Research Team

This study is a partnership among researchers at University of British Columbia, University of Northern British Columbia, Université de Montréal and Dalhousie University, Western University, staff from three emergency departments in British Columbia, and leaders from Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

At each level (the overall study, at each site and at each ED), we use a tripartite leadership model, engaging ED leadership and staff with Indigenous and community leadership and researchers.

The study is led by Colleen Varcoe, Annette Browne, Vicky Bungay, David Byres, Elder Roberta Price, and Erin Wilson.

 


Local Research Team & Local Intervention Teams


Project Governance Structure


Colleen Varcoe

Colleen Varcoe (Nominated Principal Investigator) is a Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

I am a nurse with a clinical background in Critical Care and Emergency. As the overall lead for this study, I bring two decades of research on violence and inequity which began with a study of care in Emergency for women experiencing intimate partner violence.  Since, I have studied the risks and health effects of violence, including for rural and Aboriginal women and studied health interventions for women who have experienced violence. I have participated in studies in Emergency, including to promote ethical practice and the impact of collecting ethnicity data at the point of care. I have co-led the development and testing of EQUIP, an intervention to promote equity (including cultural safety, harm reduction, and trauma- and violence-informed care) in primary health care.

Annette Browne

Annette J. Browne (Co-Principal Investigator) is a Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

I am one of the co-leads of the EQUIP Emergency study, and a professor at the UBC School of Nursing. My research activities focus on health and health care inequities, with a particular focus on implications for Indigenous populations. I’ve led studies in Emergency departments, including a study titled, Access Issues for Aboriginal People Seeking Primary Care Services at Emergency Departments.  I’ve also led studies in partnership with BC’s two long-established Urban Aboriginal Health Centres in Prince George and Vancouver. Currently, I am the co-lead of the EQUIP Primary Health Care Study, which focuses on organization-level strategies to enhance capacity to provide equity-oriented care in four clinics in Canada. I continue to work with lawyers, Indigenous health leaders, and community members on the Brian Sinclair Expert Working Group. We are finalizing a Report to put forward an alternate set of recommendations in response to the formal judicial Inquiry into the death of Mr. Brian Sinclair in an emergency department.

Vicky Bungay (Co-Principal Investigator) is an Associate Professor in the School or Nursing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver

As a co-lead for the study, I bring my nursing clinical background in critical care and public health and over a decade of research experience on issues of equity and human rights in health and social policy and programming. My work focuses on building effective community-research partnerships that support people’s rights to self-determination. I have conducted studies in the areas of mental health, addictions, and harm reduction and co-led peer-led outreach interventions to promote primary care access for women working in indoor sex venues. More recently I have been working with diverse sex worker communities to develop strength-based approaches to violence prevention. My research activities also include studies concerned with research ethics in practice and developing a new trauma and violence informed outreach intervention for women within inner-city settings.

David Byres (Co-Principal Investigator) is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia, Associate Deputy Minister of Clinical Leadership at the BC Ministry of Health.

I am a registered nurse with a clinical background in mental health, substance use, street nursing and emergency. As a co-principal investigator for this study, I also bring two decades of leadership experience in health organizations including senior executive roles and a fellowship for Nurse Executives at the Wharton School of Business. I am currently leading a province wide dialogue on nursing policy. I have supported the integration of cultural safety within health organizations including Indigenous health teams, sacred spaces, and traditional healing practices. I have lead the development of patient and family centered practices and brought the international conference on patient and family centered care to British Columbia. I have lead work to develop North America’s only opioid treatment clinic to prescribe diacetylmorphine and remain committed to social justice. My current work supports the use of evidence based policy development for nursing and health providers in British Columbia. I am a past co-chair of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Nursing Research Advisory Council.

Roberta Price (Co-Principal Investigator) is an Elder at the Provincial Health Services Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health.

