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Terry Sullivan, PhD - Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Toronto, ON, CA

Terry Sullivan, PhD Terry Sullivan, PhD

Expert Advisor, Quality Initiatives | Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Public policy expert, working to ensure quality cancer care and health services across Canada



Dr. Terry Sullivan is Expert Advisor, Quality Initiatives at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, where he also serves as Chair of Quality Initiatives and System Performance since 2011.

A behavioural scientist, Dr. Sullivan is a professor and senior fellow at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He is adjunct professor of Oncology at McGill University. Dr. Sullivan also chairs the board for the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health and he chairs the board for the Quality and Safety Committee at the Hospital for Sick Children.

Dr. Sullivan has served in a number of governance and advisory roles in health services and health policy. He is a past President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario and founding President of the Institute for Work & Health. Dr. Sullivan has held senior positions in Ontario's Ministry of Health and Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs, and has served two Ontario First Ministers through the Premier’s Council on Health Strategy.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Health Data

Quality Health Indicators

Public Health



Oncology Epidemiology

Clinical Research

Accomplishments (2)

The Heather Crowe Award for Leadership In Promoting a Smoke Free Ontario (professional)

Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion

Distinguished Service Award (professional)


Association of Local Public Health Agencies and the Council of Medical Officers of Health, Ontario

Education (3)

York University: PhD

Queen's University: MA

Loyola College: BSc

Affiliations (6)

  • Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health: Board Chair
  • Hospital for Sick Children: Trustee
  • Chair of Governance Committee, Exactis Innovation (Federal NCE)
  • Institute of Health Policy Management & Evaluation at Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto: Professor & Senior Fellow
  • McGill University: Adjunct Professor of Oncology and Chair of the International Advisory Committee, Rossy Cancer Network
  • Chair of the Advisory Committee, Executive Training for Research Application (EXTRA Program), Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement

Media Appearances (1)

Why this man is fighting for national home-care standards

The Toronto Star  print


If health policy professor Terry Sullivan had his way, there would be fewer inequities with publicly funded home and community care across Canada. And there would be more funding available to address the shortage of services. “Canada has no common standard of coverage for home and community services,” says Sullivan, who teaches at the University of Toronto, where he is also a senior fellow at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. “This turns out to be kind of a problem with an aging population as many of us are finding out with aging parents.

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Articles (4)

Costs, affordability, and feasibility of an essential package of cancer control interventions in low-income and middle-income countries: key messages from Disease Control Priorities, 3rd edition

The Lancet

2016 Investments in cancer control—prevention, detection, diagnosis, surgery, other treatment, and palliative care—are increasingly needed in low-income and particularly in middle-income countries, where most of the world's cancer deaths occur without treatment or palliation. To help countries expand locally appropriate services, Cancer (the third volume of nine in Disease Control Priorities, 3rd edition) developed an essential package of potentially cost-effective measures for countries to consider and adapt. Interventions included in the package are: prevention of tobacco-related cancer and virus-related liver and cervical cancers; diagnosis and treatment of early breast cancer, cervical cancer, and selected childhood cancers; and widespread availability of palliative care, including opioids. These interventions would cost an additional US$20 billion per year worldwide, constituting 3% of total public spending on health in low-income and middle-income countries. With implementation of an appropriately tailored package, most countries could substantially reduce suffering and premature death from cancer before 2030, with even greater improvements in later decades.

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Using clinical governance levers to support change in a cancer care reform

Journal of Health Organization and Management

2015 Introducing change is a difficult issue facing all health care systems. The use of various clinical governance levers can facilitate change in health care systems. The purpose of this paper is to define clinical governance levers, and to illustrate their use in a large-scale transformation.

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Processes, contexts, and rationale for disinvestment: a protocol for a critical interpretive synthesis

Systematic Reviews

2014 Practical solutions are needed to support the appropriate use of available health system resources as countries are continually pressured to ‘do more with less’ in health care. Increasingly, health systems and organizations are exploring the reassessment of possibly obsolete, inefficient, or ineffective health system resources and potentially redirecting funds to those that are more effective and efficient. Such processes are often referred to as ‘disinvestment’. Our objective is to gain further understanding about: 1) whether how and under what conditions health systems decide to pursue disinvestment; 2) how health systems have chosen to undertake disinvestment; and 3) how health systems have implemented their disinvestment approach.

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Improving quality and performance in Ontario's cancer services: lessons for constructing a learning healthcare system

Healthcare Quarterly

2014 Cancer Care Ontario as a provincial agency has undergone a significant transformation in the last 10 years. This paper documents a predictable crisis of radiotherapy capacity at the turn of the millennium, creating an imperative for transformative change. This transformation occurred included a divestment of existing cancer centers to large local host hospitals while retaining service obligations through a financial, quality and performance contract. The paper documents the simultaneous introduction of quality and access measures and the creation of a continuously evolving improvement panel of metrics which underpin the performance of local centers and population-wide reporting of Cancer Control. The recent successful expansion to include renal services is referenced.

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