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Innovating for Sustainability in Health Care: A Health and Technology District for Saint John

A Virtual Public Dialogue: Co-hosted with the Lark Group and Opportunities New Brunswick

Saint John is poised to become the leading hub for digital health in Atlantic Canada.  
The University of New Brunswick, Lark Group and Opportunities New Brunswick will engage participants in an important conversation about plans for an innovative Health and Technology District for Saint John.

The Health and Technology District Saint John, a partnership between UNB, ONB and Lark Group, will be a place where innovators and entrepreneurs, students and faculty will work alongside scientists, clinicians and health care practitioners to develop new technologies and improve health outcomes, patient experiences and the economics of health care delivery in the region and beyond. The Health and Technology District Saint John will be part of UNB’s Integrated Health Initiative, an interdisciplinary program of education, research and innovation aimed at addressing Canada’s health care challenges and social issues.

Panelists & participants

Paul Mazerolle

Dr. Mazerolle is the 19th president and vice-chancellor of the University of New Brunswick.

Prior to his appointment in July 2019, Dr. Mazerolle was previously the pro vice chancellor (arts, educton and law, 2009-2019), campus provost for Mount Gravatt campus (2009-2019), director of the Violence Research and Prevention program (2006-2019), and director of the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance (2007-2009) at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. He was also director of Research and Prevention at the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission (2002-2005) and head of the criminology program at the University of Queensland (2000-2006).

Dr. Mazerolle received his bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the University of New Brunswick (1989), his master of science in criminal justice from Northeastern University (1990), and his PhD in criminology from the University of Maryland at College Park (1995).

An active scholar in criminology, Dr. Mazerolle has led several funded research projects. His research examines processes that shape offending behaviour across the life-course. His primary focus is in building knowledge on violence to inform theories, advance understanding, and improve policy and practices to reduce or prevent violence.

Arlene Dunn was first elected to the 60th Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick on September 14, 2020, for the riding of Saint John Harbour. On September 29, 2020, she was appointed as the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Minister responsible for Economic Development and Small Business, Minister responsible for Opportunities New Brunswick, and Minister responsible for Immigration.

Prior to being elected, Ms. Dunn spent over 30 years representing both workers and employers in the skilled trades throughout Canada and educating people about the value these jobs bring to the community.

She is an advocate for diversity and inclusion and has used her voice in Ottawa to promote the well-being and prosperity of Indigenous populations, women, youth, persons with disabilities, racialized groups and those who are often marginalized by society.

She has a wide range of skills related to diversity, inclusion, negotiation, legislative policy, training, growing jobs, and work around substance dependency and mental health, and providing affordable housing.

Rowena Rizzotti

Rowena Rizzotti has been a highly successful healthcare leader with more than 30 years’ experience in executive-level leadership roles across multi-site, complex health and business environments.

Rowena holds two master’s degrees in management and business administration (MBA) and also holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Biochemistry from UBC. She is clinically trained as both a nurse and a paramedic.

Rowena served as VP of Operations for BC’s largest private seniors’ care operator and also served as a Chief Operating Officer for BC’s Northern Health Authority among many other healthcare leadership roles. Rowena earned wide acclaim for her senior leadership of Fraser Heath’s Clinical Programs and Operations including Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) and for overseeing the largest investment in BC’s history; a $500 million critical care tower in Surrey, BC.

Rowena is a founder of Innovation Boulevard and the Health & Technology DISTRICT in Surrey, is responsible for having developed a research and innovation strategy for FH in 2012, as well as developed an Innovation Centre for Healthy Aging which won a 2015 Innovator of the Year Award in BC. Rowena also was an original founder and currently leads the planning for Legion Veterans Village in Surrey. Rowena currently holds a number of senior consulting and strategic advisory roles with private sector organizations, is a member of the Conference Board of Canada's Council for Innovation and Commercialization and is a Mentor for SFU Beedie School of Business and is a Board Member for the Surrey Board of Trade and is Chair of the Women in Business Team.

Petra Hauf

Dr. Hauf is the Vice-President Saint John at the University of New Brunswick since March 2019. She is a dynamic leader who is actively engaged in all campus affairs, including academics, administration, and operations. As an internationally renowned researcher, she is building on UNB’s momentum as a global leader in research and continuing to advance UNB as a research-focused institution.

