Plenary Speakers

Stay tuned! We’re almost ready to announce the Forum’s final plenary speaker. To receive the news, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter in the “Personal Information” section of our registration form. Want to see what’s in store? Watch last year’s plenary presentations.

christensen_tiffany_websiteTiffany Christensen

Lung Transplant Survivor & Author of Sick Girl Speaks

Tiffany was born with cystic fibrosis and has received two life-saving double lung transplants. Today she is a national public speaker, and the author of Sick Girl Speaks and We Are the Change: Transforming the Healthcare Experience Through Partnership.

Since 2007, Tiffany has opened her heart and shared her story as a vehicle to ushering in a new age of patient empowerment. Our health care culture is shifting and, with this, come opportunities and challenges. Tiffany combines her extensive experience as a patient with her training as a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer, Certified Respecting Choices Advance Care Planning Instructor, and APPEAL Certified Trainee to captivate her audiences with new and concrete strategies for navigating the healthcare maze.

In 2007, Tiffany combined her efforts with that of Project Compassion to develop and create a curriculum for professionals, students, patients, and families focused on patient advocacy skills, advance care planning conversation strategies, and organ/eye/tissue donation education. In 2010, she launched the Train a Trainer 1.5-day training, which now enables others to share this unique and powerful information within their own communities. She now travels throughout the US presenting her workshops and lectures on patient safety, advocacy, advance care planning, donation, pediatric illness and “life in the deathbed.”

For more information on Tiffany please visit

davidmatear-websiteDavid Matear

Senior Operating Director, Northern Lights Regional Health Centre and Fort McMurray Area, Alberta Health Services

On May 3, 2016, the residents of Fort McMurray were forced to evacuate and leave behind their homes when a wildfire tore through the city. Alberta Health Services staff at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre stayed the course and, despite their own personal circumstances, courageously and selflessly saw to it that every patient at the hospital was safely evacuated and cared for.

David will discuss the day of the evacuation, the staff and patient relocation north to a nearby oil sands company’s base, the subsequent evacuation from that site, as well as the reestablishment and reactivation of all health services in the city as re-entry of staff and residents began almost a month later.

David’s health care education began with a Bachelor of Medical Science and Bachelor of Dentistry from the University of Dundee, Scotland. He went on to achieve a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of London, England, a postgraduate certificate in health care quality management from the University of Wollongong, Dubai, and a PhD in health care administration from Capella University.

When David took up his current post at Alberta Health Services in December 2014, he brought him with a wealth of health care experience. He’s worked in hospitals in Dundee, Scotland, and across England, with a focus on oral and maxillofacial surgery and the general clinical practice side of dentistry.

Moving to Fort McMurray wasn’t his first introduction to northern Canadian living. David spent two years in Hay River and Pine Point in the Northwest Territories, providing clinical care.

Following his time in the NWT, he returned to the UK to work at a large teaching hospital, Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, England. It was during that time that he became familiar with military health care. The experience moved him to join the Armed Forces and he became an officer of the Royal Navy.

He also served as the Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry from 2000 to 2004. He went on to spend 10 years in the Middle East, working to commission a Centre of Excellence for dentistry and the framework and standards for the developing health care system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, before making the move to Fort McMurray and joining AHS.