Our Team

Dr. Richard H. Swartz

Founder and President, HBSc, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Dr. Richard (Rick) Swartz is a Neurologist, neuroscientist and system leader with over 20 years of experience leading cutting edge neuroscience research and treating patients with stroke. He has worked as a stroke neurologist at Sunnybrook hospital and researcher at the University of Toronto since 2009, and has been Medical Director of the Sunnybrook and NE-GTA Regional comprehensive stroke program since 2011. He is also the Director of the Sunnybrook Stroke Research Unit and holds the Bastable-Potts Chair in Stroke Research. He is passionate about excellent stroke care, translating research into improvements in patient outcomes and innovating stroke systems of care to reduce the burden of stroke on patients, families and society. FollowMD was inspired by his research showing that the long-term risk for people after stroke/TIA remain high for the long term. His clinical focus is on stroke in young adults, stroke in pregnancy, atypical causes of stroke and conditions that affect the blood vessels in the brain (e.g. vasculitis) and his work with these populations has demonstrated the need for long-term vascular risk reduction, which is why he founded FollowMD.

He has authored or co-authored over 200 publications in leading medical journals including the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Stroke, International Journal of Stroke, JAMA Neurology and the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=swartz+rh+or+swartz+r+AND+%28stroke+or+dementia+or+covid%29&sort=pubdate

Dr. Phavalan Rajendram


Dr. Phavalan (Phav) Rajendram is a graduate of the Adult Neurology Residency Program at the University of Toronto, where he served as co-chief resident in 2021. He completed a Vascular Neurology (Stroke) Fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is currently based at the University Health Network, University of Toronto, as a stroke neurologist and clinician with an academic focus on quality and innovation. His focus is on improving the delivery of emergency stroke treatments, and his research interests include personalized medicine in stroke through pharmacogenomics.

Dr. Maher Saqqur


Dr. Maher Saqqur completed his residency training in Internal Medicine and Neurology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and Penn State University and his stroke fellowship at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where has been a staff neurologist and Clinical Professor of Medicine and Neurology since 2002. There, he established the Neurosonology (head and neck ultrasound) program and helped establish the telestroke and mobile stroke ambulance systems. He has also helped develop stroke, telestroke and neurosonology programs globally including at the Hamad Medical corporation (Qatar’s main not-for-profit health care provider) from 2016 to 2020, helping to found MENA SINO, the first stroke organization in the Middle East, co-founding UOSSM (United Organization of Medical Relief and Primary Care) and, through this organization, supporting stroke and telestroke in Northern Syria, Somalia, West Bank and Gaza. He has also helped to design and establish several trauma hospitals, primary care centres and rehabilitation centres in war zones and refugee areas around the world.

He holds a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology and has more than 160 publications in peer reviewed journal and four book chapters. He received several awards from American Society of Neuroimaging SAMS and University of Alberta His main areas of research interest in Neurosonology in acute stroke and neurological intensive care. Currently, Dr. Saqqur is the medical director of West GTA stroke program and neurology lead at the Trillium Hospital, University of Toronto, Mississauga Ontario Canada.  

Dr. Keithan Sivakumar


Dr. Keithan (Keith) Sivakumar is a vascular neurologist who specializes in preventing and treating stroke. With a strong background in clinical care, research and education, he is dedicated to improving patient outcomes and advancing the field of vascular neurology. Dr. Sivakumar earned his medical degree from St. George’s University, Neurology Residency at the USF-College of Medicine/Lehigh Valley Health Network and stroke/vascular neurology fellowship at Sunnybrook HSC. He also has a healthcare leadership and management background, having obtained an MBA in health management. In addition to his clinical work, he has received additional training in teaching and quality improvement which has allowed him to enhance the learning and teaching of both patients and healthcare providers, leading to better patient-centred care. Dr. Sivakumar is highly focused on leading quality improvement initiatives and making healthcare settings safer for patients. In all his clinical, research and education roles, Dr. Sivakumar seeks to advance our understanding of vascular neurology, improve stroke prevention strategies, and enhance the quality of care provided to patients with neurological disorders.

Heather Saltzman

Director, Organizational Development, BA, MBA

Heather completed her MBA with a specialization in Organizational Behaviour. Before coming to FollowMD, she worked as a consultant designing and delivering training programs both to clients and internal employees. Heather also has extensive experience with onboarding and client services.

Lesley Logan

Office Administrator, BA

Lesley brings extensive experience to our team from her previous work in client services, as well as her numerous volunteer roles. Lesley has been able to refine her expertise across a wide variety of applicable skills, including patient relations, logistics, strategic planning and health and wellness.