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Conferences / Education

WEBINAR: Q & A with Candidates for Board of Directors

Date: Monday, April 8, 2019
Time: 1030 PT, 1130 MT/SK, 1230 CT, 1330 ET, 1430 AT, 1500 NL
Duration: 1.0 hour


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Description of session: The Nominating Committee of the Board of Directors of Infection Prevention and Control Canada (IPAC Canada) and members of IPAC Canada have put forth the following candidates for positions open as of May 29, 2019.


President-elect (2 year term followed by 2 years as President and 1 year as Past President)
  • Zahir Hirji BScN MHSc RN CIC
Director (Programs & Projects) (3 year term)
  • Anne Augustin MLT CIC
  • Baljinder (Bal) Sidhu RN BScN MPH(c) CIC
Director (Standards & Guidelines) (3 year term)
  • Madeleine Ashcroft RN BScN MHS CIC
  • Lola Gushue BN RN CIC
Public Representative (3 year term)
  • Stephen Palmer



Zahir Hirji

Zahir Hirji BScN, MHSc, RN, CIC has worked in Infection Prevention and Control and Patient Safety for nearly two decades during which time he has actively participated in a number of projects and initiatives. Highlights have included being a member of the Scientific Planning Committee for the IPAC Canada National Conference in 2010, 2017 and 2018 and the Chair of the Committee in 2011; Representing IPAC Canada on the National Point Prevalence Surveys; a current member of the Canadian Journal of Infection Control (CJIC) Editorial Board, the Provincial Infection Disease Advisory Committee (PIDAC) and the Certification Board of Infection Control (CBIC) test committee. He is the recent recipient of the Moira Walker award for International Service and enjoys being an active member of IPAC GTA.  Zahir is a Registered Nurse with a Masters in Community Health and Epidemiology, a certified trainer for the Patient Safety Education Program with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and a Lean Green Belt. His newest role is driving him to invest in new ways to collaborate with areas of risk management and patient safety to improve the IPAC perspective.


Anne Augustin

Anne Augustin MLT CIC is an IPAC Specialist at Public Health Ontario (PHO).  She provides scientific and technical support to stakeholders (provincial ministry of health, regulatory colleges, health professional associations, public health units, health care organizations and health care providers) on IPAC matters. She has fostered strong working relationships with various regulated health professional associations and regulatory colleges (e.g., Association of Ontario Midwives, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, and the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario, encouraging and supporting members of these organizations to further their knowledge and deepen their involvement in IPAC; to become members of IPAC Canada; and to attend IPAC Canada Conferences as delegates and presenters.  Anne is the PHO internal lead on two subjects - reprocessing and perinatology.  She led the collaborative development of PHO checklists for Reprocessing and Core IPAC in the Dental Practice Setting with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, and the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario. She is co-lead on the development of an Implementation Science project to reduce the unnecessary treatment of residents in long-term care with antibiotics, for asymptomatic bacteriuria.  This included leading production of resources/tools for the PHO website  and participating as a member of the Phase II Evaluation Team.  In addition to her responsibilities with PHO, Anne is a lead faculty member in the IPAC course at Centennial College.  Anne has held executive positions in her chapter, IPAC PANA, and has been a member of the Scientific Program Committee for the IPAC Canada 2000 and 2018 national conferences.


Bal Sidhu

Bal Sidhu RN BScN MPH(c) CIC is a Registered Nurse with over 17 years of experience in health care.  Her career in nursing has taken her from point of care nurse in the acute medicine, HIV, and geriatrics patient populations to mentoring student nurses and new staff into a Clinical Nurse Leader role.  Bal joined infection prevention and control (IPAC) in 2011 and had a variety of roles leading IPAC initiatives in multiple health authorities.  Currently, she is with working at Provincial Health Services Authority in the capacity of an Infection Prevention and Control Specialist providing expertise in reprocessing and hand hygiene.  Bal served as an IPAC BC Chapter President and Chapter Secretary, is certified in Infection Control (CIC), and completed her Master’s degree in Public Health. She is actively involved with IPAC Canada as an acute care representative on the 2020 scientific program committee.  She attended 2018 Hill Day in Ottawa to discuss with officials the global threat of AROs and the need for a national surveillance data repository on AROs and HAIs. Bal has presented multiple posters at the Canadian National IPAC conferences, winning best poster awards in 2014 and 2015 - Automated Microbiology Lab Notifications of MTB orders resulting in timely Implementation of Airborne Precautions (2014); Acceptability of CHG cloths for Patient Bathing of a Medical Unit (2015).  Her first research publication in the American Journal of Infection Control was published in 2017, which focused on ARO reduction strategies in acute care settings. Bal is an energetic, creative individual, whose passion is to empower everyone to practice infection prevention and control measures to improve the quality of patient care.  Bal is currently a member of the Programs & Projects Committee. 


