Patient & Provider Experience Summit 2017

Friday, November 24 – Saturday, November 25

Building upon the success of the 2016 inaugural event, the 2017 summit is a two-day event that promises to inspire and engage attendees with high-profile speakers and presentations about the patient experience, leading with empathy, and how care and caring is demonstrated at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Hosted by Dr. Curtis Johnston, Associate Zone Medical Co-Director and Facility Medical Director, the summit will be an empowering, informative, and uplifting two days, through a program that also nudges and delivers practical and strategic insights.

All attendees will gain from this summit, whether they work directly in shaping the patient experience, or support those who do.

Hurry! Space is limited, be sure to book your ticket today!

Event Details:

Date:   Friday November 24 & Saturday November 25, 2017

Time:  8:15 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. each day (registration opens at 7:15 a.m., formal program begins at 8:15 a.m.)

The summit is being held at the Robbins Learning Centre at the Royal Alexandra Hospital located in the basement of the Robbins Pavilion. Please click here for a map of the location. 

Learn more about this year's incredible speakers and their sessions below. 

CLICK HERE to view the full schedule.

2017 Speakers


Dr. Brian Goldman, MD - Physician, CBC Radio Host

Dr. Brian Goldman is a Canadian doctor and radio personality. He practices in the Schwartz Reisman Emergency Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Goldman has been a regular medical columnist on CBC Radio One since 1999. He also hosts an award-winning current affairs radio series, White Coat, Black Art, on CBC Radio One about the culture of modern medicine and various aspects of the Canadian health care system and is the house Doctor for the Afternoon Edition on CBC radio in Saskatchewan. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto (1980). In 2010, his first book, 'The Night Shift: Real Life in the Heart of the ER,' was published by Harper Collins Canada. His second book, 'The Secret Language of Doctors,' is about slang or argot terms used by doctors, nurses and other health professionals to talk about patients, unpleasant clinical situations as well as colleagues.

Saturday November 25, 2017 9:15 am - 10:30 am - Empathy and Kindness:  A Doctor's Personal Search (Keynote)

In his lively keynote address Dr. Brian Goldman will offer attendees a look into how he defines empathy and an in-depth conversation around how to understand its components. Using stories and examples from his own life and from his travels around the world, Dr. Goldman will demonstrate how personal challenges and adversity can help foster kindness. He will explore the wide array of health and emotional benefits that derive from showing kindness and empathy to patients and to other health professionals.


Dr. Katie Neuendorf, MD  -  Physician, Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Katie Neuendorf earned her medical degree from The Medical College of Ohio and completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, OH. She then pursued Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship training at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She joined the Cleveland Clinic’s Palliative Medicine and Supportive Oncology Section directly out of fellowship and is appointed as Assistant Professor of Medicine through the Cleveland Clinic Lerner School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Neuendorf has been a member of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication’s (CEHC) leadership team since 2013, first as the Director of Resident Education and then as the Medical Director in 2015. CEHC led an institution wide initiative to train all of its clinicians in relationship centered communication in 2013. This work is on-going and more than 7,000 individuals have been trained by CEHC faculty to date.   Dr. Neuendorf has led enterprise wide initiatives on educational program development and implementation in the areas of delivering bad news, code status conversations, family meetings and a variety of other communication topics.

Saturday November 25, 2017 10:45 am - 11:45 am - 
Are We Communicating What We Intend?: Exercise to enhance empathy and awareness (Breakout)

Dr. Katie Neuendorf will highlight the three different components of a story and discuss which component clinicians often emphasize. Join Dr. Neuendorf to learn how to identify hidden opportunities for empathy and reflection when speaking with patients, families or colleagues and how these skills can be applied in your own work. 

Saturday November 25, 2017 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm - Communication Training to Improve Burnout, Empathy and Patient Satisfaction: Cleveland Clinic's Story (Keynote) 

To say the Cleveland Clinic is a leader in healthcare delivery south of the border is an understatement. Now is your chance to learn directly from one of their physicians the strategies used by this industry leading hospital and academic institution to engage physicians in a relationship-centered communication skills training program. Dr. Katie Neuendorf will put a special emphasis on the value of relationships as a key part of communication skills training. 

