Who We Are
Health Cities is a Canadian federally incorporated not-for-profit corporation governed by a Board of Directors.
Health Cities is a Canadian federally incorporated not-for-profit corporation governed by a Board of Directors.
Our team includes a small group of highly skilled professionals with extensive backgrounds in health care and business.
Director, Business Operations
Stakeholder Engagement Manager
Coordinator, Business Operations
Our Board provides governance and strategic oversight to Health Cities and is accountable for all actions and activities related to Health Cities.
To contact any of our board members, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The role of the Health Cities Steering Committee is to provide strategic direction and leadership to the Health Cities Board to drive the future of innovation in our region’s health sector. The Steering Committee members are a dedicated group of individuals from organizations across our health innovation ecosystem.
Jason Pincock, Board Chair, effective March 16, 2018
View Bio »
Assistant Deputy Minister – Health Standards, Quality & Performance, Alberta Health
Brenda Hemmelgarn (Dr.)
Dean, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta
Deborah James, PhD
Associate Vice-President, Innovation, University of Alberta
Associate Director, Business Development, Innovate Calgary
Industry Chair, A100 & The Accelerate Fund II & III
Mark Joffe (Dr.)
VP & Medical Director for Northern Alberta, Alberta Health Services
VP – Health, Alberta Innovates
CEO, Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation & Assistant Dean, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta
VP Western Canada, MEDEC
Vice President, Philanthropy, Alberta Cancer Foundation
CEO, Kent Imaging
Assistant Deputy Minister, Alberta Region, Western Economic Diversification Canada / Government of Canada
President & CEO, BioAlberta
Senior Provincial Director, Health Innovation & Evidence – AHS
Chris McCabe (Dr.)
Executive Director & CEO, Institute of Health Economics (IHE)
Assistant Deputy Minister – Economic Policy & Strategy
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary
The role of the Health Cities Industry Advisory Committee is to provide insight and leadership to the Health Cities Board (and thereby management).
Jason Pincock, Board Chair,
Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Faculties of Engineering and Medicine & Dentistry
President, Associated Health Systems Inc.
Vice President – Partner, Associated Health Systems, Inc.
Director (and founding partner), priMED Medical Products Inc.
CEO, Classic Health
CEO , Mountain Integrated Medical Devices
President and CEO, Brass Dome Ventures, Ltd.
Manager, Healthcare Technology Strategy and Architecture, Deloitte
Reg was hired as the CEO of Health Cities in February 2018. Reg is no stranger to the health ecosystem as brings to the role a wealth of expertise in both the biomedical sciences as well as business development and his vision of how to deliver on the goals of Health Cities reflect that experience.
Most recently, Reg Joseph served as the Vice President of the Health portfolio at Alberta Innovates. In this role, he led the provincial strategy for health innovation and drove industry and non-profit collaborations with the province.
Reg has 20 years’ experience spanning the biotechnology and high technology sectors. Most recently, he served as the CEO of a local University of Alberta start-up company, Metabolomic Technologies Inc. The company received the Frost & Sullivan Technology Leadership Award in 2014 and was declared the University of Alberta’s “Start-up of the Year” in 2013.
Reg’s additional experience includes serving as an equity research analyst with Boston-based Leerink Swann & Co., where he covered the life science tools sector. He also spent four years at US-based Invitrogen Corp (now Thermo Fisher) in a variety of roles including licensing, product development, acquisitions and integration.
Reg has served in a variety of C-level and board positions with local medical technology-based start-ups. He currently serves a Chair of the Board of BioTalent Canada. He also sits on BioAlberta’s policy committee and serves as President of the Board for the Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE), as well as the Board of Governors for MacEwan University. He has a B.Sc. in Physiology and an MBA in Finance.
Karen Wichuk has been a key driver in the creation and realization of Health City. Shortly after the announcement of Health City in 2016, Karen brought together integral partners in the ecosystem, creating momentum around the initiative. She facilitated the development of the ten-year Health City strategy, the formal launch of Health City and the creation of the first business plan. Karen continues to support the executive team with her expertise and passion for this initiative.
Over the course of her career Karen has worked in both the private and the public sector. A lawyer by profession, Karen practiced law with the firm Shores Jardine until joining the University of Alberta (U of A) in 2002, first as the Director of Government Relations and then in 2007 as the Associate Vice-President of Government, Stakeholder and Corporate Relations. In 2014, Karen took a two-year secondment to Executive Council in the Government of Alberta, first as the ADM of Strategic Planning and Policy and then as the ADM of Operations and Machinery of Government. As part of her role, in 2015 Karen was tasked with designing the new Ministry of Economic Development & Trade. In 2016, Karen returned to the U of A and took a one-year secondment into TEC Edmonton where she served as Vice-President Public Sector and Government Relations. During this time, Karen was seconded part time to Health City, serving as Executive Lead between October 2016 and March 2018. In addition to continuing her role with Health City, she consults to other private, public and not-for-profit clients. Karen is also the CEO and Founder of Deep Strategies Inc. Karen has received a Bachelor of Arts, a Masters of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Law from the University of Alberta.
Jason is currently the Chief Executive Officer of DynaLIFE Medical Labs, one of Alberta’s largest private healthcare organizations. At over 1100 employees DynaLIFE is Canada’s most regarded multidisciplinary clinical laboratory organization and is recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. DynaLIFE provides clinical diagnostics to support physicians, patients, hospitals and other health providers from central Alberta through the Territories. DynaLIFE is internationally accredited for quality and is routinely listed as one of Albert’s Best Workplaces. Its dedication to the community includes sponsorships and fundraising for a variety of charities as well as support for researchers and health care startup organizations.
