Santino Beninato, Regional Sales Manager - Central and Atlantic Canada,Vantage Endoscopy

Santino has over 6-years’ experience working in hospitals in a sales/support/educational capacity - with most of his experience having taken place directly in the endoscopy environment. He has facilitated training within hospitals, live courses, as well as for national organization conferences (e.g. CAGS and CSGNA). For Santino, electrosurgery is a passion and he truly enjoys working shoulder-to-shoulder with clinicians. Santino is an Erbe Certified Trainer and has personally lead the Erbe Certification Course for users on a national level and he feels strongly that Electrosurgery is one of, if not the most important modality related to Endoscopy. At Vantage, Santino also has the benefit of working to support many additional modalities like; Sandhill Manometry, M.I. Tech Metal Stents, U.S. Endoscopy, RUHOF Enzymatics, and Fujifilm Endoscopes – to name a few.

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Dr. Mark Borgaonkar, Professor of Medicine, Memorial University

Dr. Mark Borgaonkar obtained his MD from Memorial University in 1994. He completed Internal Medicine residency training at Memorial and then Gastroenterology training at McMaster. He obtained a Master's degree in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University. He joined the Memorial University Faculty of Medicine in 2000, where he is now appointed as Professor of Medicine. Dr. Borgaonkar has a strong interest in education and served as the Memorial Internal Medicine Residency program director, CAG GRIT course chair, CAG Education Committee member and has served as a faculty member at the Resident's Endoscopy Training Course and the CAG Scholar's Program. He served on the CAG Quality in Endoscopy Consensus Committee and has published on safety and quality in Gastroenterology. He has been involved with the SEE program since 2014 and is certified faculty for both the Colonoscopy Skills Improvement (CSI) course and the Train the Colonoscopy Trainer (TCT) course.

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Cathy Arnold Cormier

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Dr. Jeff Critch, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Memorial University

I completed medical school and pediatric residency at Memorial University, St. John's NL; followed by a 3-year fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at the Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto ON.
I practice pediatric gastroenterology at the Janeway Children's Health Centre, St. John's NL.
I am an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Memorial University.
I have an interest in medical education and I am actively involved in teaching medical students and pediatric residents. I sit on the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada examination committees for both General Pediatrics and Pediatric Gastroenterology.
I have research interests in pediatric gastroenterology; including pediatric IBD and pediatric liver diseases.

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Dr. Gerard Farrell, Director, eHealth Research Unit, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Gerard Farrell graduated Memorial University's Medical School in 1984. In 1986, he bought his first computer and found something useful to do with it shortly thereafter. He has been trying to replicate the experiment ever since, with mixed success. He was a founding member of the Board of the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information. He lectures on Medical Informatics in the Faculty of Medicine and has co- supervised graduate students in Computer Science, Psychology and Pharmacy. He was the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies with the Faculty of Medicine at MUN, responsible for the four year MD Education Programme. He is the Director of the eHealth Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, investigating what works and what doesn't when computers are used in health education and care delivery. He is also a General Practitioner in Oncology, developing a cancer aftercare programme.

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Minister Hon. John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services

Born in England, the Honourable John Haggie completed his medical studies at Victoria University in Manchester. He held several positions as physician, surgeon, tutor and registrar in the North West region of England and after a two-year fellowship, he received a doctorate in cancer research.
Since moving to Canada in the early nineties, Minister Haggie has had a long and distinguished career in medicine in Newfoundland and Labrador. He practiced initially as a general surgeon in St. Anthony with the Grenfell Region Health Services. In 1997, he was appointed attending surgeon of general and vascular surgery at James Paton Memorial Hospital in Gander. In 2008, he was appointed Chief of Staff at James Paton Memorial Hospital.
Minister Haggie served as President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association.
In Newfoundland and Labrador’s 2015 general election, he was elected MHA for the District of Gander and appointed to Cabinet to serve as the Minister of Health and Community Services.
He was re-elected to the House of Assembly for the District of Gander in the General Election of 2019, and continues to serve in Cabinet as Minister of Health and Community Services.
Minister Haggie resides in Gander with his wife Jeanette and two Westies, Chloe and Gracie.

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Dr. Michael Hogan, Associate Professor of Surgery, Memorial University

Dr. Hogan is a Surgeon specializing in Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgical Oncology. He started working at Eastern Health in 2008, and holds the rank of Associate Professor of Surgery at Memorial University with a cross appointment to the Discipline of Oncology.
Dr. Hogan is from St. John’s and did his undergraduate training at Memorial University completing the Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry in 1996. From there he went on to complete his Doctor of Medicine at Memorial University graduating in the year 2000. His post-graduate training included a General Surgery Residency at Memorial University followed by a Fellowship in Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgical Oncology at the University of Toronto from 2006-2008.
Since 2008, he has worked as a Staff Surgeon with Eastern Health and has a busy Surgical Oncology practice consisting of almost exclusively of advanced Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Oncology cases. Academically, he has received his Masters in Medical Education from the University of Aberdeen and has done extensive research in Surgical Education. He holds committee positions nationally with both the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, as well as the Medical Council of Canada.
He lives in St. John’s with his wife Karen and two boys Benjamin and Sean. He is active in the community coaching youth sports and spends a lot of time at the hockey rink watching his boys.