Dr. Neuendorf as she examines the data that links relationship-centered communication to physician levels of empathy, burnout and patient satisfaction. Learn where there may be potential pitfalls when introducing communication skills training to an entire institution and how to avoid them. 


Brian Lee, CSC - CEO, Custom Learning Systems Group

Brian Lee is the founder and CEO of Custom Learning Systems Group and the HealthCare Service Excellence Conference and is the author of 8 books, including “Keep Your Nurses and Healthcare Professionals for Life™”, “Satisfaction Guaranteed – How to Satisfy Every Customer Every Time™”, and is recognized as one of North America’s leading experts in the field of customer, employee, and physician loyalty.

Brian has been awarded the designation CSP: Certified Speaking Professional by the National Speakers Association. Of the tens of thousands of Speakers in North America, only 761 have been recognized as a CSP

Brian is also the author of the US Hospital “HCAHPS Breakthrough Webinar Series™” and Everyone’s a Caregiver™ App.

Saturday November 25, 2017 10:45 am - 11:45 am - Hard-wiring a Five Star Provider Experience: Becoming the Employer of Choice (Breakout)

In this session Brian will share with attendees some of the ways that other health care organizations around the world are enhancing the patient experience. Brian will enlighten the crowd with the top ten ways of enhancing the patient experience based on his research and engage participants in applying patient experience best practices in an interactive session sure to identify ways participants can apply these in their own practice.

Saturday November 25, 2017 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm - Hard-wiring a Five Star Patient Experience: Becoming the Hospital of Choice (Keynote)

Learn by example with Brian while he shares with the audience some of the ways other health care organizations around the world are focusing on workforce engagement and joy at work. Brian will explore the top ten strategies that leaders and organizations can use to become an employer of choice. He will provide guidance on the ways in which you can immediately enhance your work environment for both yourself and your colleagues.


Wellington Holbrook  - Chief Transformation Officer, ATB Financial

Wellington Holbrook is the Chief Transformation Officer at ATB Financial and leads a team of passionate people who are dedicated to transforming banking and re-imagining the way they do things to make banking truly work for people.

It is going to take something different, something spectacular, to change the way our customers see and experience ATB – and as Chief Transformation Officer, he is responsible for creating that “something.”  His challenge is to set ATB on a course of rapid technological change and digital innovation while creating exceptional customer experiences.

His previous experience at ATB Financial includes leading areas of expertise, serving as Executive Vice-President of Retail Financial Services and Executive Vice-President of Business & Agriculture over the past 6 years. Previously, he spent 15 years at the Business Development Bank of Canada.  While there, he served in various senior executive roles in several areas including commercial financing, mezzanine and venture capital.

Friday November 24, 2017 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm - Engagement, Culture and Customer Service (Keynote)

With a title like Chief Transformation Officer you can be sure that the presentation by Wellington Holbrook will provide some action-oriented takeaways for all attendees. Join Wellington as he delves deep into the importance of cultural transformation and how a change in culture can mean an improvement in customer satisfaction. Wellington will share ATB's strategies that he has used to influence workplace culture. Learn first-hand the impact that culture change can have on an organization and how you might apply these strategies and lessons in your workplace. 


Dr. Curtis Johnston, MD - Co-Facility Medical Director, Royal Alexandra Hospital & Associate Zone Medical Director, Royal Alexandra Hospital & Sturgeon Community Hospital

Dr. Curtis Johnston is the co-Facility Medical Director of the Royal Alexandra Hospital and an Associate Zone Medical Director for the Edmonton Zone responsible for the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Sturgeon Community Hospital.

In addition to his administrative roles he continues to practice Intensive Care Medicine in the Royal Alex ICU. He is also a Clinical Professor in Nephrology and Critical Care with the University of Alberta.  His passion at work is to improve the Patient and Provider Experience and to experience a culture change amongst clinicians he works with. He loves to talk and read about leadership and to see leaders see success in the teams they lead.

Saturday November 25, 2017 12:55 pm - 2:00 pm - Bias Rapid Fire Sessions: Understanding Our Bias

Bias is defined as prejudice in favour of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. There are often many different biases at play in any healthcare setting. The impact biases, whether perceived or unconscious, can have on patient care are great, and therefor a topic all healthcare providers should be mindful of.
Join Dr. Curtis Johnston as he hosts a variety of speakers who will describe for you common biases, such as weight, indigenous, addiction, homelessness, and mental health. This session will help you to identify methods that you can use to reflect on and understand your own biases that is addressed will result in increased empathy and an improvement in patient and family care. 


