Better at Home Reference Group

The Better at Home Provincial Reference Group acts as a consultative body to the Better at Home program, managed by the United Way of the Lower Mainland (UWLM) and funded by the government of British Columbia (BC).

The Reference Group comprises of a group of experts, advocates and community partners that provide input on the projects, evaluation and strategic direction of the Better at Home Program and services in BC.

The members of the UWLM Better at Home Provincial Reference Group are:

Barb MacLean

Executive Director, Family Caregivers of British Columbia

As Executive Director of Family Caregivers of British Columbia, Barb deeply understands the range of issues affecting family caregivers, seniors and the challenges we are facing in our health system as our population ages. Barb has a Masters in Leadership and over 30 years” experience in the non-profit sector. She sits on a number of community and advisory boards and enjoys traveling with her family.

Kendal Alston

Manager, Community Supports, Ministry of Health

Kendal Alston is the Manager of Community Supports at the BC Ministry of Health. In her role, Kendal oversees multiple files under the umbrella of Home and Community Care. Kendal is responsible for Assisted Living, Home Support, Better at Home, Adult Day Programs, and Respite. Most of Kendal`s career has been spent working at the Ministry of Health, focusing predominantly on policy related to services for seniors and vulnerable adults. Kendal holds a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Health Education, a Master of Arts in Kinesiology, and she is about to start her journey towards completing a Master of Business Administration.

Heather Cowie

Provincial Coordinator, Dementia-Friendly Communities, Alzheimer Society of B.C

Heather Cowie is the Provincial Coordinator for Dementia-Friendly Communities at the Alzheimer Society B.C. Heather has her Masters of Arts degree in Gerontology from Simon Fraser University where she studied aging and the built environment. She has been involved in numerous programs and projects related to the well-being of older adults and is thrilled to be bringing attention to making communities better for people living with dementia by leading B.C.’s Dementia-Friendly Communities initiative.

Dr. Joanie Sims-Gould

Assistant Professor, Principal Scientist, Active Aging Research Team; Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia

Dr. Sims-Gould is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Practice at UBC.  She is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar. Joanie has diverse research interests in the experiences of marginalized frail older adults, and delivery of home/community based health care. She has a strong commitment to knowledge mobilization and translation through research and practice. Joanie plays a leadership role in advancing the work of the community-based seniors’ services sector through the development and advancement of cross-sectoral partnerships and community-based research.

Jodi Mucha

Executive Director, BC Healthy Communities Society

Jodi Mucha has been the Executive Director of B.C. Healthy Communities for the past 12 years and holds a Masters in Environment and Management, and over 20 years of community development experience working both at the local and international level. She provides expertise in multi-sectoral collaboration and partnerships, systems thinking, the healthy communities approach and practical approaches to understanding the links between the determinants of health.

Judy Sturm

Aboriginal Lead, Interior Health

Judy Sturm is an Aboriginal Lead at Interior Health Authority.She is a registered First Nation with the Williams Lake IndianBand, a part of the Secwepemc Nation and has Métis Ancestry.Judy has over 20 years of nursing experience in various healthcare areas. Judy has a passion for supporting families, andfostering wellness within the Aboriginal population. She holdstwo Masters degrees in Nursing and Health Informatics.

Lori McLeod

Executive Director, Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation

Lori McLeod is the Executive Director for the Eldercare Foundation since 2000. Previously, Lori spent 10 years in television managing community relations, promotions and marketing.  As a collaborative leader and partnership builder in the seniors sector for the past 17 years, Lori’s vision and stewardship have grown the Foundation’s footprint and established Eldercare’s successful Embrace Aging initiative.  Lori believes strongly in promoting the valuable work of the community-based seniors sector and connecting people to resources to help them Be Well, Be Secure, Be Connected, Be Enriched: the 4 pillars of Embrace Aging.

Marcy Cohen

BC Health Coalition; Lead, Raising the Profile Project

Marcy has over 35 years of experience working as a health and social policy researcher and educator. She has published over 30 articles focusing on health care reform and workforce equity and has been  involved in social justice work as a professional and volunteer for most of her adult life. Now retired, Marcy is increasingly interested in supporting resiliency in older adults. She is a volunteer advocate for several organizations and initiatives in the social, health and government sectors. Marcy co-leads the Raising the Profile Project.

