PHABC is thrilled to feature the following speakers for our 2022 Conference, “Our Planet, Our Health: Creating Well-Being Societies and Making Peace with Nature.”
Please see the speakers’ biographies below, which highlight their education, experience, and passions for environmental and public health.
Thank you all who attended the 2022 PHABC Conference!
We look forward to welcoming you all to the 2023 PHABC Conference next November!
Dr. Trevor Hancock
Dr. Trevor Hancock is a public health physician, health promotion consultant and recently retired Professor and Senior Scholar at the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria.
His main areas of interest are population health promotion, healthy cities and communities, public health, healthy public policy, environment and health, health policy and planning, and health futurism.
Trevor is one of the founders of the (now global) Healthy Cities and Communities movement and co-authored the original background paper for the European Regional Office of the World Health Organization in 1986.
Over the past 30 years he has worked as a consultant for local communities, governments, health care organizations, NGOs and the World Health Organization. He is a frequent keynote speaker at national and international conferences, and community group engagements.
He was a member of the Canadian Council on the Social Determinants of Health, the Board of the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada. He is currently on the Advisory Council of the Arts and Health Network Canada.
Trevor is the Vice-President of the Board of BC Healthy Communities, co-founded both the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care. Trevor was the first leader of the Green Party in both Canada and Ontario.
In 2015 Trevor was awarded Honourary Fellowship in the UK’s Faculty of Public Health. In 2017 he was awarded the Defries Medal – the Association’s highest honour – by the Canadian Public Health Association.
Dr. Margot W. Parkes
Margot Parkes is a Professor in the UNBC School of Health Sciences, past Canada Research Chair in Health, Ecosystems and Society, and current Co-lead of the UNBC Health Research Institute with three decades of learning from eco-social approaches to public health.
Dr. Parkes’ research connects social and ecological determinants of health especially in rural, remote and Indigenous communities, drawing on background in medicine, public health, human ecology and eco-health, and collaborations spanning New Zealand, Oceania, Europe and the Americas.
In all her work, Margot prioritizes working and learning with others – across regions, cultural contexts, disciplines and sectors – to foster better understanding of land, water and living systems as foundational for health, equity and well-being; and to strengthen collaborations that reflect these connections and foster capacity for integrative approaches to research, education and practice that address health, environment, and equity concerns.
Margot has a strong history of partnered research, involving health authorities, watershed organizations, not-for-profit groups and Indigenous-led organizations especially in rural and remote contexts.
Margot is a founding Co-lead of the Canadian Community of Practice in Ecosystem Approaches to Health; Co-lead of the pan-Canadian and internationally partnered Environment, Community Health Network; Co-chair of the Ecological Determinants Group on Education in Canada; founding member of the Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health for the International Union of Health Promotion and Education; member of the Editorial Advisory Group for The Lancet Planetary Health; and an Honorary Professor at the University of Otago, Aotearoa/NZ.
Dr. Maya Gislason
Dr. Maya Gislason holds a doctorate in Sociology (Medical Sociology) from the University of Sussex, UK, a Masters in Sociology and a double major in Sociology and Women’s Studies both from the University of Victoria, BC, Canada.
A longstanding champion of ecosystem approaches to health, Dr. Gislason works upstream on public health issues by addressing the interconnection between human, animal and ecosystem health alongside her colleagues and community partners, including the First Nations Health Authority.
She teaches on and guides research teams in developing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) informed evidence generating tools, is a Sex and Gender Champion on tri-agency funded research, and is actively engaged in the dynamic space of intersectionality research and Gender-based Analysis Plus approaches to policy formation and evidence building.
Dr. Gislason applies these tools and process to research on the impacts of climate change on diverse populations, currently with a focus on issues of intergenerational climate justice, youth engagement in climate governance and community and place-based approaches to mental health and wellness for children and youth, with a focus on those in rural, remote, northern and Indigenous communities in Canada.
All of this work is placed within the overarching goal of protecting and promoting our shared Planetary Health.
Dr. Danièle Behn Smith
Dr. Danièle Behn Smith is the Province’s Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor and works alongside Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Provincial Health Officer.
Dr. Behn Smith provides independent advice and support to the Ministry of Health on First Nations and Aboriginal health issues. In support of the Ministry’s strategic agenda, Dr. Behn Smith focuses on closing the gap in health outcomes between First Nations and other British Columbians.
Dr. Behn Smith is Eh Cho Dene (Big Animal People) of the Fort Nelson First Nation in B.C. with French Canadian/ Métis roots in the Red River Valley. Since getting her Doctor of Medicine from McMaster University and completing residencies at the universities of Ottawa and Manitoba, Dr. Behn Smith’s career has spanned the country and the globe.
