Dr. Paula Pearce, Program Director
Paula Pearce graduated from Nottingham University Medical School (UK) in 1992, and completed postgraduate training in the medical specialities in Nottingham and Leicester. After obtaining the MRCP(UK) she completed a further 5 years specialist training leading to dual CCST (Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training) in Geriatric Medicine and General Internal Medicine at the Yorkshire Deanery, University of Leeds. From 2003 to 2010 Paula worked as a consultant Geriatrician at York District Hospital, UK, and as a Clinical Tutor for the Hull and York Medical School. Having completed the Physicians as Educators programme at the Royal College of Physicians of London, and a Diploma in Clinical Education at the University of Leeds, Undergraduate Medical education remains a major interest. She is the recipient of the Canadian Association for Medical Education Certificate of Merit, 2017.
Paula moved to Calgary in 2010 to work in the Division of Geriatric Medicine, based at Rockyview General Hospital. She is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine. She is one of the Masterteachers at the University Of Calgary Cumming School Of Medicine and has received multiple excellence awards for her teaching. She is also Course Chair for one of the undergraduate courses in the MD program. She became Program Director of the newly activated Geriatric Medicine training program in 2012.
Paula brings to the program a passion for education. She strongly believes in a collegial, resident-centered approach that trains not just Geriatricians, but future colleagues. She is the recipient of the Canadian Association for Medical Education Certificate of Merit in 2017, and PARA awards in 2018 and 2019.
Dr. Erika Dempsey, Associate Program Director
Erika Dempsey completed medical school in 2009 at the University of Alberta and went on to Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine training at the University of British Columbia. She returned to her hometown of Calgary in 2014. Her clinical practice is situated at Peter Lougheed Centre and Bridgeland Seniors Health clinic and she has an interest in osteoporosis and frailty. She is the QI lead for the division of Geriatric Medicine. She is the course coordinator for the Neurosciences, Aging and Special Senses course at the Cumming School of Medicine and the Associate Program Director for the Geriatric Medicine training program. In her off time she enjoys reading, knitting, running and cycling.
Dr. Jillian Arnold
I went to med school in Southampton, UK then did internal medicine residency in Calgary followed by Geriatric Medicine in Calgary. Completed my training in January 2018.
Now working on AGU and at the Day Hospital. I have an interest in acute care of the elderly and palliative care.
Dr. Darren Burback
Dr. Darren Burback completed medical school at the University of Saskatchewan in 1993. He remained at the University of Saskatchewan for his general internal medicine training, and then he completed his geriatric medicine training at the University of Ottawa in 1998. Later that year, he moved to Calgary and he began his practice in geriatric medicine at the Peter Lougheed Centre. He is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor with the University of Calgary, and Medical Site Leader for Specialized Geriatric Services at the Peter Lougheed Centre. He is interested in medical education, and he is the co-chair of an undergraduate course that teaches core competencies in geriatric medicine to medical students. His clinical interest is in the care of dementia patients.
Dr. Adrienne Cohen
Dr. Adrienne Cohen completed her medical training at the University of Alberta in 1983. She then completed a Family Medicine Residency followed by an Internal Medicine Residency at University of Calgary before attending University of Toronto for her Geriatric Medicine training. Her interest is primarily clinical with a focus on dementia and osteoporosis. She participates as a sub-investigator in dementia trials in addition to her clinical responsibilities and is the current on-site director for Geriatric Medicine for the Foothills Medical Centre.
Dr. Karen Fruetel
Dr. Fruetel obtained her medical degree at the University of Western Ontario and completed training in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine Training at the University of Toronto and University of Calgary. She started her career at the University of Toronto in 1991. While at the University of Toronto she obtained her Master’s Degree in Education and was the Program Director for Geriatric Medicine. In 2000 she moved to the University of Western Ontario where she was the Program Director for Internal Medicine, the Site Chief of Medicine at the University Hospital and Associate Chair of the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Western Ontario.
In 2008, she joined the faculty of the University of Calgary as the Head of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and the Medical Leader for Specialized Geriatric Services and Medical Leader for Seniors. She served in those roles until 2016. In 2016 she took on the role as Vice Chair of Education for the Department of Medicine. She is also a Master Teacher in the Undergraduate Medical Education program.
Aside from her interest in seniors’ health, she is also interested in medical education and has received awards including the Canadian Association of Medical Education certificate of Merit, the Schulich Award for Excellence in Education: Graduate./Postgraduate Education from the University of Western Ontario and the Department of Medicine Award of Excellence in Education, Cumming School of Medicine.
Dr. Fruetel’s interests are in medical education and medical leadership but her true passion is teaching. She has received many teaching excellence awards and is consistently voted as a member of the Undergraduate MD students’ “Honor Roll” in recognition of her teaching. As such, she feels strongly about providing excellent educational experiences for learners that extend beyond the medical expert role to include all the CanMEDS competencies.
