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Executive Group

The Executive Group is the most senior administrative body for operational matters at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.  The Executive Group is responsible for ensuring that all operational, financial, and academic administrative aspects of NOSM function successfully.


Dr. Sarita Verma
Dean, President and CEO

Dr. Sarita Verma is the Dean, President and CEO of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. She was formerly the Vice President, Education at the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada from 2016 – 2019 and a Professor Emerita in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Until January 2016, she was the Associate Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions and Special Advisor to the Dean of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Formerly the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine (2008-2015) and Associate Vice-Provost, Health Professions Education (2010-2015), she is a family physician who originally trained as a lawyer at the University of Ottawa (1981) and later completed her medical degree at McMaster University (1991). She has been a Diplomat in Canada’s Foreign Service and worked with UNHCR in Sudan and Ethiopia for several years.

Dr. Verma is the 2006 recipient of the Donald Richards Wilson Award in medical education from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada; the 2009 co-recipient of the May Cohen Gender Equity Award from the Association of Faculties of Medicine in Canada; and, the 2016 recipient of the Charles Mickle Fellowship from the University of Toronto for excellence in medical education. From 2009-2011, she was one of the lead consultants for the Future of Medical Education in Canada Postgraduate project. For six years she held the position of Governor at the University of Toronto, has been a board member of several teaching hospitals, the Michener Institute, Associated Medical Services, and the Chair of the Canadian Residency Matching Service. From 2011 to 2015, she was the Co-Lead for the Canadian Interprofessional Health Leadership Collaborative (CIHLC) at the Institute of Medicine’s Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professions Education and was a key member of the Association of Academic Health Centers International Steering Committee.

A world traveler and leader of national and international projects, Dr. Verma is a recognized scholar in the areas of leadership development, distributed and interprofessional education models, Indigenous health, physician wellness, health human resource and workforce planning, accreditation of health professions education programs, and a superb reviewer and problem-solver of challenging situations. She also excels in the design and establishment of foreign health and education systems, governance and organizational assessments, and in strategic planning and strategic implementation. Uniquely qualified, Dr. Verma brings her skill/strength as an expert in the accreditation of health sciences programs, the rigorous application of social accountability and curricular reform, her outstanding skills in conflict resolution and complex disciplinary issues, and her experience as a diplomat to the resolution of high-risk medical-legal issues and complex collective bargaining.

For more from Dr. Verma, please see her blog titled Northern Routes.


Photo of Dr. Catherine CervinDr. Catherine Cervin
Vice Dean, Academic
Senior Associate Dean, Laurentian University

Dr. Catherine (Cathy) Cervin grew up in southern Ontario, went to medical school at the University of Toronto, finished her family medicine residency at Dalhousie and then practiced full scope family medicine in Northern Ontario (Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie) for seven years before embarking on an academic career in the Department of Family Medicine at Dalhousie. While at Dalhousie, Dr. Cervin took on a number of leadership roles. She became Hospital Chief of the Department of Family Medicine at the Grace Maternity Hospital (now the IWK Women and Children’s Health Centre), she was Residency Program Director for Family Medicine for ten years, and most recently was the Interim Department Head of Dalhousie Family Medicine. As befits a generalist, her professional interests are wide-ranging and include social accountability, educating for comprehensive primary care, curriculum development, learning portfolios, communication skills and cultural competency. Her clinical interests include primary maternity care, the patient centred approach and chronic disease care.


Image of Dr. Penny Moody-CorbettDr. Penny Moody-Corbett
Associate Dean, Research
Senior Associate Dean, Lakehead University

Dr. Penny Moody-Corbett gained extensive experience in health and health research during her eleven-year post as Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies for the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University, as well as during her time as a senior member of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). While at Memorial she also served as a member of the senior executive team providing advice and guidance to the Dean and faculty on research opportunities, as well as graduate training. She was a member and chair of numerous committees and was involved in a number of large grant opportunities, including successful CFI and Genome Canada grants, which led to a new multimillion-dollar genetics research and teaching facility at Memorial. As an independent investigator, she studied electrical properties in nerve and muscle. Dr. Moody-Corbett continues neuroscience research through collaborative work, studying the influence of diet and exercise on cognitive function during ageing. She has expanded her scholarly interests in the fields of ethics, health policy and patient-oriented research. Dr. Moody-Corbett has a number of publications in biomedical science, ethics, education, and health research programming. She taught at the undergraduate and graduate level in physiology, neuroscience, research integrity, and grantsmanship.


Dr. Brian Ross  
Interim Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education

Dr. Brian Ross is a graduate of the University of Glasgow in the UK where he gained a PhD in Neuroscience and Pharmacology, and later obtained a Master of Education degree from Lakehead University. He has worked as a Fellow at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto, and as Reader and Research Director at the University of the Highlands and Islands, a multi-campus university in rural Scotland. He has also managed a biotechnology company focused on health diagnostics. Brian joined NOSM in 2004 as one of the School’s founding faculty members. Since then, he has been involved in teaching MD students about the nervous system and has conducted research into medical education, nutritional neuroscience, and metabolomics. Prior to his role as Interim Associate Dean, Brian led the first two years of the UME program since 2011, first as Phase 1 Chair and Coordinator and then as Assistant Dean, Phase 1.


