Program overview :

  • Enhanced Recovery Canada

Board of Directors

Erin Ballah, BSc, MSc, MBA

Erin Ballah is the Co-Chair of the ERC Governance Committee. Erin graduated from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Science, from Dalhousie University with a Master of Science (Physiotherapy), and returned to Memorial for a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Clinically, she has worked as an inpatient physiotherapist in adult acute care.

Erin’s current role is Manager, Primary Health Care  at Eastern Health in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Erin is passionate about Enhanced Recovery After Surgery having worked previously as the Regional Program Coordinator of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program also at Eastern Health

Gregg Nelson, MD, BSc, PhD, FRCSC

Gregg Nelson is the Co-Chair of the ERC Governance Committee and is Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Cumming School of Medicine in Calgary, Alberta. He is also Section Chief of Gynecologic Oncology at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. His principal research interests are the development and study of Enhanced Recovery After Surgery protocols in ObGyn and cancer surgery. He holds the position of Surgical Lead, ERAS Alberta and he also leads the ERAS® Society Women's Health Chapter.

Gregg and his international team of collaborators published the ERAS® Guidelines for Gynecologic and Oncology Surgery, a publication that has transformed and helped to align perioperative care in the discipline. He has over 120 peer-reviewed publications and has presented numerous times internationally. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer and is the Secretary of the ERAS® Society.

Melinda Baum, MSW

Melinda Baum represents the patients voice on the ERC Governance Committee. She has been working as a patient and family advocate on various projects in Saskatchewan since 2014. She is passionate about patient and family contributions toward consistent best practice access and delivery of surgical interventions across Canada. 

Melinda has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Regina and for the past 30 years, has worked in human services in rural Saskatchewan.

Leah Gramlich, MD, FRCRC

Leah Gramlich is a physician, nutritionist specialist and gastroenterologist. She is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta with a cross appointment in Agriculture Life and Environmental Science. She is also Provincial Medical Advisor for Nutrition Services in Alberta Health Services.

She is dedicated to patient care and has an evolving interest in food for health and in empowering health practitioners with the tools to meet patient needs relative to food and activity for health. She developed "Wellness Rx" an educational approach for undergraduate health professionals focused on nutrition and activity.

Leah is the medical co-lead for Enhanced Recovery After Surgery in Alberta. Her other research interests include nutrition and cancer, nutrition in critical illness, nutrition therapy in the home and nutrition education. She is past president and founding president of the Canadian Nutrition Society. She is on the board of directors of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and is currently chair of the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force.

Pascal-André Vendittoli, MC, MSc, FRCSC

Pascal-André Vendittoli is Professor of Surgery and Clinical Researcher in orthopaedic surgery at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, University of Montreal (UdM). His principal research activities are the evaluation of new surgical techniques, technologies, and orthopaedic implants. He completed a fellowship training in hip and knee reconstruction in Melbourne, Australia and in knee replacement with Paolo Aglietti in Florence, Italy.

As the Research Director of the Orthopaedics Division of UdM and Professor of Surgery, Pascal-André has supervised multiple doctors in specialized training in arthroplasty. He is the Program Director of the UdM postdoctoral program in hip and knee reconstruction. He is recognized as a senior clinical researcher by his government's institution (F.R.Q.S.). To date he has published more than 125 articles on hip and knee arthroplasty in peer-reviewed journals.

Pascal-André has received a number of awards, including the John Charnley Award from the American Hip Society (2009), the Founders' Medal for best basic science research work from the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (2010), and the highest recognition from the Canadian Orthopaedic Association, the Edward Samson Award (2016).

With the aim of offering his patients a normal quality of life and a forgotten joint replacement, he spent the last 18 years trying to find ways to improve his patients results. With his team, he develops a very effective enhanced recovery protocol allowing safer THA and TKA outpatient surgeries. In 2016, he did the first ERAS outpatient THA and TKA in Canada. In a clinical study, his protocol offered significant benefits for the patients and now he wants to disseminate his experience with other teams through ERC.

Debbie Watson, RN, BSN, MSN

Debbie Watson has been the ERAS care pathway coordinator at the McGill University Health Centre-Montreal General Hospital site since 2008. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Montreal and a master’s degree in nursing from Athabasca University.

Her understanding of the role, tasks and responsibilities of the nurse coordinator in the creation, implementation and sustainability of an Enhanced Recovery program can encourage and inspire those who want to expand on an existing program or for those who are new to the concept of Enhanced Recovery.

Sandra LeClair Lavigne, RN, BN 

Sandra LeClair Lavigne has been the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Regional Coordinator for the Vitalité Health Network in New Brunswick since 2018. She completed a Bachelor of Nursing from the University of New Brunswick (Bathurst campus). 

Sandra has always been passionate about supporting and promoting wellness in her community as a volunteer and organizer. In 2008, she was recognized by the University of New Brunswick with an induction into the Sir Howard Douglas Society as a scholar exemplifying the society’s motto, Non Nobis Solum: Not for Ourselves Alone. 

Sandra now continues her passion professionally by promoting surgical best practices. As the first ERAS coordinator in New Brunswick, Sandra and her team have sparked remarkable outcomes at their hospital, the entire health network, two regional health authorities and New Brunswick’s provincial policy. 

Chesia Gillis, RD, PhD 

Chelsia Gillis is an Assistant Professor in the School of Human Nutrition in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at McGill University with Associate Appointments in Surgery and Anesthesia. She is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Nutrition Support Clinician®, and Vanier Scholar with a master’s of science in Human Nutrition from McGill University and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Calgary. 

Chelsia’s research program aims to improve surgical patient outcomes by generating evidence-based knowledge and translating findings into clinical practice to enhance healthcare services in Canada. Her research interests include medical nutrition, prehabilitation, Enhanced Recovery After Surgery, surgical metabolism, and patient engagement. 

Tracy J. Wasylak, BN, MSc. (Thesis), CHE 

Tracy Wasylak is the Chief Program Officer, Strategic Clinical Networks™ with Alberta Health Services. She has held numerous senior leadership roles within Alberta Health Services. Tracy holds an adjunct assistant professor appointment with the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary. She is the Co-Lead for the ABSPORU 2.0 Learning Health System Team. Tracy received the Order of Merit, Nursing Policy Award, from the Canadian Nurses Association in March 2018. She was the recipient of the 2015 AHS Presidents Excellence Award in the category of Innovation, the 2019 award for Outstanding Achievement in Quality Improvement for her provincial contributions to care pathways and in 2023 awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal (Alberta). 

Francis Larin, LL.B 

Francis Larin completed a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) at Université de Montréal in 1993, and has been a member of the Barreau du Québec since 1994. Francis has also taken various training courses offered by Formation mondiale CSI inc. He has been working in the financial industry for several years for a self-regulatory organization.