Dr. Fruetel brings to the program all of this passion and experience. An active member of the Residency Training Program Committee, she is lead for the Geriatric consult rotations and for the longitudinal administrative and leadership experiences.
Dr. Zahra Goodarzi
In 2007 Dr. Goodarzi graduated with honors from the University of Calgary Bachelor of Health Sciences program in the Faculty of Medicine. She attended medical school and subsequently Internal Medicine Residency at the UofC.
She subsequently completed her Geriatric Medicine Fellowship at UofC, where she was also Chief resident for 3 years and was instrumental in setting up the training program.
Dr. Goodarzi joined the Clinical Investigator Program in 2014 and recently completed her Masters degree in Health Services Research in Department of Community Health Sciences. Dr. Goodarzi’s research examines those with Dementia or Parkinson’s disease with comorbid mood disorders. She aims to understand the current care provided to these patients from their perspective as well as the health care practitioners. Dr. Goodarzi’s research has been presented at multiple national and international conferences, for which she won best poster on two occasions. To conduct this research she received two grants including the Department of Medicine Research Development Award and the AIHS KTA Grant. Her research was also supported by the CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship Master’s Award, the Western Regional Training Centre Affiliate award and an AIHS Clinician Fellowship award. Dr. Goodarzi has won multiple conference awards for her work and was awarded the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation Resident Research Award.
Dr. Goodarzi was the Chief Resident for 3 years during her training and served on the RCT in this role. Dr. Goodarzi’s focus on the training committee now is the development and implementation of the Evidence Based Medicine and Critical Appraisal component of the academic curriculum for the Geriatric Medicine Program as well as organizing a yearly Resident Research Day. She also serves as a representative of the graduate training programs and CIP on the RTC, and is involved in the mentorship of those residents who choose a path which includes graduate studies in their fellowship.
Dr. David Hogan
Dave Hogan took his undergraduate and postgraduate education at St. Francis Xavier University, Dalhousie University (MD 1977), University of Alberta, University of Ottawa (Internal Medicine), and the University of Western Ontario (Geriatric Medicine). From 1984 till 1990 he was a member of the Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University. While there he served as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. In 1990 he moved to the University of Calgary where he founded the Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine. David is a Professor and holds the Brenda Strafford Foundation Chair in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Calgary (this was the first Chair of Geriatric Medicine in Canada and he has been its first and to date only holder). He has served as Chair of the RCPSC Specialty Committee in Geriatric Medicine, Chair of the RCPSC Examination Board in Geriatric Medicine, President of the Canadian Geriatrics Society, and Editor of the Canadian Geriatrics Journal. David has authored over 500 publications (approximately 250 peer-reviewed).
He and his wife Janet have four children. David is particularly proud of his children, the People First Award that the Calgary Health Region graced him with in 2005 and the Distinguished Service Award he received from the Canadian Geriatrics Society in 2007.
David brings to the program a great wealth of experience in every aspect of clinical Geriatric Medicine as well as strong leadership in research. He serves as research director on the Residency Training Program Committee, as well as lead for the subspecialty clinic block of the program. He also offers residents the opportunity for home visits and Telehealth experience.
Dr. Jayna Holroyd-Leduc
Dr. Jayna Holroyd-Leduc is the Geriatric Section Head and Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. She is also the Deputy Department Head (academic) for the Department of Medicine and the Brenda Strafford Foundation Chair in Geriatric Medicine. She received her medical degree and then completed residency training in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at the University of Toronto. She completed a research fellowship in Geriatrics and Quality Improvement as a VA Quality Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco, USA. Her research interests include knowledge synthesis and translation focused on improving care provided to older adults. She is also very active in leading and promoting quality improvement initiatives within the Calgary zone and across Alberta, targeted towards frail seniors and their caregivers. She is the KT Chair of the Canadian Frailty Network NCE, an Associate Editor for the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and the previous Scientific Director of the Alberta Health Services Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network.
Dr. Emily Kwan
Emily Kwan did her Internal Medicine training in Saskatoon, SK before going on to Geriatric training in Toronto, ON. Further training included Wound care and a MScCH before moving to Calgary. Her interest is in Education. She is a Master Teacher with undergraduate medical education at the University of Calgary and works on various educational projects. Outside of medicine, Emily loves to eat and travel. She has travelled most of Europe and Asia and hope to include New Zealand and India in the near future.
Dr. Jimmy Kwok
Dr. Jimmy Kwok obtained his B.Sc. in UBC and graduated from University of Alberta medical school in 1989. After a year as a General Practitioner, he completed his Internal Medicine training at University of Toronto in 1995 and obtained his fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at UBC in 1997. He then worked in Vancouver as a consultant in Geriatrics in Long Term Care. From 1998 to 2000, he went to Saskatoon and became a Faculty member in University of Saskatchewan. He is now based at Rockyview General Hospital. He is fluent in English and Cantonese.