Through her involvement with the Integrated Health Initiative, community engagement at Living Saint John, Regional Economic Development Agency for Greater Saint John, Opportunities New Brunswick, and Atlantica Centre for Energy, she is realizing her vision to engage in new approaches and develop strong partnerships to inspire a thriving environment that greatly enhances both UNB and the community of Saint John.

Through her experience in senior administration in a variety of academic institutions, Dr. Hauf takes her academic perspective and applies it to a variety of scenarios. She is establishing innovative approaches to significantly impact and benefit Saint John.

As Senior Advisor to the President (Strategic Engagement), at the University of New Brunswick, Matt’s role involves inspiring and strengthening engagement with government, business/industry, and community stakeholders.

A former Member of Parliament with 15+ years’ experience advising high-ranking government officials locally, nationally, and internationally, leaders trust Matt to deftly manage individual and organizational needs. Matt is known as a capable and effective communicator who is approachable, empathetic, and relied upon to solve the most complete challenges.

Paulette Hicks is a dynamic business leader with over 25 years of experience in the tourism industry where she was recognized for her bold thinking and leadership. As the inaugural CEO for Envision Saint John: The Regional Growth Agency, Paulette brings a passion for her community and the ability to lead transformational change, drive economic growth, and deliver return on investment for the Saint John region. Paulette leads a high-performing, unified team with a strategic focus on attracting people, business, visitors and investors to accelerate growth for the six municipalities of St. Martins, Grand Bay-Westfield, Hampton, Quispamsis, Rothesay, and the City of Saint John. The Agency is designed to scale and will be one of the largest regional economic development agencies in Atlantic Canada.

Paulette has also led community economic growth initiatives throughout her career. She initiated the first voluntary hotel levy in New Brunswick which was the catalyst for a public-private partnership with the City of Saint John, resulting in the formation of Discover Saint John. She also was the driving force to secure the $10 Million Social Innovation Fund for community poverty reduction and recently conceived the 20% provincial tourism rebate – designed to generate revenue for the New Brunswick tourism industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also an experienced government relations advocate driving policy decisions at the highest level.

Paulette’s has an unwavering and long-standing commitment to service in the community. She most recently was a member of the board of the Saint John Airport, the NB Medical Education Foundation- Advancement Committee, Co-Chair of the Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative and Co-Chair of the New Brunswick Hotel Association. She was also a founding member of RiseUpSJ, working with other business leaders passionate about the future of Greater Saint John.

Paul Atkinson

Dr. Atkinson is a Professor in Emergency Medicine at Dalhousie University and recently appointed Clinical-Academic Head in Emergency Medicine, Saint John Area, New Brunswick, and Assistant Dean, Research at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick. He is also deputy editor for the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine; and was Chief Medical Officer at WorkSafeNB from 2016 to 2020. He is past chair of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians research committee, as well as the NB Trauma Program research sub-committee.

His international training began at the Queen's University of Belfast, followed by postgraduate programs in internal medicine in Belfast and emergency medicine in Cambridge, UK. He completed a fellowship at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Australia. He relocated to Saint John, N.B. from Cambridge in late 2009.

He has over 80 peer-reviewed publications, as well as being the lead editor on two textbooks, Emergency Medicine an Illustrated Colour Text, 2010; and Point of Care Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine and Resuscitation, 2019.

Awards include the inaugural "Best in Class" undergraduate teaching award from Dalhousie University in 2012, and the national Grant Innes Award for Emergency Medicine research in 2014, and the Ian Stiell Researcher of the Year Award from the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, 2019.

Erik Scheme

Dr. Scheme received the B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of New Brunswick (UNB), Fredericton, NB, Canada, in 2003, 2005, and 2013, respectively. He is currently an Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UNB; the Associate Director of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering; an Adjunct Professor in Medical Education with Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick, Saint John, NB, Canada; and the Director of the Health Technologies Innovation Laboratory, UNB.

His research interests include human–machine interfaces, biological signal processing and machine learning, diagnostics and predictive analytics for healthcare applications, and biometrics. Erik is a Registered Member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick.

Steve Milbury

Steve Milbury is a seasoned veteran of the economic development world and currently serves as Vice President of Investment & Trade for Opportunities NB.

Steve’s work in investment attraction has helped dozens of world-class companies like Xerox, Raytheon, HCL Technologies, and Nordia locate and build operations in New Brunswick. His extensive work and travel experience, innate leadership skills, and affinity for developing high-level networks have enabled him to successfully direct the province’s most challenging economic development pillars and leverage the various advantages that New Brunswick offers companies looking to relocate or expand operations.