MJ Colquhoun

Labour Advocate, BCGEU

MJ Colquhoun began her career as a Community Health Worker (CHW), gaining valuable experience working directly with a client base that overlaps to a large extent seniors served by Better at Home. She worked as a Scheduler for home support for approximately 21 years. MJ is a long-time labour advocate through her work with BCGEU. She began as a shop steward and is now the Chairperson of Local 804, representing CHWs in the Fraser Valley. MJ sits on Component 8 Executive.

Tim Rowe

Regional Mentor, BC CRN Northern Interior

Tim has been a Regional Mentor with the BC CRNs for five years. He is also engaged in a number of projects which include supporting the development of two pilot Dementia Homes in rural northern communities, the redesigning of home support services, and promoting awareness around the increasing need for seniors’ accessible housing in Northern BC.

Doni Eve

Senior Manager, Healthy Aging, Population and Public Health Division of the BC Ministry of Health

Doni Eve is Senior Manager, Healthy Aging, for the Population and Public Health Division of the BC Ministry of Health. She has worked to support active aging for older people in B.C. since 2002. She led development of information and tools to help older people in their efforts to age actively, including the popular “Healthy Eating for seniors” handbook and the Aging Well tools and workshops to motivate people to plan for healthy aging. She was at the forefront of supporting age-friendly communities since the World Health Organization (WHO) study in 2006 and led the Age-friendly B.C. initiative for several years. She has a Bachelor of Journalism (Hon) degree from Carleton University and a Professional Certificate in Public Sector and Non-profit Marketing from Centre for Excellence for Public Sector Marketing/Sprott School of Business.

Dr. Eman Hassan

Director of Public Health Initiatives at the BC Centre for Palliative Care

Dr. Eman Hassan is the Director of Public Health Initiatives at the BC Centre for Palliative Care, where she is leading its Compassionate Communities Initiative, Seed Grant Program and Advance Care Initiative. Eman is the author of the Centre’s White Paper titled: “The Public Health Approach to Palliative Care”. In this paper, she describes the different public health palliative care models including the Compassionate Communities’ model and presents the international experiences with these models.

Eman has more than 15 years of experience leading population health initiatives and program evaluation in BC and abroad. In addition to her medical degree, Eman holds a Master of Public Health from UBC and completed a two-year Fellowship – awarded by CIHR – in Health Services Research and Evaluation. Eman published in leading medical journals and received notable awards from academic and professional institutions for her research which contributed to improvement in community health.

Dr. Khairun Jivani

Director for Cancer Control for BC and Yukon, Canadian Cancer Society

Dr. Khairun Jivani is the Cancer Control Director for BC and Yukon, at the Canadian Cancer Society. She is currently responsible for overseeing a diverse portfolio, including programs on prevention, advocacy and support for clients with cancer. The support includes lodges, oncology camps and peer support programs. Over the span of her career, Dr. Jivani has worked in various senior management roles across multiple industries and services including, health care, insurance, communications, research and consulting.

She has successfully led and managed various programs for public sector (e.g. ICBC Corporate Planning, Road Safety, BC Injury Unit, BC Ministry of Health, Public Health Agency of Canada) private sectors (UniLever Ltd., Squirrel Systems) and NGOs (e.g. CCS, Preventable, Aga Khan Foundation), both within and outside health care industry, locally and internationally. She specializes in establishing public-private partnerships and has worked with multiple stakeholders in diverse work environments. Dr. Jivani, is also a recognized dental surgeon, with a Masters in Public Health and a MBA from Simon Fraser University, in BC.

Sherry Baker

Executive Director, BC Association of Community Response Networks

Sherry Baker has owned and operated a private consulting and counselling practice since 1990. She was hired as the Executive Director of the BC Association of Community Response Networks in July 2010.Sherry has sat on, and chaired many provincial, regional and local boards over the years. Sherry was elected to City Council in Chilliwack in the 1980’s where she served for 6 years. She completed six years as a public member on each if the Board of Registration for Social Workers and on the College of Occupational Therapists of BC.