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Rayleen Hogan, Regional Waitlist manager for the medicine program at Eastern Health

Rayleen graduated from St. Clare's School of Nursing in 1993 and began her endoscopy career in Vero Beach, Florida until she returned to Newfoundland in 1998. She wrote her CNA GI Certification exam in 2013 and graduated from Memorial University in 2015 with her BN post RN degree. She is currently enrolled in Yorkville University's Masters of Adult Education Program and works as the Regional Wait List Manager for the Medicine Program at Eastern Health in St. John's. She is the president of the CSGNA NL Chapter. Of note, Rayleen was the first Newfoundland nurse to receive the GI Professional Nursing Award in 2017.

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Dr. Lawrence Hookey, Medical Director of Endoscopy, Kingston Health Sciences Centre.

Dr. Hookey came to Kingston after completing medical school training at Memorial University of Newfoundland. After finishing both internal medicine and gastroenterology training at Queen’s, he embarked on a two year fellowship in clinical research in therapeutic endoscopy, travelling to Belgium and France. He returned as faculty at Queen’s in 2005 and was promoted to associate professor since then. Dr. Hookey’s practice includes general GI with a focus on therapeutic endoscopy and pancreatic and biliary disease. Dr. Hookey is currently the Chair of the Division and the Medical Director of the Endoscopy Units at Kingston General and Hotel Dieu hospitals.

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Gail Mason, Charge Nurse Clinic E and Education Director, The Moncton Hospital

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Dr. Jerry Shane McGrath, BSc, MSc, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Jerry S. McGrath, is the Medical Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Colon Screening Program. He has held this position since 2012, when the program was initially launched. He first start practicing as a staff gastroenterologist at the General Hospital, Health Sciences Centre, St. John's, NL in 2004 after he returned from Internal Medicine and GI fellowship training at University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. He also is an Associate Professor of Medicine with Memorial University of Newfoundland and he is actively involved with undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. His passion is Gastroenterology and this past year he took on the role as Chief of Gastroenterology for Eastern Health.

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Dr. Alia Norman, Lead Physician, Newfoundland, Canabo Medical Clinic

Dr Alia Norman has worked full time in cannabinoid medicine for the past 3 years, and has guided over 5000 patients in the use of cannabis for refractory symptoms from a variety of diseases from epilepsy to cancer to inflammatory and osteoarthritis as well as IBS and IBD. She is the lead physician at the Cannabinoid Medical Clinic in St John's, and a member of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids and the Healer cannabis training program. For the last year, she has supported other physicians in authorizing cannabis for medical purposes as a lecturer and by serving as a mentor in the Catalyst and eConsult programs.
She did her education, chemistry and medical degrees, cell biology work term and radiation oncology residency in Manitoba, and worked in palliative care and oncology for 8 years prior to her current position. She is a step/parent of 7 teens/young adults, and enjoys the work life balance and independence of her current position.

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Merlee Steele-Rodway, Reg. Nurse, Consultant- IPAC/MDR

Merlee Steele-Rodway, RN Merlee Steele-Rodway is a Registered Nurse with more than 35 years of varied experiences as a Staff Nurse, Educator, Head Nurse (Neonatal Intensive Care), Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Practitioner, Coordinator, Regional Director of IPAC and Medical Device Reprocessing (MDR) Programs at the largest Health Authority in Newfoundland & Labrador (NL); Eastern Health. Although Merlee recently retired from the acute care settings, she continues to provide education and consulting in IPAC & MDR fields. Merlee initiated the first Provincial MDR Committee in NL. Merlee is a regular presenter at provincial and national conferences offering her knowledge of national standards and promoting safe patient care by sharing her expertise and education while ensuring awareness of national standards related to IPAC & MDR. She often provides complimentary consultation to IPAC & MDR colleagues as needed. Merlee continues to be active in various aspects of Health Care in Canada. She is a founding member and currently Immediate Past President of the Canadian Association for Medical Device Reprocessing (CAMDR). Merlee is also a founding member of the Canadian Association for Pediatric Nursing. She has served as President of IPAC-NL chapter and a member of International and other National Boards and Associations. She is a current member of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Technical Committee for Sterilization and Medical Device Reprocessing and is a CSA committee member that developed the only Canadian Certification for Medical Device Reprocessing Technicians. Merlee is a member of the IPAC-Canada MDR Education Modules and the Saskatchewan Polytechnic MDRT Program Advisory Boards. She also assisted Academy Canada to develop their first MDR Technician Course in NL. Merlee is a member of the IPAC-Canada Scientific Committee for 2020 & 2021 National Conferences. Merlee has received several awards during her nursing career. Her most recent award being chosen as the 3M 2019 Champion for Infection Prevention and Control awarded through IPAC-Canada.

