Our Team

The IMPACT-AF Research Team is led by Dr. Jafna Cox, with co-investigators from the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA), as well as Dalhousie and McMaster Universities.


Jafna Cox, MD, FRCPC, FACC

Dr.Cox photo_Dec-2012Principal Investigator, IMPACT-AF
Heart and Stroke Foundation Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Outcomes
Professor, Departments of Medicine and of Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University
Staff Cardiologist, Division of Cardiology, Central Zone, NSHA, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Dr. Jafna Cox obtained his MD in 1988 and trained in internal medicine at the University of Toronto. Following a fellowship in cardiology at Dalhousie University, Dr. Cox completed post-doctoral training in health services research at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Ontario from 1993-1995. He returned to Halifax in 1995 and is currently Professor of Medicine and of Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University and the Heart and Stroke Foundation Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Outcomes.

Since coming to Nova Scotia, Dr. Cox has been active in research relating to health services, outcomes and disease management. More recently, his research focus is shifting to the prevention of cardiovascular disease at the primary care level, to understanding how differing provincial drug policies may be having a variable effect on patient health outcomes, and to the rapid and effective translation of available research knowledge into clinical practice. Much of his recent research work has been as part of national collaborative research groups. Dr. Cox has had specific experience with large public-private research partnerships as well as population-based, province-wide studies involving outcomes management and knowledge translation. He was a consultant to the New Brunswick Government regarding tertiary cardiovascular services in that Province and currently serves as the Scientific Advisor to the Government of Nova Scotia’s cardiac care program – Cardiovascular Health Nova Scotia, a role that has increasingly become a major focus of his.


Raza Abidi, MSc, PhD

Raza #1IMPACT-AF Technical Lead, Co-Investigator
Professor of Computer Science, Director of Health Informatics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Dr. Raza Abidi is Professor of Computer Science and Director of Health Informatics at the Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University, Canada. He received his Ph.D. in Computing Sciences from Univ. of Surrey, UK (1994) and holds a Masters degree in Computer Engineering from Univ. of Miami, USA (1989). He joined Dalhousie University in 2002.

Dr. Abidi conducts research in the interdisciplinary area of health informatics, especially focusing on developing and applying innovative knowledge-driven solutions to improve patient care and health system management. His current research focuses on clinical decision support systems, computerization of paper-based clinical guidelines, clinical workflow analysis, knowledge translation, personalzied patient empowerment programs, health data analytics and mobile health. He leads the NICHE (kNowledge Intensive Computing for Healthcare Enterprises) research group that comprises around 20 inter-disciplinary researchers working in the general area of health informatics.

Dr. Abidi is the recipient of the International Award for Innovation in Medical Informatics (World Expo, Hanover, 2000), Research Excellence Award and five (5) best paper awards. He has extensive experience of large-scale collaborative research projects that involve the design, development and deployment of state-of-the-art health informatics-based systems. His research projects have been funded by range of sponsors including, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), CANARIE, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Heart and Stroke Foundation and a range of industrial sponsors. Prior to joining Dalhousie University his research was funded by the European Strategic Program for Research in Information Technology (ESPRIT), WHO, UN and various Malaysian research funding schemes. He has published over 170 peer-reviewed research papers and has been involved in the supervision of over 65 graduate students. He teaches graduate courses about healthcare knowledge management and health data analytics.

Dr. Abidi serves several scientific advisory and review boards for government agencies and industry, and also as a reviewer for a number of international computer science and health informatics journals, conferences and research grants proposals. As a health informatics expert, he contributed to the design of the Malaysian Tele-Healthcare flagship project (1998-2001).





Ratika Parkash, MD, MSc, FRCPC

RParkashIMPACT-AF Co-Investigator
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Dr. Ratika Parkash is an Associate Professor at Dalhousie University and a Cardiac Electrophysiologist at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. She is a graduate of Dalhousie Medical School and completed training in internal medicine and cardiology at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Parkash completed an electrophysiology fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA where she concurrently completed a Masters of Science in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Parkash has two major areas of research: atrial fibrillation (AF) and cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs). Currently, Dr. Parkash is involved in a number of clinical trials initiatives in AF and CIEDs. In IMPACT-AF, Dr. Parkash is part of the Executive Committee and provides expertise in AF management, outcomes and clinical trial design.





Samina Abidi, MBBS, MSc, PhD

SaminaIMPACT-AF Co-Investigator
Associate Professor, Medical Informatics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Samina Abidi is a faculty member in Medical Informatics Program, (Division of Medical Education) at Faculty of Medicine. She holds a PhD degree in Health Informatics (Dalhousie University), Masters in Information Technology (Universiti Sains Malaysia) and a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS, Dow, Medical College, University of Karachi).

Dr. Abidi has a unique skill-set where she is a clinician with an expertise in health informatics. She is also adjunct associate professor at Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University.  Samina is PI for a CIHR E-Health Innovation grant; co-PI on two industry-funded (Greenshield Canada and Bayer Canada) research projects and co-I on a CIHR grant. She is the recipient of the prestigious Steven Huesing Award (2007), awarded to the best Canadian health informatics graduate student by COACH (Canada’s Health Informatics Association). She is the recipient of the CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral Award (Sept. 2006 – Sept. 2009) to support her PhD program.