She is the past Chair of the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support and past chair of the South Fraser Family Court and Youth Justice Committee, as well as a founding Board Member of the Minerva Foundation for BC Women and a founding member of the United Community Services Coop (now Realize Strategies).
Sherry has been a Rotarian since 1992. She currently sits on the Township of Langley’s Seniors Advisory Committee and chairs the board of Encompass Support Services Society. She was the Executive Director of Ishtar Transition Housing Society from 1995-2006.

Krista James

National Director of the Canadian Centre for Elder Law

Krista’s work is focused on the legal and policy issues that impact us as we age. Her practice includes legal research, policy analysis and public legal education, involving stakeholders from diverse sectors including healthcare, labour, finance and justice. She has written on topics such as abuse and neglect of older adults, mental capacity, age discrimination and caregiving policy. Increasingly Krista’s work centres on intersections between aging, gender and the law and strives to shift narratives on aging from characterizing older people primarily as recipients of care to recognizing older adults in our communities as rights-bearing citizens. She has a particular interest in ensuring law and policy analysis and reform reflects seniors in all their diversity, with particular attention to older adults who are socially marginalized.

Sylvain Moreno

Director of the Digital Health Hub and an Associate Professor, The School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University

Sylvain Moreno, PhD, is Director of the Digital Health Hub and an Associate Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University. He is a specialist in neurotechnologies related to brain health across the lifespan. Dr. Moreno has been a member of the New York Academy of Science since 2006 and is a member of several other prestigious scientific organizations.Moreno is the Head of Innovation for Kids Brain Health Network NCE and the CEO of the AGE-WELL National Innovation Hub on Digital Health for Aging in British Columbia. He has been the recipient of many awards from national and international organizations such as the Early Researcher Award from The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation (2014) and The Brainstorm Innovation Prize from Stanford Medical School (2017). His work has received widespread press in various media outlets including The New York Times and Forbes. He has authored several scientific publications and patents with real-world impacts in school and clinical environments.

Avery Milne

Alzheimer Society of BC

Avery Milne holds a Master of Public Health from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours from the University of Calgary. In her role at the Alzheimer Society of B.C., she acts as the information hub for knowledge relating to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and works on various knowledge mobilization initiatives.

Alan Woodland

Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (BEST)

Alan is the General Manager of BEST, a non-profit that is specialized in sustainable transportation. In recent years, Alan has worked on seniors transportation issues, specifically focussed on how older adults can fully participate in community life when they no longer hold a driving license. Before joining BEST, Alan has involved in the shared-use mobility area focusing on how technology-enabled transportation services can reduce the need for private car ownership.

From the United Way Healthy Aging team:

Camille J. Hannah, Provincial Coordinator, Healthy Aging

Camille has a long history in project and operations management and many years of experience in communications with diverse stakeholder groups. She is a trusted and reliable champion of the Population Health team at United Way, and she continues to be curious about how her skills can enrich the lives of people and communities. Living within an 8-block radius in Vancouver for most of her adult life, Camille enjoys the delights of motherhood, yoga, dance, and unforgettable moments.

Bobbi Symes, Assistant Director, Population Health

Bobbi Symes, has 20 years of experience in research and program coordination specializing in the areas of population health, injury prevention and older adults. In particular, over the past 6 years Bobbi has focused much of her research and program coordination in the area of fall and injury prevention in older adults. Bobbi has a Master of Arts in interdisciplinary studies focusing on principles of adult education and community development. Bobbi has two kids and is heavily involved in the world of competitive gymnastics and acrobatics guided under the influence of her 15 year old daughter. Bobbi was the 2017 Gymnastics BC Volunteer of the year and was just awarded the 2018 Sports BC Presidential award recognizing dedication and commitment of volunteerism to artistic gymnastics.

Kahir Lalji, Provincial Director, Population Health

Kahir Lalji is the Provincial Director of Population Health with the United Way of the Lower Mainland. Working at a programmatic and policy level Kahir takes a life-course approach in the provision of accessible services to support a good quality of life for all people -always attempting to ensure the representation of traditionally under served populations.