Dr. Chris Simpson of Kingston New President of the Canadian Medical Association

OTTAWA, Aug. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Dr. Chris Simpson was installed as president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) today during the association's 147th annual meeting in Ottawa. Dr. Simpson succeeds Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, an emergency and preventive medicine physician from Edmonton.

"I strongly believe that Canada's doctors need to recognize and embrace our accountability to the public. We have a social contract with Canadians to serve not only our individual patients, but society as well," said Dr. Simpson.

"The improvement of Canada's healthcare system is a professional responsibility. If we are authentic leaders, and sincere in our intentions, we will earn the trust that Canadians place in us."

Dr. Simpson was born in Moncton in 1967 and raised in Nackawic, a small pulp mill town of 1,000 people in western New Brunswick. Torn between pursuing a career in music or medicine, he obtained a BSc at the University of New Brunswick while playing saxophone with The Thomists, a 20-piece big swing band based in Fredericton and well-known across the Atlantic provinces.

He went on to medical school at Dalhousie University in Halifax and obtained his MD in 1992. He subsequently completed internal medicine and cardiology training at Queen's University in Kingston and then earned a Heart and Stroke Foundation Clinical and Research Fellowship in Cardiac Electrophysiology at the University of Western Ontario, under the supervision of Dr. George Klein.

After returning to Kingston in 1999, he founded the Heart Rhythm Program at Kingston General Hospital. Currently, he is professor of medicine and chief of cardiology at Queen's University, as well as medical director of the Cardiac Program at Kingston General Hospital / Hotel Dieu Hospital.

Dr. Simpson's primary non-clinical professional interest is health policy – particularly access to care and wait times. He serves as the chair of the Wait Time Alliance (WTA) – a federation of 14 medical specialty societies and the CMA – and served as chair of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society's (CCS) Standing Committee on Health Policy and Advocacy. He is the lead for the Southeast (Ontario) Local Health Integration Network Cardiovascular Roadmap Project, which developed a regional model of integrated cardiovascular care for southeastern Ontario.

He serves on the executive of the CCS (member-at-large) and on the Cardiac Care Network of Ontario board of directors, and is an American College of Cardiology governor.

He served as the first president of the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society – the national association of heart rhythm specialists and allied health professionals.

Over the years he has served on numerous editorial boards and advisory committees, and has chaired or has been a member of several national consensus conferences and guidelines statements, including the CCS Consensus Conference on Medical Fitness to Drive and Fly, of which he was co-chair.

Within the CMA, he is a co-editor of the CMA Driver's Guide and is the CCS representative on the CMA's Specialist Forum. He was the first recipient of the CMA Award for Young Leaders.

An active clinician, educator and researcher, Dr. Simpson has authored or co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and abstracts. His clinical and research interests include access to care, medical fitness to drive, referral pathway development, atrial fibrillation, sudden death in the young, catheter ablation and cardiac resynchronization therapy.

Outside medicine, Dr. Simpson is an active supporter of the Cantabile Choirs of Kingston and the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation, and he recently served as chair of the Kingston Blue Marlins Swim Team board of directors. The proud father of three daughters and a son, he immensely enjoys watching and cheering their musical and athletic pursuits.

Dr. Simpson will serve as president of the CMA until August 2015.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 80,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care.

SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association

For further information: Lucie Boileau, Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Outreach, Canadian Medical AssociationTel.: 613-731-8610 | 800-663-7336 ext. 1266, Aug. 17-20, 2014: 613-288-9558, Cell: 613.447.0866lucie.boileau@cma.ca; Dominique Jolicoeur, Communications Officer, Canadian Medical AssociationTel.: 613-731-8610 | 800-663-7336 ext. 2038, Aug. 17-20, 2014: 613-288-9558, Cell: 613.809.5669Dominique.jolicoeur@cma.ca

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