Valerie Cade - Mediator & Workplace Bullying Expert

Valerie Cade, CSP, M.A. is an award-winning presenter and workplace bullying expert who speaks with a relevant, well-researched message that gives practical advice and inspires hope. She is the author of the best-selling book, Bully Free at Work which is currently distributed in over 100 countries world-wide, and has been featured on radio and TV throughout North America. 

She holds a Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation from Abilene Texas University (HON) and is a top certified mediator having mediated and consulted in numerous workplace mediations – individually and organizationally - with effective financial savings and reconciliation of parties. In addition, she is an accomplished and effective presenter having earned the Certified Speaking Professional Designation (CSP), which is the highest earned speaking designation in the world with less than 1000 recipients worldwide… and as one of the first females in Canada. Lastly, Valerie’s humorous delivery combined with a practical approach has inspired many healthcare workers across North America by putting the hope back into healthcare

Friday November 24, 2017 8:45 am - 10:00 am - Encouragement for the Encouragers (Keynote)
This uplifting, inspirational and acclaimed presentation will inspire participants to be able to serve with a heartfelt approach by putting the true care back into healthcare. You will also feel hopeful and energized to be able to serve with enthusiasm – even when it might be difficult to do so. Valerie’s relevant, humorous and heartfelt approach combined with her healthcare background has been noted by many healthcare organizations as truly inspirational!

Friday November 24, 2017 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm - Handling the Politics of Workplace Bullying (Breakout)
What can you do when ‘extending the olive branch’ doesn’t seem to work anymore?
Handling workplace bullying is actually 180° different than ‘working with a difficult person’.
Traditional conflict resolution does not work when dealing with someone who is highly oppositional.
That’s why this session is different.
You will gain the full awareness and implementation strategies to help you cope with and stop workplace bullying and disruptive behaviors all while still being able to provide a quality patient experience. You will have restored hope and feel inspired once again!


Monica Hinton  PhD Candidate, Registered Social Worker (RSW)

Monica Hinton is a registered social worker currently completing her PhD at Royal Roads University (with a focus on resiliency despite trauma experiences). Her 15 years of clinical experience includes work in both non-profit and government agencies in the area of mental health (specializing in eating disorders, PTSD & trauma). Monica has also run her own private practice, Phoenix Counselling Services for over 10 years. Monica has been an international speaker since 2008 and her work has been published in conference journals and in UK trauma publications. Her humanist, feminist, strengths based counselling approaches include the use of EMDR, Hakomi, CBT, CPT, and PE. 

Session: Friday November 24, 2017 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm - PTSD & Resiliency (Breakout)

Join Monica to learn about the impact PTSD has on workplace culture and on individuals. Monica will provide guidance on how to recognize PTSD in your colleagues and share with you the steps you can take to address it. Don’t miss your chance to learn the practical techniques you can implement to, not only help those around you, but also methods to develop personal resiliency.

Melody Morin

Melody Morin -  Registered Psychologist

Melody is a Registered Psychologist with an expertise in human behavior and diagnostics. She has been working within the healthcare industry for 20 years, in various capacities such as, consultant in private and public sector, coach, and has held various operational leadership roles. Melody has two Master’s degrees, one in Science and the most recent in Executive Business Management (E-MBA). She is currently working on her PhD in Organizational Psychology, with an emphasis in understanding individual and systemic factors, which influence the lack of representation of women in senior leadership position.

Melody has spent most of her career leading and implementing change. She coaches Senior Leadership teams around engagement and effective organizational developed. She was the receipt of a CEO award within Mental Health for successfully managing and leading transformational change.

Melody coaches individuals, teams and leadership, on how to effectively lead change adoption in an environment that is continually under pressure to keep up with new science. She has a background in team dynamics, effectiveness, leadership development, aligning business process with people and understanding people within teams, organizations, and systems.

