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SRPC Executive


Dr. Sarah Lespérance - MD, CCFP
SRPC President (2022-2024)
Petitcodiac, NB

Dr. Sarah Lespérance is a rural generalist physician, currently practicing in Petitcodiac, NB. After completing residency at Dalhousie University, she practiced for several years in northern Canada, first performing locums in the Yukon, Labrador and Nunavut. She then moved with her family to Happy Valley-Goose Bay Labrador, and then to Iqaluit, Nunavut, where her generalist practice expanded to include work as a TB program physician. More recently, she has returned to New Brunswick where she continues to practice rural medicine. She has been actively involved in medical education over the years and currently teaches LIC students and family medicine residents for Dalhousie and Memorial Universities. She is involved in research, and true to the generalist mindset, this has included such areas as: rural physician wellness and resilience, latent tuberculosis treatment in Nunavut, competency-based curriculum for rural operative delivery, and factors impacting womens' choices of maternity care provider.

Sarah is married to Fraser, who has been actively involved in the SRPC's Partner Network. They have two children and when she is not working, she can be found heading out with them hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, or moving water canoeing.

President Elect

Dr. Gavin Parker - BSc, MSc (Med. Ed.), M.D., CCFP (FPA), FRRMS
SRPC President Elect (2024-2026)

Pincher Creek, AB

Dr. Gavin Parker is a full-scope rural family physician who holds Certificates of Added Competence in Family Practice Anesthesia and Emergency Medicine.  He has practiced in Pincher Creek for over a decade. He is the father of three wonderful children and husband to his even more wonderful wife Jennifer.  He has chaired numerous national medical educational conferences, has obtained an M.Sc. in medical education, and is the board chair of the Alberta Rural Health Professions Action Plan (RhPAP).  He serves his community through positions such as medical director for the visitor safety program in Waterton Lakes National Park and Castle Mountain Ski Resort, is the Pincher Creek Health Centre Medical Director, and Jennifer and Gavin run the Barracuda Judo club in town.  He holds black belts in karate and judo, enjoys golf and soccer, and is proud of the medical team in his community.  His most recent venture outside medicine has been co-founding Lost Things Distillery in Pincher Creek where he serves as the CAO (Chief Agitation Officer).



Tobermory, ON

Dr. Elaine Blau is a proud U of S alumnus ('91), rural doc, Asst Clinical Professor with McMaster Dept of Fam Med and SRPC member. Across her thirty year career she has enjoyed practicing in rural communities in southern Ontario, as a locum in Inuvik NWT, and in teaching practice in Hamilton. From 2004-2016 she was Rural Residency Director at McMaster, instituting a SIM med day annually for rural residents and successfully doubling rural residency CaRMS spots over that period while building, supporting and encouraging rural faculty teaching within that program. Since residency, she has been a member of various CFPC committees addressing rural curriculum and competencies, involved in program evaluations & accreditation and more recently co-chaired SRPC's Rural and Remote Annual Conferences 2019-2022. Dr. Blau is in rural clinical practice and supervises trainees on the beautiful Bruce Peninsula where she is also Lead Physician for their two-clinic Family Health Team. She also enjoys knitting, painting, photography and cycling, as well as kayaking and paddle-boarding from her front doorstep.

Dr. Merrilee Brown - MD CCFP FCFP FFRMS
Port Perry, ON

Dr. Merrilee Brown is an enthusiastic rural Family Physician who has worked in Port Perry for nearly 25 years. She continues to do palliative care in hospital, hospice and the community, do walk-in clinic and ER shifts, OR assist, hospital inpatient care as well as office & retirement home. She is a self described teaching mercenary who has appointments at UofT, Queens and NOSM. She is other Cochair of her local COVID assessment Centre and the CAEP Rural Section. She is happily married to Her husband Steve Gray who has been CoChair of the Durham Region Pandemic Committee. She has two nearly launched kids and a goofy Golden Doodle. Before COVID, she played a mean French Horn, sung in a chamber choir before that was a high risk activity and loves to ski, hike and cook for large numbers of people.


