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Division Head / Section Chairs

Each section is composed of health-care professionals with section-specific clinical expertise. Most of the faculty members are physicians, however, as NOSM’s curriculum is interdisciplinary, other health-care professionals are also encouraged to seek faculty appointments. The Clinical Sciences faculty include several hundred clinicians from a wide variety of specialties.

For general of faculty inquiries, please call the toll-free line at 1-877-678-7358.

Division Head, Clinical Sciences

Dr. Barb Zelek
Division Head, Clinical Sciences
Tel:   807-766-7416
Fax:  705-662-7265
Email: bzelek@nosm.ca

Dr. Barb Zelek graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1998 and completed her Family Medicine residency at Queen’s University. Since 2002, she has worked in Marathon in an inter-professional rural family practice where her clinical work includes emergency medicine, office-based practice, obstetrics, and hospitalist medicine. She has enjoyed being involved with teaching learners throughout her career.

Section Chair, Anesthesia

Dr. Brent Kennedy
Email: bknny2@gmail.com

An MD graduate from UBC, Dr. Kennedy completed a rotating internship and one year of residency at Dalhousie, and then completed residency training at the University of Western Ontario in 1998. After spending a couple of years on staff in London, Dr. Kennedy relocated to Sudbury in 2000. Since moving to Sudbury, he has worked to establish an Acute Pain Management Service at Health Sciences North and has previously served as department Chief. Dr. Kennedy’s ongoing interests include teaching residents and the treatment of acute postoperative pain.

For further information on the Anesthesiology Postgraduate Program.

Section Chair, Child & Adolescent Health

Dr. Justin Jagger
Email: jjagger@nosm.ca

Dr. Jagger is a pediatrician currently practicing at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. He is a NOSM Assistant Professor and the Section Chair of Child and Adolescent Health. He is a graduate of the MD program at Western University (2004) and completed a pediatrics residency at Queen’s University (2009). Dr. Jagger is a longstanding and respected clinical preceptor at NOSM and was the former Chief of Pediatrics at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

For further information on the Pediatrics Postgraduate Program.

Section Chair, Community Medicine

Dr. Barb Zelek
Division Head, Clinical Sciences
Tel:   807-766-7416
Fax:  705-662-7265
Email: bzelek@nosm.ca

Dr. Barb Zelek graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1998 and completed her Family Medicine residency at Queen’s University. Since 2002, she has worked in Marathon in an inter-professional rural family practice where her clinical work includes emergency medicine, office-based practice, obstetrics, and hospitalist medicine. She has enjoyed being involved with teaching learners throughout her career.

Section Chair, Emergency Medicine

Dr. Gary Bota
Email: gary.bota1@gmail.com

Dr. Bota graduated from McMaster University. Following completion of his residency in emergency medicine at UCLA, he moved to Sudbury in 1983 where he served as ED Director from 1983-2000. During his tenure, research, trauma, EM residency and air paramedic programs developed under the emergency banner. Early publications centred on injury patterns and trauma unique to the northern environment i.e., snowmobiles, sledding, and hockey.

Dr. Bota started BEC Emergency Services Inc. in 1999 which now provides the best evidence-based content and software to emergency departments on 3 continents. Dr. Bota continues to work as an emergency physician in Sudbury, teach research to EM residents, and serves as president of BEC.

Section Chair, Family Medicine (East)

Dr. Anjali Oberai
Email: aoberai@wawafht.com

Dr. Anjali Oberai graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1993 and completed her Family Medicine residency at the University of Calgary.  Since 1998, she has worked in Wawa in an inter-professional rural family practice where her clinical work includes emergency medicine, obstetrics, hospitalist medicine, stress testing and office-based practice. Prior to 1998, Dr. Oberai was a locum physician in rural Albert, Ontario, and Nunavut.

For further information on the Family Medicine Postgraduate Program.

Section Chair, Family Medicine (West)

Dr. Edward Hirvi

Email: ehirvi@nosm.ca 

Dr. Edward Hirvi graduated from McMaster Medical School in 2006 and completed the Northeastern Ontario Family Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Hirvi practices in Sault Ste. Marie at the Group Health Centre which has won National Best Practice Awards, was featured in Maclean’s Magazine as one of Canada’s top ten models of healthcare, and was once referred to as “Canada’s best kept health care secret” by the Commissioner for the Future of Health Care in Canada, Roy Romanow. Dr. Hirvi has been extensively involved with NOSM Undergraduate Medical Education and participates as a Medical Advisor for NOSM CEPD and is committed to medical education and been teaching NOSM learners since 2008. He continues to advocate and represent NOSM Clinical Faculty as current President of the Physician Clinical Teachers’ Association.

For further information on the Family Medicine Postgraduate Program.

Section Chair, Health Sciences

Ms. Sally Prystanski
Email: sally.prystanski@nosm.ca

Sally Prystanski has worked as a Physiotherapist in Thunder Bay for many years. A graduate of the University of Manitoba, she has worked in Acute and Chronic Care, Rehabilitation, Paediatrics, and for the last 30 years has specialized in Rheumatology. A Professional Associate of McMaster University for The Northern Studies Stream (20 years) and an Assistant Professor for NOSM (6 years), she is keenly interested in Inter-Professional Education. She continues to work for The Arthritis Society in Thunder Bay.

