The Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO) is a registered non-profit organization. We focus on capacity building and health systems strengthening through a multilateral cooperative knowledge transfer network. We invest in people to build local health care capacity through training and education. We use medicine as a common ground  to work effectively across cultures and divides.


CISEPO has been active on the international scene since 1984 when it was founded by Officer of the Order of Canada and renowned otolaryngologist, Dr. Arnold M. Noyek.
One year after the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, CISEPO began its engagement in developing and implementing viable and sustainable health sector cooperative activities in the Middle East.

In 1995, CISEPO was invited by the private office of the late King Hussein of Jordan to foster collaborative health sector projects between Israelis and Jordanians and thus contribute to peacebuilding in the Middle East

The CISEPO initiative using a Canadian umbrella and Partnership based approach was broadly supported as a way to build bridges of understanding and cooperation in the region. 

CISEPO’s successful operational history through the years results from its inclusiveness, its diversity, and its ability to transcend politics to deliver tangible, needs-based benefits to ordinary people.




Dr. Arnold M. Noyek O.C. (1937-2018)

Dr. Arnold M. Noyek was born in Dublin, Ireland and immigrated to Canada. He graduated from Medical School at the University of  Toronto and was trained in Otolaryngology at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in New York City. 

Dr. Noyek worked actively in an international leadership role on promoting continuing medical education, professional development, and capacity building with universities in Israel since 1972 and with Arab universities since 1982. Through the years (since 1984), American, Australian, Brazilian, Dutch, Egyptian, Israeli, Jordanian, New Zealand, Palestinian, Qatari, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and other individuals and institutions from the health sector and scientific world have been involved with and successfully participated in cooperative academic projects, CISEPO’s Canadian programming and the cooperation network of knowledge.

In recognition of years of successful programmatic, developmental educational and capacity building achievements, on April 28th, 2004, CISEPO and its founder, Dr. Noyek, were the recipients of the Canadian Red Cross Power of Humanity Award, presented by Her Majesty Queen Noor. On November 7th, 2005, in Ottawa, Dr. Noyek received the prestigious 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award of the Canadian Society for International Health for long term commitment to international development. In 2006, Dr. Noyek was selected as the recipient of The Colin R Woolf Award for Long Term Contributions to Continuing Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and, in 2009, the Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize at U of T.

Dr. Noyek was most recently inducted as an Officer in the Order of Canada in July 2013. It is the highest honour possible to receive as a Canadian citizen.

Dr. Noyek’s multifaceted involvements, innovations and networking have had a profound local, national and international influence. His career accomplishments have had a significant worldwide impact on the professional development of his health specialty, allied specialties and academic and scientific advancement through education, research, effecting best practice and societal change.

We are profoundly saddened by Dr. Noyeks passing on Dec. 14th, 2018 and are committed to continuing his legacy through our work in CISEPO. 

Health works because it is a common language.”

— Dr. Arnold M. Noyek


Dr. Shawna Novak

Shawna Novak is a physician trained in health diplomacy, conflict resolution, humanitarian and disaster relief, and global health. The early part of her career was spent competing professionally as a triathlete on the National Triathlon Team at World Cup and International races.

She found that sport provided a perfect vehicle to build relationships that crossed borders and transcended cultural boundaries, and she also discovered in far-flung regions of the world, that medicine and medical education could be a powerful complementary tool to building bridges.

Her clinical interests are cardiology and internal medicine which she has translated to non-profit work with organizations affiliated with the University of Toronto and York University such as CISEPO, Doctors against Racism and Anti-Semitism (DARA), and Save a Child’s Heart; that focus on capacity building in marginalized populations and under-resourced regions, and the utility of healthcare in building conditions for peace.


Dr. Harvey Skinner

Harvey Skinner, a psychologist, is the inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Health at York University, July 1, 2006. York’s new Faculty of Health is on an ambitious mission to be an integrative force for promoting health – locally and globally.

