The Procurement by Co-Design Advisory Board

TOM CLOSSON | President and CEO, Tom Closson Consulting, ex-President and CEO, Ontario Hospital Association

Tom Closson was most recently president and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association, and stepped down in January 2012.

Prior to that role, Tom was president and CEO of University Health Network (UHN), president and CEO of the Capital Health Region in Victoria, BC, and president and CEO at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Tom obtained experience in healthcare consulting as an owner of Medicus Canada and as a partner with KPMG. He also has government experience, including with the Ontario Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Community and Social Services and Management Board. He is currently on the Board of Directors of LifeLabs, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement and Health Quality Ontario.

Tom earned an MBA from York University in Toronto and graduated from the University of Toronto with a bachelor of applied science in industrial engineering. He is a Professional Engineer.


Chris leads strategy and design projects with some of the world’s largest and most innovative organizations. His work with the team at Bridgeable has been honored with numerous awards and he writes and presents regularly about the intersection between human-centered design and business strategy. He holds degrees in Biology and Entrepreneurship.

SARAH FRIESEN | President, Friesen Concepts Inc.

Sarah Friesen is president of Friesen Concepts Inc., an independent practice specializing in healthcare procurement solutions. Areas of focus include strategic sourcing transformation, innovation procurement and professional development. Sarah has over 15 years of experience in the healthcare sector, most recently as the CEO/GM of the Central Ontario Healthcare Procurement Alliance (COHPA), and she brings an additional 20 years of strategic sourcing and supply chain experience from the private sector. Sarah is a founding member of HSCN, and is Co-Chair of the Board. She participates in various innovation initiatives, served as a member of the Ontario Health Innovation Council, and lectures on healthcare supply chain topics at various educational institutions and industry forums.

PATRICK BLANSHARD | CEO, Sensory Technologies

With an impressive career history as a consulting project manager within the home healthcare, and the oil and gas industries, Patrick brings a wealth of experience and perspective to his current position as Sensory Technologies’ CEO. He is also a long-standing member of the Canadian Forces Army Reserves, serving as both an enlisted soldier and officer.

Patrick earned his MBA at Western University’s Richard Ivey School of Business, with a focus on strategic leadership. He also studied alternative dispute resolution at Western University, project management at the University of Toronto, and earned his Project Management Professional designation. Most recently, Patrick is working to complete a masters in law through York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

In his spare time, Patrick co-chairs London’s Toys for Tots Christmas charity, and he is an active volunteer with Life Paths Global Alliance in Haiti, providing telemedicine and logistics solutions to service rural area clinics.

YING TAM | Head of the Digital Health Cluster, MaRS

Ying Tam is the Head of the Digital Health Cluster, Heath Venture Services at MaRS Discovery District, and has overall responsibility for MaRS’ digital health portfolio. He is a seasoned entrepreneur and business executive, having co-founded several startup companies, including Mindful Scientific, a medical device company addressing concussion diagnostics and management (winner in the Medical Device track at the 2015 HealthKick Venture Showcase); abridean (acquired by nCipher PLC), a software company developing application provisioning and identity management solutions; and i-HRx (acquired by Healthconnex), a digital health company focused on chronic disease management. Ying has significant strategic and operational experience, with operating roles in a wide range of organizations, from early-stage companies to major multinational corporations.

Previously, he was president & managing director of Maritech Software (acquired by AKVA Group ASA), an early-stage mid-market ERP software and consulting company, vice president in the management consulting practice at Ernst & Young, and has held director-level positions at CGI and SAP. Ying began his career at IBM, where he held positions with increasing responsibilities, including roles in product development, sales and marketing.

Ying has a strong track record of mentorship and involvement in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. He has been a mentor for the Entrepreneurship Program at Dalhousie University for the past 3 years, as well as for Entrepreneur’s Forum, and acted as chief mentor for the European Innovation Academy. He has lectured at Dalhousie and St. Mary’s universities, and held a stint as Entrepreneur-in-Residence for PropelICT, the pan-Atlantic Canada startup accelerator. He is currently mentor or advisor for several fledgling startup companies and aspiring entrepreneurs/business people. Ying has been on the boards of public, private and not-for-profit organizations, and currently serves as director on the boards of BioNova and Ogden Pond Technology Group. He attended Trinity College at the University of Toronto, where he majored in Computer Science and Psychology.

VEENU AULAKH | Executive Director, Center for Care Innovations (CCI)

Veenu Aulakh is the Executive Director of the Center for Care Innovations (CCI), where she is responsible for the organization’s overall strategy, building critical partnerships, and helping to ensure CCI continues to make an impact in transforming safety net systems in California. Before joining CCI, Veenu worked as a Senior Program Officer at the California HealthCare Foundation, where she managed program-related investments in organizations with innovations designed to lower the cost of care. She also led projects to improve the quality of primary care, with an emphasis on information technology and patient engagement. Veenu has held a number of positions with Kaiser Permanente related to improving quality of care, developing disease management programs, and increasing patient engagement, and also worked as a project manager with the diagnostics division of Abbott Laboratories. Veenu received a bachelor’s degree in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s of science in health policy and management from Harvard University. In her spare time, Veenu enjoys traveling to foreign lands, and biking and hiking up hills in San Francisco.