Team & Staff Bios


Pam Aikman, MSc

Provincial Director, Stroke Services BC, Provincial Health Services Authority



Davina Banner-Lukaris, PhD

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of Northern British Columbia


Davina is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and a researcher in the Rural and Northern Practice Research Unit at the University of Northern British Columbia. Davina moved to UNBC from the UK in 2007 where she undertook a postdoctoral research fellowship with Dr. Martha MacLeod and a second fellowship with the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)-funded Future Program for Cardiovascular Nurse Scientists. She has been a registered nurse since 1999 and prior to her move to Canada worked as a nurse in the cardiothoracic intensive care field as well as a cardiac surgery research specialist. Davina was awarded her doctorate in 2007 from the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. Her thesis explored women’s experiences of coronary artery bypass graft surgery. She currently teaches nursing research, practice and clinical care. Davina has published and presented nationally and internationally and is an external peer reviewer for clinical and cardiac nursing journals. Davina’s research interests include cardiovascular health, gender, and rural and northern health care delivery. Davina is the research chair for the Canadian Council for Cardiovascular Nurses of British Columbia and Yukon and is a member of peer review committees for the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.



Bernice Budz, MSN, RN

Associate Dean, Nursing, School of Health Sciences, British Columbia Institute of Technology


Bernice Budz holds a Masters of Nursing Degree from UBC and a post-Masters Adult Nurse Practitioner degree from the University of Washington. Bernice has over 25 years of cardiac and critical care experience in both clinical and administrative capacities in Canada and the USA.



Owen Dukay, BA, BBA

Administrative & Operations Manager, BC Alliance on Telehealth Policy & Research


Owen brings to the team more than 14 years of experience as an executive and administrative assistant. She offers a strong background in all aspects of office management, developing and maintaining comprehensive administrative processes that improve the efficiency of day-to-day operations. She maintains the highest performance standards within a diverse range of administrative functions. Owen is accustomed to working in fast-paced environments and offers lots of creativity and good judgment to maintain the excellent service standard of the BCATPR team. Owen graduated with double degrees - Bachelor of Arts, major in Behavioral Science, and Bachelor of Business Administration, major in Marketing. She possesses excellent organizational and communication skills, an outstanding work ethic, and the ability to work well both in team-oriented and self-directed environments.


Nancy Gabor
Nancy Gabor, MSc, PMP, CPHIMS-CA

Senior Strategic Planning Analyst, Telehealth, IMITS, Provincial Health Services Authority


Nancy Gabor is a PMP, PROSCI and CPHIMS-CA-certified eHealth strategist, project manager and change manager.  Nancy is committed to citizen empowerment through improved access to health services and health information.  A graduate of the University of Victoria Health Information Science MSc program, Nancy has over 10 years of experience in health informatics with particular subject matter expertise in telehealth strategy. She has provided leadership in the areas of health system advocacy, performance and evaluation, business analysis, project and change management, market research and communications with organizations including British Columbia’s Provincial Health Services Authority, AMBiT Consulting, IBM, the Ontario Telemedicine Network, the Ontario Hospital Association and Ipsos-Reid. 



Barbara Hennessy, RN, MN, CCN(C)

Regional Coordinator, Cardiac and Cerebrovascular Services, Northern Health


Barbara has a Masters in Nursing from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner with a specialty in Adult Cardiac. As the Regional Coordinator for Northern Health (NH) Cardiac and Cerebrovascular Services (CCVS), Barbara is responsible for activities related to NH’s participation in provincial programs such as the BC Stroke Strategy and Cardiac Program, and for leading the development of services under the NH CCVS Strategy as part of the NH Chronic Disease Program. She is also responsible for establishing and maintaining CCVS working groups to participate in various NH and provincial initiatives; she is a member of a number of British Columbia Heart Failure Strategy and Stroke Services Working Groups and is the Co-Chair of the Heart Failure Strategy Special Populations Working Group. Barbara’s previous experiences include Clinical Nurse Specialist in Cardiology, South-East Regional Health Authority, Moncton, New Brunswick; Safer Healthcare Now! Acute Myocardial Infarction national faculty; and member of the Atlantic Cardiac Rehab Network. In her spare time, Barbara loves reading books, crafting and biking, and is very excited to see more of beautiful northern BC.



