Elizabeth received a BSc in Molecular Genetics from the University of Alberta in 2005 and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia in 2010. After working in health research for nearly three years with the Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare (OHSAH) in BC and with the Provincial Health Services Authority, and completing a 6-month community health internship in Peru, she returned to UBC and is currently working towards her PhD at the School of Population and Public Health. Elizabeth is currently working on a three-country comparison of the implementation of HealthWISE interventions to reduce the transmission of infectious diseases and to raise awareness about stigma and discrimination among health workers in six hospitals in Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Paivi Abernethy’s academic training is in public health research (Lancaster University, UK, MRes); biochemistry (University of Copenhagen, Denmark, MSc); and children’s environmental health, health promotion, and sustainability governance (University of Waterloo, PhD). She is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC and also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Waterloo, ON. She worked for years as private sector scientist in life sciences and as Community Health Promoter and Aboriginal Health Promotion Specialist in public health, before returning to academia in 2010, to work on contextual factors influencing children’s environmental health, including research on integrating health and sustainability; reconciliation; and inter- and transdisciplinary research effectiveness. Paivi’s research interests include children’s environmental health, understanding and addressing influences of biophysical and social environments on paediatric health – especially chronic disease prevention in the water-food-energy nexus, together with positive impacts of green and social environments; Planetary Health/ ecohealth; global Indigenous health related to social and environmental justice; and co-production of knowledge and equity-based knowledge translation for community capacity building, policy and governance, particularly in Canada, the UK, and Latin America.
Emma Strobell is a Registered Nurse currently in her second year of graduate studies at Trinity Western University pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing with a focus on global health and human rights. Emma started her nursing career working in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside at Insite and various sister-projects focusing on community-centred harm reduction healthcare. This passion for community centred care lead her to pursue work in rural Canada. For the past five years she has been working as a Community Health Nurse in remote, Indigenous communities in the Northwest Territories and as a Public Health Nurse during her rotations home in Langley, BC. In preparation for developing a research topic for her thesis and with a strong interest in global health equity, social justice, human rights, and gender issues, she is excited to learn and stretch her thinking on such topics alongside experts in the field and peers from various disciplines.
Nicole Spence is a Program Advisor at Health Emergency Management BC (HEMBC), a Public Health Services Authority program that provides emergency management and leadership, and an editor for the Canadian Risks and Hazards Network magazine, HazNet. She holds a BA in Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Public Health from the University of Victoria, with a focus on International and Global Health and Development. She is interested in the effects of globalization and climate change on global health and its link to emergency management. Prior to her current role, Nicole worked in Public Health with Fraser Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control, and interned with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva, Switzerland, primarily in communications, web management, and knowledge management. Nicole is of settler decent residing on the unceded Coast Salish territory and considers herself blessed to live in such a beautiful area. On the weekends, Nicole can be found in the local mountains sharing her favourite rosé or vin chaud with fellow alpinists.
Nathan is an Assistant Professor and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. Championing interdisciplinary and community-based approaches, he has conducted HIV and sexual health research across Canada and New Zealand. Nathan’s principal area of research focuses on social and behavioural epidemiology and the importance of developing and analyzing public health data to inform public health practice, health service provision, and policy. While fundamentally trained as an epidemiologist, he conducts interdisciplinary research within a social justice framework in order to achieve health equity for marginalized communities. Nathan’s research foci include sexual and gender minority populations, sexual health, youth, indigenous and ethnoracialized communities, and HIV/AIDS.
Nisrine El Amiri
Originally from Morocco, Nisrine El Amiri moved to Canada in 2009 and obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University in Montreal and her Master of Public Health degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. As an aspiring humanitarian worker, public health professional and policy maker, she completed the Canadian Disaster and Humanitarian Response Training Program as well as training by the United Nations, Medecins Sans Frontieres and other agencies. Nisrine was previously employed by the BC Center for Disease Control and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Passionate about improving access to healthcare for communities in rural and remote regions and supporting rural health services researchers, Nisrine joined RHSRNbc in May 2017 as the Research Coordinator.
