Who we are - Board of Directors


Executive Committee

  • President & Chair: Ms. Clarys Tirel (Executive Director, Mount Sinai Academic Family Health Team – Toronto)
  • Vice President: Ms. Sara Dalo (Executive Director, Tilbury District Family Health Team - Tilbury)
  • Treasurer: Dr. Kevin Samson (Physician, East Wellington Family Health Team – Rockwood)
  • Secretary: Dr. Crystal Holly (Clinical and Health Pscyhologist, Équipe de santé familiale académique Montfort Family Health Team - Ottawa)
  • Past President: Dr. Allan Grill (Lead Physician, Markham Family Health Team – Markham)


  • Dr. Rob Annis (Physician, North Perth Family Health Team - Listowel)
  • Ms. Pam Delgaty (Clinical Director and Lead NP, Lakehead Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic - Thunder Bay)
  • Ms. Kaela Hilderley (Registered Respiratory Therapist, Elliot Lake Family Health Team – Elliot Lake)
  • Ms. Karen Lusignan (Executive Director, Atikokan Family Health Team – Atikokan)
  • Mr. John McKinley (Board Chair, South East Toronto Family Health Team – Toronto)
  • Ms. Diana Noel (Executive Director, Village Family Health Team - Toronto)
  • Dr. Thomas Richard (Physician and Director, Peterborough Family Health Team - Peterborough)
  • Mr. Neil Shah (Executive Director, North York Family Health Team - Toronto)
  • Dr. Adam Steacie (Lead Physician, Upper Canada Family Health Team - Brockville)



President and chair

Ms. Clarys Tirel | Executive Director, Mount Sinai Academic FHT - Toronto

Clarys Tirel has worked in the healthcare system since the mid-1980s. She started as a psychiatric social worker (MSW), but moved to administrative positions in the early 1990s. Clarys was the Executive Director of a branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association for 10 years in Duncan, British Columbia. As part of her work in mental health, she worked closely with patients to develop patient advisory committees. She was also involved in the regionalization processes at the time and participated in regional and provincial committees. Clarys has been involved in Primary Care since the initial reforms that were spearheaded by the Romanow report in 2002. In British Columbia, she worked on several Primary Care Transition Projects funded by the Federal government and developed a strong understanding of primary care. She has strong ties with the IHPME at the University of Toronto, where she completed a Masters in Health Administration in 2005. Clarys had the opportunity to work on a quality improvement project in primary care after she completed her MHSc. Her experience with Family Health Teams started as the Executive Director of the North York Family Health Team from 2008 to 2011. Clarys is currently the Executive Director of the Mount Sinai Academic Family Health Team. She was also the Governance and Leadership Lead for AFHTO in 2013 - 14.


Vice President

Ms. Sara Dalo | Executive Director, Tilbury District FHT - Tilbury

Sara Dalo is the Executive Director at the Tilbury District Family Health Team. Prior to this she was Manager of Quality, Experience and Patient Safety at Windsor Family Health Team. Sara previously supported nine Family Health Teams across the Erie St Clair region in her role as a Quality Improvement Decision Support Specialist (QIDSS). Her work experience also includes working as a Decision Support Analyst at Windsor Regional Hospital, providing expertise, data analysis, evaluation and quality improvement for stakeholders both internal and external to the organization. Sara has served on multiple local, regional and provincial committees. She was part of AFHTO’s D2D Indicator Working Group, EMR Data Management Committee and is actively involved in the marketing side of the Algorithm Project (AP) Team. Sara often collaborates with Public Health Ontario, Health Quality Ontario, Windsor- Essex County Health Unit, Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network as these working relationships lead to effective coordination of policies, programs, and service delivery, and, ultimately, better outcomes. Sara Graduated from McMaster with a MSc in eHealth and is currently pursuing a PhD in Performance Measurement and Evaluation through Wayne State University. She has also completed several professional development courses including CIHI Health System Performance Workshop and Human-Centered Design course for social innovation.



Dr. Kevin Samson | Physician, East Wellington FHT - Rockwood

Dr. Samson is a full time family doctor and IT lead at the East Wellington Family Health Team. He has been in practice in Ontario for over 30 years. He also has a degree in Electrical Engineering specializing in computer programming and biomedical engineering and has been actively involved in the development and application of medical software throughout his career. 