Dan Horvat, MD

Assistant Professor, Northern Medical Program, University of Northern British Columbia


Over the past ten years Dan has been a family physician in Prince George, British Columbia and continues his practice a part-time basis. He also holds the rank of Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia. Dan has acted as a governor for organizations including; the Simon Fraser Health Region, the BC College of Family Physicians and the Western Healthcare Improvement Network. He has chaired or co-chaired numerous conferences bringing local and international leadership to British Columbia on health system improvement. Dan also worked with the BC Cancer Agency to assist with the launch of the Family Practice Oncology Network and has acted as a consultant to the Michael Smith Foundation as well as the BC Ministry of Health on Primary Care issues. He also acted as an invited ‘expert opinion’ to the Commission on the Future of Healthcare in Canada (the Romanow Commission).



Andrew Ignaszewski MD, FRCP(C), FACC

Head of Division of Cardiology, Physicians Operations Leader - Cardiology, Medical Director of Heart Failure and Healthy Heart, Cardiologist, St. Paul's Hospital;
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of British Columbia;


Andrew Ignaszewski received his medical training in Poland. He arrived in Canada in 1983 and completed his Internal Medicine training at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia before moving to University of Alberta where he finished his Adult Cardiology training. In 1994, he was recruited for medical leadership of a premier cardiac rehabilitation and prevention program at St. Paul’s Hospital. Andrew is the Physician Program Director of the Heart Centre Program at St. Paul’s Hospital; a cardiologist with the Heart Function Clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital designed to look after all aspects of cardiac care for patients with congestive heart failure; and a Cardiologist with the Heart Transplant Program at St. Paul’s Hospital. Until November 1999, he was the Medical Director of the British Columbia Transplant Society. Andrew’s research interests are cardiac rehabilitation and prevention, heart failure and patient outcomes following various cardiovascular interventions. He has published 37 papers and 72 abstracts in these areas. He is also involved in the teaching of medical students and medical residents at St. Paul’s Hospital and has received teaching awards from the University of British Columbia.



Annemarie Kaan, MCN, RN

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Heart Centre, St. Paul’s Hospital;
Adjunct Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia


Annemarie Kaan holds a Master of Clinical Nursing (Cardiothoracic) from the Australian Catholic University, a Cardiothoracic Nursing Certificate from St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia, and a Registered Nursing Certificate from St. Joseph’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia. She is also a Certified Cardiovascular Nurse in Canada, and a Certified Clinical Transplant Nurse in the USA. With over 25 years experience in cardiothoracic nursing, Annemarie is the Clinical Nurse Specialist for Heart Failure and Transplantation. Her roles include: case manager for complicated heart failure patients, in-patient heart transplant patients and Ventricular Assist Device patients, and maintaining best practice and implementing cutting edge innovation within the program. Annemarie is an Adjunct Professor with the School of Nursing at UBC and is actively involved in the Masters and BSN program providing education in her areas of expertise including heart failure, heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. Annemarie is a member of the International Society for Heart Transplantation, Heart Failure Society of America, Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses and is on Editorial Review Boards of Progress in Transplantation and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.



Daman Kandola, BHSc, MSc 

Research Coordinator, BC Alliance on Telehealth Policy & Research (Prince George)


Daman holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree in Biomedical Studies and a Masters of Science in Health Sciences from the University of Northern British Columbia. Her thesis explored the impact of time delay to percutaneous coronary intervention on patient outcomes. Her past research experiences include working as a research assistant and now research associate with the School of Nursing at UNBC. She is currently the Prince George based research coordinator for the Internet Chronic Disease Management (iCDM) and Stroke Coach studies. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. 



