Promoting and protecting the health of the public through advocacy, partnerships and education

2016-2017 Board of Directors

Dr. Lindsay McLaren, President  Lisa McLaughlin, Director-at-Large
Benjamin Kung, President-elect
 Aslam Bhatti, Director-at-Large
Angeline Webb, Treasurer  Kenn Bur, Director-at-Large
Kenda Swanson, Secretary  Ashley Drobot, Director-at-Large
Amy Beck, Director-at-Large Katrina Milaney, Director-at-Large


Dr. Lindsay McLaren, President

Lindsay McLaren is Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary. She holds an Applied Public Health Chair funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions. Her research focuses on population health and health inequities in various thematic areas including community water fluoridation and dental public health, dietary sodium reduction policy, and body weight related issues. She is a Senior Editor for the Canadian Journal of Public Health. She has taught the Social Determinants of Health course to undergraduate students at the University of Calgary for over ten years and has a particular interest in advancing the APHA’s connections and activities in that domain.

Benjamin Kung, President-elect

Ben Kung is the Program Manager of Infection Prevention & Control with the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta.  He holds professional registration with the Alberta College of Paramedics, Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors, and Certification Board of Infection Control & Epidemiology. Having worked at both the provincial and national levels, Ben has diverse experience in public health systems, including past employment with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Vancouver Island Health Authority, Alberta Health Services and Canadian Standards Association. Ben serves as the Lead for the APHA’s Governance Committee.

Angeline Webb, Treasurer

Angeline Webb is a Senior Public Policy Advisor with the Canadian Cancer Society, Alberta/NWT Division, where she has been engaged in health policy advocacy for the last 10 years. She develops, implements, and administers all policy development programming for the Canadian Cancer Society in Alberta, the Northwest Territories and at the federal level. Angeline’s focus is healthy public policy with most of her attention devoted to tobacco reduction policy.

Kenda Swanson, Secretary

Kenda Swanson is currently a Masters student in the Population/Public Health stream in the University of Calgary’s Department of Community Health Sciences. She has a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree from the University of Calgary, but has also studied German culture and language, economics and chemistry. Her primary research interest is a better understanding of the social/environmental correlates of physical activity and sedentary behaviours among children and youth. She has been a Board Member of the APHA since 2013, and is currently co-chair of the Student Committee and a member of the Governance committee, in addition to serving as acting Secretary during 2015/16.

Amy Beck, Director-at-Large

Amy Beck is a PhD student in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary. She has a Master of Nursing degree, as well as certification in Community Health Nursing from the Canadian Nurses Association. Amy has over ten years of clinical nursing experience, primarily focused on adolescent and school health. In her Master's program, Amy explored student engagement in school-based health promotion. Her doctoral research aims to investigate adolescent mind-brain wellness. Amy has served on a variety of interdisciplinary committees, notably as a clinical expert on the CPHA expert working group that developed and published recommendations to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol in Canada. On the APHA board, she holds the elected Membership Chair and is part of the Communications & Membership Committee and the Public Issues Committee.

Lisa McLaughlin, Director-at-Large

Lisa McLaughlin holds BA in Psychology, with Distinction, from the University of Alberta and is currently a student in the University of Alberta's Master of Public Health - Health Promotion program and the University of Calgary's Master of Planning program. She is also Program Manager of the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association's Communities ChooseWell initiative. Lisa has worked in public health in Alberta since 2006, including roles with Alberta Health and the Alberta Project Promoting active Living and healthy Eating in Schools (APPLE Schools), and she chaired a community health council in the former Capital Health Region. Lisa is passionate about working with communities using an asset-focused approach to create environments that support health.

Aslam Bhatti, Director-at-Large

Aslam Bhatti has extensive experience in health administration and board governance. He started his career in banking management and subsequently moved to his calling for public service where he held several senior positions with Government of Alberta and not for profit organizations.

Within the Government of Alberta he has worked for Treasury Board, Solicitor General Department and for 12 years as Assistant Deputy Minister at Alberta Health. This was followed by three years with Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry as Chief Operating Officer; six years as Vice President with Alberta Cancer Board; three years as Vice President with Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and since 2013 as Executive in Residence with School of Public Health, University of Alberta.

