Tom Stelfox

Tom Stelfox

Scientific Director

Dr. Tom Stelfox is Scientific Director of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health.

He received his M.D. from the University of Alberta, Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Toronto, Ph.D. in Health Care Policy at Harvard University and Critical Care Fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a Professor of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Calgary and practicing intensive care physician in Alberta Health Services – Calgary Zone.

His research program focuses on the application of health services research methods to evaluate and improve the quality of health care delivery to critically ill patients. Research activities include developing quality indicators; developing strategies to improve continuity of patient care across the care continuum; and improving the translation of scientific evidence into clinical practice. He has more than 300 peer-reviewed publications with 13,000+ citations and has received more than $22 million in funding as principal or co-principal applicant and more than $63 million in network and training grants as co-applicant. The findings from his work have impacted health policy and patient care.

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Jamie Day

Dr. Jamie Day

Administrative Director

Dr. Jamie Day is Administrative Director of the O'Brien Institute for Public Health. Trained as a biomedical researcher (PhD Neuroscience), her postdoctoral experiences developed strengths in scientific writing and research management. Dr. Day has over ten years’ experience as a university research administrator and brings to the Institute valuable experience with strategic funding applications, budgeting and reporting of research infrastructure projects, navigating university systems and policies, and the management of research projects and teams.

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Dr. Kirsten Fiest

Associate Scientific Director - Health Systems

Dr. Kirsten Fiest, PhD, is an associate professor of Critical Care Medicine, Community Health Sciences & Psychiatry at the University of Calgary. She is also Director of Research and Innovation in the Department of Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Fiest received her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Calgary and completed post-doctoral training in neuro and psychiatric epidemiology at the University of Manitoba. Her research program focuses on advancing the science of patient and family-centered critical care research. She has published over 140 peer-reviewed publications, been cited over 7,000 times, and led and collaborated on research teams that have received over $23,000,000 in funding.

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Kirsten Fiest

Dr. Katrina Milaney

Associate Scientific Director - Population Health

Dr. Milaney is a research fellow within the School of Public Policy and is the founder and lead of the Institute’s Social and Structural Vulnerabilities program. To the ASD role, she brings a wealth of experience and partnerships with academics, government, industry, and community, including the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, the Centre of Excellence for At Risk Youth, and the CanCOVID network.

Dr. Milaney has been awarded peer-reviewed funding in excess of $25 million as principal and co-investigator. Prioritizing lived experience experts in her impact-focused work, her efforts have helped secure more than $3 million for community groups. She has authored over 33 government and policy reports on issues such as homelessness, at-risk youth, Indigenous health, and the overdose crisis and been recognized with many accolades, including two societal impact awards.

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Katrina Milaney

Dr. William Ghali

Past Scientific Director

Dr. Ghali was the Scientific Director of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary from 2010 to 2020. He is also a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary, and a practicing physician specialized in Internal Medicine. He is a principal in the University of Calgary World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre in Disease Classifications and health information. He recently completed two terms as a Canada Research Chair in Health Services Research, and has also been funded as a Senior Health Scholar by Alberta Innovates Health Solutions. Clinically, he is trained as a General Internist (MD [1990] - University of Calgary, FRCP(C) [1994] - Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario), and completed methodological training in health services research and epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health (MPH [1995]).

Dr. Ghali’s research program is in the general area of health services research and his work focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to evaluating and improving health system performance to produce better patient outcomes and improved system efficiency. He leads or co-leads three inter-related research and innovation initiatives: 1) the Alberta Provincial Project for Outcome Assessment in Coronary Heart Disease (APPROACH,; 2) the Ward of the 21st Century initiative (W21C,; and 3) the International Methodology Consortium for Coded Health Information (IMECCHI,, with strong linkages to the World Health Organization. These three initiatives share the overriding goal of enhancing the use of health information to produce applicable knowledge on system performance and patient outcomes, and through knowledge translation, tangible health system improvements.

Dr. Ghali has held millions of dollars of peer-reviewed research funding from various agencies, and has published over 400 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has received numerous awards, including a Canadian Top 40 Under 40 Award from the Caldwell Group (2006), the David Sackett Senior Investigator Award from the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine, and Distinguished Alumnus Awards from both the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine (2009) and the Boston University School of Public Health (2001).  He is a Fellow of both the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada.  He was featured by the Globe and Mail in April 2012 as the Canadian public health researcher with the highest publication H-index, and has also been named in the Thomson-Reuters listing of the top 1% of most highly cited researchers by discipline.

William Ghali

Dr. Christine Friedenreich

Associate Scientific Director

Served as Interim Scientific Director from March to November 2020.

Dr. Christine Friedenreich is an accomplished epidemiologist dedicated to prevention who – through committed and ongoing participation in Institute programs, such as Internal Peer Review – has cemented a reputation as a capacity and community builder who values service and the success of others.

As a researcher, Christine is a Cancer Epidemiologist, studying the role of physical activity in reducing the risk of developing cancer and in improving quality of life and survival after diagnosis. With AHS being her primary appointment, Christine is Scientific Director of AHS CancerControl’s Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research; and Division Head of Preventive Oncology, in the Cumming School of Medicine’s Department of Oncology. As an academic, she is Adjunct Professor in CSM’s Department of Community Health Sciences, the Department of Oncology, as well as the Faculty of Kinesiology.


Seuli Roy:


Please contact in case Dr. Friedenreich is not available

Christine Friedenreich

Dr. Melanie Rock

Past Associate Scientific Director

Dr. Melanie Rock served as the O’Brien Institute’s Associate Scientific Director from 2016 to 2018. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary, where her primary appointment is in the Cumming School of Medicine's Department of Community Health Sciences. At the University of Calgary, she also has adjunct appointments in the Department of Anthropology and Archeology, Faculty of Arts; in the Faculty of Social Work; and in the Department of Ecosystem and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Honorary affiliations include the Institut de recherche en santé publique de l'Université de Montréal and the Wellcome Centre for Environments + Cultures of Health at the University of Exeter.

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Melanie Rock
Lynn McIntyre

Dr. Lynn McIntyre

Strategic Adviser, Past Associate Scientific Director 

Dr. Lynn McIntyre is Professor Emerita of Community Health Sciences in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She retired from her active faculty position in November 2015.  She continues to be involved in research and in population health advancement. Prior to coming to Calgary, Dr. McIntyre served three terms as Dean of the Faculty of Health Professions at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Dr. McIntyre holds both a medical degree and master's degree in Community Health and Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. She is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. .

Dr. McIntyre's research is focused on household food insecurity--inadequate access to food due to financial constraint. She uses both quantitative and qualitative means to advance policy that will reduce food insecurity at the population level.

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