Who We Are
The Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine, also known asiRSM is an internationally recognized clinic and research institute primarily specializing in the reconstruction of head and neck of patients who have undergone cancer surgery.
Established in 1993, iRSM was founded through a partnership between Covenant Health, Alberta Health Services and the University of Alberta.
Based at the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, iRSM is an Integrated Practice Unit meaning a dedicated, multidisciplinary team composed of surgeons, specialty physicians, researchers, healthcare practitioners, technicians and administrators working together to provide care to a patient for his/her full cycle of care.
Patient care encompasses outpatient, inpatient, and rehabilitative care as well as supporting services such as patient education, engagement, and patient follow-up.
Established in 1993, iRSM was founded through a partnership between Covenant Health, Alberta Health Services and the University of Alberta.
iRSM has its origins in head and neck reconstruction and rehabilitation. Its international reputation for innovation and advances in patient care and research has been earned by combining expertise across multiple disciplines such as surgery, medicine, dentistry, rehabilitation medicine, engineering and computing science to create a fully integrated environment for clinical care, research, education and training in reconstructive medicine and technology. As an international referral center, iRSM is a leader in the complex area of osseointegration (bone) implanted devices for prosthetic replacement of skull and facial defects resulting from cancer, trauma and congenital conditions.
iRSM’s reputation as a pioneer in the application of advanced technologies to support clinical and research activities is supported through a number of major collaborative relationships with leading institutions throughout the world.
Our Board of Directors
Dr. Ella Rokosh
Dr. Ella Rokosh is the medical director of the Misericordia Community Hospital. She is a graduate of University of Ottawa with a BSc in Biochemistry (1991) followed by MD degree (1995) with specialty in Internal Medicine and Critical Care (2000). Since finishing residency, she has been working as attending physician in Misericordia Community Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. She also runs an Internal Medicine clinic in the same hospital. She is a full time clinician who actively supports her unit’s participation in research studies organized by her colleagues. She is also involved in education of Internal Medicine residents who rotate through the Clinical Teaching Units on medicine wards at Misericordia Hospital. In addition, she is an ACLS director. She is a mother of 2 teens who encourage her to maintain work life balance.
Cathy OsbourneSenior Operating Officer, University of Alberta Hospital, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and Kaye Edmonton Clinic
Cathy Osborne is the Senior Operating Officer of the University of Alberta Hospital, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and Kaye Edmonton Clinic with Alberta Health Services.
Cathy’s portfolio includes providing operational & strategic leadership for Alberta Kidney Care North, Organ Donation and Transplant Services as well as a number of Edmonton Zone (EZ) programs including EZ Virtual Hospital, Critical Care, Medicine, Cardiac Sciences, Neurosciences, Respiratory Therapy and Ambulatory Care. Cathy serves as a Board member of the University Hospital Foundation and the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (IRSM) Board of Directors.
In Cathy’s 41 year career traversing three provinces, she has amassed a strong and diverse background in acute/specialty care, chronic disease prevention & management, cardiac rehabilitation, primary health care & population health, holding leadership, consulting, advisory, education & clinical nursing positions.
Cathy has an impressive record of achieving success through exceptional collaborative leadership, fostering innovation and developing teams to achieve high quality results in addition to building strong partnerships with internal and external stakeholders including municipalities, government, primary care and non-profit/community organizations. One such strategic alliance led to the BC Medical Association 2009 Council on Health Promotion Corporate Award.
Cathy believes strongly in advocating for patients and families, unequivocally supporting a culture of person centered care and continuous quality improvements. In 2009, Cathy was recognized in the House of Commons for her leadership and innovation in health care. In 2019 Cathy successfully co-led the site operative response for the first Connect Care implementation in Alberta at the University of Alberta Hospital, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, Kaye Edmonton Clinic and Stollery Children’s Hospital that contributed to Connect Care Wave 1 Implementation receiving the Canadian College of Health Leaders’ 2021 3M Health Care Quality Team Award.
