Doug and Sophie were brought together by their shared values of upholding democracy, empowering people to make informed decisions for themselves, and teamwork. Together, they generate ideas, problem-solve, and engage in dialogue with members, the Board, media, communities, and partners to meet the day-to-day needs of the co-op.
My Health Information Co-op is a democratically owned Canadian non-profit co-op, which means every member influences the steps we take together.
On behalf of our members, the Board steer the strategic direction of the organization, manage the co-op’s assets, and ensure our future goals can realistically be met. The executive team is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the co-op.
Robert Colwill brings with him nearly 40 years of experience working in the tech industry. Robert has seen the tech industry from nearly every angle. He has done everything from production and testing to managing product support groups, sales and marketing, all the way to becoming a senior account manager working with engineering teams to design and support tech products, such as the technology that makes My Health Information work. Robert specializes in understanding how this technology works, why you would want to use it, and what makes it easy and comfortable for users to navigate. During his 15 years of working with data in the cable TV industry, he was on the front line of the rise in popularity and the use of secure data storage and sharing technology including the kind we use to keep patient information safe.
Anton Canitz consulting experience includes helping health sector organizations develop cultures and practices of continuous improvement. Anton is the founder of One Plus Ultra and a Lead 2 Lean Coach who developed applications used with health care data sets for tracking and analysis of system performance. Anton is a University of Saskatchewan (USask) graduate where he majored in Operations Management. Anton has experience in several industries, including manufacturing, non-profits, education, the service industry, and health care.
David Hay has deep expertise in directing health care research and social policy, as well as over 30 years of experience as a board executive for various non-profits. David holds a doctorate in Community Health from the University of Toronto and has written, published and contributed to a long list of research and reports on topics including education, housing, poverty, health, and social policy. David is currently a policy consultant for the B.C. Public Service’s Impairment Program and has previously worked as a senior policy analyst for both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. Through his work, David has noticed patients are frustrated with inefficient and sometimes ineffective health systems, and not having control over their own health data. David sees giving patients access to and control over their own personal health information as vital for improved health outcomes.
Lorne Verhulst has over 40 years of experience working in medicine – most as a doctor. Lorne holds a medical degree and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard. He did a health policy and management fellowship at Johns Hopkins teaching hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He also worked in the Alberta medical system as the Assistant Executive of Alberta Health, and did a six-month stint as the Vice President of Medical Services at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. Lorne currently owns, runs, and practices medicine at the Shelbourne Medical Clinic in Victoria, and was previously an inaugural board member for the Victoria Division of Family Practice. During this time, he was instrumental in writing rules for board membership. Lorne considers the worst experience he’s had with public service to be the challenges he faces in getting timely access to the relevant information about his patients.
Doug Balson – Founder and President
Doug Balson has been a research consultant since 1987 – supporting primary research used to understand public, customer, and employee experiences in sectors including health care, retail, media, technology, and non-profits. He holds a B.A. Honours degree in primary research design and management from U.B.C. and a master’s degree in conflict analysis and management from Royal Roads University. Doug has consulted for the Vancouver Island Health Authority and the B.C. Ministry of Health on projects such as accreditation, service planning, performance measures, and stakeholder engagement. Years of working in health care and the second-hand experience of family and friends’ brought him to the conclusion health care needs a significant nudge from patients to influence improvements to services.
Sophie Heizer – Communications and Community Relations Director
Sophie Heizer has a degree in journalism from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. She has extensive experience working as a multimedia journalist in Australia and Canada as a dual citizen of both countries. Prior to graduation, she secured a job working for The Conversation – a non-profit media company that exclusively publishes free-access articles written by academic experts and edited by journalists. Sophie has run a freelance communications business since 2015, working on issues related to education, philanthropy, journalism, and politics. Sophie’s many interactions with the Canadian and Australian health care systems, as well as the research evidence, convinced her that online personal health records would benefit many Canadians. Sophie is passionate about empowering citizens of democracy with the knowledge to make informed decisions for themselves and their communities.
Our experts help by adding valuable perspectives to My Health Information Co-op’s pool of collective knowledge. Alone, we can’t know or anticipate everything.
John Heaney – Legal Counsel
John is a Victoria lawyer in private practice. He has worked for more than a decade as a senior strategy, policy and legislative advisor to premiers and cabinets in two Canadian provinces. He knows the privacy and personal information world from being an FOI “head of the public body” in government to lecturing on privacy in the workplace to maintaining a busy privacy and FOI litigation practice with clients that included FOI applicants as well as public bodies. John also maintains a solicitor’s practice advising organizations on board and corporate governance. He will bring all this experience to advising My Health and helping co-op members gain control of their own health information.
Brent Baker – Professional Patient
Brent has extensive consulting experience in a broad range of industries on a wide variety of issues. He has provided research, strategic analysis, and business planning services to public and private businesses. Clients include ministries and public agencies of federal and provincial governments, First Nations, companies in manufacturing, technology, tourism, business services, forest products, agriculture, health care, social services, arts and culture, sport and recreation, gaming, media, politics, retail, and education. Brent also refers to himself as a professional patient. Since his mid-20’s, Brent has dealt with a rare disease (acromegaly) and its multitude of co-morbid conditions. His experiences both as a business consultant and as a patient have been invaluable to My Health Information Co-op during the start-up phase.
Paul Davis – Health Technology Solutions
Paul is the computer engineer behind My Health Information Co-op’s health record storage portal. Since 2013, he has been the president of WhoKnozMe by CS4, a company dedicated to building patient-centric products and services to support health information storage, medication plans, treatment plans, and much more. Paul has 40 years of experience in electrical engineering, technical solutions sales, and document management solutions. Paul co-created and is the architect of relBuilder/relModeller – an object-relational business, human intelligence, and social network platform. He also has experience doing business management, evaluations and M&A, and on boards of public, private, and not-for-profit companies.
Beth Campbell Duke - Professional Caregiver
Beth science educator & family caregiver who provides courses and coaching for patients and family caregivers who find themselves confused and frustrated navigating Canada’s healthcare systems. Beth’s health coaching services are based on firsthand experience learning how to navigate the health care system as a family caregiver. She understands how frustrating it is for patients and families struggling to comprehend the system, learn the medical aspects of care while being emotionally raw. Her career includes teaching and curriculum development for advanced chemistry and at-risk students. Beth has a B.Sc., B.Ed. and worked for a decade in the agricultural biotechnology sector as the Regulatory Affairs Officer.