Consultant Profiles

The RKL Health Informatics consulting firm assists clients in meeting their strategic and operational objectives. Spanning information definition to analyses, RKL Health Informatics expertise includes assessment of clinicians and managers’ information needs, policy development, planning, implementation, change management, program evaluation and data analytics and results vizualization.

RKL Health Informatics uses sub-contract relationships to build project teams that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. Projects are designed in keeping with the time constraints of a changing and complex business environment, the requirements of information and education and the need for meeting targeted deadlines.

Robyn Kuropatwa BScN, MPA, MSc
Brings project management, policy development, change management expertise and decision support to the team.

As a consultant with RKL, Robyn brings project management, clinical information management and decision support, change management, communication and education expertise to the clients she works with.

Robyn has both led and been involved in a broad range of projects across Canada involving program redesign and implementation, information redesign and implementation and topic and organization specific evaluation and analyses.

Recent projects include planning to implementation of the Nova Scotia Physician’s Manual Modernization Project, Polypharmacy Risk Reduction Evaluation Plan, Physician Clinical Alternate Relationship Program Evaluation, Alberta Clinical Vocabulary Initiative communication and education plans and reverse mapping of SNOMED CT® to ICD-10-CA. Analytics projects have supported population based planning for physician primary care reform, program and clinician compensation model development or refinement and have included province wide analyses and vizualization of client specific linked cross-service data.

Robyn has a Baccalaureate of Science degree in Nursing with a focus on community health and health service management, a Master's degree in Public Administration with a focus on management and analysis and strategic planning and a Master of Science in Health Informatics focusing on EHR implementation and the use of clinical vocabularies such as SNOMED CT ®. Robyn is a registered SNOMED CT Implementation Advisor (SIA), having completed the SIA program with IHTSDO in April 2014.

Robyn Kuropatwa is the Principal of Robyn Kuropatwa Ltd (RKL) with offices in British Columbia and Alberta.

Paul Chaulk BSc, MSc
A credentialed evaluator focusing on participatory program evaluation and quantitative research methods in health, labour market, and post-secondary education.

Paul Chaulk is a researcher, evaluator and consultant in the health, labour market, and post-secondary education fields. His focus is in participatory program evaluation and quantitative research methods. Paul has extensive experience in quantitative data analysis including complex survey sampling and analysis and administrative/utilization data analyses. In addition, Paul has conducted numerous interviews and focus groups, labour market studies, literature reviews, and environmental scans. Paul has been a member of the Canadian Evaluation Society since 1996.

Paul has designed, conducted and/or managed over 50 program and project evaluations across Canada in health care and a variety of other subject areas. These evaluation projects involved a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods and included development of recommendations for improvement. He has delivered numerous evaluation and survey workshops.

Paul has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and a Master of Science degree in Experimental Psychology and has completed numerous continuing education courses in program evaluation and related fields.

Kathy Giannangelo BS, MA, CCS, CPHIMS, FAHIMA
Has comprehensive experience in clinical terminologies, classifications, data standards and health information management.

Kathy Giannangelo has wide-ranging knowledge of clinical terminologies, classifications, data standards and has extensive experience in the health information management field. In addition to her consulting business, she is a coding specialist for the National Committee for Quality Assurance where her work focuses on the analysis of quality measures and assigning various vocabulary standards to value sets used in the measure criteria. As map lead at the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization, she provides expertise, support and consensus for the development, review and maintenance of mappings between SNOMED CT and other code systems.

For six years, she taught a graduate level course on clinical vocabularies and classification systems. Other previous positions held include director of content management for Apelon, Inc. where she oversaw the terminologies found within the Core Content suite and helped clients define terminology requirements, create or extend structured terminologies, or integrate terminology components into their products. As a medical informaticist with Language and Computing (L&C), her role was to support the ontology, modeling, sales, and product development activities related to the creation and implementation of natural language processing applications where clinical terminology and classification systems are utilized. Prior to L&C, she was director, practice leadership, with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) in Chicago. Kathy has also served as senior nosologist for a health information services company and worked in various HIM roles, including vice president of product development, education specialist, director of medical records, quality assurance coordinator, and research team manager for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Shirley Groenen HIMS, BA
Has deep knowledge of patient clinical data collection and related classifications and terminologies.

Shirley Groenen has extensive knowledge of terminologies, classifications, patient activity clinical data collection, data uses and limitations. Having been responsible for implementing Alberta Health and Wellness’s data quality program, she also recognizes the importance of quality data to support program planning, decision making, and policy development.

Shirley has played a key role in many projects during her career. Significant initiatives include: implementing a new abstracting and reporting system and initiating ambulatory care data collection in a large teaching hospital, re-abstraction studies, developing a provincial mental health reporting program, implementing ICD-10-CA/CCI for inpatient and ambulatory care data collection, developing a provincial application to receive and process patient activity data, and implementing the Alberta Ambulatory Care Reporting System.