Dr. Anderson Chuck
Dr. Anderson Chuck
Dr. Andy Chuck is the Chief Health Economist at Alberta Health Services where he provides leadership in longer range health system transformation, sustainability, financial performance and value. He is a champion of value based decision making in the largest single health authority in Canada. His mission is to broaden evidence informed decision making from adoption and into the realm of health system optimization (reflecting the real world realties of health service delivery) to affect actual change in the improvement of health, value for money and health system sustainability.
Jo Ann Molloy
Jo Ann Molloy
Jo Ann is a trusted and experienced leader and who provides strategic and operational leadership to the Misericordia Community Hospital as its senior operating officer. Jo Ann has executive leadership for Medicine, Emergency, Critical Care, Cardiac Sciences, and Respiratory for Covenant Health. High quality, patient-centred care and a just workplace are her passions, and her values-driven approach to collaborative and innovative decision-making help develop and mentor others.
A registered nurse for almost 40 years, Jo Ann has worked in a number of clinical areas and has provided a number of leadership roles in corporate human resources and clinical care and service across the continuum of care since coming to Catholic healthcare in 2004. She previously worked in leadership roles in critical care, burns, neurosciences, trauma and surgery at Capital Health.
Dr. Cliff Sample
Dr. Cliff Sample
Cliff Sample, MD, BSc, FRCSC is a collaborative leader with a passion for system transformation and quality improvement with varied leadership experiences throughout his career. Dr. Sample served in a variety of leadership roles throughout his training and surgical career. In his time in Covenant he served as Facility Chief of Surgery at the Grey Nuns, Associate Chief Medical Officer Quality, and Associate Chief Medical Officer Surgical Planning and Clinical Integration prior to taking on the role of CMO.
Medical school and surgical residency at the University of Alberta were followed by a fellowship in Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery at McMaster and a busy clinical career with specific surgical interest in foregut and adrenal surgery.
As the executive leader for the medical portfolio, Dr. Sample provides strategic oversight and stewardship for health service and care delivery across all Covenant sites. His responsibilities include executive leadership of medical affairs and overall co-ordination of medical resources, ensuring services are carried out in accordance with our mission, vision and values, ethical guidelines and medical staff bylaws.
Our Leadership Team
Dr. Hameed Khan
Dr. Hameed Khan - MSc, MBA, PhD
Dr. Hameed Khan is the executive director at the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (iRSM). He brings over 10 years of experience working in the not-for-profit, private, academic and government sectors within the health-care research and innovation space. He has an in-depth understanding of health-care systems and their ability to advance innovations into care. Dr. Khan enjoys working with multidisciplinary teams that span the entire health research and innovation continuum to advance patient care and improve patient outcomes.
Dr. Khan has spearheaded multiple large-scale initiatives focused on improving value within the health-care system,a notion he believes is centered around measuring and improving patient outcomes. He has worked with clinicians and researchers to develop tools that help them measure and improve patient outcomes and costs on a per patient basis. Dr. Khan has completed a PhD in biochemical sciences, a master’s degree in biology and a master’s in business administration (MBA). He also completed the Value Measurement in Health Care program at Harvard Executive Business School.
Dr. Martin Osswald
Dr. Martin Osswald - BDS, MDent
Dr. Martin Osswald is an associate professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Alberta, and practices as a maxillofacial prosthodontist at the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (iRSM). He is also the director of the International Fellowship in Maxillofacial Prosthodontics Program at iRSM
Dr. Osswald is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he completed his undergraduate dental and postgraduate specialty training in prosthodontics. From 2003 to 2006, Dr. Osswald held concurrent positions as principal dentist with the Gauteng Department of Health, and prosthodontic registrar with the Department of Prosthodontics, School of Oral Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. On completion of his prosthodontic specialty training in 2006, he held a specialist prosthodontist consultant position at the University of the Witwatersrand and ran a private prosthodontic practice in Johannesburg, before joining the University of Alberta and iRSM in 2009.