Sana is a Michael Smith Foundations for Health Research (MSFHR) Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Equity Lens in Public Health (ELPH) research project at the Centre for Addictions Research of BC. Sana is currently embedded within Interior Health’s Population and Public Health Department through a one year MSFHR Health Policy Fellowship where she is focusing on a strategic plan to embed health equity and cultural safety across the organization. Sana is also a sessional instructor at UBC Okanagan. Her research interests include decolonized approaches to health equity research, social determinants of health, reducing the harms of substance use, particularly in the contexts of Indigenous women’s experiences with parenting and mothering, and knowledge mobilization that disrupts the systemic roots of inequitable health outcomes.
Madeleine is a Master of Science in Nursing candidate at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus. Her master’s thesis research focuses on the ethical implications of global health practicums in nursing. Broadly speaking, Madeleine’s research interests lie within the fields of bioethics, palliative and end-of-life care, and health policy. Currently, Madeleine is working as a research coordinator in the Health, Ethics and Diversity Lab at UBC Okanagan, and is delighted to be coordinating a CIHR funded study on the practice, policy, and ethical implications of Canadian nursing roles in medical assistance in dying (MAiD). In her spare time, you will find Madeleine surrounded by her friends and family; hiking, skiing, picking blueberries, and enjoying the beauty of the Okanagan Valley.
I am a PhD student at the School of Population and Public Health, working in the Global Health Research Program under the supervision of Dr. Jerry Spiegel. I was born in Colombia, where I graduated as an Anthropologist and Environmental Engineer. After working in different projects in Colombia, Perú, Ecuador, Mexico, and Costa Rica, I found my passion for broad approaches to explore human health and its connection with nature and ecosystems health. I did my Master in Public Health at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) where I worked at the Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health Research (COEHR). After returning to Colombia, I collaborated for three years in several research projects with Universidad El Bosque and Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia), which motivated me to pursue my PhD at the interdisciplinary environment offered by UBC. I am currently looking at novel ways to understand the interaction between human health and the environment. We are exploring food systems in indigenous communities in Ecuador to better understand how food sovereignty interacts both with human health and the local environments. Beyond studying and conducting research, I am a rock climber, a traveller, and an outdoor sports enthusiast.
Leslie Bryant’s (MSc, CSEP-CEP, Regional Practice Lead, Research & KT, Indigenous Populations, Interior Health) research interests lie in the areas of health service delivery, Indigenous health, knowledge translation and application within healthcare and research capacity building. Ms. Bryant is working on developing key relationships with Indigenous communities and academic researchers across Canada to enable collaboration and networking opportunities. She is engaged in the measurement of KT activities, particularly the measurement of relationship building and its influence on knowledge transfer.
Betty Brown is the Community Research Lead with the Research Department of Interior Health (IH). She works with an integrated network of academic, health and community partners to develop a sustainable program of applied and academic rural health research for the region and provincially.
Betty has extensive experience in developing collaborative partnerships with multiple cross-jurisdictional, multi-level, and interdisciplinary stakeholder groups. During her career she has worked in the disciplines of road safety strategic initiatives, injury prevention, health and mental health promotion using varying methods including community development, social marketing, coalition development and stakeholder engagement. She has developed numerous programs at the Provincial and local level during her nine years at IH and while working with other Crown Corporations, non-profit and NGO’s within the province.
Bella Hwang is the manager of the Centre for International Child Health at BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital, a network of educators, researchers and implementers in global maternal, child and women’s health. She recently spent the last 5 years working with Doctors Without Borders in South Africa and Lesotho focusing on access to medicines and supporting HIV&TB operational research. Previously, she’s worked on projects in Kenya in mHealth and in Uganda in maternal health.
Jesse Coleman has headed a number of mHealth (mobile health) research and implementation projects covering HIV, TB, maternal health, and adolescent health in South Africa, Kenya and Canada for the past decade. He is a Public Health PhD candidate at Karolinska Institute where he has been studying maternal health and HIV outcomes of maternal text message recipients compared to non-recipients. Jesse’s research interest areas include m/eHealth, global public health, maternal health, ICT for development, PMCTC, HIV care and support, ICT for health and randomised clinical trials.
Naima is an MSc candidate in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. Her current research focuses on chronic non-communicable diseases among refugees living in protracted camps in Kenya. Methodologically, Naima employs medical anthropology theory and method in her work.
