Our People


The Improving Rural Health Initiative is a partnership between the Lao PDR Ministry of Health, the Laos University of Health Sciences and the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine.


Our People:


The Improving Rural Health Initiative  - A Lao PDR & University of Calgary Collaboration operates under the University of Calgary Indigenous, Local and Global Health Office through a Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities.





        Laos Officials


His Excellency, Minister of Health - Dr Bounkong Syhavong

Deputy Minister of Health - Dr. Sanong Thongsana


       University Health Sciences, Laos (UHS)


Acting President  - Dr Phouthone  Vangkonevilay

Vice Dean Post Graduate Medical Education - Dr Alongkone Phengsavanh

Dean, Faculty of Public Health - Dr Vanphanome Sychareun

Coordinator, Family Medicine Specialist Program - Dr Visanou Hansana



University of Calgary


Dr Heather Baxter            Dr Brenda Lee

Dr Katie Billinghurst         Dr Jane Lemaire

Dr Christopher Brown      Ms Alexis Mageau

Dr Eliana Castillo             Dr Ruth Malus

Ms Karen Chadbolt          Ms Laurie Manion

Dr Rita Dahlke                 Dr Jaelene Mannerfeldt

Dr. Tracy Elliot                 Dr Greg McKinnon

Dr Cristin Fitzgerald         Dr Steve Mintsoulis

Dr Amy Gausvik               Dr Magali Robert

Dr Janice Heard               Dr Sheila Scott

Dr Gwen Hollaar              Dr Nishan Sharma

Dr John Kortbeek             Dr Karen Tang

Dr. Veronica Bruno           Dr Ian Wishart

Dr Molly Whalen-Brown





His Excellency, Former Minister of Health - Dr Ponmek Dalaloy

His Excellency, Former Minister of Health - Dr Eksavang Vongvichit

Former Dean, Faculty of Medicine - Dr. Ketsomsouk Bouphavanh

Dr Clarence and Marie Guenther

Dr John Baumber

Dr Bob Bell

Dr Bruce Wright

Dr Robert Lee



Funding Partners  (past and/or present)     

  • Private donations
  • University of Calgary Undergraduate Medical Education
  • Donations in-kind by U Calgary project team members
  • Rotary International
  • McLaughlin Grant
  • Luxembourg Grant
  • Nelson Hyland Fund
  • Rotary Club Chinook Calgary


Program Director Family Medicine Specialist Program - Dr Oua Phimmasarn

Vice Dean Faculty of Medicine - Dr. Thavone

Head Department of Family Medicine(FM) - Dr. Khampanh

Deputy Head, Department of FM - Dr. Anousavanh,

Head Post Graduate Medical Education (ME) - Dr. Poutsavone (Tewy)

© 2023 Improving Rural Health Initiative