She has practiced rural medicine in remote communities across Canada and is currently a family physician at Tse’wulhtun Health Center in the Cowichan Valley. She was a Board Director for the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, the Director of Education for the University of Alberta’s Indigenous Health Initiatives Program and the Site Director of the University of British Columbia’s Aboriginal Family practice residency.
Dr. Behn-Smith was also the host of “Medicine Woman,” a 13-episode television series which explored traditional healing practices in ten countries on six continents.
Sione Tu’itahi is the Executive Director of the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, Runanga Whakapiki Ake I Te Hauora o Aotearoa (HPF).
Sione is the first Indigenous person to be elected as the Global President of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).
IUHPE is a global professional non-governmental organisation dedicated to health promotion around the world. For more than 70 years, IUHPE has operated an independent, global, professional network of people and institutions committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the people through education, community action and the development of healthy public policy.
As an Educator, Writer, and International Health Promotion Leader, his areas of interest in health promotion include planetary health, determinants of health, human rights, Indigenous knowledge, community development, public policy, and workforce development.
As a former Journalist and Broadcaster, Sione is the author of several books, academic papers, and children’s stories. As a voluntary Community Worker, he is a member of several national advisory groups in the education, health, and community sectors. He is also a Poet.
In recognition of his significant contributions to health promotion and public health at the national and international levels, Sione was given the 2019 New Zealand Public Health Champion Award by the Public Health Association of New Zealand.
Dr. Chris Buse
Dr. Chris Buse is an Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences.
Dr. Buse’s research operates at the interface of the social and ecological determinants of health, aiming to redress the differential and often avoidable exposures to the ill-health effects of environmental changes which are worsened by systemic forms of socioeconomic marginalization and oppression.
His research program is underpinned by a focus on environmental health justice, and is animated by two inter-related areas of interest: the impact of climate change on health equity and the public health response; and the health impacts of natural resource development.
Dr. Buse has held numerous competitive awards and high-profile research positions, including as Senior Research Scientist and CIHR-funded Postdoctoral Fellow with the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Environmental Assessment Research, and MSFHR Postdoctoral Fellow and Inaugural Lead Researcher for the University of Northern British Columbia’s Cumulative Impacts Research Consortium.
He holds a PhD in Public Health from the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, a MA in Sociology from the University of British Columbia, and a BA in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Alberta.
Dr. Courtney Howard
Dr. Howard is an Emergency Physician in Chief Drygeese Territory, and a globally recognized leader on the impacts of climate change on human and planetary health.
She has advanced policy and advocacy on active transport, ecoanxiety, movement-building, plant-rich diets, fossil fuel divestment, carbon pricing, coal phase-out, hydraulic fracturing, vaccine equity, and health impact assessments.
She led the 2017-2019 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change Briefings for Canadian Policymakers, was the 2018 international policy director for the Lancet Countdown, and has researched wildfires and menstrual cups.
Dr. Howard is Past-president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and sits on the boards of the Canadian Medical Association and the Global Climate and Health Alliance.
She is part of the Steering Committee of the Planetary Health Alliance, the WHO-Civil Society Working Group on Climate Change and Health and the Editorial Advisory Boards of the Lancet Planetary Health and the Journal of Climate Change and Health. She is delighted to be spending 2022/2023 in the UK completing a Master in Public Policy at Oxford.
When not deep in a literature review or seeing patients in the ER, Dr Howard can often be found enjoying the great outdoors and dancing with her two daughters.
Sage Lacerte is Carrier from the Lake Babine Nation and has served as the Founder and CEO of the Sage Initiative since 2019.
Sage served as the National Ambassador of the Moose Hide Campaign since 2018, which is a grassroots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys that work to end violence against women and children in Canada.
Sage holds a degree from the University of Victoria in Gender Studies and has been informed by Indigenous knowledge from all her relations across Turtle Island and beyond. This year she became certified as a BIPOC Birthworker and Doula.
Jessica (Jessiquita) Madrid
Jessica (Jessiquita) Madrid, RN, BScN, MSc (Community Health) – Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment/Association canadienne des infirmières et infirmiers pour l’environnement (CANE/ACIIE), Past President.
In addition to her extensive involvement with CANE/ACIIE since its inception, Jessica’s clinical work has encompassed diverse areas of nursing practice including urban public/community health nursing to remote emergency room nursing.
She presently works as a front-line Team Lead for Xaaynanga Naay (Skidegate Health Centre), First Nations Health Authority, in a small on-reserve clinic on the remote archipelago of Haida Gwaii, BC. Her professional focus is Indigenous models of wellness with an emphasis on Haida culture.
Jessica’s prior academic work involved the connections between health promotion and environmental activism, and she has been invited as a guest lecturer on this subject since 2014.
She has also been involved in many local to international initiatives concerning the environment and health including the Community of Practice in Ecosystem Approaches to Health, Western Node (CoPEH-Canada) and the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.
With a personal interest in several wellness modalities, combined with a professional background in nursing, research, and community health, Jessica brings passion and experience to her work as an avid networker, educator, public speaker, and agent for change.