Dr Kwok has a strong clinical focus, and brings to the program the unique opportunity for a Cantonese speaking resident to train in the nuances of performing cognitive assessments in the older Chinese population.
Dr. Jacqueline McMillan
Dr. McMillan is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Calgary. Prior to joining the University of Calgary, she completed medical school at the University of British Columbia, followed by Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine specialty training at the University of Calgary. She has completed a Master of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary with a focus on Frailty in older adults living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Her clinical and research interests include frailty, polypharmacy, osteoporosis, falls, cognitive decline and psychosocial determinants of health in older adults living with HIV. She is a member of the Canadian HIV-Aging Multidisciplinary Programmatic Strategy (CHAMPS) in NeuroHIV and has joined the Southern Alberta Clinic (SAC) to provide clinical care for the increasing numbers of patients over 5o years of age. Dr. McMillian has implemented clinical tools of frailty into clinic care for over 600 older patients at Southern Alberta Clinic.
Dr. Michelle Persaud
Dr. Michelle Persaud comes to us originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She completed her MD at the University of Manitoba, after which she completed her training in Internal Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. She was a previous fellow in training in the Calgary Geriatric Medicine Program.
She is based at the Rockyview General Hospital and works on the Acute Geriatric Units, and in the Day Hospital and Seniors’ Health Clinic. She also has an administrative role as the Medical Director for the Acute Geriatric Units. Her areas of interests include inpatient geriatric medicine, sleep and mobility. She is enthusiastic about teaching and is excited to have the Geriatric Medicine Fellows join her on the unit.
Dr. Persaud, in her free time, enjoys movies (she’s a total cinephile) cooking, and travelling. Her office is easily identified by the abundance of marvel characters.
Dr. Leyla Samii
I graduated from Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Then completed my Family Medicine residency in University of Saskatchewan and practiced as a family physician before re-entry into Internal Medicine and following that joining the Geriatric Medicine program. Geriatric Medicine residency in Calgary is a warm, welcoming and excellently structured program that helps residents to grow and our staff and faculty here are great, super nice and supportive.
Dr. Heidi Schmaltz
Dr. Schmaltz completed her medical degree and internal medicine residency at McGill University, followed by a clinical & research fellowship in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Currently, she provides inpatient and outpatient geriatric medicine consults at South Health Campus. Clinically, she particularly enjoys the challenges of dementia care, particularly reactive behaviours, as well as collaborating with our One Line Referral team. Dr. Schmaltz is the Rural Outreach lead for Senior’s Health in Calgary, and has clinics in Claresholm and Vulcan.
She is the Section Lead for Rural Outreach and Continuing Professional Development, both tools she believes are valuable in supporting optimal care for complex older adults, particularly in rural areas. Dr. Schmaltz helped develop and continues to chair the Annual Geriatrics Update: Clinical Pearls offered through the University of Calgary Department of CME and CPD. She is also active in the CPD committee of the Canadian Geriatrics Society. In 2019, Dr. Schmaltz was awarded the Continuing Medical Education Award for clinical, adjunct and research faculty.
Dr Schmaltz enjoys working with and/or mentoring residents with an interest in CME and CPD – there are many opportunities available for scholarship both locally and nationally. In her spare time, Dr. Schmaltz most enjoys spending time with her family, especially her two young children, and is a voracious reader.
Dr. James Silvius
James Silvius obtained his Bachelors Degree in Physiology and Psychology from Oxford University in 1979 before returning to Canada where he obtained his MD from the University of Alberta Medical School in 1984. He went on to complete his residencies, first in Internal Medicine at the University of Alberta and then in Geriatric Medicine at Dalhousie University in 1990. He moved to Calgary in 1991 as Medical Director for the Geriatrics program based at the Calgary General Hospital and Peter Lougheed Centre before moving to the Rockyview General Hospital in 2000. He was the first Regional Medical Leader for Seniors Health, a role he defined and then filled until 2007. A Clinical Associate Professor, he has an active interest in dementia care, models of care, pharmaceutical care, and care delivery including Telehealth. He is a founding member of DementiaNET and remains an active contributor to a number of projects within the Net. He has been an active member of formulary committees across the care continuum and is the current Chair of the Provincial Expert Committee for Drug Evaluation and Therapeutics. His work in Telehealth both within Geriatrics and across the Department of Medicine led to him receiving the Department of Medicine’s Innovation Award in 2006. This was followed in 2008 by The Department of Medicine’s Terry Groves Award for Clinical Excellence at the Rockyview Hospital. After a year as the Executive Medical Director, Southwest Community Portfolio, Calgary Health Region, he is now the Vice President and Associate Chief Medical Officer, Patient Care Innovation and Health Technology, Alberta Health Services.