Dr. Samson maintains active leadership and advisory roles at many levels. With AFHTO, he has been a member of the AFHTO Quality Steering Committee since inception and is the current chair of the committee. He is also the chair of the AFHTO TELUS PSS Community of Practice and was the chair of the AFHTO EMR Data Management Committee for 4 years. With OntarioMD, Dr. Samson is a member of the eConsult Clinical Advisory Group, the EMR Quality Dashboard Clinical Advisory Group, and the Health Report Manager User Group. As an active Peer Leader with OntarioMD he has conducted EMR optimization sessions with many practices and has learned about the varied workflows and challenges of practices across the province. In his role as Clinical Advisor for the eHealth Centre of Excellence in Waterloo, Dr. Samson is involved in the development of innovative EMR tools that are being deployed across the province. He is an active member of the Waterloo Wellington Primary Care eHealth Committee, the eHealth Ontario cSWO Clinical Advisory Committee, and the WWLHIN eHealth ClinicalConnect Regional User Group. Dr. Samson is also a member of the Diabetes Action Canada Data Advisory Group and Co-Chair of the Diabetes Action Canada Research Governing Committee. He also works closely with TELUS Health and has been involved in the development of EMR optimization tools as well as enhanced data extraction and reporting tools for their PS Suite EMR. 

Dr. Samson brings to the Board years of front line clinical experience, a strong IT background, and an understanding of how best to bring about patient centered innovative change at both a local and system level.



Dr. Crystal Holly | Clinical and Health Psychologist, Equipe de santé familiale académique de Montfort FHT - Ottawa

Crystal Holly earned her PhD in clinical psychology from McGill University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioural medicine at McGill University as well as a postdoctoral fellowship at  the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Hospital focusing on health and clinical psychology. She has conducted research on factors influencing health behaviour change and she has published numerous peer-reviewed articles. She has presented at international conferences on the relationship between psychological factors and physical health as well as promoting physician health-care provider wellness. Crystal has experience as the mental health team coordinator at ESFAM. As a bilingual clinician, her clinical practice and research has focused on health promotion and illness prevention in the primary care setting. In addition, she has played a founding role in re-establishing a mental health provider network for psychologists, social workers and counselors practicing in primary care settings in the Champlain LHIN. 



Dr. Allan Grill | Lead Physician, Markham FHT - Markham

Dr. Allan Grill is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, and Chief of Family Medicine at Markham Stouffville Hospital. He enjoys an active community-based clinical practice as the Lead Physician at the Markham Family Health Team, and works part-time in the Division of Long-Term Care at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. In 2016, Dr. Grill joined The College of Family Physicians of Canada as a Physician Advisor supporting the Department of Programs and Practice Support.  Through his various primary care leadership roles, he is currently involved in COVID-19 pandemic planning for the Eastern York Region North Durham Ontario Health Team as well as the Ontario Health Central Region Primary Care Leadership Planning Table. Recognizing competency and excellence in physician leadership, Dr. Grill is also a recipient of the Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) credential from the Canadian Medical Association and Canadian Society of Physician Leaders. 



Dr. Rob Annis | Physician, North Perth FHT - Listowel

Rob Annis has been a family physician in Listowel Ontario for the last 23 years, and maintains an active practice that includes emergency room shifts, obstetrics, and surgical assists. While working in various Primary Care models, including a Community Health Centre, private practice, and, in the last 12 years, with the North Perth Family Health Team, Rob has held numerous leadership positions. He was Medical Director of the Fordwich Village Nursing Home from 1994 to 2005, Chief of Staff of the Listowel Memorial Hospital from 2005-2010, the Lead Physician in the development of the North Perth Family Health Team from 2005 to 2006, Chair of the North Perth Family Health Team Board 2006-2010, Co-Chair of the South West LHIN Health System Leadership Council from 2010 to 2013 as well as a member of numerous SW LHIN committees including their Strategic Advisory Group and Chronic Disease Steering Committee. Rob was also the Regional Primary Care Lead for the SW Regional Cancer Program from 2008 to 2012, the Primary Care Lead for the SW LHIN 2012- 2014, and the Co-Chair of the SW Primary Care Network, a network which he created while working as the Cancer Lead. He has worked with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and AFHTO as a Peer Facilitator in the Effective Governance for Quality and Patient Safety Program. Rob received an Award of Excellence from the Canadian College of Family Physicians in 2011, and a Community Care Access Award in 2001.



Ms. Pam Delgaty | Clinical Director and Lead Nurse Practitioner, Lakehead NPLC - Thunder Bay

Pam is the Lead Nurse Practitioner for the Lakehead Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic. After obtaining her Nursing Degree from Lakehead University in 1990, Pam travelled extensively across Europe and Asia. Over the next ten years, Pam worked in the Canadian North, the U.S. Correctional System and as a Medical Officer for the Canadian Coast Guard. Pam returned to school and graduated from the Nurse Practitioner Program at Lakehead University in 2000 at the top of her class. After graduation she worked at the Norwest Community Health Centre for ten years. Pam has been with the Lakehead Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic since February 2011.



