Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren
MD, CCFP, FCFP
Born and raised in Claresholm, Alberta, Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren has practiced rural family medicine in Sundre since 1999. Michelle has provided service at the Sundre Hospital for over 20 years providing low risk intrapartum care, acute care, and emergency care services. She is a clinical associate professor at the University of Calgary and a clinical assistant professor at the University of Alberta. In addition she is the co-owner of the Moose and Squirrel Medical clinic in Sundre.
In September 2021, she will take on a new challenge as the President of the Alberta Medical Association!
The Moose & Squirrel Medical Clinic has a collaborative, team-based approach to the provision of primary care, and includes preventative medicine as well as the usual medical care expected in a family physicians office. The Moose & Squirrel Medical Clinic is recognized as the leading “Patients Medical Home” and was awarded the Alberta College of Family Physicians Patient’s Medical Home award for Outstanding Family Practice for 2017. Michelle is also a provincial Physician Champion, and is working along with the clinic team to help other Alberta family medicine clinics modernize primary care based on the MSMC model.
Michelle has been awarded a Fellowship by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for her dedicated service and commitment to lifelong learning. She is a PALS and ACLS instructor and enjoys bringing team-based teaching to both her own facility as well as other communities. In 2016 she was recognized as the recipient of the RPAP Rural Alberta Physician Award of Distinction, for bringing superior medical care to her community. She was also awarded the prestigious Dr. Hal Irvine Community Focus Award in 2015 by the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine for her dedication, through service and personal commitment, to improving the quality of life in her community. She was recently recognized for her commitment to rural medicine by the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada this spring along with her husband, Rob Warren as they received the 2021 Rural Service Award.
As an educator with a strong passion for educating teams in their local environment, she travels around Central Alberta delivering Heart and Stroke ACLS, PALS and PEARS courses as well as RhPAP Care Courses. She is an EDE-1 with Chest certified physician so she can teach learners Point of Care ultrasound and certify their scans when they are training. Michelle was chosen as the 2021 recipient of the Professional Association of Resident Physicians of Alberta’s Clinical Teaching Award which recognizes and celebrates physician preceptors who have shown excellence in resident physician education.
Michelle has had the joy of raising three children in Sundre with her husband, Rob. As an adult she began running as a means of helping maintain health, and has successfully completed several half marathons often finishing in the top 25% of her age group. She ran the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco in 2013 and the TCS New York City Marathon in 2015. She took up sea kayaking, white water rafting, and surfing in her year in New Zealand.
Her passion for physical activity has encouraged several friends and colleagues to challenge themselves with new sports and goals. She was part of the clinic teams that ran in the 2014 Canadian Death Race and the 2015 Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon.
Dr. Robert G. Warren,
JD (Dist), MD, CCFP, CPoCUS
Born and raised in Calgary, Dr. Rob Warren has called Sundre home since 1999 and has practiced family medicine since 2011. Before becoming a family physician, Rob was a lawyer for five years practicing in Edmonton and Calgary, and also worked as an EMT for Mountain View Emergency Medical Services for several years.
Rob brings his passion for collaboration and teamwork to the MSMC, along with his enthusiasm for medical education – he is actively involved in training medical students and family medicine residents, and has delivered workshops at a number of medical education conferences for physicians across Alberta. Rob is certified as a Master Instructor by the Canadian Point Of Care Ultrasound Society and has participated in training, evaluating and certifying over 500 Canadian and internationally-based physicians as Independent Practitioners in the Core elements of Emergency Ultrasound, as well as achieving CPoCUS certification as an Independent Practitioner in Resuscitation Ultrasound. Rob was honoured by the Alberta College of Family Physicians as Alberta’s 2015 Outstanding New Professional for his dedication to patients, family, colleagues and community in his first five years of practice. He has also been recognized for leadership in family medicine on multiple occasions by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Alberta Medical Association.
Rob is passionate about serving his community, and has been the driving force behind the creation of several non-for-profit organizations that serve the health needs of the Sundre community, including the Sundre Health Professionals Attraction and Retention Committee, the Moose & Squirrel Home Palliative Care Program, and Sundre Play 4 Kidz, which raises funds to assist local children in participating in sport, play and activity programs.
In addition to his work as a rural family physician, Rob is the Assistant Program Director (Rural) for the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta, responsible for the administration of the Rural Family Medicine residency training programs at the Grande Prairie, Red Deer and Yellowknife sites.
Rob enjoys distance running and is a five-time marathoner, including the New York City Marathon and the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. Rob also enjoys recreational hockey and is a long-time member of Snake Plissken HC, playing right wing, left wing, centre and defence, often all in the same shift.
Dr. Jena Smith,
MSc, MD, CCFP
Jena was born and raised in Medicine Hat, Alberta, and first came to Sundre as part of her residency training in July 2013. She enjoyed her five months of learning here, and later returned after graduating to work as a locum physician for several months. Following exploration of other communities in Alberta, Jena decided Sundre is the place to be and is excited to join the physicians at the Moose and Squirrel Medical Clinic.