Samina has research interests in Health Knowledge Management, Clinical Decision Support, Health Knowledge Modeling and Computerization, Patient Centred Care, Comorbid Care Planning, Knowledge Translation, Health Information Systems Design and Health Systems Evaluation. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Abidi has worked on a number of research projects, and developed and evaluated many clinical / health information systems. She routinely serves as a reviewer for international health informatics Journals and conferences. Samina teaches health informatics topics in the Master of Health Informatics (MHI) program. She has taught courses in the Bachelors of Informatics program and supervises a number of medical informatics graduate theses.


Dr. Lehana Thabane, PhD

Lehanna_cropIMPACT-AF Co-Investigator
Professor/Associate Chair, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Associate Member, Departments of Anesthesia/Pediatrics, McMaster University
Director, Biostatistics Unit, St Joseph’s Healthcare-Hamilton
Senior Scientist, Population Health Research Institute, Hamilton Health Sciences
Director of Biostatistics, System-Linked Research Unit, Hamilton, Ontario

Dr. Lehana Thabane is a Professor of biostatistics and Associate chair of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, associate member of the Departments of Pediatrics and Anesthesia at McMaster University. He is the Director of Biostatistics at St Joseph’s Healthcare—Hamilton and Senior Scientist at the Population Health Research Institute of the Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University. He is a member of the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board—a new amalgamated REB of the Hamilton Health Sciences and the St Joseph’s Healthcare REBs, and has been as a member of the latter since 2002. He is a member of Data Safety and Monitoring Board for several local and international trials. His research interests include clinical trials, research ethics, and outcomes research. He also has passion for mentorship of junior investigators.

Dr. Thabane has co-authored over 250 publications in peer-reviewed journals and over 300 abstracts presented at national and international meetings.  He is the chair of CIHR HIV Clinical Trials Network (CTN) Scientific Review. He has served on several research panels including the CIHR Randomized Controlled Trials Panel (as Chair and Scientific Officer); the CIHR Canada-China Joint Health Research Initiative Panel; the Life Sciences Early Researcher Award Panel for Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation; the Ontario Chapter Breast Cancer Research Awards Panel and the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation. He is a member of several professional associations including the International Statistical institute (Elected member), American Statistical Association, International Society of Clinical Biostatistics, and the Society for Clinical Trials.


Feng Xie, MSc, PhD

IXieMPACT-AF Co-Investigator
Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, McMaster University
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario

Dr. Feng Xie is an Associate Professor of Health Economics in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University. His research interests include health technology assessment, economic evaluations using models and trial data, health related quality of life and health utility measures. He teaches health economic evaluation at the Health Research Methodology graduate program. Dr. Xie has been involved in numerous projects in assessing new health technologies to support national and provincial reimbursement decision-making.

Dr. Xie is a member of the EuroQol Group, the developer of the most widely used utility-based instrument EQ-5D. He is intensively involved in measuring patient-reported outcomes projects using the EQ-5D. Dr. Xie is currently chairing the EQ-5D Value Set Working Group with the main responsibility of managing the international EQ-5D valuation studies. In 2010, Dr. Xie was also a recipient of the Career Scientist Award from Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for his research entitled “Evidence-Based Health Technology Assessment: Improving Outcomes, Optimizing Efficiency, and Maintaining Sustainability in Chronic Diseases Management in Ontario”.  In 2012, Dr. Xie was awarded Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator for his research entitled “Improving Patient-Reported Outcome Measures: Valuation and Application of the EQ-5D in Canada”.  Dr. Xie is an Associate Editor of the BMC Journal: Health and Quality of Life Outcomes and a member of the editorial board of Medical Decision Making. He is also a Pharmacoeconomics Expert Reviewer for both public and private payers in Canada.


Dr. Jim MacKillop, MD, CCFP, FCFP

Dr. Jim McKillop
IMPACT-AF Co-Investigator
Site Coordinator, Cape Breton Family Medicine Residency Program, Dalhousie University, Sydney, Nova Scotia

Dr. James MacKillop received his MD from Dalhousie University in 1981. A CCFP and FCFP member, Jim has been the Site Coordinator for the Cape Breton Family Medicine Program for the past thirteen years. With an interest in population health and Type II diabetes, Dr. MacKillop has led numerous quality improvement initiatives and co-authored several peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. MacKillop has served as an advisor, leader, speaker and participant in the Quality Collaborative Diabetes project with the Eastern Zone, Nova Scotia Health Authority. He was also a participant in the ANCHOR project: A Novel Approach to Cardiovascular Health by Optimizing Risk Management.  Dr. MacKillop was lead advisor in the development and implementation of a Primary Care Provider Needs Assessment that helped inform the District’s strategic planning process.  Currently Jim is an advisor to the local COPD initiative, focusing on decreasing length of stay and hospital readmissions for this population.

Dr. MacKillop has been the recipient of several awards including the Nova Scotia College of Family Physicians Award of Excellence, 2008; PARI-MP Excellence in Teaching, 2008; Dr. M. A. Naqvi Outstanding Health Care Professional of the Year, 2012; and the Dr. R. Wayne Putnam Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community CME, 2012.

Our PartnersNova Scotia Health AuthorityNS Dept. of Health and WellnessDoctors Nova Scotia • Nova Scotia College of Family Physicians • Dalhousie UniversityHeart and Stroke Foundation • Bayer HealthCareNICHE Research Group

All Logos_Revised (2015-04-02)