Scott Lear, PhD

Team Leader, BCATPR;
Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences and the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University;
Pfizer/Heart and Stroke Foundation Chair in Cardiovascular Prevention Research, St. Paul's Hospital;
Director, Community Health Solutions


Dr. Scott Lear is a Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and the inaugural Pfizer/Heart and Stroke Foundation Chair in Cardiovascular Prevention Research at St. Paul's Hospital. As leader of the British Columbia Alliance for Telehealth Policy and Research, he has developed and evaluated several Internet-based programs for chronic disease management. To date, a 'virtual' cardiac rehabilitation program and a 'virtual' heart failure clinic have been successfully evaluated, and the team is currently evaluating solutions for patients with multiple chronic diseases. Together, this research will identify solutions that can be readily implemented into practice for the prevention and management of chronic diseases.

Dr. Lear is also the Director of Community Health Solutions. CHS engages with community partners to learn, develop, and apply novel and sustainable approaches, programs, and policies to enhance chronic disease prevention and management to support healthy individuals and communities. Under CHS, Dr. Lear’s research spans the breadth of prevention of chronic diseases at a population level to the management of chronic diseases at an individual level. His research includes identification of environmental characteristics (the so-called ‘built environment’) that may act as facilitators and barriers of healthy lifestyle habits and downstream cardiovascular disease risk, as well as investigation of the role of ethnic background in risk for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease as part of the Multi-cultural Community Health Assessment Trial (M-CHAT).



Adeera Levin, PhD

Executive Director, BC Provincial Renal Agency


Adeera is currently a Professor of Medicine at University of BC, and Co-director of the Clinical Investigator Program at UBC. She is the Executive director of the BC Provincial Renal Agency, an organization which manages and co-ordinates the care of patients with kidney disease in the province of BC, and which has developed and maintained the provincial registry for renal patients. She is the Chair of Curriculum Committee for the National KRESCENT (Kidney Research and Education SCientist EducatioN Training program). In addition she is outgoing Chair of the NKF KDOQI guideline process, and is on the Board of Directors and Executive committee of the newly formed KDIGO, an international group providing collaborative structure for outcomes research and guideline development in CKD. Her research and clinical activities focus on chronic kidney disease, co morbidities associated with CKD, mechanisms of disease and health outcomes research. She is active in mentoring young investigators in kidney related research, and holds numerous grants for clinical studies. She has received funding from CIHR ( NET Grant), Kidney Foundation of Canada, and is the principal investigator on a number of studies funded by industry but designed and developed by investigators. She was awarded a team planning grant from Michael Smith Foundation to develop a research strategy for the study of complex patients (INTEGRATION), and most recently a Health Innovation Fund Grant from the Ministry of Health, British Columbia for $6 million to develop and evaluate a model of coordinated specialist care for complex patients.



Linda Li, PT, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia; Harold Robinson / Arthritis Society Chair in Arthritic Diseases


Dr. Linda Li is an Associate Professor and Harold Robinson / Arthritis Society Chair in Arthritic Diseases at the Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, as well as a Senior Scientist at the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada. Upon completing her doctoral training in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto, she completed a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded post-doctoral fellowship in clinical epidemiology/knowledge translation at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Linda is currently a CIHR New Investigator, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) Career Investigator, and a past recipient of the American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation Health Professional New Investigator Award. As a health services researcher, Linda’s research focuses in two areas: 1) understanding the help-seeking experiences of people with early inflammatory arthritis, and 2) evaluating models of arthritis care. Her methodological skills include clinical epidemiology and mixed-methods design. She also collaborates with digital media experts to develop and evaluate online tools, such as decision aids for promoting shared-decision making and interactive programs for coaching people to be physically active. Her research is currently funded by CIHR, MSFHR, and Graphics, Animation & New Media (GRAND) NCE.



Margarita Loyola, ME, MBA

Manager, Telehealth, Vancouver Island Health Authority


Margarita is a professional engineer in the province of British Columbia and manages the Telehealth program at the Vancouver Island Health Authority. She was born in Mexico city where she studied engineering, and came to Canada to further her education. In 1986, she obtained a Masters in Engineering from UBC. She worked in the field of Clinical Engineering at various hospitals in BC and Calgary, Alberta. She then moved to Trail in 1995 where she managed both the West Kootenay Regional Biomedical Engineering program and the IT department for the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital. Margarita became the manager of Telehealth when Interior Health (IHA) was formed in 2002. Based in Victoria, Margarita continues to implement teleheatlh services for the Vancouver Island Health Authority. Margarita also has an MBA from Athabasca University and a Health Services Management Diploma. She enjoys traveling, playing the guitar, and spending time with family and friends.