Dr. Lindsay McLaren
Lindsay McLaren PhD is a Professor of Population and Public Health at the University of Calgary where her research and teaching focus on healthy public policy and social and ecological determinants of health. She is also a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, National Office.
Lindsay held an Applied Public Health Chair research award, 2014-19 (funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions) and she received the 2019 CIHR-IPPH (CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health) Trailblazer Award (mid-career category), a career achievement award that recognizes exceptional contributions in population and public health research.
Lindsay is past-president (2014-18) of the Alberta Public Health Association, and currently serves as Senior Editor for the Canadian Journal of Public Health and as Co-Editor for the international peer-reviewed journal, Critical Public Health.
Dr. Jeff Masuda
Dr. Jeff Masuda is a Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria and former Canada Research Chair in Environmental Health Equity.
A human geographer by training, Jeff is known for his work in environmental justice, urban health inequalities, participatory action research, and critical health promotion.
Jeff’s research currently focusses on tenant organization for housing justice, including increasing concerns over extreme heat vulnerability, particularly through his role in the Right to Remain Research Collective.
His research also centres on land stewardship as a pathway for urban decolonization through his involvement in A SHARED Future, an international collaboration on Indigenous renewable energy leadership.
Jeff’s academic specialty also spotlights other issues at the intersection of the social and ecological dimensions of health.
Jeff presently leads a standing special section in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, which highlights climate change and health equity.
Maria Robinson is a ‘Namgis First Nation woman who was born and raised in Alert Bay BC. As a Kwakwaka’wakw woman, she carries her family values through the work she has led in local communities for twenty years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism Management.
Maria is a strong advocate for building communities from the grassroots and developing platforms for leaders to grow and develop connectedness among the community.
Through her work she has bridged language to support collaboration, accountability, and transparency of all ages. Maria enjoys creating spaces where all working groups feel a sense of belonging and can gather to contribute to community development.
Maria has a strong passion for local practice and action. She enjoys working on the ground with her team and delivering positive activities that strengthen relationships. Through truth, trust and empowerment, Maria believes that our communities can advance and improve public health, social services, and programming for long-lasting impacts.
Maria acknowledges that lessons in leadership and community start in our homes. She continues to use these teachings in her line of work with respect that the voice of the People is heard, valued, and accepted.
Dr. Tim K. Takaro
Dr. Takaro is a Professor Emeritus and Physician-Scientist in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University.
He is husband to Aggie Black and father to Annie and Ben.
He trained in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Public Health and Toxicology, at Yale, the University of North Carolina and the University of Washington. Dr. Takaro’s research is primarily about the links between human exposures and disease, and determining effective public health based preventive solutions to such risks.
Planetary change poses complex problems for public health never more apparent than during the COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges demand an interdisciplinary approach both in research and action.
To this end, Takaro is a member the Planetary Health Research group at SFU and a Lead Author of the Health Canada 2022 report, Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing Knowledge for Action.
His current research program explores the impacts of resource extraction on human health and the relationship to our land and waters.
With immense gratitude to the First Peoples he is beginning to use Indigenous knowledge to relearn environmental health as he tests different interventions in climate action and planet protection.
Dr. Shannon Waters
Dr. Shannon Waters is Coast Salish and a member of Stz’uminus First Nation on Vancouver Island. She completed the First Nations Family Practice program at the University of British Columbia and worked as a family doctor in Duncan, BC.
While honored to work close to home Shannon became frustrated with seeing people mostly when they were unwell and wanted to focus on keeping people healthy in the first place so she returned to school and completed her specialty training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
Shannon worked as the Director of Health Surveillance at First Nations and Inuit Health Branch and, at First Nations Health Authority as the Acting Senior Medical Officer for Vancouver Island Region.
She has worked with Vancouver Island Health Authority as a Medical Director and with the Ministry of Health as the Aboriginal Physician Advisor. She is currently honored to have come full circle and to be working in her home territory as the local Medical Health Officer with Island Health.
Jade Yehia is a Human Geography and Environmental Health specialist with a Master of Science (MSc) in Health Impact Assessment. She is a certified Environmental Health Officer and Consultant with fourteen years of experience working for the Federal and Provincial governments.
Jade led Island Health’s Healthy Built Environment program for almost a decade before moving to the BC Ministry of Health to support the development of their newly minted Climate Resilience Unit as their Climate Change and Health Lead.
Most recently, she stepped into the private consulting world, teaching at Royal Roads University and carrying out equity and holistic health assessment projects.
Her passion is to work collaboratively across departments in partnership with local governments, academics, and civil service organizations, supporting a grounded Health in All Policies approach.
She has expertise in the linkages between climate and health, housing and homelessness, air quality, food safety and security, transportation planning, natural assets, and risk analysis.