The Health Cities Team
Our team includes a small group of highly skilled professionals with extensive backgrounds in healthcare and business.
Reg Joseph was appointed as the CEO of Health Cities in February 2018. He has 20 years’ experience spanning the health, technology and investment sectors. At Health Cities, Reg is focused on developing new pathways for healthcare delivery to drive better health outcomes and economic growth for our region.
Reg has served in a wide variety of roles including as an analyst with Boston-based Leerink Swann & Co. and managed a global business unit at US-based Invitrogen Corporation (now Thermo Fisher). Reg has founded and led local health technology companies and most recently, he served as the Vice President of Health at Alberta Innovates managing outgoing investments from the Heritage Fund.
In addition to serving on multiple boards of health technology companies, Reg currently serves as Chair of the Board of BioTalent Canada and on the MacEwan University Board of Governors. Reg has a B.Sc. in Physiology and an MBA in Finance.
Director, Business Operations
Lisa joined Health Cities in March 2018 and played a key role in establishing the organization as a legal entity. With almost 20 years’ experience in not-for-profit health administration, Lisa brings with her a wealth of expertise in the areas of finance, human resources, and operations. Using her unique skillset, Lisa continues to focus on transforming Health Cities into an invaluable resource for the health innovation ecosystem.
In addition to her role at Health Cities, Lisa currently serves as Board Chair on the Board of Autism Edmonton. Supporting the Autism community is an area that Lisa is deeply passionate about. Prior to moving to Edmonton in 2017, Lisa served for 14 years as Business & Administrative Manager of the St.Amant Autism Programs in Winnipeg.
Outside of work, Lisa’s inner daredevil surfaces and you can often find her engaging in adrenaline pumping activities like ziplining, skydiving, and bungee jumping. Lisa also loves to travel the world to experience new cultures firsthand. When she is not busy planning her next adventure, she loves to spend time with her two dogs, Baker and Bailey.
Rebecca joined the Health Cities team as the Executive Assistant in 2018. She has over 20 years’ experience in a variety of health-related administrative roles and holds an Executive Assistant diploma from Saskatoon Business College. Prior to joining Health Cities, Rebecca spent much of her career at DynaLIFE in a variety of support roles including Medical Secretary, Administrative Assistant, Senior Executive Assistant and Executive Assistant to the CEO. Rebecca took a brief pause in her career when her children were born where she refined her time management and organizational skills.
At Health Cities, Rebecca utilizes her extensive experience with board relations, stakeholder communications, complex calendar management and expert Microsoft Office skills to assist the Health Cities team to achieve their objectives in developing new models of care to drive better health outcomes and economic growth in the health sector.
In her personal life, Rebecca enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 children and their bulldogs at their lake property year-round.
Manager, Stakeholder Engagement
Cassandra joined the Health Cities Team in November of 2021. She has been in the non-profit sector for six years and has worked with value-added agrifood entrepreneurs, ran a business mentorship program, and helped facilitate a merger between two non-profits. Most recently, she led the Rural Health & Wellness Initiative with the Rural Development Network and managed projects related to age-friendly communities and was successful in achieving $600K to implement dementia-friendly initiatives across rural Alberta.
Cassandra has a varied background with a B.Sc. in Biology and Agriculture from the University of Alberta and for a brief period she was at NAIT for Respiratory Therapy, before gravitating towards non-profits. Cassandra volunteered with Pilgrim’s Hospice through the No One Dies Alone Program and with her education, volunteering, and work/personal experience, she recognized that there are many opportunities to improve health especially in community and preventative care.
You can often find Cassandra cycling through Edmonton’s amazing river valley trails, reading and writing fiction (ask her about her favourite novels), learning different fibre skills, and hanging out with friends and family.
Manager, Marketing and Events
Dani joined Health Cities in November 2022. With five years of experience in marketing, she brings a fresh, creative perspective to enhancing Health Cities’ outward-facing presence and content.
Dani holds a diploma in Creative Communications where she studied marketing, advertising, public relations, journalism and media production. After working for the communications team at the 2017 Canada Summer Games, she grew her career at Argyle, one of Canada's leading creative and social marketing firms where she was responsible for the brand coordination, content ideation and conceptualization, and social media management of various clients. Most recently, she played an integral role in elevating the social media content and strategy for Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries with the use of her creative copywriting and design skills as well as her keen sense of trends and tactics.
Outside of work, Dani is always seeking new experiences, adventure, TikTok trends, live music and a great book.
Coordinator, Business Operations
Justin has been with Health Cities since 2019. In his role, he currently supports the organization with operations and communications, as well as the CEO and Director of Business Operations with a number of initiatives.
Justin has honed his skills working administratively with health-focused companies in the U.S. and Canada, including Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public and Nonprofit Administration from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.
Outside of his work with Health Cities, Justin is an avid reader and book reviewer. He has acted in several shows and has a passion for all the arts. In his free time, you’ll find Justin taking care of his plants, traveling and trying new foods with his husband.
Amber Parkinson is an Administrative Assistant who joined the Health Cities team in July 2022. She brings 16-years of administrative and office management experience and holds a Business Computer Specialist Diploma from CDI College. Prior to joining Health Cities Amber worked in a variety of administrative roles including reception, office administrator and program assistant where she refined her skills in accounting, customer service and administrative support.
Amber is a self-directed, resourceful, and passionate administrative professional who looks forward to honing her skills and supporting the Health Cities team in creating positive changes in the health ecosystem.
In her spare time Amber utilizes her skills with other passions like Photography and travelling and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
The Health Cities Board
Our Board provides governance and strategic oversight 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
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.
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.
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.
Vice President of Government,
Alberta Blue Cross
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
The Health Cities Steering Committee
The Steering Committee provides 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. Read the Steering Committee Terms of Reference
Assistant Deputy Minister – Health Standards, Quality & Performance, Alberta Health
Dean, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta
Associate Vice-President, Innovation, University of Alberta
Associate Director, Business Development, Innovate Calgary
Industry Chair, A100 & The Accelerate Fund II & III
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
Executive Director & CEO, Institute of Health Economics (IHE)
Assistant Deputy Minister – Economic Policy & Strategy
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary
The Health Cities Industry Advisory Committee
The Industry Advisory Committee is to provide insight and leadership to the Health Cities Board (and thereby management).
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 , Mountain Integrated Medical Devices
President and CEO, Brass Dome Ventures, Ltd.
Manager, Healthcare Technology Strategy and Architecture, Deloitte