Prior to medical school, Jena studied genetics, earning her Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia and Master’s degree from the University of Calgary. She put her degrees to use working in both the Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics laboratories at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
Jena has always enjoyed being active and spent some time with the University of Calgary Triathlon club while she was a student, even completing a couple of sprint length triathlons. Soon after this she discovered couples dancing, which eventually took up most of her free time. First it was a hobby, but later she became a serious competitor and earned several championship titles. Now she has retired from competition, but continues to enjoy social dancing whenever possible. She was recently invited to participate in the Red Deer Celebrity Dance Off as a professional instructor, and is proud to have contributed to this event, which raised $300,000 in 2015 for children with special needs in central Alberta.
Motivated by the focus on teamwork and advancing health at the Moose and Squirrel Medical Clinic, Jena is looking forward to starting a practice in Sundre with a focus on promotion of wellness as well as healing illness and injury. Her work will include patients in the clinic, emergency, obstetrics and those in hospital. She is also looking forward to being able to participate in outdoor activities in the beautiful areas surrounding Sundre.
Short Term Physician
Dr. Hussain Khimji
Dr. Hussain Khimji was born and grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and travelled across the pond to complete his medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He returned home to complete Family Medicine residency at the University of Calgary, where he was awarded the 2020/2021 Dr. R.S. Grainger Award for excellence in Family Medicine.
After an incredible 2 month working experience in Sundre during his residency, Hussain knew he wanted to continue serving the community and spending time in its beautiful surroundings.
When he is not working, you will find Hussain enjoying the outdoors and staying active with cycling, yoga, and long walks in nature. He grew up playing competitive soccer, which he now enjoys recreationally, and volleyball in Ireland, where he was his university’s Men’s Team Captain and Coach. Since coming home to Alberta in 2017, Hussain enjoys running obstacle course races and has done Calgary’s Rugged Maniac race 3 years in a row, as well as Spartan races in Boston and Red Deer. He is also an avid reader, enjoys cooking and travelling, and is fluent in Spanish.
Hussain is excited to work with the Moose and Squirrel Medical Clinic again and spend his time and energy with the Sundre community.
Short Term Physician
Dr Sam Myhr
Sam was born and raised in Killam Alberta before migrating to the West Coast to study Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Victoria. After a few twists and turns she instead exited with an Honours degree in Microbiology and worked in research before heading to medical school at UBC’s rural program in Prince George. Sam returned to Alberta to complete her training through UofC’s rural residency in Medicine Hat. Since graduating in 2018, she has practiced full scope family medicine in Pincher Creek.
Inspired by the public stand Moose and Squirrel took for their patients in the face of government’s drastic changes to healthcare, Sam became involved in advocacy and ended up leading work that helped achieve the reversal of cuts made to rural doctors. Through this she realized her passion for leadership and took on the role of President for the Section of Rural Medicine through the Alberta Medical Association in 2020. She feels fortunate to work closely with Rob and Michelle at the AMA, and is excited to extend that teamwork to the clinical setting starting April 4th! She will be with Moose and Squirrel for the next seven months, but may consider staying longer if Rob can keep the short jokes to a minimum.
When not juggling her various roles, Sam is equally likely to be found indoors reading or playing board games as she is on an outdoor adventure. A true rural generalist, she is Jack (Jill?) of all hobbies and master of none. Two loves that have stood the test of time are basketball and fishing, while her more nascent hobbies include trail running, mountain biking, and skiing. She promises to uphold patient-doctor confidentiality regarding any fishing tips you may let slip during your appointment.
Sam looks forward to exploring the area alongside her canine companion Autumn, and the rest of her (human) family when they are able to escape the big city to experience the joys of rural life!
Born and raised in Tweed Ontario, Rachel developed a passion for community and rural medicine. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa with Honours in Biomedical Science & minor in Psychology. She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Toronto. With this program she completed rotations across the Greater Toronto and London areas working with various cultural demographics.
As new graduate of an up-and-coming profession in Canada, Rachel is excited to bring her unique lens to the team in Sundre. She is equally as excited to leave city life behind and go back to her rural roots.
When Rachel is not working you will find her back country camping, hiking, and traveling. Some of her past adventures include camping in Iceland, Wales, British Columbia, Alberta as well as the Yukon. After all her travels she decided Alberta was where she wanted to call home and no better a place than Sundre!
Amy was born and raised in Ontario. She completed her Nursing Degree in 2013 and worked as a community nurse until embarking on her new adventure of Masters of Nursing specializing as a Nurse Practitioner. Amy is very passionate about preventative health care, palliative care, and chronic disease management.
Amy enjoys everything outdoors, hiking and exploring this beautiful area with her furbabies and family.