Karen Mahoney, RN, MSN

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Renal Program, Fraser Health Authority


Karen Mahoney, MSN, is a Clinical Nurse Specialist with the Fraser Health Renal Program. Karen has an interest in research regarding Chronic Illness, integration of Chronic Disease Management and Quality Improvement activities. Karen has been involved in projects including the development of chronic care clinics and integrated specialty-care clinics, and streamlining end-of-life care for renal patients. Prior to her CNS role, Karen taught Nephrology Nursing at BCIT for 9 years, and continues to work as a front-line nurse with dialysis patients on a casual basis. 



Nancy Parmar, RN

Chronic Disease Management Research Nurse, BC Alliance on Telehealth Policy & Research





Marc Pelletier

Senior Strategic Advisor, BC Ministry of Health






Brodie Sakakibara


Brodie Sakakibara, PhD

Research Coordinator, BC Alliance on Telehealth Policy & Research (Vancouver)


Brodie received his doctoral training (2013) in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of British Columbia in the areas of mobility disability and outcomes measurement. His doctoral research focused on the associations between self-efficacy, mobility, and participation in daily and social activities in older, community-dwelling wheelchair users, as well as on using contemporary methods (i.e. items response theory and Rasch analyses) in the evaluation of measurement tools. He has also done extensive knowledge translation work to facilitate the uptake and use of evidence-based practices in the rehabilitation of individuals with spinal cord injury.

He is currently a post-doctoral fellow funded by a fellowship from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (2013 - 2016), working with Dr. Scott Lear (Simon Fraser University) and Dr. Janice Eng (University of British Columbia). In his post-doctoral work, he is investigating the impact of a telehealth intervention to improve health-related behaviours in community-dwelling individuals who have had a stroke.



Kaitey Vincent, BA

Research Coordinator, BC Alliance on Telehealth Policy & Research (Vancouver)


Kaitey earned an undergraduate degree with double majors in Health Science and Communications from Simon Fraser University. Her past research experiences include the Multicultural Community Health Assessment Trial, the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological Study, the Capture Project, the Virtual Heart Failure Clinic (vHFC), and a variety of ethnographic projects dealing with global health and women's reproductive health. Kaitey also worked with community-based organizations to promote physical and social development of children and youth through sports. Currently the Vancouver-based research coordinator for BCATPR, she is implementing the Internet-based Chronic Disease Management (iCDM) and the Heart Outcomes Prevention and Evaluation 4 (HOPE-4) studies, and is involved in a Canadian Partnership Against Cancer funded implementation project with the BC Cancer Agency and Canadian Cancer Society. During her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and cooking.



Ina Vukmirovich, BSc

Communications Officer, BC Alliance on Telehealth Policy & Research


Ina holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Health and Physiological Sciences Stream, from Simon Fraser University, with continued education in web development, software programming, visual art and animation from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Since 2007, she has worked in a variety of research roles, including research assistant for the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology Study, a multi-national longitudinal study on heart disease, diabetes and obesity, and coordinator for the Built Environment Study, examining the effects of the built environment on these chronic diseases in three Canadian provinces. As the communications officer for the BCATPR, she is in charge of website maintenance and development of marketing materials such as its bi-monthly newsletter.



Loretta Zilm

Telehealth Coordinator, Interior Health Authority

Loretta Zilm is a telehealth and health informatics professional with more than ten years of experience in the field of health care. She is currently employed by the Interior Health Authority, a $1.6 billion public health care organization in the province of British Columbia. Loretta is an active member of the Canadian Health Informatics Association (COACH), the BC TeleHealth Development Committee, Cardiac Services BC – Heart Failure Working Group for Telecommunications Strategies, Emergency Telemedicine Special Interest Group, and the Interior Health Stroke Leadership Committee. She is also in the Bachelor Degree Program for Technology in Technology Management at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

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