Mr. John Friesen
Interim Senior Director, Undergraduate Medical Education Administration

Prior to working for NOSM, John Friesen was a secondary school teacher in Toronto where he taught chemistry and math at The Bishop Strachan School for eight years from 1989 to 1997. He became the Head of Science at Havergal College in 1997 and taught there for eight years until moving to Thunder Bay in 2004 with his family. John continued to teach in Thunder Bay, completed his MEd, Principal’s Course, and started his PhD in Education at Lakehead University in 2007 focusing his research on assessing and teaching strategies for science students. For several years, John taught content and methods courses in the Education Department at Lakehead University. John joined NOSM in 2008 as the Faculty and Program Evaluation Coordinator and became the UME Manager, Assessment and Program Evaluation a few years later. John was then the Director of Learner Affairs and UME Administration from 2013 to September 2018. Prior to his appointment to Interim Senior Director, UME Administration, he was the Director, UME Administration.


Dr. Tom Crichton
Interim Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education

Dr. Tom Crichton is a family physician in Sudbury practicing comprehensive primary care with the City of Lakes Family Health Team. He has been involved in medical education in Northern Ontario for over 25 years and has held leadership positions in the Northern Ontario School of Medicine since the School’s inception. Currently, he is the interim Associate Dean for Postgraduate Medical Education. He and his wife Sarah live in Copper Cliff. They have three children and two Labrador retrievers.


Ms. Jennifer Fawcett
Interim Senior Director, Postgraduate Education and Health Sciences

Jennifer Fawcett is a life-long resident of Thunder Bay who has built a medical education leadership career with NOSM, beginning in 2003 as one of the School’s earliest staff employees at NOSM at Lakehead University. Jennifer is proud to live in Northern Ontario and of her Métis heritage. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University, a Certificate in Administration from Confederation College, a diploma in Library and Information Studies from Lakehead University, and a Master of Public Health from Lakehead University. In addition to holding a senior leadership role at NOSM, she is currently a PhD student in Lakehead University’s Faculty of Education. Her current research interests are in professional identity formation among public health and preventive medicine physicians, the experiences of professionalism remediation in medical education, and the development of remote First Nations Family Medicine residency program training. In 2014, Jennifer was awarded the Leadership Award of Excellence at NOSM, and she serves on several NOSM committees representing the interests of Postgraduate Education.


Dr. Janice Willett
Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs

Dr. Janice Willett has been in medical practice for 24 years. She is a medical graduate of University of Western Ontario, London, where she completed postgraduate training. in the specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She has practised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario since 1992 with her husband who is also a surgeon. Dr. Willett has held many leadership positions including as medical director of Maternal Child Program and Surgery Program at the Sault Area Hospital in the past and currently serves on the Sault Area Hospital Foundation Board. She has many years’ experience of leadership at the Ontario Medical Association where she was President in 2007. Recently, she has served as Chair of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Committee on Education and Professional Development and currently is leading the development of a CMA policy on physician fatigue management. Dr. Willett was appointed Head of the Clinical Sciences Division at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in 2010 and Chair of NOSM’s Academic Council in 2012. She participates on numerous other committees at NOSM.


Ray Hunt
Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Ray Hunt has gained extensive experience in administration and health care throughout his career. Since 2008, Hunt has served as the CEO of the Espanola Regional Hospital and Health Centre (ERHHC), overseeing the operations of an integrated health campus that include acute, emergency and long-term care, as well as a Family Health Team and seniors housing/assisted living. During this tenure, ERHHC saw positive changes with respect to program growth and improved access to medical services. Under his leadership, Hunt secured capital funding that enabled the redevelopment of the hospital’s Emergency Department and other areas of the facility. Prior to joining the ERHHC, Hunt spent 24 years working in the Ontario Public Sector on a variety of initiatives that focus on Northern and rural health and social services. As Director of Family Health Team (FHT) Implementation, Hunt was responsible for leading the creation of the FHT model in Ontario, including oversight of the province-wide implementation. Previous positions included managing the implementation of new physician payment models in Northern Ontario and oversight of the Northern Health Programs, including the Underserviced Area Program and the Northern Health Travel Grant. Hunt is also a former member of the joint Ontario Medical Association (OMA)/ Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) Physician Human Resources Committee, where he gained much insight into health human resources issues and capacity planning requirements to address future needs. Given his past experience managing the MOHLTC’s Underserviced Area Program (UAP), Hunt was appointed to the OMA/MOHTLTC Expert Panel to review changes proposed for UAP Reform. This work resulted in the new Northern and Rural Recruitment and Retention Initiative that was launched in 2010. Hunt is currently a board member of Health Force Ontario Marketing and Recruitment Agency, whose mandate includes the distribution of physicians and interprofessional providers to underserviced areas of Ontario.