Aslam as a consultant has reviewed the health system organization for the Government of Brunei; assisted with strengthening of the Department of Health for the provincial Government of Mpumalanga, South Africa and consulted for Long Term Care Association of Alberta.  Through his public service he has participated in numerous federal provincial initiatives. He has served in various capacities (i.e. corporate secretary, treasurer) as a board member on national boards and community organizations.  He has ICD.D (Institute of Corporate Directors of Canada) designation and is currently teaching board governance through the Board Development Program of Government of Alberta to strengthen non-profit boards. 

Kenn Bur, Director-at-Large

Kenn Bur is a communications/marketing professional with a passion for bringing people and creative ideas together to help achieve strategic objectives. A community-minded father, he is honoured to have the opportunity to join the APHA Board to help increase government leadership and citizen awareness of many important public health matters. 

Kenn has 25-plus years of experience leading communication and marketing teams in Alberta’s public sector. He also has a Master of Arts degree in Journalism (University of Western Ontario) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences, With Distinction (University of Calgary). Kenn’s health-related experience includes roles as: (a) a crisis line volunteer for the Calgary Crisis Centre; (b) a provincial social worker in southeast Alberta with a diverse portfolio that included a regional AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) caseload; (c) a healthcare reporter for the now-defunct Alberta Hospital Association; (d) a volunteer director with Action on Smoking and Health for five years; (e) a co-founder of Homeless Connect Edmonton; and, (f) the marketing director for a leading medical assessment company (a client of his current communications/marketing consultancy).

With deep roots in rural Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton (where he now resides), Kenn has been disappointed that his home province has frequently been slow (and sometimes even reluctant) to adopt common-sense public health initiatives — from seat belts and bicycle helmets … to farm safety regulations and tobacco reduction. “All Albertans who want improved public health protection are stakeholders in APHA’s continued success.”

Ashley Drobot, Director-at-Large

Ashley Drobot has a Master of Public Health from Queen’s University. She works as a Research and Evaluation Consultant with Alberta Health Services. In this role, she and her team have undertaken developmental, process and outcome evaluations related to provincial wait-time policies, local childcare nutrition policies, referral automation, patient engagement, and chronic disease management. Her evaluation and research experience is grounded in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Ashley is a strong advocate of advancing the science and dissemination of public health evaluation. She is actively involved in her department’s Growth and Development Committee, continually seeking opportunities to grow professionally and make thoughtful contributions to her team. As a result, she has recently co-authored two publications providing information about the public health system in Canada and Ontario, and is working with colleagues to transform these into a publicly accessible web-based resource that would provide up-to- date public health organization and leadership information.

 Her research interests include: the social determinants of health, health policy, and evaluation. She is currently working toward obtaining her Credentialed Evaluator and Project Management Professional designations. Ashley hopes to contribute to the growth of the Alberta Public Health Association as an organization in expanding its reach and engagement among public health practitioners alike through organizing conferences, speaker series, and other public health events. 

Katrina Milaney, Director-at-Large

Dr. Katrina Milaney has an interdisciplinary academic background that includes sociological and gender-disability theory frames and has several years in community-based research. Correspondingly, Dr. Milaney’s research track record was established in communities where she spent 15 years on projects related to public policy development. She is a qualitative researcher with a particular interest in participatory action designs and uses critical theory frameworks to study social determinants of health including disability, homelessness, gender, culture, domestic violence, and mental health. Dr. Milaney has several years of experience in senior leadership roles including as Vice President of Research and Strategy for the Calgary Homeless Foundation where she oversaw a $42 million dollar portfolio. She currently sits on the Executive Steering Committee for the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and has served on several community and government committees including as an advisor to the Premier of Alberta on homelessness and health strategies. Part of her critical theory driven study of social determinants revolves around her interest in political and economic ideology and their impact on public systems and service delivery.

Students and Volunteers

Megan Thomas is entering her 4th year of the BHSc program at the University of Calgary. Megan is majoring in Health and Society, with a concentration in Psychology. She has been working with the APHA as part of her practicum project since Fall 2016.

Erika Roy is in her 4th year of the Philosophy program at the University of Calgary, and has completed most of a minor in Health and Society. She has been working with the APHA since January 2017, as part of the Serving Communities Internship Program (SCiP).

Qendresa Beka is a recent graduate from the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, where she completed her Master's in Epidemiology. Following her internship with the APHA, Qendresa continued to volunteer with the organization. Qendresa is currently a policy advisor with Alberta Health.

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