Ms. Heather Cook
Ms. Heather Cook (Chair) is a RN with a Master of Science in Nursing from Gonzaga University. She is a leader with over 25 years experience in health care organizations including project management and management at the senior level. Currently she is the Executive Director Interior Health (West) Hospitals and Communities Integrated Services (HCIS). She enjoys the opportunities and challenges this position brings, including overseeing leadership to acute, home health community, renal, cardiac, and surgical services. She brings a voice to clinical practice, clinical standards and quality for Interior Health at a community, health authority, and provincial level. Her past experiences includes being the Chief Nursing Officer and Professional Practice Lead for Interior Health, Director of the Residential and Assisted Living Program and Fraser Canyon Hospital and Community in the Fraser Health Authority and the Director of Residential Services, and Director of Seniors Health, End of Life Care, and Spirituality, for the Vancouver Island Health Authority. Heather has been an invited decision-maker representative to review research proposals with the Canadian Institute for Health Research, and has served as the Scientific Officer for the past five years. Heather is currently active in several collaborative research projects to improve care in residential long term care.
Ms. Lynda Foley
Lynda Foley has 30 years of experience in acute care, ambulatory care, residential, home care and palliative care. Lynda has held the position of Adjunct Professor with the University of Calgary, Faculty of Nursing. Lynda’s clinical interests lie in working with older adults experiencing chronicity and in their ability for self-management. Lynda holds the Canadian Nurses Association Certification in Gerontological Nursing. Lynda’s experience in health care management has included a strong emphasis on the application of evidence-based practice which has provided her with a proven record of leadership in program development and evaluation.
She is currently a board member for the Canadian Home Care Association, and for the MSFHR BCNRI Nursing Research Advisory Council.
Ms. Janet Zaharia
Ms. Janet Zaharia is the Director of Palliative and Dementia Care Policy, Senior Services Branch, Health Services Policy Division, in the BC Ministry of Health. One of her key responsibilities is leading and directing initiatives to improve integration between home, community and integrated care programs and other programs in the health care spectrum, including end of life care. She holds a Masters degree in Public Administration, Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a diploma in psychiatric nursing. Janet has 20 years experience in public administration in the BC Government and has worked in the areas of: information management /information technology policy; citizen centred service delivery; inter-jurisdictional collaboration; and justice programs. Janet also recently spent two years with the federal government at Service Canada College where she conducted a review of the governance of learning at the national and regional levels for Service Canada, and developed and implemented a strategic learning partnership framework. Her areas of interest are in strategic partnerships, policy and planning, operations, and evaluation.
Dr. Francis Lau
Dr. Francis Lau is a professor with the School of Health Information Sciences at the University of Victoria. He is a PhD graduate in medical sciences with specialization in medical informatics in the design, implementation and evaluation of health information systems. He has a diverse background in business, computing and medical sciences, with 14 years of professional experience in the IT industry. Prior to joining the University of Victoria in 2001, where he was the Director of the School of Health Information Science, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Accounting and Management Information Systems in the Business School at the University of Alberta. Dr. Lau's current research foci are in health information system evaluation, clinical vocabularies, and palliative care informatics. He was the recipient of the eHealth Chair funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and Canada Health Infoway to establish an eHealth Observatory to monitor the impact of health information system deployment in Canada.
Ms. Mary Kjorven
Ms. Mary Kjorven is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Geriatrics with Interior Health. She has a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Okanagan University College and a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of British Columbia. She has focused her nursing practice on care of the older adult across health care sectors including acute, community and residential care. She holds Specialty Certification in Gerontology from the Canadian Nurses Association, Gerontological Certification from Selkirk College, Specialty Certification in High Acuity Nursing from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and certification as a Nurse Continence Advisor from McMaster University. She also serves as an Associate Member Clinical Instructor, UBC Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine. She is currently a PhD student at the University of British Columbia Okanagan where her area of focus is risk and older adults. Her past experience includes working as a staff nurse within a number of surgical specialties, as an educator in both clinical and academic settings and as the first Nursing Research Facilitator for Interior Health. She has served as Board Member for the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia since 2011 and Board Chair since 2013. She is an active member in a number of professional associations including the British Columbia Psychogeriatric Association, Canadian Association of Advanced Practice Nurses, Canadian Association of Gerontology, Canadian Association of Nursing Research, Canadian Gerontological Nurses Association, Central Okanagan Gerontological Nurses Group and the Gerontological Nurses Association of British Columbia. Her areas of research interest include aging, delirium and older adults’ perception of risk.
Dr. Sally Thorne
Dr. Sally Thorne is a Professor in the School of Nursing and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science at UBC. She is an academic nursing leader with an extensive record of research in the field of communication in cancer and chronic illness. Her body of written work has focussed attention on chronic illness and cancer experience, with a particular emphasis on the impact that dominant scientific orientations and population health ideologies have had on the human experience of seeking and obtaining appropriate care in the Canadian context. She has also been active in developing and refining applied qualitative inquiry methods for the application of subjective experiential knowledge to the evidence based health care cultural context. She is Editor-in-Chief for the scholarly journal Nursing Inquiry and Associate Editor for Qualitative Health Research. She has also served on numerous Boards, including the BC Cancer Agency, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and currently sits as a Board Director for the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the Association of Registered Nurses of BC.
Ms. Colleen Butcher
Ms. Colleen Butcher has 35 years experience in health care. Graduating with an RN diploma from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, she worked as a staff nurse in various departments including surgery, medicine, ICU and emergency. In 1990, she obtained a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing through the University of Victoria after which she continued to work as a staff nurse and in various supervisory roles. She attended the Executive Master of Business Administration programme at Simon Fraser University and graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree in 2003. Since that time, she has progressively moved to positions with wider responsibilities and is presently the Manager of Seniors Tertiary Mental Health for Island Health. Her areas of interest are: dementia friendly hospitals, elder friendly principles, lean design processes, and leadership competencies.
Dr. Christine Penney
Christine Penney is a RN with a Masters and PhD from the School of Public Administration, University of Victoria and a Fellow with the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation's (CRSRF) Executive Training for Research Application ( EXTRA) Program. She is currently the Deputy Registrar/Chief Officer, Policy, Practice and Quality Assurance at the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC). Her past experience includes senior management positions in health service delivery across acute and community sectors and health policy at the Ministry of Health Services, B.C. Dr. Penney is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Victoria and University of BC, Schools of Nursing. She is an international facilitator with Accreditation Canada, a member of the Canadian Institutes Health Research (CIHR) research review panels, and upcoming Chair of a provincial non-profit board.