in some capacity. I’ve served as a coach, student politician, and as a board member at both Mount Allison University and the Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) while a resident at University of Alberta. I firmly believe one should endeavour to work to improve the lot of those who follow behind us.

Dr. Melanie Hnatiuk

My name is Melanie Hnatiuk and I’m a proud Family Physician. I was born and raised in Alberta, having lived in both Edmonton and Calgary. I spent some time in London, Ontario for medical school at Western, then returned to complete my residency at the University of Calgary. I currently work as an Academic Family Physician at the University of Calgary where I have been privileged to play a role in the training of medical students and residents and to care for many of my patients for over 15 years. I have held various administrative and leadership positions both at the Department of Family Medicine and with other organizations in Alberta. I’m married and the mom of 3 children (and one dog). I love spending time outdoors with my family.

I am passionate about contributing to the work of the ACFP because I believe that Family Medicine is the foundation for a high-quality, compassionate and efficient health care system. Individuals, communities, and the system as a whole benefit when Family Medicine has strong representation.

I value the work the ACFP has done to advocate on behalf of Albertans by representing Family Physicians. The ACFP’s collaboration with stakeholders will ensure our discipline remains adaptive to the needs of the communities we work within.

Dr. Simon Colgan

I am a full-time palliative physician in community and tertiary care and the lead physician for CAMPP (Community Allied Mobile Palliative Partnership) in Calgary, an equity-focused palliative program to under served populations.

Why did you volunteer for this position or why do you serve on this committee/task force?
I really want to try and promote and advocate for equity related topics including – poverty, food security, harm reduction, climate change.

What do you value most about the work of the ACFP?
I think it has a huge reach within primary care politics and I believe tackling upstream determinants of health are crucial for some of our health care problems.

Dr. Donna Mumert

I’m Dr. Donna Mumert and I’ve been a family physician for over 20 years, currently practising in Beaverlodge, a small town in northern Alberta very close to where I grew up. I attended the University of Alberta for my undergraduate and medical degrees, as well as residency.

After only two years practising in Alberta I moved to the US, finally returning back home 15 years later. Since returning to Alberta, my focus has been on out-patient practice. Actively involved in my PCN, I often act as a mentor to other family physicians and am eager to bring the voice of rural and remote physicians to the ACFP Board.

In addition to my medical experience, I have spent several years as a board member of a local charter school, a non-profit organization.

I’m married with three children, and when I’m not working I can be found in my garden during the summer months. If it’s too cold to play in the dirt, I’ll be inside playing piano or knitting Norwegian sweaters for my family.

I got involved with the ACFP by volunteering on the CPD Advisory Committee, which gave me a chance to get to know the other board members and the ACFP staff, and I’m excited to have the chance to work with these awesome people who are so committed to supporting family physicians, and improving the health of all Albertans.

Dr. Anila Ramaliu

I’m Dr. Anila Ramaliu. I’m a practising family physician in Calgary, and since patient care and teaching are both passions of mine, I recently joined the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Calgary. I’m a graduate of training programs in Family Medicine and Public Health and Preventive Medicine from the University of Calgary. I hold a Master of Sciences in Health Research and have been involved in applied research with the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services. My prior experiences include work with international, national and local government, and non-government organizations, leading various health and social programs. Prior to joining the ACFP Board in March 2018, I served as Director of the Board of Calgary West Central PCN.

My experience as a Board member
Our health care system and the primary health care, in particular, are enjoying a transformation that calls for a contribution of all its members. Within this context, I decided to join the Alberta College of Family Physicians. There is a significant amount of work that ACFP faces – from being at the center of the efforts to manage the opioid crisis to effectively engaging the membership and working with multiple stakeholders, while also advocating for family physicians and their patients to jointly continue to build the Patient’s Medical Home. In the course of the past year, I have had the honour to participate in processes that support the advancement of all of the above. As a member and a board member, I feel proud to have been part of that, and I look forward to continued successes and achievements for ACFP as an organization.

Dr. Dinesh Witharana

I’m Dr. Dinesh Witharana and I’m a family physician based in Spruce Grove who primarily focuses on community primary care of palliative patients. I often bring residents with me to my hospice rounds and home visits. I also enjoy participating on the Provincial Palliative Tumor Group as an Executive Member, the AMA Section of Palliative Care Fee Committee, and the Core Committee for Cancer Strategic Clinical Network. I am the family physician representative on the Edmonton Zone PCN Sub-Committee for improving transitions of care, and previously served as a member of the ACFP First Five Years in Practice Committee.

I am a strong supporter of the ACFP Vision of advancing health for patients, their families, and communities where every Albertan has a patient-centred medical home, and believe that providing more support and resources for primary care will be essential to achieving this vision.

What I value the most about the ACFP is it’s very member focused. When you meet the staff, their sole interest is how to better support family physicians in Alberta, and they quickly feel like family.

