Our Management Team

Thierry Mesana, MD, PhD, FRCSCThierry Mesana, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Thierry Mesana is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. A native of France, he is recognized as one of the leading heart valve surgeons in the world. He received his medical degree at the Université de la Méditerranée, Marseilles, where he trained in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. He received his PhD in biophysics and biomechanics at the same university after extensive experimental work on artificial hearts and ventricular assist devices.

In 1991, Dr. Mesana was, at the time, the youngest cardiac surgeon in France to receive a full professorship. He then became the Chair of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at La Timone University Hospital, the largest hospital in Marseilles, where he introduced a number of advanced techniques and greatly expanded the cardiac surgery program. He was Visiting Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1996 to 1997.

Dr. Mesana was appointed Division Head, Cardiac Surgery at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 2001. In this role through 2012, he led significant changes in the Division of Cardiac Surgery. Under his leadership, the Institute’s valve repair program has become recognized as one of the best in the world. He has authored over 300 scientific publications and has been an invited lecturer in many national and international symposia.



Rob S. B. Beanlands, MD, FRCPCRob S. B. Beanlands, MD, FRCPC

Division Head, Cardiology
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Radiology

Dr. Rob Beanlands is the Division Head and Vered Chair of Cardiology at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He received his MD from the University of Ottawa in 1983 (gold medallist). He is a cardiologist and an international leader in cardiovascular nuclear imaging as well as the founding Director of the Heart Institute’s National Cardiac PET Centre, the only PET facility in Canada dedicated to cardiovascular disease. He is a Career Investigator supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and is the Tier 1 Chair in Cardiovascular Imaging Research (uOttawa).   His research focus on the hearts metabolism, flow and cellular function has led to pioneering translational work that has impacted the understanding of disease mechanisms, applications in patient care, health policy and guidelines in imaging.   He has led several multicentre imaging research initiatives (PARR2, IMAGE-HF, CADRE Registry and is a Co-PI for the Canadian Atherosclerotic Imaging Network (CAIN)).   He has more than 225 peer reviewed publications in this field. He has served on several committees/advisory boards for government, industry and professional organizations impacting healthcare policies and practice guidelines and serves as an Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Cardiology and the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology.  He is a Professor in the Division of Cardiology (Department of Medicine), Department of Radiology and Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Ottawa.  Dr. Beanlands is past-president of the Canadian Nuclear Cardiology Society, past Ontario Governor for the American College of Cardiology and was the Scientific Program Chair and Annual Meeting Chair for the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.  He is currently the chair of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Scientific Review Committee, Treasurer of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology and Co-Chair of the International Congress on Nuclear Cardiology and CT imaging.  Recent Awards include Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) for Contributions to Canada, Hermann Blumgart Research Achievement Award for the Society of Nuclear Medicine (2013) and Canadian Cardiovascular Society Research Achievement Award (2015).


Thais Coutinho, MDThais Coutinho, MD

Division Head, Prevention and Rehabilitation
Chair, Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa 

Dr. Thais Coutinho is Division Head of Prevention and Rehabilitation at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. In addition, she is chair of the Heart Institute’s Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre. Dr. Coutinho received her MD from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2004. Shortly after, she moved to Rochester, Minnesota, USA to pursue training in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Vascular Medicine, advanced Echocardiography and research at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Coutinho has had many presentations at national and international meetings and has published several peer-reviewed manuscripts in the field of Cardiovascular Diseases. She has received numerous awards, including the American Heart Association’s Young Investigator and  Women in Cardiology Awards, the American College of Cardiology’s Young Investigator Award (2nd place), Mayo Clinic’s Summerskill Award for Research by a Fellow with a Clinical Appointment, and the Mayo Clinic’s Cardiovascular Division Outstanding Achievement Award. She is also board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Vascular Medicine and Echocardiography. 



