Interprofessional Specialist Team

Claire Bombardier, Rheumatologist
Medical Co-Lead of ECHO Ontario Rheumatology
Dr. Bombardier is a widely published clinical researcher and rheumatologist.  She is currently a Senior Scientist for the Toronto General Research Institute and is the Co-Lead for ECHO-Rheumatology.  Former titles include:  Director of Rheumatology for the University of Toronto and Co-Scientific Director at the Canadian Arthritis Network.  She has held a Pfizer Research Chair in Rheumatology and a Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Transfer for Musculoskeletal Care.  She is an international expert for quality improvement research, and has led the development of guidelines for the safe pharmacologic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis patients in Canada and abroad. Dr. Bombardier has published more than 358 scholarly articles, and received many international and Canadian awards, including the ACR Distinguished Clinician Scholar Award (11/2016) and the prestigious American College of Rheumatology Master Designation Award (MACR) in 2013 for outstanding contributions in the field of rheumatology.  In 2005, Dr. Bombardier founded the Ontario Best Practice Research Initiative (OBRI – to monitor the safety and efficacy of treatments for people with rheumatoid arthritis to improve treatment and quality of care for people in Ontario.  Her commitment to excellence in rheumatology is recognized, and as a Principal Investigator brings research expertise and visionary leadership to the OBRI team.

Amanda Steiman, Rheumatologist
Medical Co-Lead of ECHO Ontario Rheumatology
Amanda Steiman is a Clinician in Quality and Innovation at Mount Sinai Hospital/University Health Network. She received her MD from the University of Western Ontario, and completed Internal Medicine and Rheumatology training at the University of Toronto. She subsequently pursued a fellowship in lupus, and completed an MSc through the Institute of Medical Science. She has completed training in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety.  She sees general rheumatology patients in her clinics, with a special interest in connective tissue diseases. Her Quality Improvement initiatives are focused on improved delivery of care to patients with complex, often multisystemic rheumatologic diseases. It’s in this context that she has become so passionate about Project ECHO Rheumatology, and is delighted for the opportunity to be collaborating with incredible primary care providers from across the province!

Anne Cymet, Registered Nurse
Recently retired RN gently coaxed out of retirement. Anne has had a varied career spanning 40 years. Anne has worked in cardiology primarily in risk reduction, intensive care, family practice. The last 15 years were spent in rheumatology where she first worked on the Health Improvement and Prevention study. This study aimed to reduce cardiovascular risk in Systemic Lupus. Anne spent most of her time in rheumatology as a nurse case manager coordinating all aspects of care to ensure proper utilization of services and resources, medication adherence and cardiac risk reduction.

Mandy McGlynn, Physiotherapist / ACPAC  
Mandy McGlynn graduated from the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Toronto in 1994.  In 2005, she completed her Master of Science degree in the department of rehabilitation sciences at the University of Toronto. Most recently she did the Advanced Practice Clinician in Arthritis Care (ACPAC) course to become a Physical Therapy Practitioner. Mandy has a wide-range of expertise.  She has worked in Rehabilitation at Toronto Rehab since 1998. Since 2004, Mandy has been working in the MSK Rehab program as an Advanced Practice Leader (APL). The APL role is a leadership role which is interprofessional and focuses on Best Practice. Currently she is now working 50 percent of the time as an APL and 50 percent as a PT Practitioner.

Carolyn Whiskin, Pharmacist  
Carolyn BSc. Phm is currently the director of pharmacy programs for the Charlton Centre for Specialized Treatments in Hamilton, Ontario. She also practices pharmacy at Brant Arts Dispensary in Burlington, Ontario and is the pharmacist representative to the Ontario Rheumatology Association’s Model of Care committee.
Carolyn has a broad practice, but her specialties include autoimmune diseases (rheumatology, dermatology, gastroenterology), pain management, smoking cessation, and women’s health.Carolyn helped write the first year communications course for pharmacy students at the University of Toronto, and she has lectured at several Ontario universities. She has written material for continuing education programs for pharmacists, helped initiate the Pharmacist/Physician Collaboration Committee in Burlington, is a member of their Diabetes Collaborative Working Group, and gives lectures and workshops to various healthcare and patient groups across Canada. Carolyn has won many awards including the national “Commitment to Care Award.”

Wesley FidlerRheumatologist
Dr. Wesley Fidler, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Fidler is a Clinical Rheumatologist at St Joseph’s Hospital in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and member of the  ECHO Rheumatology inter-professional HUB team (since January 2019). Dr. Fidler completed his residency in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology at Queen’s University, earning specialist certificates in Internal Medicine 1994 and Rheumatology 1996.
His many teaching roles include:  Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Thunder Bay; Attending Staff Internist on Medical Clinical Teaching Unit, Thunder Bay Regional Hospital to 2016, preceptor for all levels of medical learners; Internal Medicine Residency Coordinator for Rheumatology; Clinician Supervisor for Rheumatic Diseases Program, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Thunder Bay.
Dr. Fidler was recently awarded the NOSM Internal Medicine: Best Clinical Teacher Award West Campus 2015 and Best Academic Teacher Award West Campus 2016, 2018.

Laura Passalent, Physiotherapist/ACPAC
Laura PT, BScPT, MHSc, ACPAC, obtained her Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto in 1995 and completed a Masters of Health Science in Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Toronto in 2005. She is a certified Advanced Practitioner in Arthritis Care, having graduated from the ACPAC program in 2008. 
Laura Passalent is a Lecturer with the Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto and works as a Physiotherapist Practitioner with the Arthritis Program at the Toronto Western Hospital. Her current clinical focus is in the area of spondyloarthritis where she leads the Spondylitis Screening Clinic. She also provides non-pharmacological management for patients attending the Spondylitis Clinic, and works closely with Drs Inman and Haroon. In addition to her clinical and teaching roles, Ms. Passalent is a Clinician Investigator with the Krembil Research Institute.  Her research focuses on the rehabilitation and education of the spondyloarthritis population, as well as innovative health services delivery by rehabilitation professionals. She has presented and published on the subjects of physiotherapy for spondyloarthritis, extended scope practice of rehabilitation professionals in arthritis care, access to rehabilitation, and the use of geographic information systems in the analysis of rehabilitation services.

Kathy Russell, Registered Nurse/ACPAC
Kathy, RN and Advanced Clinical Practitioner in Arthritis Care, for the past 20 years, she has been a member of The Arthritis Program Research Group, based in Newmarket, working with Dr. Carter Thorne. She has participated in numerous studies that have contributed to the advancement of Biological DMARDs used in Rheumatology. While the scope of Kathy’s practice is broad, her primary interest and specialization lies in caring for those with Systemic Sclerosis.