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Membership Engagement and Recognition Committee

The ACFP Member Engagement and Recognition Committee (MERC) serves to ensure the ACFP is meeting the needs of its diverse membership. The committee is responsive to emergent member needs, and will, where necessary, create sub-committees or task forces to identify and meet these needs. This committee reports to the Executive Director with strategies and recommendations and will work with the ACFP staff to implement these through operational means.

The Operational Committee which fall under the MERC are the First Five Years in Family Practice Committee.

Become a Committee Member

We are recruiting for the following positions:

  • At least one, but up to three Members-at-Large

How to Apply

Email your application to Please include a letter of interest (250 words max) and a summary of your experience or a copy of your CV.

Committee Members

  • Dr. David Pinzon (Chair), Edmonton
  • Dr. Akolisa (Ako) Anyaduba, Red Deer
  • Dr. Cian Hackett, Edmonton
  • Dr. Priyanka Hansraj, Edmonton
  • Dr. Melanie Hnatiuk, Calgary
  • Dr. Vivek Kumar, Edmonton
  • Dr. Dinesh Witharana, Edmonton


David Pinzon
Akolisa (Ako) Anyaduba
Cian Hackett
Priyanka Hansraj
Melanie Hnatiuk
Vivek Kumar
Dinesh Witharana

Terms of Reference

The Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) Member Engagement and Recognition Committee (MERC) is an operational committee which will assist in developing operational tactics in the areas of communications; member engagement; public, partner, and government relations; and the provision of member services. 


The Committee will provide advice and support to the ACFP’s member engagement, communications, and stakeholder relations efforts ensuring that the members’ perspectives are represented and that all members feel part of a prestigious professional community. The Committee will work with the staff team and spokespersons to ensure that messages and initiatives align with the diverse perspectives of family physicians in the province. The Committee will ensure that all members are recognized for their contributions to family medicine and primary health care through a variety of communications, awards, and recognition programs.  

Dr. David Pinzon

I am a family and emergency medicine doctor in Edmonton. I am a clinical lecturer for the University of Alberta Family Medicine program. Currently serve in both ACFP award and Board committee.

Why are you volunteering to serve on this committee?
I joined the ACFP Awards and Recognition Committee because I believe in recognizing and promoting the great efforts our experienced or in-training Family Physicians are doing to improve education and patient care in Alberta.

What about the ACFP’s work do you find most valuable?
I value the ACFP’s great effort and commitment in optimizing healthcare and the role of Family Physicians in Alberta.

Dr. Akolisa Anyaduba

My name is Dr. Ako Anyaduba. I am a Family Physician based in Red Deer, AB. I do community family practice, hospitalist (at Red Deer Regional Hospital) and rural emergency calls at Innisfail, AB. I am a clinical lecturer with University of Calgary and University of Alberta. I am on the board of the Red Deer PCN. I represent Red Deer PCN on the Alberta Pain Strategy Models of Care Working Group. I love my town of Red Deer, AB and will continue to work with the community to make Red Deer, AB, the best city in Alberta.

Why are you volunteering to serve on this committee?
I joined the Membership Advisory Committee with the aim to get a working knowledge and experience of the governance and advocacy activities of the ACFP. This work will help me contribute positively to the wonderful work that ACFP does for its members.

What about the ACFP’s work for you find most valuable?
I value ACFP’s focus on its members. ACFP is palpably passionate about the welfare of its members and consistently works at improving its members. It consistently advocates for its members and Family Medicine in general.

Dr. Cian Hackett

I’m Dr. Cian Hackett. Since graduating from a rural family medicine residency program based in Red Deer, I have practiced full scope rural medicine in Rimbey, Alberta, along with teaching roles and locums in neighbouring communities. I enjoy biking, cross-country skiing, and live music.

Why are you volunteering to serve on this committee?
I volunteered for this position because this committee allows me to recognize the achievements and dedication of my colleagues, the merits of whom never cease to awe. I am keen to promote excellence within family medicine and have a particular interest in diversity and equity.

What about the ACFP’s work do you find most valuable?
What I value the most about the work of the ACFP is its commitment to patient-centered, generalist family medicine.

Dr. Priyanka Hansraj

I am a family physician in Edmonton. I completed medical school at University of Toronto and returned back home to Edmonton for my Family Medicine residency training at University of Alberta. In my spare time, I enjoy many arts and crafts hobbies particularly painting, sketching, knitting, and cross-stitch embroidery.

Why are you volunteering to serve on this committee?
My experiences in this profession have shown me how talented and accomplished many of my colleagues are, whether it be medical students, residents, or staff physicians. I wanted to be a part of the group that gets to acknowledge and recognize such talent in our province.

What about the ACFP’s work do you find most valuable?
What I value most about the work of the ACFP is its representation, advocacy, and commitment towards Family Medicine and overall patient care in Alberta.

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.

Why are you volunteering to serve on this committee?
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.

What about the ACFP’s work do you find most valuable?
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. Vivek Kumar

I am a family physician in Edmonton. I am originally from the land of the Vedas. I completed medical school at the University of Calcutta, India and did my Family Medicine residency training at the University of Alberta. In my spare time, I enjoy reading books, listening to melodies, cooking, and playing with my two beautiful children.

Why are you volunteering to serve on this committee?
I wanted to be a part of a group that acknowledges, appreciates, and cherishes the contributions of a family physician in various domains of healthcare. There are several amazing and inspiring family physicians out there in the community and recognizing their efforts is a wonderful way to demonstrate our appreciation and gratitude for their efforts.

What about the ACFP’s work do you find most valuable?
I consider the ACFP to be a valuable platform and a great resource for fellow family physicians to connect and support each other. I feel that we can learn and benefit from each other’s experiences and contribute together to provide excellent care to our community.

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.

Why are you volunteering to serve on this 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 about the ACFP’s work do you find most valuable?
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.

My name is Smitha Yaltho and I feel privileged to work as a family physician. Why? I believe that being a family physician has been the best job any physician can hope to have. I have personally grown in my own abilities and skill-sets with diverse opportunities in ambulatory practice, acute care and work in Facility Living.  Working in primary care has been exciting and has also afforded me tremendous opportunities for growth while still remaining stimulating in its complexity.  I believe that Family physicians are trusted partners in patient care –  every step of the way. 

Why are you volunteering to serve on this committee?
I currently have an interest in Physician Leadership and  trauma informed care.  I have served as a director with the Board of Directors with the Edmonton North PCN, Edmonton’s largest PCN. Thereafter, I have worked as the Director of Medical Services with CapitalCare (also based in Edmonton) for almost 6 years. It is my express wish that my contribution on the ACFP board of directors will highlight the excellence of family medicine that exists right here and now within the Alberta health care system. 

What about the ACFP’s work do you find most valuable?
Ability to highlight and further support the excellence of primary care right here in Alberta.