Terri Potter

Executive Director

I am Terri Potter, the Executive Director for the Alberta College of Family Physicians.  My training and experience over the course of my career has provided me with a broad set of skills that support my role as ED.  I thoroughly enjoy supporting teams to be effective and efficient in their work.  I have a background in project management, training and facilitation, resource development and association management.  My recent area of interest to read and learn about is “systems”.

On a personal note, I am a mother of 4 adult children and married to an avid farmer and heavy equipment mechanic.  We live in Onoway (a small community northwest of Edmonton) where we enjoy our free time with life-long friends and new community members alike.  I enjoy all things outdoors, travelling and music.  I just recently joined a big band to play my trumpet (a little rusty).

My Board Experience
The ACFP Board of Directors are my “bosses” and I respect and appreciate their leadership and experience and depend on them everyday in the work that we do as a staff team and in the interactions with our members and partners. ACFP members are well represented and the strategic leadership of the specialty of family medicine is their primary concern.  It is through dynamic discussion, thoughtful assessment, and consistent action the Directors of the Board and staff of ACFP have been able to achieve so much in the past, and into the future.

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. The best is yet to come.

—Anonymous

Dr. Munib Ali

I am Dr. Munib Ali, a resident physician in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Calgary where I had also completed my medical school training. Born and raised a Calgarian, I avail my leisure time with activities such as cycling, tennis, and video games, all while savoring the local and global culinary offerings. Beyond clinical medicine, I am driven by a passion for research, innovation, and harnessing technology to push the frontiers of primary care, with a particular focus on improving healthcare for our growing senior population.

Why did you volunteer for this position or why do you serve on this committee/task force?
My desire to join the ACFP board stems from a deep passion for improving Albertans’ health and a commitment to excellence in patient care. As our healthcare landscape evolves rapidly with ongoing technological changes and shifting regulations, so do the needs of our community, stakeholders, clinicians, and learners. The ACFP board presents a valuable opportunity to cultivate provincial clinician relationships, provide transparent representation and engagement for our resident cohort, and advocate for the provision of high-quality supports and services.

What do you value most about the work of the ACFP?
The ACFP is dedicated to enhancing Family Medicine throughout the province, placing an importance on both the patients but also the clinicians who deliver care. It is a welcoming group of individuals that value resident input, understanding the significance of being heard. Moreover, the ACFP offers a very credible platform for advocacy, benefiting not only our patients and communities, but also our profession within the broader government context.

Dr. Karanpreet (Preet) Bath

Hi, my name is Preet Bath. I am originally from Ontario and did my MD at McMaster University before coming over to the University of Alberta for my family medicine residency.

Why did you volunteer for this position or why do you serve on this committee/task force?
I wanted to serve as the Resident Liaison to advocate for the resident perspective and act as a bridge between the ACFP and FM residents.

What do you value most about the work of the ACFP?
The ACFP does such important work in supporting primary care in Alberta by engaging with residents and physicians in the community and I hope to be a part of this!

Emily Cox

My name is Emily Cox and I am a first-year medical student at the University of Calgary, where I also completed my BSc. (Hons) in Neuroscience. I was born in the UK and moved to Canada when I was nine, growing up in both Halifax and Okotoks, Alberta. Outside of school, I have a variety of hobbies but you can most often find me reading, running, knitting, hanging out with friends, or practising pottery!

Why did you volunteer for this position or why do you serve on this committee/task force?
As someone who plans to practise family medicine in Alberta, I am passionate about the pursuit of a more equitable, accessible, and just health care system for Albertans. Through this position, I hope to work alongside health care professionals in enacting policy and practice changes, as well as provide a voice for my classmates’ perspectives and concerns, as the Albertan primary care landscape continues to evolve.

What do you value most about the work of the ACFP?
Family medicine and primary care are essential building blocks to our health care system that have undergone and will continue to change in the near future. I value that the ACFP advocates for physicians and patients in the face of our changing political sphere. I also really value the support that ACFP provides for family physicians and medical students alike — their work in creating networks, conferences, and learning opportunities is so valuable.

Roja Suthaker

My name is Roja Suthaker and I am a medical student at the University of Alberta. I was born and raised in Edmonton and completed a B.Sc. (Hons.) in psychology before beginning medical school. Outside of medicine, I enjoy teaching dance classes, playing board games, and cheering on the Edmonton Oilers!

Why did you volunteer for this position or why do you serve on this committee/task force?
Family medicine is a part of our healthcare system that has and will continue to undergo many changes in the coming years. Through this position, I hope to work with healthcare professionals to support the development of family medicine in Alberta and also provide a voice for the medical students’ perspectives on primary care.

What do you value most about the work of the ACFP?
I really appreciate the ways that the ACFP connects with medical students and provides opportunities for us to learn more about family medicine, whether it be through conferences, clinical skills nights, or networking events. Family medicine is such a vital part of the healthcare system, and the ACFP’s work to support family physicians, improve patient care, and advocate on behalf of family physicians is extremely valuable.