His research activities have included the design of osseointegrated prostheses, associated material sciences, the relevant cost implications and digital technologies available. His current clinical and research interests are in the field of osseointegrated rehabilitation of maxillofacial defects, particularly in the surgical and functional reconstruction of the maxilla and mandible, utilizing advanced digital technologies in simulated digital surgical design pathways, for patient care. His research activities have expanded into the field of regenerative medicine and the development of customized functionalized scaffolds for replacement of structures in the head and neck.
Dr. Osswald is a keen cyclist and enjoys travelling.
Director of Clinics
Dr. Bill Hodgetts
Dr. Bill Hodgetts - BA, MSc, PhD, R.Aud
Dr. Bill Hodgetts is a full-time professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta. He holds a joint appointment at the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (iRSM) where he is program director for audiology and bone conduction amplification (BCA). He obtained his BA (psychology) and MSc (audiology) from the University of Western Ontario and his PhD (rehabilitation science) from the University of Alberta.
Dr. Hodgetts teaches audiology/hearing science as well as statistics and research design at the U of A. His research focuses on the assessment, prescription, verification and validation of bone anchored amplification devices with a goal of improving outcomes for BCA users and transferring knowledge to other clinicians involved in BCA.
Program Director, Bone Conduction Amplification, Audiologist
Dr. Hadi Seikaly
Dr. Hadi Seikaly
Dr. Hadi Seikaly is a professor of the departments of Surgery and Oncology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. He is the Director of the division of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and the Edmonton Zone Clinical Section Head for Alberta Health Services. Dr. Seikaly is the Co-editor of the Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and president of the Canadian Association of Head and Neck Surgical Oncologists.
Dr. Seikaly graduated from the University of Toronto medical school and completed his residency training at the University of Alberta in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. He then obtained fellowship training at the University of Texas Medical Branch in advanced head and neck oncology, and microvascular reconstruction. Dr. Seikaly completed a Masters of the Arts in Leadership from the Royal Roads University in 2014.
Dr. Seikaly has a large practice dedicated to head, neck, and skull base oncology and reconstruction. His research interests include functional surgical and reconstructive outcomes, microvascular head and neck reconstruction, submandibular gland transfer, and digitally driven complete occlusal reconstruction. Dr. Seikaly is the director of the Head and Neck Research Network. He has been a PI or collaborator on numerous research grants receiving funding from various agencies, including CIHR, Terry Fox Foundation and Alberta Cancer Foundation. He has published over 180 peer reviewed papers and book chapters.
Dr. Seikaly is the recipient of the many prestigious awards including the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association researcher of the year, the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery award for national educational excellence, the Ernest Skakun award for service to medical education, and the Mentor of the year. He is a member of numerous surgical societies, nationally/internationally and has been invited as a visiting professor to over 90 institutions lecturing on all aspects of Head and Neck Oncology and reconstruction.
Director of Surgery
Dr. Jana Reiger
Dr. Jana Reiger - PhD
Dr. Jana Rieger is the director of research at the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (iRSM) and a professor in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta. Since 1999, her research has focused on understanding functional outcomes, including speech, swallowing, chewing and quality of life, in patients with defects of the head and neck secondary to cancer and trauma. From 2004 to 2011, she was funded by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research as a population health clinician researcher.
Dr. Rieger was one of four successful researchers to receive funding from the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s Transformative Program Competition in April 2014.
Dr. Rieger and her research team are developing technological interfaces for dysphagia rehabilitation in patients with head and neck cancer. Dr. Rieger has lectured internationally by invitation on functional outcomes related to defects of the head and neck and has published extensively in this area.
Director of Research
Dr. Suresh Nayar
Dr. Suresh Nayar - BDS, MDS, MFDSRCS, MRDRCS, MRDRCPS, FDS (Rest Dent) RCS, MPhil
Dr. Suresh Nayar was appointed an associate professor in the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta and as a maxillofacial prosthodontist at the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (iRSM) in July 2013. He is also an adjunct associate professor with the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta.
