Executive Leadership Team

Deb Bulych, President and Chief Executive Officer
Deb Bulych
President and Chief Executive Officer

Deb Bulych is the President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency. Deb has been with the Cancer Agency for 30 years and is passionate about person-centred care and the cancer care system. Deb has held various roles over three decades, including clinical oncology social work, Director of Social Work, Director of Supportive Care, Director of Nursing, and Vice-President of Care Services. 

Deb has been involved in many Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) initiatives that have helped to evolve and enhance person-centred care for cancer patients and their families in Saskatchewan and across the country. Deb is responsible for the implementation of such programs as New Patient Navigation, the Look Good Feel Better Program, the provincial Fatigue Management Program, the Pain and Symptom Management Program, and the Patient Reported Outcomes Program. She has participated on many national committees through CPAC and the Canadian Virtual Hospice.

Deb has a Masters of Health Studies and Bachelor Degrees in Administration, Social Work and Arts (Sociology). She currently serves as Chair of the Canadian Models of Care Advisory Committee, which is responsible for improving efficiency and equity within cancer care. 

Ron Dufresne, Vice President, Corporate Services
Ron Dufresne
Vice-President, Corporate Services

As Vice-President of Corporate Services, Ron Dufresne oversees Finance, IT, Communications, Human Resources, Legal, and Materials and Facilities Management. These departments work collaboratively to support the Cancer Agency’s strategic priorities while managing the day-to-day operations. These administrative functions enable clinicians to deliver world-class cancer care.

Prior to joining the Cancer Agency in 2019, Ron gained extensive experience in health leadership roles at STARS, Accreditation Canada and the Ministry of Health. He also honed his leadership skills as a business owner, giving him a unique perspective on Agency operations. 

Ron holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Royal Roads University, a Healthcare Administration degree from University of Saskatchewan and an Emergency Medical Technician Certificate from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). 

Ron lives at Buffalo Pound Lake with his wife Leanne. They have three adult children who all reside in Saskatchewan. Ron is an outdoors enthusiast and when not working, he is likely riding his motorcycle, sled or any other machine that moves fast! 

Denise Budz, Vice President, Care Services
Denise Budz
Vice-President, Care Services

Denise Budz, who serves as Vice-President, Care Services, brings a wealth of administrative and management experience in nursing and palliative care from her 22 years with the Cancer Agency. 

She has held various positions in the Agency including Director of Nursing, Director of Systemic Therapy and Outpatient Services, Chief Nursing Officer, and Director of Provincial Programs. She also serves as a board member for the Prairie Hospice Society.

In her current role at the Agency, Denise oversees Care Services—a diverse portfolio of clinical care departments which includes Systemic Therapy and Outpatient Services, Supportive Care, Clinical Research, Pharmacy, Medical Physics, Radiation Therapy, Community Oncology Program, Virtual Care and the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program. 

Denise, who holds a Master’s degree in Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan, is a very strong supporter and advocate for person-centred care that includes the patient, their family and the entire interdisciplinary team. 

When not working, she enjoys traveling, gardening, golfing and camping with her husband, Mark. Denise and Mark have two adult daughters. 

Karen Efthimiou
Vice President, Population Health, Quality and Research

Karen has an extensive oncology nursing background spanning 24 years and includes a variety of positions in the Canadian and US healthcare system. Karen's servant leadership style has supported team empowerment and collaboration in her previous leadership roles of Director, Corporate and Clinical Policy; Director, Early Detection; and Site Manager, Systemic Therapy and Pediatrics at the SCA.

Karen received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan and later a Master of Health Administration from the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy from the University of Regina. Karen is a Certified Health Executive (CHE) with the Canadian College of Health Leaders. She provides strategic leadership, innovation and collaboration within the SCA, and across the healthcare system to achieve best outcomes for those we serve.

Karen returned to the Agency in 2024 as the Vice President of Population Health, Quality and Research, which includes the departments of Patient Information Services, Cancer Registry, Epidemiology and Performance Measurement, Population Health (Early Detection & Prevention), Quality, Safety and Strategy, and Cancer Research. 

Karen enjoys volunteering her time to support her children in sport and spending time outdoors with her family. 

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Dr. Shazia Mahmood, Vice President, Medical Services
Dr. Shazia Mahmood
Vice-President, Medical Services

Dr. Shazia Mahmood, who has been with the Cancer Agency since 2004, serves as Vice-President, Medical Services and is responsible for managing the staff and systems that facilitate cancer patient treatment and follow-up in an appropriate and timely manner. She also oversees physician resource planning to ensure that the Agency has enough physicians to meet patient demand.

Dr. Mahmood started at the Agency as a Radiation Oncologist, with a specialty in treating gynecological, breast, head and neck, and gastroenterology cancers. She has served as Director of Radiation Oncology and Director of Disease Site Groups, Quality and Safety.

She holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Fellow of College of Radiation Oncology and Fellow of Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada. She completed her Fellowship in South Africa and practised as a Consultant Radiation Oncologist.

Dr. Mahmood was born in Lahore, Pakistan and completed her medical degree in 1995 at Fatima Jinnah Medical College. After concluding her specialist training in radiation oncology, she moved to Regina from South Africa in 2004 with her husband—an orthopedic surgeon, children and her mom.