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Advisory Committee

The Foundation’s Breast Health Advisory Committee (BHAC) was founded in January 2012 in response to the need for the various stakeholders in the field of breast health in Quebec to unite and work together, share their expertise and strengthen their power of action. The goal of the committee is to therefore increase teamwork among groups or individuals, share expertise and set priorities. Result: we ensure the best possible return on invested funds for all parties concerned.

More specifically, the Breast Health Advisory Committee is responsible for:

  • profiling the situation in the field of breast health in Quebec on several fronts: medical, political, economic or other; 
  • identifying challenges in all areas of breast health intervention: prevention, screening, treatment, patient survival, palliative care, etc.;
  • proposing actions and identifying opportunities and priorities for addressing these challenges.

THE CO-CHAIRS OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation is proud to have surgical oncologists Dr. Louise Provencher and Dr. Sarkis Meterissian at the head of its Breast Health Advisory Committee. Held in high esteem by peers and patients alike, both doctors have impressive track records. They work at two of the major university hospitals in Quebec that earned the supraregional designation in breast cancer. 

Learn more about Dr. Louise Provencher

Dr. Louise Provencher is a general surgeon and oncologist at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec. Since 2003, she has also headed the Centre des Maladies du sein Deschênes-Fabia at Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement that treats more than 800 new cases of breast cancer a year, making it one of the largest centres of its kind in Canada. She is also an associate clinical professor at the Surgery Department of the Faculty of Medicine of Université Laval.

Born in the Saguenay, Dr. Provencher completed her medical studies and training in general surgery at Université Laval in Québec City. Later, she completed a fellowship in surgical oncology in London, England, and then spent a year at the Roswell Park Memorial Institute in Buffalo. In 1987, she joined the team at Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement as a surgical oncologist, and in 1995 received a master's degree in health science education from Université Laval.

Being very actively involved in clinical research, Dr. Provencher was principal investigator or co-investigator in several international multicentre studies sponsored by prestigious organizations such as the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, the National Cancer Institute of Canada and the Breast Cancer International Research Group, in addition to participating in studies funded by pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Provencher also sits on several Canadian advisory committees on breast cancer. She is part of the research team at the Centre des Maladies du sein Deschênes-Fabia and at the Unité de recherche en santé des populations, a team that conducted several original research projects dealing namely with epidemiology, the causes of breast cancer, evaluative research and patients’ quality of life.

Dr. Provencher has also published numerous scientific articles, is a frequent guest speaker in the province of Quebec and other parts of the world, and has organized several seminars on breast cancer. She received numerous awards and special mentions including the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction 2006 (Health Category, Quebec region) and the Médecins de cœur et d’action Award in 2003, from the Association des médecins de langue française du Canada. In May 2012, Dr. Provencher received the Award of Excellence from the Quebec College of Physicians in recognition of her thirty-odd years of outstanding work with women affected by breast cancer.

Finally, Dr. Provencher and her team recently created a website on breast cancer, designed specifically to provide patients with practical information on the majority of subjects related to the disease: centredesmaladiesdusein.ca (in French).

Learn more about Dr. Sarkis Meterissian

Dr. Sarkis Meterissian is a Professor of Surgery and Oncology, and since 2006, has been director of the Cedars Breast Clinic of the McGill University Health Centre. He is also Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education at McGill University.

Dr. Meterissian studied medicine at this same institution, from where he graduated in 1985. He did his residency in general surgery at the teaching hospitals of this university until 1990, before completing a two-year research fellowship in surgical oncology at the New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston. He then completed a second two-year fellowship in clinical surgical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, under the supervision of Dr. Charles Balch. He also obtained a Master in Experimental Surgery.

In 1994, Dr. Meterissian returned to McGill University as Assistant Professor of Surgery and Oncology. From 1997 to 2001 he served as General Program Director in surgical oncology. In 2001 he was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in addition to becoming Program Director of General Surgery, a position he held until 2007, before being assigned to his current position as Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education. In 2010, he was promoted to Full Professor.

Dr. Meterissian is a member of the Centre for Medical Education since 2001 and was President of the Canadian Society of Surgical Oncology from 2007 to 2009. He is the Chair of the AFMC Standing Committee of Postgrad Deans, the President of the Quebec Postgrad Deans Group, as well as the President-Elect of the Canadian Association of University Surgeons and of Breast Surgery International. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Quebec College of Physicians.

Named Outstanding General Surgery Teacher in 2000 and 2001, as well as Outstanding Teacher in the Department of Surgery in 1996, he was also named in 2005 to the Faculty Honour List for Teaching. In 2007 he was awarded the Philip Wolfson Outstanding Teacher Award by the Association for Surgical Education that comprises more than 190 institutions and medical schools in North America. Finally, from 2007 to 2009 Dr. Meterissian was Visiting Professor in Utrecht and Stockholm.