Dr. Nayar graduated from Government Dental College in Calicut in Kerala, India in 1993. After completion of a Masters in Prosthodontics from Manipal University, India, he worked as a prosthodontist in the Middle East before embarking on further specialist clinical training in the United Kingdom. Here he was awarded specialty memberships from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRDRCS) and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (MRDRCPS) in 2007. He subsequently was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (FDSRCS) in 2008. During his specialist clinical training, he embarked on a Research Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree that he completed in 2012.
After completion of his specialist training, he was appointed as a consultant in restorative dentistry and oral rehabilitation at the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and as an honorary senior clinical lecturer/honorary consultant at the University of Sheffield in 2009. His clinical remit included management and restorative rehabilitation of patients with head and neck oncology, congenital and developmental deformities, and craniofacial trauma.
He has been the honorary web editor of the European Prosthodontic Association since 2008, and was the honorary secretary of the British Society of Prosthodontics from 2009 to 2012. He was an examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons of England and for the General Dental Council (GDC) of the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2013. He was also the regional advisor in restorative dentistry for Royal College of Surgeons, England from 2010 to 2013.
His current research interest includes patient reported outcome measures and improving quality of life in head and neck cancer patients, methods to reduce the effects of radiotherapy on head and neck cancer patients, and development of a digital impression technique, among others. He has been the PI on three grant proposals and was recently awarded a grant to improve the quality of oral and dental health for head and neck cancer patients. He is a part of the ‘”See me, hear me, heal me”: Exploring Patients’ Experiences with Head and Neck Cancer’ project team, a project that was awarded the Kule Research Team Grant and an Alberta Innovates Health Solutions grant. He has been a steering committee member of the Head and Neck Cancer Priority Setting Project in Alberta. He chairs the Oral and Dental Care Clinical Guideline Review Team for the Provincial Head and Neck Tumour Team which has recently published clinical practice guidelines for Alberta.
He was a member of the Waitlist Management Committee at iRSM which was awarded the Covenant Health Mission Award in 2016 in the Social Justice Category. He is currently in the process of setting up a patient support initiative for head and neck cancer survivors.
His teaching commitments include clinical teaching to maxillofacial prosthodontic fellows, medical and dental residents and students, dental hygiene students, and visiting scientists and clinicians. He also supervises the MSc program in surgical design and simulation in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta.
Dr. Daniel Aalto
Dr. Daniel Aalto - PhD
Dr. Daniel Aalto is an assistant professor in the Department of Communications Sciences and Disorders in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta. He holds joint appointment at the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (iRSM) where he is a research scientist. He obtained his MSc and PhD (engineering physics and mathematics) from Aalto University, Finland.
Dr. Aalto’s research interests are in computer modeling of head and neck functions including speech acoustics, articulation, hearing, swallowing, and chewing. In addition, he is interested in developing new design and simulation techniques to support reconstructive surgery. Dr. Aalto teaches speech science, in particular, speech acoustics as well as varying content courses in engineering.
Dr. Regan Guilfoyle
Dr. Regan Guilfoyle - MD, FRCSC
Dr. Regan Guilfoyle is an assistant professor in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and director of the Office of Global Surgery at the University of Alberta. She obtained her MD at the University of Manitoba (2008) and completed her plastic surgery residency training at the University of Alberta (2013). She completed an additional year of fellowship training in pediatric plastic surgery at the University of British Columbia (2014).
Dr. Guilfoyle’s special areas of interest include ear reconstruction, vascular anomalies, and global surgery. She is also involved in teaching surgical residents and medical students, both regionally and internationally.
Clinical Care Manager
Surgical Design Simulationist
Clinical Care Coordinator
Bone Conduction Amplification Program
Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Operating Room Nurses
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
Dr. Saranjeev Lalh
Our innovative research model is comprised of interdisciplinary teams across five faculties at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) and extends to a number of international collaborations at leading institutions around the world.
To view a complete list of our international collaborations and partnerships please click below,
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