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Jane Smallwood, Senior Nurse Educator/ Consultant, Olympus Canada Jane Smallwood RN BScN MHSM MBA CNOR


  • Over 35 years of health care background in both the clinical and health care industry Experience in procurement, teaching, consulting, administration and nursing
  • Experience with acute care, academic, community and long term care facilities
  • Experience with ambulatory and surgery centers
  • Experience developing green site programs
  • Experience in both the USA and Canada health care systems
  • Currently employed with Olympus Canada as a Nurse Consultant/Educator

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Dr. Chris Smith , MD MSc FRCSC, General and Bariatric Surgery, Eastern Health

Medical School and General Surgery residency at Memorial University completed in 2011. Fellowship in Minimally invasive surgery/Bariatric Surgery at University of Ottawa completed 2012. General and Bariatric Surgeon with Eastern Health from 2012 - present. Assistant Professor of Surgery with Discipline of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University 2012 - Present. Previous Research Director with department of General Surgery and current clinical discipline coordinator responsible for Clinical Clerks completing core surgery rotation at Memorial University.
Faculty member - Canadian Association of Gastroenterology - Colonoscopy skills improvement (CSI) 2015 - Present. Current Faculty in training - Train the Endoscopy Trainer (TET). Endoscopy lead - General Surgery Residency Training Program - Memorial University.
Research Interests: Bariatric Surgery outcomes, Quality improvement in Colonoscopy, Enhanced recovery after Surgery. Master's degree in Science/ Clinical Epidemiology Medicine - Memorial University Spring 2019. Married for 9 years (Erin), 2 kids Abigail (8) and Ethan (2). 2 times Ironman triathlon finisher.

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Dr. Gary Stone, Project Manager, Eastern Health

Gary Stone - has worked at Eastern Health for almost 14 years in various leadership capacities, most recently as a Project Manager with Supply Chain / Materials Support. Gary has an active role with inventory management technology, pre and post deployment at Eastern Health. Gary has also been tasked with the continuation of adopting this concept in other supply challenged areas within Eastern Health.

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Sandra Stone, Follow-up Coordinator, NL Colon Screening Program

*Graduated from nursing in 1979. Sandra is the lead Follow-up Coordinator with NL Colon Screening program. She has previously worked many years in in Endoscopy and surgery. Completed her GI Certification in 2008. Has been huge supporter and very active member of CSGNA,holding positions as president of local chapter and Practice Director with National Board.

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Wanda Squires, Practice Consultant, College of Licensed Practical Nurses of NL

Wanda Squires is the Practice Consultant with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador. Since 2015 Wanda has been providing practice support and scope of practice information to the over 2400 LPNs in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Wanda is a 2004 graduate from the Practical Nursing program in Calgary, Alberta. Her practice areas included obstetrics, outpatients, day-surgery, Emergency, Acute care, Long Term and Dementia care, and in a special procedure area.
Wanda is responsible for providing regulatory information to LPNs, RNs, educators, and other stakeholders. She is the lead on the Continuing Competency Program for LPNs and liaises with her counterparts across the country regarding the LPN role and scope of practice in other Canadian jurisdictions.
Wanda has a passion for nursing and for LPNs working to their full scope. Prior to nursing, Wanda studied Nautical Science, and can say that she has seen this country from sea to sea to sea.
When she’s not at work you can find her at the rink or the gym with her children or enjoying the beautiful Newfoundland outdoors.

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Sheila Williams, Music Therapist, Eastern Health

A proud Newfoundlander and renowned celebrity in her province, Sheila Williams has been performing for 30 years. Included in her list of credits are: singing, acting, conference hosting, motivational speaking and her favorite, comedy. Sheila is able to weave all of these abilities into a unique tapestry which will entertain your audience while compelling them to think differently. Sheila is a founding member of Spirit of Newfoundland and has been involved in countless productions. Some highlights of her career include travelling to Ireland to perform Nunsense in the Light Opera Festival for which she received the Adjudicator's Award. She has performed with Simon Cotter (Just for Laughs), and has also acted in commercials for television and radio. Outside of performing, Sheila has a degree in Music Education from the Memorial University of Newfoundland and a degree in Music Therapy from Capilano University, British Columbia. She believes in the healing powers of music and humour and is presently working as a Music Therapist. Sheila is the honored recipient of the 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Medal for her Cultural Contribution to Canada.

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