Candidate name: Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Organization: eHealth Centre of Excellence
Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia is a practicing Family Physician at the Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team. Dr. Alarakhia is the Chief Executive Officer of the eHealth Centre of Excellence. He is also the Faculty Digital Health and Innovation Lead at McMaster University, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine (Waterloo Campus), as well as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Alarakhia was awarded the Digital Health Executive of the Year Award in 2019 and the College of Family Physicians of Canada Award of Excellence in 2018 and 2022. Dr. Alarakhia and the eHealth Centre of Excellence won the Innovation Award in 2022 from the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. The eHealth Centre of Excellence received a Canadian Medical Association Joule Innovation Grant and an Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario Team Award in 2020, as well as a Patient Care Innovation Team Award at the 2019 Canadian Health Informatics Awards and a 2019 Ingenious Award from Information Technology Association of Canada. Dr. Alarakhia has held positions of Vice-President of Digital Transformation and Innovation at Ontario Health West and Chief Clinical Information Officer and eHealth Lead at the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network. Dr. Alarakhia has been on the Digital Health Board for the Province of Ontario. Dr. Alarakhia is the Co-Executive lead of the Ontario eServices Program, which is delivering shorter wait times through the deployment of eReferral and eConsult. He is also Co-Executive Lead of the Evidence2Practice Ontario Program, which is implementing clinical decision support.
How long have you been a member of Digital Health Canada?
Why do you want to join the Digital Health Canada Board of Directors at this point in your career?
I feel that there is a tremendous potential for digital health to transform our system as we recover from the pandemic and I want to help with the effort to leverage digital health to exponentially improve the patient experience and the clinician experience. As a clinician, I feel that there is a benefit to having clinician voices at the table and I want to use the experience I have had to be a voice for clinicians at this critical time and continue to evolve Digital Health Canada to be even more supportive of clinicians.
How does your experience align with the Digital Health Canada strategic plan and mandate?
I have the experience to help Digital Health Canada achieve its mission to connect, inspire, and empower digital health professionals who are creating the future of health in Canada. I have spent my career supporting strategic planning for digital health at the provincial (Digital Health Board in Ontario), regional (VP Digital Transformation and Innovation) and local level (Chief Clinical Information Officer in a Local Health Integration Network). I have catalyzed and connected the digital health community at those levels. I am inspired by others and I hope I have been able to inspire other leaders by being supportive and open to ideas and co-developing a vision for health powered by digital health. I have published a number of journal articles and participated in groups that have published papers that empower others by sharing knowledge that they can develop. I am the Faculty Digital Health and Innovation Lead at McMaster University Medical School (Waterloo Campus) and I support students with electives and faculty with learning opportunities.
What unique skills, perspectives and contributions would you bring to the Digital Health Canada Board?
I am a practicing physician and will bring frontline clinical experience. I am Faculty Lead for Digital Health and Innovation at McMaster Medical School (Waterloo Campus) and will bring knowledge of Health Professional Training and how Digital Health can play a role. I am an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo in System Design Engineering and I will bring my experience overseeing Masters and Ph.D. students to this role with an understanding of how to support adult learning. I am the Chief Executive Officer of the eHealth Centre of Excellence for the last decade and I will bring the experience of delivering digital tools within a health system that have been highly successful in supporting change and improving patient experience and clinician experience.
Do you or have or have you ever had any direct patient care experience (clinical)?
Yes, I care for patients on a daily basis as a Family Physician.
What segments within the Digital Health Canada community do you feel you will best represent?
- Academic & Research
- Healthcare Institutions
With which Digital Health Canada committees, task groups or activities have you volunteered in past five years? Describe your most significant contributions to Digital Health Canada’s mission.
I was involved in providing content and input on the “Report on Automation in Healthcare (2022)”. I also actively participated in the workshop that supported this report. This supports Digital Health Canada’s mission to empower by leading knowledge sharing. I am on a new planning committee at Digital Health Canada to support Healthcare Innovation Rounds that are accredited for continuing medical education credits. This supports the mandate to support lifelong learning. I have presented at Digital Health Canada provincial and national conferences and Webinar Wednesdays.
What other board appointments or relevant leadership experiences have you had in the past five years?
I am on the board of the MINT Memory Clinic which is an innovative model that has spread across the country, and I am also on the board of the Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team. In addition, I am on the board of the eHealth Centre of Excellence. I was on the executive leadership team at the Local Health Integration Network and was responsible for presenting to the board of directors. As a member of the executive leadership team at Ontario Health West, I supported the development of messaging that went to the board. I supported the startup of the KW4 Ontario Health Team by being selected to be on the nomination committee and helping constitute the Steering Committee. I was on the Digital Health Board for Ontario (but that was more than 5 years ago).
Please tell us why you feel Digital Health Canada members should vote for you.
I will deliver for members. I have ideas to support different credentialing pathways and partnering with other organizations. I also hope to get more health professional students involved. I will support an approach to engage more clinicians and healthcare organizations of all sizes which will enrich and diversify the community. I will work hard to support Digital Health Canada’s advocacy efforts to advance and influence the future of health. I am an effective communicator and will be a champion of health and social transformation by leveraging digital health. I have experience as a clinician, a teacher, an implementer, and a health system leader. I have great enthusiasm and energy and will get the job done.
Do you currently hold the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems – Canada (CPHIMS-CA) credential?
What is your educational background? Please list all degrees and designations.
Honours Bachelor of Science with High Distinction, Doctor of Medicine, Certification in Family Medicine, Master of Science in Health Information Science