Madeleine Ashcroft

Madeleine Ashcroft RN BScN MHS CIC, a Nightingale nurse (from the Nightingale School, London, England) for more than 40 years, worked in many specialty areas, including critical care, operating rooms, midwifery, renal, intravenous therapy, community care, and as a college educator, before getting into infection prevention and control shortly before SARS hit Toronto. Witnessing the impact of an infectious disease on the entire health care system inspired Madeleine to serve as Toronto chapter president the following year, and to pursue progressive infection prevention and control opportunities in acute, chronic, and rehab hospitals, long-term care, and regional networks. Her experience with the WHO Ebola relief mission in Sierra Leone in 2015 and active involvement on the Standards and Guidelines Committee for 15 years (the last 5 as Chair), serving as IPAC Canada’s representative to the Canadian Network of Nursing Specialties and recent appointment as a CNA Board member, as well as her input on core competency and related working groups have brought new perspectives and life-enhancing relationships.


Lola Gushue

 Lola Gushue BN RN CIC is the IPAC Coordinator with Central Health and has held the position for six years.  Prior to this role, she was an ICP with responsibility for ambulatory care endoscopy, hemodialysis, acute medicine, sterilization/reprocessing and as a consultant for Long Term Care.  She has been an active and supportive member of IPAC Canada having held various positions in her chapter, participating on the 2016 and 2017 national conference Scientific Program Committees, on the Routine Practices E-Learning tool review and is currently on the Hand Hygiene E-Learning Modules review committee.  Lola is a dedicated individual and IPAC member who has a vast knowledge related to infection prevention and control standards. She is committed to the profession and has a passion for advancing it on a local and national level. Lola has experience with creating and critiquing IPAC standards and guidelines, as well as reviewing abstracts and research proposals. Lola is an advocate for all aspects of IPAC.  She is known locally, provincially, and nationally for her work in IPAC education. She plays a vital role in the organization of IPAC NL education days. Lola excels in creating a culture of safety. Her initiatives always include quality improvement based on rational risk assessments. She engages other disciplines into a culture of patient safety through implementation of best practices based on evidence. Lola always has the patient at the heart of her work.


Stephen PalmerStephen Palmer was born is the Salford borough of Manchester England. He emigrated to Canada at a young age and lived throughout Ontario region residing primarily in the Brantford and Kitchener areas.  After school he served in the Canadian Military for more than two decades before leaving during a period of military personnel reduction. Returning to the private sector he worked with a number of companies primarily in the technology and graphics industry before returning to school to complete a Master's level program through the University of Toronto School of Theology offered by St. Augustine Seminary which led to his ordination as a Permanent Deacon for the Catholic Church. Shortly after that he returned to school during a career change and studied to become licensed as a Financial Advisor.  For more than a decade he has owned and managed his own practice with a growing client base focused on serving clients’ current and long-term financial needs. Stephen has a strong commitment to giving back and has held both Director and Executive positions on a number of boards. Two of the highlights have been Chair of the Georgina Community Food Pantry and his election in 2016 as the first Public Representative to the national board of IPAC Canada. In his off hours Stephen likes to cycle, having participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer.  He enjoys spending time with his growing family of six children and 15 grand-children.  He has been married to his wife, Ann, for more than 30 years and lives in the town of Keswick, Ontario on the east side of Lake Simcoe about an hour north of Toronto.