As cannabis is being legalized across Canada in 2018, KannaVolve was born, from the lack of education and research limitations in the medical cannabis field amongst health care providers, patients and the general population. Education and research are the fundamental keys to understanding the use of medical cannabis, and to help evolve future cannabis knowledge and implications. Therefore, our goal is to educate the community on the different aspects of medical cannabis facts, efficacy, use, safety, and work implications to create awareness, understanding and to support users and prescribers.
Dr. Riz Qureshi
MD, Founder of KannaVolve
Dr. Qureshi has completed his Family Medicine residency and fellowship in Family Oncology at the University of Manitoba. He has over 8 years of experience working in the field of family medicine focusing on cancer and chronic pain patients. Currently Dr. Qureshi works as a clinical associate at Tom Baker Cancer Centre with Alberta Health Services, and various specialty clinics. He brings a broad range of experience from different healthcare settings, including family medicine, chronic pain, palliative, and oncology.
Dr. Qureshi’s research interest includes symptom management control for patients diagnosed with cancer or experiencing chronic pain. He currently is interested in understanding the role medical cannabis plays in symptom management for patients, and has been dedicated to learning and understanding the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis. He is actively involved in continuing medical education for healthcare providers and the general public on various topics, including an introduction to medical cannabis efficacy, safety, clinical use and practise.
Dr. Rod Elford
MD – CEO
Dr. Rod Elford’s personal mission is to improve the health and happiness of people on the planet. He is working as a Strategic Medical and Business Advisor to KannaVolve, to promote the development of world-class, innovative cannabis research and education programs and activities.
Currently, Dr. Elford is Medical Director for the Health Quality Council of Alberta and practices family medicine and preventive health at Copeman Healthcare Centre in Calgary. He is also Alberta’s Physician Lead for EQ Virtual, a company that provides virtual care. Dr. Elford has over 25 years of clinical experience and over 15 years of senior healthcare leadership experience including Provincial Medical Director for Alberta Health Services, and Medical Director for Health Link Alberta. Dr. Elford completed his medical degree at the University of Alberta and Family Medicine at the University of Calgary. He did additional training in Space Medicine at the International Space University, which led to his interest in telemedicine. In 1995, he completed the world’s first two-year international clinical telemedicine fellowship, which he did simultaneous with a MSc in Community Medicine. He then became Associate Medical Director of the Telemedicine Research Unit at Memorial University and led a number of research projects. Later he had academic appointments at the University of Calgary, and BCIT. Dr. Elford also has significant business experience. In 1998, he co-founded Digital Telehealth Incorporated, a telehealth consulting company that helped set up a number of telehealth networks in Canada and internationally, including linking all communities in Nunavut to each other and to their referral centres in southern Canada. He has continued to work as a health IT consultant to a number of companies in the health sector. Over the years, Dr. Elford has authored a number of academic papers, numerous reports, a couple of books and given hundreds presentations to local, provincial, national and international audiences. No matter where he has worked, he has always tried to bring innovation and improvement into the health system.
Dr. Craig Pearce
BSc, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Dr. Pearce is an anesthesiologist, clinical researcher, and consultant to the Medical Cannabis industry. He completed his medical degree (1998) and residency in Anesthesia (2003) at the University of Calgary, shortly after completing a PhD in Neurophysiology and Pharmacology (1997).
Currently, Dr. Pearce works as a Clinical Anesthesiologist with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and in various specialty clinics in Calgary. He has also held numerous administrative positions over the past decade as both Section and Department Head in the Department of Anesthesia with AHS. His clinical and research interests include applications in ambulatory anesthesia, and understanding the role of Medical Cannabis in the management of acute and complex chronic pain.
Dr. Pearce is actively involved in continuing medical education and presents on various topics such as pain management, clinical applications in ambulatory anesthesia, and recent developments in research and clinical use of Medical Cannabis. He is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine at the University of Calgary and actively involved in post-graduate medical education.
BSc, BA, MSc
Ms. Qureshi is a health economist who graduated from the University of Calgary with an MSc in Health Economics, a BSc in Biological Sciences, and a BA in Economics. She is currently working at Innomar Strategies on the Health Economics and Outcomes Research consulting team. Her role is to help improve patient access to medications, and is involved in creating the pharmaceutical drug submissions for CADTH, pCODR, and private payers. She is also actively involved in knowledge translation, of evidence based research, in various health topics to educate and engage the intergenerational public.
Ms. Qureshi’s research interests are in pharmacoeconomic evaluations, budget impact analysis, and public and private reimbursement for pharmaceutical drugs. She is also passionate about public health work, and using evidence based research to inform and improve public health decision-making through a systematic and objective approach. Ms. Qureshi is currently interested in understanding the role medical cannabis plays in improving quality of life for patients and the economic value. Ms. Qureshi has experience in a wide range of national and international research projects/organizations in various health topics, and brings a diverse skill set, and perspective to the team.
Megan holds a Hons. BSc in Biology from the University of Toronto, and a Hons. BA and MA in Social & Cultural Anthropology from the University of Calgary. She is a global and public health advocate and a firm believer in equitable access to healthcare knowledge and services for all.
As an educator, she currently teaches CPR and First Aid classes to the public as per the Canadian Red Cross and Canadian Heart & Stroke curriculums. Knowledge synthesis and translation, in combination with her unique educational background, are skills she practices frequently to make medical information relatable and easily digestible for the public.
As a researcher, Megan uses these same skills to work with the KannaVolve team and healthcare providers to evaluate published peer-reviewed studies in cannabis research, in addition to creating educational content about cannabis. She also enjoys interacting and engaging with the public via the delivery of educational seminars and workshops about cannabis. As the legalization of cannabis continues to evolve, Megan aims to work with the KannaVolve team to create a safe space to encourage discussion about effective and evidenced-based cannabis use. On behalf of the KannaVolve team, she looks forward to meeting you and hearing your story at the next event!