Dr. Skinner is a Registered Psychologist in Ontario and a certified trainer in Motivational Interviewing. Previously, he was Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. In September 2007 Dr Skinner was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Dr. Skinner is the author or co-author of 7 books and over 150 articles and chapters. Three of his instruments are widely used internationally for the assessment of alcohol dependence (Alcohol Dependence Scale), drug problems (Drug Abuse Screening Test) and family functioning (Family Assessment Measure). Dr. Skinner was one of the first to focus on linking behavior change, organizational improvement and information technology (e-health), described in his book Promoting Health Through Organizational Change (2002). Dr. Skinner has been a pioneer in the use of computer technology for health assessment, and was one of the first to initiate a major program of research using the Internet for health promotion. The TeenNet and Youth Voices program created innovative websites for engaging youth in health promotion, including smoking prevention, gambling education, and youth action projects.

Dr. Skinner has a special interest in global health.  In 2004 CISEPO received the Red Cross Power of Humanity AwardThe Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development (CEECD) identified his publication “Promoting Arab and Israeli cooperation: Peacebuilding through health initiatives” (Lancet, 2005, 365:1274-1277) as one of the top ten scientific articles in 2005 on early childhood development. He is currently a member of the Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st Century (CCPH21), and the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR). From 1997-2005 he was a Member of the Board of the Canadian Public Health Association. Dr. Skinner has served as an expert advisor to the World Health Organization, U.S. Institute of Medicine, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Fogarty International Center. Dr. Skinner has broad experience in behavior change and organizational improvement. He leads workshops on lowering resistance and enhancing motivation for change at individual and organizational levels. His expertise is sought by health organizations, governments, universities and practitioners. From a personal perspective, Dr. Skinner is an avid spinner (used to run marathons) and he enjoys yoga, sailing and skiing. He has two children (Mark and Ana), two step-children (Russ and Jeff) and seven grandchildren.



Mr. Tim Patterson


Tim Patterson is the Vice-Chair and Telehealth Consultant for Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO) and an Adjunct Professor of Al Quds University. Mr. Patterson’s credits include representing Canada at the G8 meetings on Telehealth in Australia, a founding member of the Canadian Society of Telehealth, a speaker at many international conferences including the CME World Congress, the International Psychogeriatric Association, the Nelson Mandella School of Medicine and at the University of Santiago de Compostela, presenting and attending three Team Canada missions in Japan, China and to the World Bank and InterAmerican Development Bank , presented at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care “Telemedicine Think Tank”, a working participant for the “Canadian International Business Strategy” and the “Investment Attraction: Clusters of Excellence” Health Services Working Groups of Industry Canada and for the “Professional Education Strategy” of the Disease Prevention Division of Health Canada.


Mr. Patterson has telehealth/video project experience and relationships throughout the world including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ethiopia, France, Great Britain,, India, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, South Africa, Switzerland (WHO) and the United States.  Mr. Patterson worked specifically with La Francophonie and Communications Research Centre of the Government of Canada in groundbreaking satellite continuing health education programming to Romania weeks after the Ceausescu government. He also produced telehealth programming to Tunisia two weeks after the Arab Spring in collaboration with University of Toronto and Razi Hospital La Manouba, with the World Federation of Neurology.  This series has been expanded to Morocco.




Mrs. Wendy Switzer Myles

Wendy Switzer Myles devotes her time as a volunteer to various charitable causes, having conceived, chaired, and implemented major fundraising events for Mount Sinai Hospital, Baycrest, Villa Charities, The Harold and Grace Baker Centre, The Canadian Liver Foundation, ORT Canada, The Yonge Street Mission, The Canadian Friends of The Israel Guide Dog Center for The Blind, the Rosalie Hall Young Parent Resource Centre, and The Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO),.  

As a volunteer fundraiser over the past twenty years, Mrs. Myles has spearheaded events raising millions of dollars in net profits.

Mrs. Myles is an active volunteer, and current member of the Board of Directors of CISEPO; The Canadian Friends of Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem; and the Women’s Auxiliary of the Baycrest Foundation.