Prince was born and raised in Ghana. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Ghana and two Masters degrees from Ohio University, one in Public Health and the other in International Development Studies. Prince is currently pursuing a PhD at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. He is particularly interested in understanding the structural determinants of health in populations. His current research looks at the structural drivers of Tuberculosis among healthcare workers in South Africa as well as the general population. Prince loves travelling, cooking and dancing.
Bjorn Stime is a husband, a father, and a Settler Canadian of European heritage, calling stolen Suneymuxw Nation territory his home. Bjorn is a doctoral candidate at the University of British Columbia in Public Health, researching how professionals’ conflicts of interest might affect community well-being.
Muriel has been teaching at UBC Okanagan School of Nursing for the past 18 years where she enjoys encouraging students to explore concepts in global health, relational practice and community nursing. She has a background in pediatric oncology, intensive care, and community development. Her MN was focused on families with a child with a life threatening illness. Her passion for global health grew after travelling to Ghana with nursing students where she began to comprehend the magnitude of poverty and the impact on child mortality. She is working on a PhD to further understanding and supporting African rural family efforts in child health.
Jessica is a Registered Nurse with experience and a passion for hospice and palliative care, in addition to public health experience in Ghana, Zambia, South Africa and India. She sits on the board of the directors for Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration, a grassroots initiative building capacity for palliative and end-of-life care in resource-constrained countries.
She received her Masters of Public Health specializing in ‘Health Systems’ from the University of Cape Town. For ten years, Jessica has engaged in various activities in Zambia, including supervising a global health nursing practicum for the University of British Columbia-Okanagan in Western Province, Zambia. She is also co-founder and Chair of the Okanagan Zambia Health Initiative – an interdisciplinary group of health care professionals working to build capacity of health care professionals in Zambia.
Elizabeth completed a BSc in Chemistry at UVic, a PhD in synthetic chemistry at U of Ottawa, and Post Doc’s in drug research at BC Research and UBC. In 1994 she made a lateral move and shifted her “lab” to a bamboo platform in rural NE Thailand where she spent 10 years investigating the mind as an ordained Buddhist Nun. Elizabeth returned to Canada in 2004 and joined Selkirk College as a Chemistry instructor the following year. She has taught chemistry and math, worked for the Faculty Association, done outreach and recruitment in local schools, and worked to integrate contemplative practices and soft skills into the curriculum in the School of University Arts and Sciences.
Recently Elizabeth spearheaded the development of a novel cohort based program aimed at supporting rural and Indigenous students by providing them with a viable pathway into medicine and other health careers. The new Rural Pre-Medicine (RPM) serves students who are currently underrepresented in admission streams at medical schools across Canada, yet, are amongst those most likely to serve high-need rural and remote locations when they graduate. She has been RPM Program Coordinator for 4 years and is currently interested in developing opportunities for collaborative community-based student research projects, as well as a project to examine pipeline programs around the world and determine best practices for increasing numbers of underrepresented applicants to health professional schools.
Kira Barwich works at the Centre for Rural Health Research at University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She is currently working on a project around sustainable rural maternity care in North Vancouver Island communities. Kira received her Masters of Science in Global Health from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland and has spent time working on health research projects in Zimbabwe and Cambodia. Prior to this, Kira spent several months interning with a health-focused non-government organization in rural Indonesia. Kira is passionate about health for marginalized populations and has a particular interest in global food and nutrition as it relates to health.
Amanda is a Registered Nurse and has been practicing as a nurse educator in the BSN program at BCIT for the past 6 years. She has a background in surgical step-down, cardiology, and medical-surgical nursing. She also has had experience as an ex-patriot. Amanda is passionate about teaching future nurses about global health, social justice, and health equity.
In addition to her work, Amanda is also studying to complete her Master’s of Science in Nursing at Trinity Western University. This semester she starts her final thesis project with a focus on global health, global citizenship, and nursing education. She is particularly interested in how nurse educators are prepared to teach these important concepts to future practicing nurses.
Amanda recently participated in a 6 month interdisciplinary Primary Health Care School in rural Australia and urban Philippines and returned in Summer of 2017. In her free time, she is a doula (birth coach) for friends and family. And when she is not in the hospital, or glued to her computer, you can find her up in the coastal mountains as she finds peace in the trees and fresh air.