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.

To learn more about iRSM and the what  we offer, visit our Services page.

 History

The Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine is 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.

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. Robert Black

Dr. Robert Black

Covenant Health
Dr. Robert Black
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Associate Chief Medical Officer, Covenant Health & Medical Director, Misericordia Community Hospital

Dr. Robert Black has provided exceptional leadership at Covenant Health as the Associate Chief Medical Officer & Medical Director with the Misericordia Community Hospital. In the past, he was also a valuable Member of the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (iRSM) Board of Directors. He has held many other leadership roles; including Chair of the AHS, Edmonton Zone Medical Administrative Committee (ZMAC), President of the Medical Staff at Misericordia Community Hospital, Vice President of the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association (EZMSA) and the Alberta Perinatal Advisory Committee.

Dr. Black holds a Bachelor of Science and a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Saskatchewan and has extensive Clinical experience as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist from his Edmonton based practice. He has a special interest in colposcopy (Cervical Cancer Screening) and infertility surgery. In addition, Dr. Black was awarded Fellowships in OB/Gyn FRCS(C) and the American Fellowship FACOG.

In his 30+ years of practicing medicine, Bob has brought a wealth of knowledge and compassion to patients and their families while striding to ensure all patients receive exemplary publicly funded care. Bob’s top priority has always been to ensure quality care and access is available for our vulnerable population; as well as all Albertans.

Cathy Osbourne

Cathy Osbourne

Senior Operating Officer, University of Alberta Hospital, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and Kaye Edmonton Clinic
Cathy Osbourne

Cathy Osborne is the Senior Operating Officer for the University of Alberta Hospital, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and Kaye Edmonton Clinic for Alberta Health Services in Edmonton, Alberta. Cathy is the Zone Lead for Critical Care, Cardiac Sciences, Neurosciences, Medicine, Renal, Transplant Services, Respiratory Care and Ambulatory Care.

Steven Csorba

Steven Csorba

Steven Csorba

Steven Csorba was born in Edmonton in 1964. He is a cancer survivor, community builder, wellness advocate and artist who projects the drive and depth of a person who knows life is precious. There is a focus in every waking moment, a kind of deep-truth view that gives cruisers through life pause for thought.

In 2003, he challenged the conventional approaches to cancer survivorship. In fact his goal was not to beat cancer – but instead he focused on helping others and did so in the biggest way he could. To cope with numerous surgeries, radiation treatments and a disruptive ten year battle and rehabilitative process, he developed a ruthlessly simple and powerful “me to we” belief system of giving back, self improvement and inspiring others.

As a measure to improve the quality of his mental and physical health, Steven used Arts in Medicine Therapy as an alternative to traditional pain medication and trained like an Olympic athlete to elevate his immune function as well as to test the efficacy of pre-habilatative medicine. His ground breaking work in this regard is now being validated through clinical studies and becoming standard practice for leading cancer care clinics worldwide.

From 2013-2015, he led and convinced countless corporate sponsors to come together to build a safe place for endangered traumatized youth at iHuman to turn their life around through creativity and community building. As a dedicated savvy do-gooder and through art donations, he has helped raise over $5 Million for a variety of charities in Alberta.

Prior to his cancer battle, Steven was an award-winning brand communication strategist and public speaker. His visionary work for clients like Industry Canada , Xerox, Apple, The Department of National Defence, The Alberta Government, NAIT, The United Way has been recognized by the Smithsonian Institute for innovation in risk managed digital brand building.

  Our Team

iRSM is an Integrated Practice Unit 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.

 Our Leadership Team

Dr. Hameed Khan

Dr. Hameed Khan

Executive Director
Dr. Hameed Khan - MSc, MBA, PhD
Executive Director

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.

Executive Director

Dr. Martin Osswald

Dr. Martin Osswald

Director of Clinics
Dr. Martin Osswald - BDS, MDent
Director of Clinics

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

Program Director / Bone Conduction Amplification / Audiologist
Dr. Bill Hodgetts - BA, MSc, PhD, R.Aud
Program Director, Bone Conduction Amplification, Audiologist

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

Director of Surgery
Dr. Hadi Seikaly
Director/Otolaryngology

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

Director of Research
Dr. Jana Reiger - PhD
Director of Research

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

Maxillofacial Prosthodontist
Dr. Suresh Nayar - BDS, MDS, MFDSRCS, MRDRCS, MRDRCPS, FDS (Rest Dent) RCS, MPhil
Director of Clinics - Maxillofacial Prosthodontist

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.

Maxillofacial Prosthodontist

Dr. Daniel Aalto

Dr. Daniel Aalto

Research Scientist
Dr. Daniel Aalto - PhD
Research Scientist

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.

Research Scientist

Dr. Caroline Jeffery

Dr. Caroline Jeffery

Leads, Functional Outcomes
Dr. Caroline Jeffery
Lead, Functional Outcomes

Caroline C. Jeffery, MD completed her medical school and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery residency training at the University of Alberta. She then completed a fellowship in Laryngology and Broncho-esophagology at Stanford University and a Masters in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. She has additional training in Health Economics from University of York, UK.

Dr. Jeffery treats adult patients with a variety of voice, airway, and swallowing problems and has a particular interest in comprehensive management of dysphagia. She is active in medical student and resident teaching and clinical research.

Leads, Functional Outcomes

Dr. Reagan Guilfoyle

Dr. Reagan Guilfoyle

Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Reagan Guilfoyle - MD, FRCSC
Plastic Surgeon

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.

Plastic Surgeon

Vanessa Hearn

Vanessa Hearn

Clinical Care Manager
Vanessa Hearn
Clinical Care Manager

Clinical Care Manager

 Team Members

Surgical Design Simulationist

Heather Logan

Anaplasologist

Lindsay McHutchion
Akhila Regunathan

Speech-Language Pathologists

Shannon Kerr
Georgina Papadopoulos

Clinical Care Coordinator

Marlen Rosela

Secretaries

Kate-Lyn

Kathy Sawchuk

Amanda Kornum

Tawny Elliott

Patient Schedulers

Karolina Pawlikowski
Kari Kandt

Osseointegration Technologists

Raymond Giguere
Andrew Grosvenor
Fari Karimi Boushehri
Carolyn Kincade

Audiologist

Alex Gascon

Dental Hygienist

TBD

Clinical Assistants

Michelle Andrade
Anna Cabrera
Nicole
Megan Lockwood
Monique Sylvestre
Sharleen Martel

Service Attendant

Cynthia DeCastro

 Surgical Team

Bone Conduction Amplification Program

Dr. Allan Ho
Dr. Richard Liu

Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. Vincent Biron
Dr. Jeffery Harris
Dr. Dan O'Connell
Dr. Hadi Seikaly

Operating Room Nurses

Mary Cruikshank
Donna Ferguson
Linnea Froehlich
Aliya Karmali
Danene Kresier
Jacquie Leibel
Maritess Manalo
Joan Snow
Krystal Stevely
Amanda Tong
Tanya Trimble

Plastic Surgeons

Dr. Regan Guilfoyle

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Dr. Saranjeev Lalh

Supported by:

1W-02, 16940-87 Ave
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5R 4H5

Phone: 780-735-2660
Fax: 780-735-2658
Email: [email protected]

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