Global Health

Our Canadian Team

This project would not be possible without the collaboration and contributions of a large and growing team of dedicated colleagues in both Ethiopia and Canada. We’d like to introduce all of them to you. The Canadians have been split into two groups for ease of page display, with the first to be found below, and the balance on Canadians: Page 2. Our growing Ethiopian group can be found on Our Ethiopian Team.

Dr. Roger Turnell, the director of our project, is a professor emeritus in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. Roger played a key role in the initial fact-finding stages in 2012 and 2013, and has taught sections in all of the subsequent SMTTP programming, including sessions on clinical techniques and micro-research in collaboration with Dr. Khalid Aziz.

Roger is a graduate of McGill and McMaster universities; his research interests include maternal-fetal medicine, clinical trials, labour management, medical education and critical incident stress.


Dr. Khalid Aziz is the associate director of the project, with a lead role in developing its referral component. A specialist in Newborn Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics at University of Alberta, he is a regular instructor in our Senior Midwife Tutor Training Program. A key part of his contribution on the referral side has been developing and teaching a Quality Improvement course to health professionals in Addis Ababa and in the North Shoa zone of Oromia region. The Quality Improvement effort does not end with the course; under Khalid's leadership, with key support from local staff, he follows up on their progress in what is designed to be a continuous process.


Dr. Pam Nordstrom is Director of the School of Nursing and Midwifery and interim Dean of the Faculty of Health and Community Studies at Mount Royal University. She provides leadership to the MRU team as they prepare curriculum and embark on their travels.

Pam sees our maternal-health project as a unique opportunity for Canadian faculty to come alongside and support Ethiopian midwives. She believes the potential to impact the survival and future of mothers and babies in Ethiopia is a compelling reason to find creative ways to strengthen the partnership even though members live on opposite sides of the globe.  


Dr. Maggie Quance is an associate professor and chair of the School of of Nursing and Midwifery at Mount Royal University; she holds Bachelors and Masters nursing degrees from the University of Manitoba and a PhD from the University of Calgary. Her area of clinical expertise is in family/newborn nursing with an emphasis on the perinatal experience.

In the spring of 2013, she was part of the advance team that travelled from Canada to learn more about local needs and conditions for Ethiopian midwifery; in May 2015, she will be travelling to Addis Ababa with MRU’s Dr. Susan Jacoby to teach in the final weeks of the project’s second annual SMTTP course.


Janet Summerhayes has been with the project since March 2014 and is now our project manager. She has been a teacher in England, Nigeria and Canada; she has a Masters' degree in international education from the University of Bath in the U.K.

Janet's experience with Africa and development issues includes two years' teaching in an Advanced Teachers' College in Hong, Northern Nigeria, and a year as a project assistant for CUSO in Freetown, Sierra Leone. She spent two weeks in November 2014 and 2015 working in Addis with her Ethiopian counterparts. This was an excellent experience as they were able to better understand the each others' roles and the unique challenges each office faces.   


Dr. Melaku Game is Assistant Clinical Professor of Hematology in the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. An Ethiopian expatriate, he has been involved since the idea of the project first took hold. For many years he was president of the Canadian wing of the Ethiopian North American Health Providers Association, where he pursued projects in areas like HIV/AIDS medication, paramedic training, continuing medical education and experience sharing with the Ethiopian Regulatory Agency.

Melaku says the current government of Ethiopia is making great strides to expand and improve health care: "If they complain, it is that things aren’t happening fast enough."


Dr. Patricia Pryma is an associate professor in the nursing department at MRU. She was thrilled to support Ethiopian midwives by teaching our SMTTP students skills for passing on their expertise to less experienced colleagues. She graduated from the University of
Saskatchewan in 1988 with a BSc in Nursing. She completed her Masters in educational administration and leadership in 1998 and attained her PhD in Nursing in 2013.

She has shared her knowledge of both nursing and education by engaging in curriculum development as well as classroom lecturing and clinical teaching. She is also an active member of the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International.


Dr. Julie Booke is an associate professor in the Department of Physical Education and Recreation Studies, Faculty of Health and Community Studies at Mount Royal University. Her PhD studies focused on the impact of educational development on instructors' teaching assumptions, philosophy and practice.

Julie is excited to be involved in the Ethio-Canadian Maternal Child Health project and focuses on developing and delivering effective teaching related curriculum to help improve the teaching skills of those involved.


Dr. Susan Jacoby is an Assistant Professor teaching in the Bachelor of Midwifery Program, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health and Community Studies at Mount Royal University. She has been a perinatal nurse for 34 years and a midwife for the past 18 years.

Involved in our project for the past two years, she has traveled to Ethiopia twice and is looking forward to a third trip to support Ethiopian midwives. Susan believes that all women and children are important and valuable and relishes any opportunity to help strengthen and support midwifery care in Ethiopia.


Margot Underwood is an Assistant Professor in the Bachelor of Nursing Program at Mount Royal University; she has been a nurse for 37 years. In addition, she has developed and taught in four community health nursing field schools in the Dominican Republic and taught in one field school in Zambia.

Being an educator and investing in health professional and student learning has always been the heart of Margot's practice. This winter she will be returning to Addis Ababa to share her expertise with our SMTTP students; she is enthusiastic about the participatory, learner-centered strategies being used to engage and support Ethiopian midwife tutors in their vital work.