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 consist 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.
2020-2021 Board of Directors
Vishal Singh Bhella
I’m Dr. Bhella and I completed a PGY 3 Academic Fellowship in Family Medicine at Western following my residency. During my early practice, I worked in Ontario in various capacities including clinic, hospitalist and ER work.
I relocated to Alberta to join the University of Calgary Department of Family Medicine as a Clinical Assistant Professor and Lead Preceptor at the South Health Campus Family Medicine Teaching Clinic in 2013.
As an ACFP Board member, I am proud of the commitment to Family Medicine shown by members of our board, staff, committees and membership. It is important to have a strong Family Medicine voice and there are many initiatives that the ACFP is involved in and many people behind the scenes to move these initiatives forward and it is inspiring to see the hard work and dedication of so many members in supporting and promoting the role of primary care in our health care system.
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 benefitted 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.
I’m Clark Svrcek and I’m in the first five years of practice. A small town Alberta boy, I attended the University of Alberta for my engineering and medical degrees before moving south to the University of Calgary for residency. After locuming in rural Alberta and the greater Calgary region, I worked in an amazing medical home in NW Calgary before taking a new position at the South Health Campus Family Medicine teaching clinic.
I have strong interests in health system design and how the built environment influences both individual and community health. When I’m not working you can find me (or not) outside in nature with my family, playing music, or desperately trying to organize thousands of digital photos.
I enjoy being a Board Member for the ACFP because I am constantly energized by the inspiring group of Family Physicians I get to hang out with at our meetings and events. It is a privilege to serve our members and engage with other Family Docs around the province.
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
My experience as a Board member
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 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.
I’m Dr. Sonya Lee and I’m a Family Physician who trained at the University of Toronto, where I completed my residency, a Women’s Health Scholarship and a Masters of Health Science.
I currently work as an Academic Family Physician at the University of Calgary and practice broad scope Family Medicine, with clinical interests in Women’s Health, and Sexual and Reproductive Health. I’m highly involved in teaching and education at all levels.
Since joining the Department of Family Medicine, I have held various administrative and leadership positions. I’m married with 3 children, and enjoy running, skiing and other outdoor activities, as well as watching my children play soccer.
My experience as a Board member
Through the board I most enjoy contributing to the future of family medicine by helping family physicians provide the best care to their patients and their families and being able to work with the other board members and the ACFP staff, who are all wonderful and amazing people!
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 2 years practicing in Alberta I moved to the US, finally returning back home 15 years later. Since returning to Alberta, my focus has been on outpatient 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 currently serving in my second year on the ACFP Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Advisory Committee.
I’m married with 3 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’m very new on the board; 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.
I’m Dr. Anila Ramaliu. I’m a practicing 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 Center 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 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.
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 practicing in Alberta ever since. Concurrently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces until July of 2019, I practiced in both the federal and provincial healthcare systems. This afforded me the opportunity to deploy and practice 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 his 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 U of A. I firmly believes one should endeavour to work to improve the lot of those who follow behind us.
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.
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.
If we have yet to meet — and I hope we do — I’m Avery and I am a PGY-1 in the Family Medicine Program. I grew up in small town Alberta, near Medicine Hat, and enjoyed a childhood filled with farm animals and the great outdoors. I moved to Edmonton for medical school after completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Saskatchewan. I was overjoyed to match to the Family Medicine Residency Program in Edmonton, and recently moved into a character home in the Garneau area with my partner, where I spend most of my spare time on home renovations and gardening.
I was motivated to join the ACFP as a Family Medicine Resident Board Liaison as I aspire to bring a unique perspective with my rural lived experience to the ACFP. Further, I hope to learn from my colleagues and begin to develop a special appreciation for the breadth of needs across communities. As such, I aspire to contribute to meaningful change in health care policy during and beyond residency.
My name is Jocelyne Beelen and I am a second year medical student at the University of Alberta. I completed my undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences at Western and then worked as a Research Coordinator at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. I love to keep busy spending time with friends and family, doing various outdoor activities, and volunteering with Girl Guides Canada. At school I have become involved with a few different initiatives including the Family Medicine Interest Group and I teach swimming lessons with the Steadward Bears Para-swim program.
The ACFP supports family physicians throughout their career, shows learners the variety and diversity that family practice offers, and is dedicated to patient care every step of the way. I am extremely grateful to be able to work with a group of dedicated and passionate individuals as a medical student liaison and hope to be an effective advocate on behalf of my fellow medical students. I am excited to learn more about family medicine in Alberta specifically and the opportunities and resources provided by the ACFP.
I’m Andrei Aldea, a PGY-1 in Family Medicine at the University of Calgary. I am a Canadian with Romanian roots who grew up in Ottawa and completed medical school at McGill University. Throughout my academic career I have also accumulated experience in private biotechnology and the governmental health sector. However, I am equally shaped by my time playing high-level soccer, travelling, and spending time around my interesting friends. One of them loves to create artwork out of everyday objects, as evidenced by this photo capturing my great escape.
I am motivated to use the FMR Board Liaison platform to work towards promoting patient-centred healthcare alongside experienced Family Physicians. I would like to develop a unique understanding of how community-specific needs are assessed and how they affect policy change in Alberta. I aim to promote primary care and support Family Physicians in their goal to ensure that each individual has a patient-centered medical home.
I value the unique perspectives and experiences of my fellow board members. I strongly believe that this diversity results in a creative and energetic environment that propagates the Family Physician voice.
My name is Hania Aamer and I am a first year medical student at the University of Calgary. I grew up in Edmonton and completed my Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta before starting medical school. I enjoy spending time with my family. We enjoy traveling, trying new food together, and taking lots of photos! I also absolutely love movies. You can always find me at the movie theatre watching the latest movies! One of my favorite things is teaching others. I have been a debate and speech teacher for over 5 years and also own a tutoring business called Toon Tutors through which I express my entrepreneurial spirit!
My interest in family medicine stems from the desire to be a healthcare advocate for patients and their communities. Specifically, I am passionate about the importance of advocating for underserved populations. I have previously been involved in advocacy for underserved populations through serving as an appointed youth councillor with the City of Edmonton Youth Council. I believe that family medicine is the backbone of our healthcare system and I am excited to be involved in the area that directly supports the rest of our medical field. These attributes of family medicine inspired me to serve as the Medical Student Liaison with the ACFP Board.
I am excited to share my passion for family medicine with my fellow students by serving on the ACFP board. I value how ACFP brings together family physicians from across the province and strives to highlight the importance of patient-centred care and advocacy. I am looking forward to working closely with the board to represent my medical school class and facilitate initiatives and conversations about family medicine!