Friday November 24, 2017 10:30 am - 12:00 pm - Identifying and Developing Courageous Conversations Skills "Starting with ME" (Breakout)

Join Melody Morin as she defines what is meant by crucial conversations within your workplace. Through the identification of your traditional responses to “tough” conversations you will explore what approaches can be taken to shine a new light on your responses. Melody will share her skills that can be used to communicate more effectively and manage your reservations with having courageous conversations. Melody’s unique approach to dealing with tough conversations will leave you feeling more successful in managing these difficult situations at work and at home.


Katherine Duthie, PhD - Clinical Ethicist,  Royal Alexandra Hospital / North Zone AHS

Katherine Duthie is the Clinical Ethicist for the Royal Alexandra Hospital and the North Zone in AHS. Prior to joining AHS in 2015, she was the Leader in Clinical Ethics with the Fraser Health Authority in BC.  Katherine completed her doctorate in Public Health with a focus on the intersection between clinical and organizational ethics in 2014.  In addition, she has a background in philosophy, policy, and biology. When Katherine is not thinking about ethics she can be found playing the cello, weeding the vegetable garden, or walking her dog, Wallace, in the river valley.  

Friday November 24, 2017 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm - Moral Distress (Breakout)

In this informative session you will learn what moral distress is, how it arises, and how it can impact you and those around you in the workplace. Katherine will describe in detail the ethical principles that can be used to help frame difficult situations which will allow you to understand the potential effects of moral distress for patients and families as well. In addition to an understanding attendees will walk away with the ability to describe techniques they can use to manage moral distress and reduce its impact on colleagues and themselves, with an emphasis on moral resiliency.

paula beard

Paula Beard - Executive Director, Patient Safety - AHS

Since November of 2011 Paula has worked for Alberta Health Services (AHS) in the role of Executive Director, Patient Safety. Prior to her work with AHS Paula was with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute first as a Project Manager and later as a Senior Director. She also has experience in the Saskatchewan Health system as an Advanced Care Paramedic, Risk Manager and the Provincial Quality Care Coordinator.

Paula has a Master of Arts in Health Leadership and through her combination of studies and almost two decades of experience focusing on and collaborating with others to engage in efforts to improve healthcare has developed a deep understanding of patient safety and quality improvement in a complex adaptive system. She is profoundly aware of and deeply appreciates the potential our healthcare system has to harm patients, residents and clients and the impact this harm has on our healthcare providers. She has authored and co-authored several publications related to understanding harm and improving systems of care.

Friday November 24, 2017 10:30 am - 12:00 pm - Resilience: Hope and optimism when nothing stays the same (Breakout)

In this session you will explore the idea that understanding and knowledge of what you want your culture to be is not enough. In order to be successful you need a strategy to influence behavioural change in your workplace. Paula will walk you through the steps involved in the implementation of a practical change management strategy and help you to understand and identify the roles of individuals and leaders that are required to result in effective change management.

kirstie mclelland

Dr. Kirstie McLelland, MD FRCPC

Kirstie McLelland transplanted to Edmonton after medical school at Queen’s University and only expected to stay until her Emergency Medicine residency was completed.  Sixteen years later she is settled in her life overlooking the river valley.  After seven years working in the emergency department at the University of Alberta Hospital, Dr. McLelland added the first of several leadership roles to her clinical work and became the Edmonton Zone Clinical Department Head for Emergency Medicine. 

After completing the AHS Executive Education course, Dr. McLelland moved from clinical work to a full-time leadership role and added the interim roles of Associate Zone Medical Director for Suburban Hospitals and Facility Medical Director of Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital to her portfolio.  Years of work in emergency medicine and leadership means that she is no stranger to disruptive behaviour and difficult conversations.  Although she does not profess to be a communications expert, Dr. McLelland believes strongly that the behaviour we disregard, is the behaviour we accept.  The culture of our teams is dependent on how we treat each other and when we look after the members of our teams, our teams will look after our patients.

Friday November 24, 2017 10:30 am - 12:00 pm - Dealing with Difficult Behaviour (Breakout)

In this session you will learn from Dr. Kirstie McLelland the challenges she has faced in dealing with difficult or disruptive behaviour. Dr. McLelland will share with you the various methods you can use to approach difficult conversations and assist you in the development and implementation of strategies that you can use to manage performance with difficult or disruptive colleagues.

This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by the University of Calgary Office of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development. You may claim a maximum of 10.58 hours (credits are automatically calculated).

Day 1 = 5.0 credits Day 2 = 5.58 credits