Shirley has also led the clinical vocabulary education program for Alberta. Project responsibilities include acting as Business Lead, developing and delivering education materials, developing system application edits and test cases, providing expert input, forming and facilitating work groups, engaging stakeholder input, providing executive presentations, developing communication plans, and writing and reviewing project deliverables.

As a consultant, Shirley has worked with Canada Health Infoway as Subject Matter Expert for SNOMED CT and in Nova Scotia has played a key role in mapping historical ICD-9-CM diagnoses to SNOMED CT and historical CCP health service descriptions to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT).

Shirley has a degree in Business Administration with a health concentration and certified as a Health Information Management professional. She has completed numerous education sessions during her career including Canadian Institute for Health Information workshops, management courses, and SNOMED CT® training.

Jennifer Jones ITSS
Has been involved in a wide variety of program evaluation, research and planning projects across Canada

Jennifer Jones has been involved in a wide variety of program evaluation, research and planning projects with organizations across Canada, in both the Federal and Provincial public sectors, and with international private sector organizations. She has worked in the fields of health, justice, community development, labour market research and/or employee engagement.

Jennifer has extensive experience in online survey development, programming and management; the compilation, breakdown and analysis of the quantitative research data (survey questionnaires), qualitative data collection and analysis, and assisting with report development and design, project logistics and other administrative tasks.

Jennifer has an Information Technology Support Specialist diploma, has a high level of proficiency in electronic data management and is currently pursuing a Bachelors in Computer Science.

Francis Lau MSc, MBA, PhD
Brings health informatics knowledge, research and applied experience to the role of expert advisor.

Dr. Francis Lau is a Professor in the School of Health Information Science at the University of Victoria (UVic). He is a PhD graduate in Applied Sciences in Medicine with specialization in medical informatics. Francis has a diverse background in business, computing and medical sciences, with 14 years of professional experience in the IT industry. Prior to joining UVic in 2001 he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Accounting and Management Information Systems in the Business School at the University of Alberta. Francis’ current research foci are in health information system (HIS) evaluation, palliative care informatics and health information standards.

Francis was the recipient of a 5-year eHealth Chair funded by CIHR/Infoway to establish an eHealth Observatory to monitor the impact of HIS deployment in Canada. This mandate includes the development of rigorous yet pragmatic HIS evaluation models, methods and metrics for use by HIS practitioners and researchers. An example of the output is the Benefits Evaluation Framework that has now been adopted by Canada Health Infoway as the overarching Framework to evaluate the impacts of electronic health record implementation initiatives across Canada.

Francis has dedicated a substantial portion of his research effort to establish a program of clinical informatics research in the domain of hospice palliative and end-of-life (EOL) care. Over the years he has co-led a CIHR New Emerging Team in palliative EOL care to work on communication barriers in EOL transitions, a CIHR Partnership in Health System Improvement team in enhancing access to EOL care through improved survival prediction, and a consortium of healthcare organizations in BC, Alberta, Yukon and Ottawa to create a Canadian EOL care surveillance reporting system funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

Another research area for Francis is in health information standards, especially with the reference terminology SNOMED CT. He was the Canadian representative on the Research and Innovation Committee of the International Health Terminology Standard Development Organization, where he had established an international reputation as one of the handful of terminology researchers in Canada with a focus on SNOMED CT implementation. He has a small team of research trainees and colleagues where the terminology related work is aligned with palliative and primary care as the clinical domains.

Dennis Lee Hon Kit MSc, PhD
Brings experience and expertise in developing tools, methods and strategies to support terminology encoding, mapping, subset development and implementation.

Dennis Lee brings experience and expertise in encoding and mapping clinical terms to formal terminologies and in developing tools and strategies to support terminology implementation, such as SNOMED CT.

Dennis has developed the Analytics Toolkit which is now actively implemented. The Analytics Toolkit includes features such as searching, browsing, expression building, expression validating, expression comparing, as well as encoding, auditing and retrieval functions, and an application programming interface. His SNOMED CT-related publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference publications include a literature review of SNOMED CT use, survey of SNOMED CT implementations to assess success factors and challenges, development of a method for encoding datasets with SNOMED CT, versioning implications, cross mapping and how SNOMED CT can be used.

Over the past seven years, Dennis has worked on research projects in the domains of primary care and palliative care that centred on developing common dataset specifications and common data definitions, compiling SNOMED CT subsets, piloting SNOMED CT implementation and developing information product reports. Prior to entering the field of health informatics, Dennis worked as a web application developer.

Dennis has a Bachelor of Business Administration, a Master’s of Science in Health Informatics and a Doctorate in Health Informatics with a focus on demonstrating the clinical value of SNOMED CT.