Jason is a Certified Management Accountant, a graduate of the Queens Executive Program and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. Jason works with an ownership board, including OMERS and Laboratory Corporation of America (publicly traded.) With a decade of experience at the executive level his background includes roles from CFO to Government Relations. Although his professional background is financial, he is regarded for his transparent and accountable leadership style, as a creator and driver of innovation and strategy. Jason participates in various bio‐tech related industry groups, works with Economic Development and participates on various community committees. Jason serves on the boards of Little Warriors, Bissell Centre, and Viewics, a US health analytics company.
On a personal level, Jason lives in St. Albert with a big family that includes six active children. In between work and kids he is an active outdoorsman with passions from sailing to skiing, motorbikes to mountains and loves to spend time with his family in the back country or behind the boat at their cabin.
Mel Wong is a co-founder and principal of Synergia Associates, a unique consulting organization that is composed of former government assistant deputy ministers and vice presidents from industry.
From August 2015 to December 2019, Mr. Wong served as President and CEO of BioAlberta, bringing a wealth of government management experience and an intimate knowledge of life sciences to the position, as well as an extensive network of international, intergovernmental and industry relationships.
Prior to his tenure at BioAlberta, he was Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of Advanced Technology Industries within the Ministry of Innovation and Advanced Education. His responsibilities included advancing the government’s innovation agenda supporting technology commercialization, technology adoption, and development of technology industries. After a 10-year tenure as ADM, Mr. Wong retired from the Ministry in June 2015. Mr. Wong joined Alberta Treasury in 1979 as an economist. His career path led him to senior advisory and management positions in the Government of Alberta, including responsibilities for developing manufacturing and high technology industries. Throughout his career, Mr. Wong has also taught economics, international marketing, international business and multinational finance at various post-secondary institutions.
Born in Southern Alberta, Mel Wong attended the University of Lethbridge, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and a Management Development Certificate. He is also a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Executive Management program. Prior to joining the Government of Alberta, Mr. Wong worked in a family-owned restaurant business, a building-products manufacturing company, the Federal Business Development Bank and the Anti-dumping and Countervail Division of Revenue Canada. Mr. Wong and his wife, Carma, have three daughters and four grandchildren.
Ray Pisani is the President and CEO of Alberta Blue Cross, and has 35 years of progressively senior experience in the organization.
In addition to serving as President and CEO of Alberta Blue Cross, Ray is a member of the Leadership committee of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans, as well as a member of Blue Cross Life, C.D. Howe Institute’s Healthcare Policy Committee and the International Federation of Health Plans. Ray serves on the Board of Directors for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serves as a member of the Nominating Committee for the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association and serves on the Board of Directors for Edmonton Health City. In 2013, Ray received an Honourary Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and was also appointed to the Institute’s Board of Governors.
Alberta Blue Cross has evolved continuously to keep pace with the changing health needs of Albertans—and under Ray’s leadership is well-positioned for continued success. Today, it is a market-leading organization with more than 1.7 million customers and annual revenue approaching $3 billion.
Dr. Randy Yatscoff is the former Vice-President of Business Development for TEC Edmonton, a business service provider and incubator. Prior to joining TEC Edmonton, Randy was CEO and President of the drug development company Isotechnika, raising over $200M in equity financing. He has over ten years’ experience as a biotech executive. Randy was the national recipient of the 2016 Startup Canada Adam Chowaniec Lifetime Achievement Award. In an earlier lifetime, Dr. Yatscoff was an accomplished academic, a full professor and researcher at several Canadian universities. In total, he holds more than 20 patents.
Ms. Dianne Balon is an executive with over 35 years of experience in healthcare and healthcare benefits related industries. Ms. Balon is currently the Vice President of Government with Alberta Blue Cross and fills various roles within the company including the past Chair of the Alberta Blue Cross Executive Committee and Co-Executive Lead of the Alberta Blue Cross’ Women’s Initiative. Focused on delivering quality results coupled with strong leadership, not only for her organization but for her community, Ms. Balon has recently finished her last term on the Red Deer College Board of Governors, and is currently serving on the Board of Governors for Compassion House Foundation as the Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Governance Committee. She is also a member of the Edmonton Glenora Rotary Club, a member of the Lois Hole Hospital Women’s Society since its inception and serving on their Executive Steering Committee, and a past cabinet member of the Alberta Capital Region United Way, just to name a few. Ms. Balon is a mentor including a formal role with the future leaders within Alberta Blue Cross and outside the company. In addition to her formal education, Ms. Balon has completed her Executive Business Management Program from Queen’s University and the Advanced Executive Management Program from the Banff School of Advanced Management. Ms. Balon has also recently completed the Women In Leadership Certificate through Cornell University with a keen interest in understanding today’s changing environment with a global perspective.
In addition to her work, Ms. Balon is very proud of her two grown daughters and their husbands, who are all very successful business people with growing families. She is a also a very proud grandmother of three amazing young grandchildren with another on the way, and enjoys spending time making new memories with her family. She is also a strong believer and supporter of physical and mental wellness.
Retired from the Public Service of Canada after nearly 36 years in July, 2019. I have extensive experience leading in a complex environment and working with senior leaders in government, the private sector and academia. Highlights include:
Education & Training
Awards & Recognition
Keep up to date with the latest Health Cities activities and be the first to know about exciting opportunities.