My heritage is Coast Salish – Snuneymuxw/Cowichan Tribes. I have committed to professional and volunteer work in the Health, Social Services, and Education fields for most of my career, and am dedicated to building a strong base of knowledge from which to make improvements to the health care system, specifically for Aboriginal persons. Over the past decade, I have worked in partnership with researchers at the UBC School of Nursing on a number of studies. As an Elder, I have guided study activities around Indigenous approaches to health. My role has been to ensure that the research is relevant and responsive to Indigenous contexts, and to assist in implementation of interventions within clinical settings. I oversee ceremonial and traditional aspects, including integration of traditional healing approaches with ‘Western’ approaches. The studies I have been involved with relate to structural and interpersonal violence and trauma – including colonialism, racism, and poverty – and their effects on health care access and quality for Indigenous people.

Erin Wilson (Co-Principal Investigator) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George.

I am a family nurse practitioner in Prince George. As a co-investigator in this study, I will be focused on the UHNBC site in Prince George. My clinical background is in primary care in rural and remote communities as well as urban practice with vulnerable and marginalized populations. I recently defended my doctoral dissertation, which focused on how patients feel known in the context of interprofessional primary care teams. My research interests are focused on primary health care, rural health, and promoting equity. I have also participated in a national study of rural nurses, through which I helped to develop and validate a scale to measure clinician engagement with attributes of primary health care.

Aggie Black (Co-Investigator & Site Lead) is a Research Leader of Professional Practice for Providence Health Care at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia.

As one of the co-investigators for the Providence Health Care site, I bring my nursing background and my research skills to facilitate the smooth running of the EQUIP study at the St Paul’s site. I have a keen interest in social determinants of health, Aboriginal health, and in improving health care for marginalized populations. I am excited about the potential this project offers for improving our partnerships with Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients and families who visit our emergency department.

Amélie Blanchet Garneau (Co-Investigator) is an Assistant Professor at Université de Montréal in Montréal, Quebec.

I am interested in critical theoretical perspectives regarding culture and health, and the relevance of cultural safety in shifting organizational practices and policies toward fostering health and health care equity. I have a theoretical and practical background in initial and continuing nursing education and I see critical pedagogy as one way to transform healthcare practices toward health care equity. My program of research aims at translating an equity-oriented approach of care for marginalized populations in health care professionals’ initial and continuing education. I envision that my research program could directly inform curriculum development in nursing and other health disciplines focusing on promoting social justice and equity in health and health care.

Jean Carne (Change Coach at Surrey Memorial Hospital)

Scott Comber (Co-Investigator & Change Coach at St. Paul’s) is an Assistant Professor/University Teaching Fellow at the Rowe School of Business, Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University

As a co-investigator for this study, I will be focused primarily on the areas of process evaluation, change readiness/management, and front-line ownership. I bring 20 years of practitioner experience in the field of change management within health care settings. My research focuses on understanding access and equity issues within emergency department settings using complexity science coupled with front-line ownership. I also research in the area of physician leadership development. Therefore, I refer to myself as a “pracademic”; both organization practitioner, and scholarly academic. I am very interested in understanding innovative, intervention science approaches to resolve health care issues.

Alison Gerlach (Co-Investigator) is an Occupational Therapist and Assistant Professor at University of Victoria School of Child and Youth Care

As a Co-Investigator on this project, I bring 20 years of experience in partnering with Indigenous communities and organizations as an occupational therapist and researcher. My research is focused on the development of responsive and inclusive knowledges, and policy and practice interventions that address social justice and health equity issues for families and children who experience structural violence and inequities, and children with developmental challenges, disabilities, and/or complex health conditions. I was a Graduate Research Assistant on the EQUIP team. Currently, I am a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, and an Honorary Research Associate with CRiHHI in the School of Nursing and HELP (Human Early Learning Partnership) in the School of Population Health at UBC. In June 2017, I start a 2-year CIHR Banting postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Margo Greenwood at the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Leanne Heppell (Co-Investigator & Health Care Leader) is the Chief Operating Officer Acute Care and Chief of Professional Practice and Nursing at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia

Emily Jenkins (Co-Investigator) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Bindy Kang (Co-Investigator / Trainee) is a PhD Candidate in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Nancy Perrin (Co-Investigator) is a Statistician at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Lorraine Prysunka (Co-Investigator & Emergency Department Leader) is Director of the Emergency Department at Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey, British Columbia.

Heather Smith (Co-Investigator & Health Care Leader) is a Physician at the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia and Central Interior Native Health Society in Prince George, British Columbia.