Section Chair, Internal Medicine

Dr. Birubi Biman
Email: bbiman@nosm.ca

Dr. Birubi Biman (University of Ottawa MD 1992, Respirology from McMaster University 1998). Dr. Biman has been in clinical practice as a Respirologist in Thunder Bay since 1999 with an interest in Airway Disorders and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Dr. Biman is passionate about teaching and building our undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Since 1999 she has been on staff at Thunder Bay hospitals and began teaching at NOMP residency programs and now NOSM undergrad and postgrad programs.  She has been actively involved in teaching in the Internal Medicine residency program since inception and as Site Co-Director for Thunder Bay since 2015.

For further information on the Internal Medicine Postgraduate Program.

Section Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology (Women’s Health)

Dr. Karen Splinter
Email: ksplinter@hsnsudbury.ca

After receiving her engineering degree at Queen’s University, Dr. Splinter completed her medical degree at the University of Ottawa. She then ventured East where she trained as an Obstetrician Gynecologist at the Memorial University of Newfoundland for five years. Having benefited from the former Northeastern Ontario Medical Education Corporation with a rotation in Sudbury as a medical student, Dr. Splinter was excited to accept a position at Health Sciences North in 2012. Splinter is completing a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology exploring pregnancy outcomes and Mullerian anomalies. Through her position at NOSM she hopes to continue to pursue research in Women’s Health and expand knowledge about the health care needs of the women of Northern Ontario. Her other professional interests include minimally invasive gynecology and expanding access to advanced laparoscopy in the Greater Sudbury area.

Section Chair, Radiology

Dr. Amer Alaref
Email: ameraref@yahoo.com

Dr. Amer Alaref is a staff Radiologist at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) and an Assistant Professor of Radiology at NOSM. He received his MD and completed his Radiology residency program from Damascus University, Syria. Prior to joining NOSM and TBRHSC, Dr. Alaref completed several fellowships at McMaster, McGill and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Dr. Alaref brings extensive research experience to his new position.

Section Chair, Surgery (including Orthopaedic Surgery)

Dr. Roy Kirkpatrick
Email: kirkpatrickroy@hotmail.com

Roy Kirkpatrick (Queen’s 1977, FRCSC Ottawa 1982) has been in practice in Huntsville, Ontario since 1987. He has provided intermittent locum coverage in Nunavut since 2004 and has worked for the Canadian Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.

He is a member of the Specialty Education Committee and the Regional Advisory Committee (Ontario/Nunavut) of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has recently been appointed to the Implementation Committee for the “Rural Roadmap for Medicine in Canada” collaboration.

For further information on the General Surgery Postgraduate Program.

For further information on the Orthopedic Surgery Postgraduate Program.

Section Chair, Pathology

Dr. Barb Zelek
Tel: 807-766-7416
Fax: 705-662-7265
Email: bzelek@nosm.ca

Dr. Barb Zelek graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1998 and completed her Family Medicine residency at Queen’s University. Since 2002, she has worked in Marathon in an inter-professional rural family practice where her clinical work includes emergency medicine, office-based practice, obstetrics, and hospitalist medicine. She has enjoyed being involved with teaching learners throughout her career.

Section Chair, Psychiatry

Dr. Jack Haggarty
Email: haggartyj@tbh.net

Dr. John (Jack) Haggarty graduated from the McMaster Medical School, completed his residency at the University of Ottawa in Family Medicine, and completed his residency in Psychiatry at the University of Western Ontario. He now practises in Thunder Bay, Ontario and is Senior Medical Director (Chief) of Psychiatry, St. Joseph’s Care Group, Consulting Psychiatrist of Shared Mental Health Services Fort William Clinic, Anishinabe Muskiki, and Norwest Clinic, serving over 30 family physicians and nurse practitioners and 40,000 patients.

Recent initiatives include implementing eConsultation and other low-intensity specialty services to rural and remote communities. In his roles as Professor, Interim Chair, and Research Coordinator at the Northern Ontario Medical School (NOSM) for Psychiatry, and Adjunct Professor at both Lakehead University and the University of Toronto, he has presented internationally on collaborative mental health, health outcomes, as well as publishing scientific papers on trans-cultural epidemiological research of Canada’s Inuit and First Nations people. He is actively engaged with delivering mental health services to First Nations people and with Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante in Haiti. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, a Diplomat of the Board of Neurology and Psychiatry, and a Certified Physician Executive.

For further information on the Psychiatry Postgraduate Program.

Section Chair, Public Health & Preventive Medicine

Dr. Barb Zelek
Tel:   807-766-7416
Fax:  705-662-7265
Email: bzelek@nosm.ca

Dr. Barb Zelek graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1998 and completed her Family Medicine residency at Queen’s University. Since 2002, she has worked in Marathon in an interprofessional rural family practice where her clinical work includes emergency medicine, office-based practice, obstetrics, and hospitalist medicine. She has enjoyed being involved with teaching learners throughout her career.

For further information on the Public Health & Preventive Medicine Postgraduate Program.