Ms. Kaela Hilderley | Registered Respiratory Therapist, Elliot Lake FHT - Elliot Lake

Kaela Hilderley is the Registered Respiratory Therapist and Certified Educator with the Elliot Lake Family Health Team. Since accepting the position in 2012, she has been expanding the role of the Respiratory Therapist within the FHT. Kaela has acquired numerous certifications since 2012 and is currently working towards a Bachelor of Education in Adult Education as she is passionate about health education. She brings to the AFHTO board the diversification of being an IHP from Northern Ontario. The experience Kaela is quickly gaining in leadership, project management and innovation are shaping the personal and professional qualities she sees as being very applicable, in addition to the diversity her membership on the board brings. Each of these qualities reflects the mission of AFHTO, to facilitate the “expansion of high quality, comprehensive, well-integrated interprofessional primary care for the benefit of all Ontarians”.



Ms. Karen Lusignan | Executive Director, Atikokan FHT - Atikokan

Karen Lusignan has been at the Atikokan Family Health Team since Aug 2016. She is very passionate about rural primary health care and the unique needs that are faced.  She sits on the Atikokan General Hospital board of Directors and the Rainy River District Sub Region Planning Table. Prior to joining the Family Health Team Karen was the Community and Personal Support Services Manager at Dilico Anishinabek Family Care and had 17 staff on 9 First Nations Communities which she frequented often.  Karen graduated in 2006 from Lakehead University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Karen was born and raised in Atikokan and loves hunting, fishing and spending time with her family.



Mr. John McKinley | Board Chair, South East Toronto FHT - Toronto

John is a seasoned health care executive who combined a 30+ year career in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario with a two-year assignment at a large multi-site hospital east of Toronto.  While with the Ministry of Heath John held a wide range of jobs leading up to his executive experience as an Assistant Deputy Minister in several portfolios. While with Lakeridge Health, John was an Executive Vice President responsible for corporate functions including finance, information technology and management, human resources, planning, facilities management, laboratory, diagnostic imaging, and the pharmacy. Currently John is an independent management and governance consultant specializing in healthcare. As part of his giving back, he serves as Chair of South East Toronto Family Health Team, Chair of Touchstone Institute and Chair of the AFHTO Board Chair Leadership Council.



Ms. Diana Noel | Executive Director, Village FHT - Toronto

Diana Noel is a Board Member of CarePoint Health, an inter-professional care team of primary care physicians and allied health professionals working together to improve the health and wellness in Mississauga. Since 2012, Diana is also the Executive Director of Village FHT, a family health team with a special focus to provide high quality primary care for people with serious mental illness.

Diana holds an B.Comm from Queen's University and a MHSc from University of Toronto. She has worked in the Ontario health system for her entire career in both public and private corporations. Diana is an active volunteer in her community and recently completed Not for Profit Governance training through the Institute for Corporate Directors.



Dr. Thomas Richard | Physician and Director, Peterborough FHT - Peterborough

Tom Richard is a community family physician practicing in Peterborough since 2003. He has been heavily involved in the Peterborough Family Health Team since its inception. PFHT is comprised of 5 FHO’s that serve over 105,000 people. It is made up of over 80 physicians and over 80 Allied Health Providers. Since 2006 he has served as a Board Director for PFHT and for the last 5 years served as Chair. Tom also enjoys his role as an Assistant Professor with the Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University since 2010 and enjoys teaching Residents and Medical Students. Tom graduated from Western University’s Family Medicine Program in 1989 before practicing rural medicine in Gananoque, Ontario from 1989 until 2003. In 2015, he received the Chartered Director designation from The Director’s College at DeGroote Business School. He has a keen interest in governance and strategic planning.



Mr. Neil Shah | Executive Director, North York FHT - Toronto

Neil Shah thrives working in new and undefined areas to build strategy, teams, resource plans and infrastructure to achieve an envisioned state. His progressive experience includes academic and community hospitals, government agencies, and health and social service organizations. Currently he is the Executive Director of North York Family Health Team. He is a Board Member with Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services located in Toronto, and his previous governance experience includes being a Board of Director and Chair of the Board of Sherbourne Health, in Toronto's downtown east. His approach to leadership is collaborative, partnering with experts and stakeholders to help define a vision, plan, and process to meet collective goals. His personal passions include traveling, exploring new places and cultures, and has called Toronto home for most of his life.



Dr. Adam Steacie | Lead MD, Upper Canada FHT - Brockville

Dr. Adam Steacie is a Family Physician at the Upper Canada Family Health Team in eastern Ontario. He also practices inpatient and community Palliative Medicine with the Brockville General Hospital Palliative Care Program. His professional passions include Palliative Care, End of Life Care and Vascular Prevention. Adam has experience in the Ontario Health System as a former Chief of Staff of the Brockville General Hospital and has a keen interest in health policy. He is currently the OMA Co-Chair of the joint OMA-OHA Hospital Issues committee, and has experience on the boards of the Ontario Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association. Adam is very excited in the potential for Ontario Health Teams, to allow for the transformation in healthcare delivery that Ontario and the rest of Canada has been seeking for decades. Adam believes that AFHTO is uniquely positioned to assist primary care in driving the transformation in Ontario.