Vicki Smye (Co-Investigator & Change Coach at UHNBC) is an Associate Professor and Director at the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University

Janet Smylie (Co-Investigator & Advisory Committee) is a Physician and Director of Well Living House at the Centre for Urban Health Solutions and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in Ontario.

Leslie Varley (Co-Investigator & Advisory Committee) is the Executive Director at the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.

Cheryl Ward (Co-Investigator & Advisory Committee) is the Executive Director of Indigenous Health and Provincial Lead San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training for the Provincial Health Services Authority.

Leslie Bonshor (Advisory Committee) is Executive Advisor, Aboriginal Health with Vancouver Coastal Health.

Lucy Duncan (Indigenous Elder Researcher & Advisory Committee) is Elder at Central Interior Native Health Society in Prince George, British Columbia.

My name is Lucille Duncan, First Nations of Binche Keyoh. I belong to the Lhojaboo clan. My educational background, Indigenous cultural knowledge and life experiences have equipped me well to be part of this research. It is an honour to take part in this particular research as I work downtown Prince George at Central Interior Native Health Society as a Dakelh Elder and previously as an Aboriginal Support Worker. CINHS provides health services for the Aboriginal population and diverse group of people who struggle with mental health and addiction, homelessness, and chronic diseases. As an Elder, I provide services in spiritual guidance and counseling, cultural practices, family support, and connect people with other health or community resources. My experiences as Aboriginal and a frontline worker has lead me to ensure that all people receive adequate and proper health services especially in the area of treating people with respect, dignity,  building healthy relationships and understanding the history of Aboriginal people in Canada.

Jeff Reading (Advisory Committee) is a Professor at Simon Fraser University and First Nations Health Authority Chair in Heart Health and Wellness at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Melanie Rivers (Advisory Committee) is Senior Advisor, Strategic Policy; Policy, Planning & Transformation at the First Nations Health Authority in British Columbia.

I am Coast Salish from the Squamish Nation. My St’atl’imc name is 7imlemelwet which means ‘medicine’. I have worked in First Nations health for 17 years and believe strongly in community-driven, culturally grounded and strength-based approaches to improving health outcomes for First Nations peoples. I have been a key leader in the area of Aboriginal HIV/AIDS work and now work at the First Nations Health Authority as a Senior Advisor in the area of Strategic Policy with a focus on cultural safety and humility, traditional healing and wellness and health human resources. I am honoured to have visited and partnered with a majority of the 201 First Nations communities in BC. I recently completed a Masters in Public Health at the University of British Columbia, where I broadened my knowledge and skills in public health. I bring dedication, creativity and balance, grounding my work in science, culture and community. For her personal wellness goals, Melanie enjoys mixed-media painting, yoga, travel and spending time with my husband and very large cat.

Janet Smylie (Co-Investigator & Advisory Committee) is a Physician and Director of Well Living House at the Centre for Urban Health Solutions and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in Ontario.

Krista Stelkia (Advisory Committee) is Manager of Population Health and Wellness in the Office of the Chief Medial Officer at the First Nations Health Authority.

Leslie Varley (Co-Investigator & Advisory Committee) is the Executive Director at the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.

Cheryl Ward (Co-Investigator & Advisory Committee) is the Executive Director of Indigenous Health and Provincial Lead San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training for the Provincial Health Services Authority.

Aggie Black (Co-Investigator & Site Lead) is a Research Leader of Professional Practice for Providence Health Care at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia.

As one of the co-investigators for the Providence Health Care site, I bring my nursing background and my research skills to facilitate the smooth running of the EQUIP study at the St Paul’s site. I have a keen interest in social determinants of health, Aboriginal health, and in improving health care for marginalized populations. I am excited about the potential this project offers for improving our partnerships with Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients and families who visit our emergency department.

Tanya Campbell (Emergency Department Leader) is a Clinical Nurse Leader at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia.

I am an Emergency Clinical Nurse Leader at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. I have over 18 years’ experience in acute care with 14 years focused in the Emergency. I have previously taught for BCIT Emergency Specialty Program as well as taking on the role of Clinical Resource Nurse for St. Paul’s Hospital. Throughout my career, I have played an active role in facilitating flow and am a proactive patient advocate within the emergency setting.