Dr. Stéphane A. Lambert, Division Head, Cardiac AnesthesiologyStéphane A. Lambert, MD, CCFP, FRCPC , MD, FRCPC

Division Head, Cardiac Anesthesiology
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Associate Professor, University of Ottawa

Dr. Lambert obtained his MD in 1990 from McGill University in Montreal. Following a residency in Family Medicine, he completed a residency in Anesthesia at the University of Toronto, and he has been a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC) since 1997. He did a clinical and research fellowship in Cardiac Anesthesia and Perioperative Echocardiography at the University of California, San Francisco, on a scholarship from the Samuel McLaughlin Foundation. He returned to the University of Toronto as Assistant Professor and worked at St. Michael’s Hospital for seven years, doing clinical anesthesia and critical care. During that time, as Co-Director of Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography, Dr. Lambert helped establish a Perioperative Echo Service and a Cardiac Anesthesia Fellowship Program. He joined the Heart Institute in 2005 as Assistant Professor of Anesthesia. He is involved in the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, he has contributed chapters in several Transesophageal Echocardiography textbooks and he is a regular reviewer with anesthesiology journals. Recently, he successfully completed the Executive MBA program at the Queen’s University School of Business.



Peter Liu, MD, FRCPCPeter Liu, MD, FRCPC

Chief Scientific Officer
Vice President, Research

Dr. Liu is the Scientific Director at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He received his MD and completed his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Toronto General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Liu was the inaugural Director of the Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence at the University of Toronto. He also held the position of Scientific Director of the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Dr. Liu currently sits on the Science and Policy Council for the World Heart Federation and is the director of several large-scale international research programs.

Dr. Liu has over 350 peer-reviewed publications, many in the most celebrated journals in the world, and his publications have been cited over 20,000 times. In recognition of his outstanding commitment to research, Dr. Liu has received numerous awards, including the Research Achievement Award and the Life Time Achievement Award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the Rick Gallop Award of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, and the Institute of Circulatory & Respiratory Health Distinguished Lecture Award of CIHR.



Marc Ruel, MD, MPH, FRCSCMarc Ruel, MD, MPH, FRCSC

Division Head, Cardiac Surgery

Dr. Marc Ruel is the Division Head of Cardiac Surgery and the endowed chair of Cardiac Surgery Research at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He received his MD degree cum laude from the University of Ottawa in 1994 and his specialist certification in Cardiac Surgery in 2000. He subsequently pursued a combined fellowship in minimally invasive surgery and laboratory research at Harvard University, where he also completed a Masters in Public Health, with a focus on statistical methods. Dr. Ruel’s faculty appointments at the University of Ottawa are with the Departments of Surgery (primary affiliation), Cellular and Molecular Medicine (cross-appointed affiliation), and Epidemiology and Community Medicine (cross-appointed affiliation). In 2010, he was promoted to Full Professor in these three departments. He is chair of the Heart Transplantation and Ventricular Assist Devices committee, and of the Operating Room committee, at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. In September 2010, Dr. Ruel became the Assistant-Dean, Clinical and Translational Research, at the University of Ottawa.



Heather Sherrard  BScN, MHA.Heather Sherrard,  BScN, MHA.

Executive Vice President, Clinical Operations
Chief Nursing Officer
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Heather Sherrard obtained her BScN (Nursing) at the University of Saskatchewan and her Masters in Health Administration from the University of Ottawa. She is a senior health care administrator and researcher with 30 years experience in nursing and 20 years in senior health care management. She has held a variety of clinical and  administrative positions in the acute care hospital sector, most of which have been in the area of cardiovascular care. 

Heather holds positions on a number of provincial committees dealing with issues related to cardiac care including: implementation of best practices; development of quality based procedure funding and transplantation.

She has served on a number of Boards including the Cardiac Care Network of Ontario; eHealth Ontario and the Ontario Health Services Network.  She is a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.

Her ongoing research interests are in health services related to cardiac care.  Her current research includes studies on the use of technology to enable care and the  implementation and spread of best practices.


Andrée DumulonAndrée Dumulon

Vice President, Public Affairs
Chief Communications Officer

Andrée Dumulon is the former Executive Director of the Communications Directorate at the University of Ottawa and has a strong background in creating and implementing strategic communications plans, promotional campaigns and media activities.