When Wendy has the time, she actually works – for her husband, the legendary LOU MYLES DISEGNATORE (www.loumyles.com)  




Mr. David Berger

David Berger, B.A. (Toronto) 1971; B.C.L. (McGill) 1975, was admitted to the Barreau du Québec in 1986.

David relies on a unique experience in elective office, diplomacy, business, and law in advising and representing his clients. From 1979 to 1994, David served as a Member of the House of Commons of Canada, representing the constituencies of Laurier and St-Henri-Westmount.

From 1995 to 1999, David served as Canadian ambassador to the State of Israel, representative to the Palestinian Authority and High Commissioner to Cyprus.

Earlier in his career, from 1975 to 1979, David was executive vice-president of the Montreal Alouette Football Club, Inc. In 1978-1979, he served as President of the Canadian Football League.

David assists people in applications for temporary and permanent residence, including work and study permits and visitor visas, skilled worker applications, business immigration, family sponsorships and humanitarian and compassionate applications.

He represents clients in refugee claims, appeals to the Immigration Appeal Division, and judicial review applications to the Federal Court of Canada and the Quebec Superior Court.

David speaks English, French and Spanish.

David is a member of AQAADI (L’Association Québécoise des avocats et avocates en droit de l’immigration), the Canadian Bar Association (Immigration Section), the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, the Jewish Refugee Action Network, and an associate member of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

David is a director of several not for profit organizations including the Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO), the Jerusalem Foundation of Canada, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (Canada), and the Trevor Williams Kids Foundation.



Ms. Anita Kaiser

Anita Kaiser became a quadriplegic as a result of a motor vehicle crash in 1996. She went on to complete a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Science through the University of Toronto with a focus on parenting with a spinal cord injury (SCI). Anita has been Director of Research for the Canadian Spinal Research Organization since 2005 and a board member of the Canada International Scientific Exchange Program and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario. Anita works as a Research Consultant and Assistant at Toronto Rehab-Lyndhurst Centre, University Health Network. Anita has been a Peer Support Volunteer with SCI Ontario since 2000 and an Injury Survivor Presenter with Parachute’s No Regrets program since 1999. In her spare time, Anita enjoys reading, modeling for IZ Adaptive clothing, and participating in an exercise therapy program.







Mr. Gurion De Zwirek

Gurion is currently responsible for managing the investment and asset management operations of Serruya Private Investments. He has assumed various interim management positions for different portfolio companies. Prior to joining SPE, Gurion served as a naval officer for 7 years.

Gurion holds a BA in Business Administration and Political Science from the University of Haifa and a Masters degree in Global Economics and International Business from the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.






Dr. Vitaly Kisilevsky

Vitaly is Medical Director of Vestibular Laboratories & Services, serving clinics devoted to the diagnosis & treatment of dizziness and balance disorders. He was fellowship trained in Otology/Neurotology (Clinical and Research Fellowship) at the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Toronto.

He was a Visiting Scholar at the Peter A. Silverman Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital and an active reviewer for the Laryngoscope, the Journal of the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery (ENT).  Vitaly is also a joint program director of the Canada Qatar Health Institute led by The Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO), and has taught and developed curriculum for the Qatar program since it’s inception.

Vitaly’s assessments of MVA clients provide objective evidence of traumatic damage to the balance system which is relevant to cases of head and neck trauma, musculoskeletal and neural system injuries and post-traumatic psychiatric disorders.




Awards and Achievements


CISEPO was chosen for a Red Cross Power of Humanity Award in 2004


CISEPO was nominated for the Rolex Award for 2003


CISEPO was nominated for the Gates Award for Global Health for 2003.


CISEPO was nominated for the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize for 2001

A Special Thanks to Donors

Knightstone Capital Management Inc.

The Azrieli Foundation

The Kololian Foundation

Irwin and Bethea Green Support Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto

Sick Kids Hospital

Mount Sinai Hospital


Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto


Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto

Horseshoe Valley Resort

Bonnie Stern and Dr. Raymond Rupert


Brott Music Festival