Kathleen Cunniffe (Emergency Department Leader) is a Physician, Emergency Medicine at University Hospital of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, British Columbia.

Kam Dhami (Emergency Department Leader) is Emergency Department Manager at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Cindy Elliott (Emergency Department Leader) is the Program Director of Emergency Care at Providence Health Care in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Neil Fowler (Indigenous Health Care Leader) is a Team Leader for the Indigenous Health and Wellness Program at St. Paul’s Hospital, Providence Health Care in Vancouver, British Columbia.

 

Olive Godwin (Health Care Leader) is the Executive Director of the Prince George Division of Family Practice.

Scott Harrison (Health Care Leader) is Director of Urban Health, Indigenous Health and Wellness, Substance Use at Providence Health Care in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Leanne Heppell (Co-Investigator & Health Care Leader) is the Chief Operating Officer Acute Care and Chief of Professional Practice and Nursing at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia

Lorraine Prysunka (Co-Investigator & Emergency Department Leader) is Director of the Emergency Department at Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey, British Columbia.

Patrick Rowe (Emergency Department Leader) is a Physician of Emergency Medicine and Medical Lead of the Northern Health ER and Trauma Services Program at University Hospital of Northern British Columbia in Prince George.

Heather Smith (Co-Investigator & Health Care Leader) is a Physician at the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia and Central Interior Native Health Society in Prince George, British Columbia.

Rita Sweeney (Emergency Department Leader) is the Clinical Nurse Manager of Emergency at University Hospital of Northern British Columbia in Prince George.

Laura Wessman (Health Care Leader) is the Health Services Administrator for Prince George with the Northern Health Authority.

Lesley Young (Emergency Department Leader) is a Clinical Nurse Educator in the Emergency Department at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Jenn Diederich (Research Assistant for Surrey Memorial Hospital)

Shayna Dolan (Site Research Coordinator at UHNBC)

Caryn Dooner (Research Assistant for St. Paul’s Hospital)

Lucy Duncan (Indigenous Elder Researcher & Advisory Committee) is Elder at Central Interior Native Health Society in Prince George, British Columbia.

My name is Lucille Duncan, First Nations of Binche Keyoh. I belong to the Lhojaboo clan. My educational background, Indigenous cultural knowledge and life experiences have equipped me well to be part of this research. It is an honour to take part in this particular research as I work downtown Prince George at Central Interior Native Health Society as a Dakelh Elder and previously as an Aboriginal Support Worker. CINHS provides health services for the Aboriginal population and diverse group of people who struggle with mental health and addiction, homelessness, and chronic diseases. As an Elder, I provide services in spiritual guidance and counseling, cultural practices, family support, and connect people with other health or community resources. My experiences as Aboriginal and a frontline worker has lead me to ensure that all people receive adequate and proper health services especially in the area of treating people with respect, dignity,  building healthy relationships and understanding the history of Aboriginal people in Canada.

Sunny (Ziqian) Jiao (Research Assistant for St. Paul’s Hospital)

Kat Kolar (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Phoebe Long (Research Manager) is the Research Manager for EQUIP Emergency at the UBC School of Nursing in Vancouver, British Columbia.

As research manager for this study, I coordinate research operations and team communications, and provide supervision to research staff and students on the team. I have been managing research projects related to health, equity, and interpersonal and structural violence since 2009, having joined the EQUIP Health Care team in 2011. I have a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Arizona, with an emphasis on global maternal and child health and medical anthropology. I am bilingual in Spanish and English and have a background in Latin American studies. My previous work includes social work and counseling with migrant and immigrant families, many of whom have experienced multiple forms of violence. Throughout my previous and current work, I maintain a commitment to social justice and advocacy for marginalized people.

Manal Masud (Research Assistant for Surrey Memorial Hospital)

Jo Parker (Research Manager) facilitates data requests and analysis of administrative data for EQUIP Emergency at the UBC School of Nursing in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Allie Slemon (Site Research Coordinator at St. Paul’s Hospital)

Cheyanne Stones (Research Assistant)

Kimberley Thomas (Research Assistant for UHNBC in Prince George)

Patrice Wright (Site Research Coordinator at Surrey Memorial Hospital)