Dr. Stacy Desilets  - MD FCFP
New Liskeard, ON

Dr. Stacy Desilets is a rural generalist in the beautiful lakeside community of Temiskaming Shores. She attended medical school at the University of Toronto and completed residency training in North Bay before set up practice just down the highway from her childhood home. She has been an active medical educator with NOSM University and has held a number of administrative roles including (recovering) Program Director of NOSM’s Family Medicine Residency Program. This is her first position with the SRPC.

Outside of clinical life you can find Stacy in a variety of places including the back row of the community band where she tries to play her highschool trumpet, at the Nordic ski club where she can no longer keep up with her kids, or volunteering with the local Air Cadet Polaris 355 squadron.


Medical Officer | 12 (Vancouver) Field Ambulance | Canadian Armed Forces  39 Canadian Brigade Group
Sechelt, BC

Dr. Paul Dhillon is a rural physician in Sechelt BC. He completed medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and met his wife Sarah in the pub down the road from RCSI. He now lives and works in BC with his 2 wee boys. After completion of residency in Regina, Saskatchewan he worked as a rural locum across Saskatchewan and the NWT before settling back in BC. He completed further training in Disaster Medicine, Tropical Medicine, and enjoys working as a Reservist Medical Officer with 12 (Vancouver) Field Ambulance. He was the editor of The Surprising Lives of Small-Town Doctors which contained many stories from members of the SRPC in it's pages. 


Dr. Sarah Giles - BSc(Hons), MD, CCFP(EM), FCFP. FRRMS, DTM&H
Kenora, ON

Dr. Sarah Giles is a family/ER/humanitarian physician who has spent her career in under-serviced rural and remote communities in several different countries. Dr. Giles completed medical school at Dalhousie University and her residency in Thunder Bay under McMaster’s Northern Ontario Medical Program. A volunteer clinical lecturer at the University of Ottawa and an Assistant Clinical Professor at (NOSM) Northern Ontario School of Medicine, she is an enthusiastic educator and particularly enjoys mentoring learners through the publication of a series of procedure articles for the Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine. Dr. Giles considers SRPC to be her professional home and she is thrilled to join the Council as the member-at-large. When she isn’t working, you can often find her outside playing with other people’s dogs.


Dr. Emmanuel Abara -  MD, FRCSC, FACS, FICS, FWACS, MSc.CH. Associate Professor-NOSM University
Richmond Hill , ON

Dr. Emmanuel Abara Graduated as a Gold Medallist in Community Health, Ibadan. Trained in General Surgery in Benin City and Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Completed Urology with some post-residency fellowship training at the University of Toronto. Since 1989, has practised as a consultant Urologist at various Ontario Public Hospitals with a passion for rural and remote patient - centric care using available technology, e. g. Telemedicine (OTN)

Has been instrumental in setting up and running a chain of satellite rural urology clinics in Northern Ontario- a platform for teaching and mentoring learners and health care professionals from NOSM and others on elective for a rural health experience

Engaged in varied clinical, medical education and research activities, he has been in administrative and patient advocacy positions. A past President of Medical Staff at Timmins & District and York Central Hospitals, member of the Foundations; one time Secretary and Chair of OMA District 5, member Audit (OMA); Co-Lead, T-C LEG (NOSM/NOAMA); Founder/Director, Northeastern Ontario Urology Update Inc.
Keen supporter for generalist curriculum and training for primary health care professionals. Global Health/Surgery initiatives has taken him to several LMICs over the years. He is involved in the communities- Patient Support Groups and other Not-for-profit groups. Married to Nkeiru and blessed with Erinma, Oge, Uko and Oriaku

Officers of the society are elected as per the bylaws at the annual meeting. Other volunteers from across the country help to make the work of the Society of Rural Physicians happen. These are your contact people. Please pass information, questions and problems through them for discussion at our monthly teleconference. The outcome will come back to you via the rural news, this website, the RuralMed mailing list, or directly via your representative. We can always use more manpower and ideas. If you have feel you have something to contribute, let us know!