Ms. Dumulon’s wide and varied career in communications has taken her from the Canadian Council on Smoking and Health to the National Research Council, where she served as communications adviser to the president. Her roles have provided considerable experience in the health care sector within allied segments such as the Canadian Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Centre for Drug Free Sport and the Canadian Cancer Society.



Suzanne Dionne, CPA-CASuzanne Dionne, CPA-CA

Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration
Chief Financial Officer

Suzanne Dionne is Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration, and Chief Financial Officer of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and its related entities, the Ottawa Heart Institute Research Corporation, and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation.

Ms. Dionne is a Chartered Professional Accountant with 25 years of health care finance and administration experience in the greater Ottawa region. She has held senior positions at the Ottawa General Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital, the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, and the Cornwall Community Hospital. Ms. Dionne has participated on a number of provincial and national committees over the years focused primarily on case costing, funding formulas, performance measurement, and quality improvement. She is currently on the faculty of the IDEAS Quality Improvement Program at the University of Ottawa.

Most recently, Ms. Dionne led the implementation of a new comprehensive electronic health record in Cornwall, helping to achieve HiMSS Analytics Stage 6 Certification.


Jim OrbanJim Orban

Vice President, Philanthropy & Advancement
President and CEO, UOHI Foundation

Mr. Orban joined the Heart Institute Foundation in 2011 with a primary responsibility for connecting the community to the work of the Heart Institute by developing and managing channels for fundraising and philanthropic support.

Mr. Orban received a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa and had a successful media career, most recently as Publisher of the Ottawa Citizen (2003-2010). During his newspaper career he worked at the Ottawa Journal, Ottawa Citizen and Edmonton Journal.  

Mr. Orban began his volunteer service in the community in 1972, and actively served on over 40 non-profit boards and fundraising committees covering education, business, sports, healthcare, arts and social services.

His community activity was recognized with the Partners in Research Biomedical Award (2011) for his contributions as an ambassador for Canadian Health Research, Community Builder Award from the United Way of Ottawa (2010), Negev Dinner honouree (2007), Trudeau Medal from the University of Ottawa (2004) for professional and community leadership, and the Ottawa Centre for Regional Innovation (OCRI) Civic Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2003) for excellence in aiding community collaboration.


Hana Pika, BSc, MSc, PMPHana Pika, BSc, MSc, PMP

Vice President, Information Technology
Chief Information Officer

Hana Pika received her MSc in Project Management at the Université de Quebec a Hull and her BSc in Applied Mathematics at Concordia University. She started her career as an information technology consultant for several federal government agencies. Ms. Pika then began an award-winning tenure with Cognos/IBM where she managed a wide variety of projects and initiatives. Her expertise encompasses areas such as global portfolio management, strategic planning, implementation, and operational best practices. With extensive experience managing the application of IT to enable strategic business transformation and streamline operations, she is a recognized thought leader with a well-rounded view of IT and its use as a strategic asset for innovative organizations.



Timothy Zakutney, MHSc, PEng, CCETimothy Zakutney, MHSc, PEng, CCE

Vice President, Medical Equipment and Cardiac Technology
Chief Medical Technology Officer

Timothy Zakutney is a Professional Engineer with a specialty in Systems Design from the University of Waterloo along with a Masters in Heath Science in Clinical Engineering from the University of Toronto. With over 20 years’ experience in providing leadership and guidance surrounding medical and biomedical technology issues for healthcare, his portfolio of responsibilities include Cardiac Imaging, Biomedical Engineering, Radiation Safety, Radiochemistry, and Strategic Cardiac Technology Management for both the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Ottawa Heart Institute Research Corporation.

Timothy is an internationally Certified Clinical Engineer (CCE). He serves on a number of boards, and committees. He is a member of and is former chair of the Canadian Board of Examiners for Clinical Engineering Certification.  He is a member of the Canadian Medical & Biological Engineering Society (CMBES) and the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE).  In fact, he was awarded the Outstanding Canadian Biomedical Engineer of the Year Awards in 2008 by the CMBES for his exceptional contribution. Timothy is an Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering at Carleton University, and has been published in numerous reviewed journals.

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