John Rapoport, PhD
A specialist in Health Economics, and the author of two economics textbooks, his skills include: microeconomics, microeconomic theory, statistics, environmental economics, and industrial organization.

John is Professor of Economics, Emeritus, at Mount Holyoke College. A specialist in health economics, he is the author of two economics textbooks, The Economics of Health and Medical Care (with Phillip Jacobs, 2001), and Understanding Health Economics (with Robert L. Robertson and Bruce Stuart, 1982). His research has focused on economic issues related to critical care, such as methods to evaluate the economic performance of intensive care units, factors influencing the use of specific medical technologies, and the determinants of ICU costs. Another research interest is health care in Canada and he has published papers on costs of chronic disease in Canada and comparison of ICU utilization between Canada and the U.S. John is also an active affiliate of the Institute of Health Economics in Edmonton Alberta and has participated in projects related to health care compensation models, disruptive innovation and evaluation of physician alternate relationship plans.

Dean of the College from 1995 to 1998, John was also one of the founders and the first Director of the interdisciplinary Complex Organizations Program, which focuses on the elements of leadership and the nature of organizations. He has taught courses on introductory microeconomics, microeconomic theory, statistics, health economics, environmental economics and industrial organization.

Qualifications: University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D., M.A. Dartmouth College, A.B.

Dennis Wellborn, BSc, MSc
Brings extensive experience in information system analysis and programming, data analytics and visualization of results.

Dennis brings experience in information system analysis and programming, ranging across mainframes, minicomputers, personal computers and personal digital assistants. Through GTSS and RKL, Dennis has been involved in projects across Canada that focused on health sector and physician service utilization, operational analysis, cardiac service analysis, and managed information services. Graphical presentations have been used extensively lately to display results.

Dennis has an Honours, Bachelor of Science degree in Computing Science from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dennis has performed systems analysis and programming in various public and private-sector companies in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. He has been contracted to the British Columbia Buildings Corporation designing, developing and maintaining both corporate and departmental database applications. He was responsible for data conversions from multiple Tandem systems into a corporate-wide Oracle database. With the same corporation, he has been involved in developing pricing models and supporting systems infrastructure applications (e.g. intrusion detection, operating system deployment and application software deployment). Recent work involved performing a large-scale system data conversion.

In health care, Dennis has co-developed the PerForm and Quantum Analyzer (QA) computer software programs. PerForm was used in the BC Ministry of Health for acute care hospital reporting. QA is a management data viewer tailored to an organization’s statistical needs and used for presenting and analyzing population, financial, statistical and other types of health care data.

He has also been involved in programming clinical workload management data collection and analysis employing barcode scanners and network databases used in several hospitals across the country.

Mary-Doug Wright BSc, MLS
An information specialist, with wide ranging expertise and experience conducting environmental scans and comprehensive literature searches in health care.

Mary-Doug Wright is an information specialist/research librarian who brings to her clients extensive expertise and experience conducting environmental scans and comprehensive literature searches in health care and the social sciences for knowledge synthesis (systematic, scoping, and narrative reviews), critical appraisals, and health technology assessments. Clients are in the public, non-profit and private sectors and include academic research centres, national and international consulting firms, knowledge users, decision-makers, health care providers, and independent researchers.

Mary-Doug’s areas of expertise include health services, policy, economics and planning and the social sciences, including education and social services. She has been an active participant in conceptualizing and developing the librarian business unit for a telehealth startup and in the development of the workflow model of the company’s user interface, for both unit managers and patients/clients. In addition to conducting literature searches, she helps clients identify experts, and writes synthesis reports providing an overview of existing literature and knowledge.

As Senior Information Specialist/Librarian with the BC Office of Health Technology Assessment (BCOHTA) from 1992 until 2002, Mary-Doug acted as an advisor to academic health sciences researchers and taught literature search methodology. As part of her role in disseminating research methods, she also provided consultation to other organizations, performing literature searches and advising them regarding the development of search strategies for evidence-based research to support policy-making. Mary-Doug’s research activities with BCOHTA included comparison of conventional literature search strategies using commercially available databases with fugitive search strategies to identify the grey or non-indexed literature available via the deep web.

Mary-Doug obtained her Bachelor of Science in Genetics in 1976 from the University of Alberta, after which she worked in the agriculture field as a plant science researcher. She obtained her Master of Library Science from the University of British Columbia in 1991, having received an NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship in Science Librarianship and Documentation to conduct her studies. Since earning her M.L.S., she has been working as an independent information professional and is Principal of Apex Information. She is a member of the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research, the Canadian Health Libraries Association, the Health Libraries Association of British Columbia, the Special Libraries Association, and the Association of Independent Information Professionals.