Executive Committee

Chair, 2023-2025
Andrew Springer, BSc, DCh, DE, WCC(c), FRSH

Andrew Springer has been a practicing chiropodist since 1983. He has practiced in a variety of public and private practice settings. During his career he has been active in a number of professional activities requiring leadership, vision, integrity and compassion, including serving as President of the Ontario Society of Chiropodists and the College of Chiropodists of Ontario and in several capacities - clinical, management and administrative - at North York General Hospital, West Park Healthcare and Providence Healthcare. Andrew is also a member of the Ontario Diabetes Foot Care Task Force and consultant to the Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle. In 2010, Andrew received the recognition of “Outstanding Dedication and Service to the Advancement of the Profession” Ontario Society of Chiropodists.

Vice Chair
John Hwang, MD, MSc, FRCSC

hwangJohn is a general surgeon and physician lead at the Fraser Health Complex Wound Centre in British Columbia.  He has specific interests in the optimal delivery of interprofessional wound care as well as physician engagement in quality improvement.

Petra O’Connell, BSc, MHSA

Petra HeadshotPetra O’Connell is a health consultant and the past Senior Provincial Director of the Diabetes, Obesity and Nutrition - Strategic Clinical Network. She was responsible for developing diverse clinical and research network and for overseeing the design, evaluation and spread of initiatives that transform the delivery of health-care services in these three interconnected clinical streams across Alberta. Three province-wide initiatives involve the development of a diabetic foot care pathway for use in primary care.
Petra has extensive experience in strategic and operational planning and evaluation across health care settings and has held senior management positions in strategic and hospital facilities planning, hospital support services operations and ambulatory care management.  She has a BSC in Medical Laboratory Sciences and a master's in Health Services Administration from the University of Alberta and has published in the areas of health technology assessment, clinical practice guidelines, and innovations in health care organization.

Ellen Mackay, MSc, RD, CDE

Ellen Mackay HeadshotEllen is a registered dietitian with a wide range of nutrition interests including diabetes management, wound care, heart health, weight management, enteral nutrition and eating disorders. She is registered with the College of Dietitians of British Columbia, Dietitians of Canada and is a professional member of the Diabetes Canada and Wounds Canada. She is a member of Wounds Canada's Board of Directors. She holds a clinical instructor position with the Land & Food Systems Faculty at UBC. Ellen received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and her Masters in Human Nutrition from UBC. She works in Diabetes Education with North Shore Chronic Disease Services at Vancouver Coastal Health, where she collaborates with clients to attain their nutrition and health goals. 


Virginie Blanchette, BSc, MSc, DPM, PhD

IMG 0145 edit 2Dr Virginie Blanchette is the first podiatrist PhD in Québec and has been an associate professor in the podiatric medicine program at Université du Québec at Trois-Rivières since 2014. Her research specialty is prevention and management of diabetic foot ulcers and their complications, with a team approach within patient-oriented research (POR). She is currently a Diabetes Action Canada trainee with Charles de Mestral and France Légaré. Dr Blanchette holds a PhD in biomedical sciences from Université de Montréal, a doctorate in podiatric medicine (DPM), and a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in medical biology from Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR). She joined the Diabetic Foot Canada Task Force in 2019 to help to prevent, manage and address the deficit in awareness, knowledge and funding of diabetes-related foot complications, preventable amputations and loss of life or people living with diabetes in Canada. She is a member of many research networks.

(On Leave) Janet Kuhnke, RN, BA, BScN, MSc Family Systems, NSWOC, DrPsychology

Janet Headshot Janet L. Kuhnke RN, BA, BScN, MSc Family Systems, NSWOC, DrPsychology is a nurse researcher and is specialized in wound, ostomy, and continence care (NSWOC).
She is an Associate Professor of Baccalaureate Nursing in the School of Nursing, at Cape Breton University.
Janet is active in Wounds Canada as a researcher and program evaluator.

Her community-based research focuses in prevention of intravenous abscesses, prevention of diabetes related foot ulcers and amputations, and mental health and spiritual wellness. Janet's doctoral studies in psychology focused on the quality of life – spiritual and mental health well-being while living with diabetic foot ulcers; Two-Eyed Seeing principles guided this work.

Janet continues to coach and mentor students in baccalaureate and master qualitative research projects and thesis.

Please reach Janet at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1 902 563 1209.

Past Chairs

  • Barbie Murray, BScN, RN MCISc-WH 2020-2023
  • Morty Eisenberg, MD, MScCH, CCFP, FCFP 2016-2020
  • Gregory Archibald, MD,CCFP, FCFP 2013-2016
  • Patricia Coutts, RN, IIWCC 2010-2012
  • Cathy Burrows, MScCH 2007-2009
  • David Keast, MSc, MD, FCFP 2004-2006
  • Heather Orsted, RN, BN, ET, MSc 2002-2003
  • Heather Orsted, RN, BN, ET, MSc / Karen Campbell, RN, PhD 2001 (Co-chairs)
  • R. Gary Sibbald, BSc, MD, FRCPC (Med, Derm), MACP, DABD 1995 - 2000 (Chair)