Public Health Association of BC
Board of Directors
Juan Solorzano, MSc
Born and raised in one of the largest metropolises in the world, in 2001 Juan decided to extend his two week holiday for an exciting nineteen-year love affair with Vancouver and its mountains.
Juan is the Executive Director, Population Health, responsible for the regional Population Health and a representative of VCH at provincial population health tables (www.vch.ca/pophealth). In this position, he oversees the public health surveillance, healthy public policy and health promotion teams. Juan is also a national and international surveyor with Accreditation Canada and has previously served as vice-president of PHABC.
He is a specialist in health planning and administration, evaluation and continuous quality improvement. With a solid background in medicine and planning, he brings together key specialized clinical and strategic planning skills, including program design, program management, research and evaluation, change management, physician, staff & community engagement, communications, facilitation, and partnership building. He has a solid experience working in population health promotion, as well as community and acute care settings.
Juan has a demonstrated ability to engage a variety of stakeholders in public consultation processes and participatory system design. he has proven expertise in community-based strategies, such as community-capacity building with vulnerable and at-risk groups, and specializes in working in intercultural and interdisciplinary settings. Juan’s contribution enhances the sustainability of quality improvement initiatives by building strategic alliances with key stakeholders, related organizations and funding agencies. He has strong management, research and networking skills, allowing him to develop successful, broadly supported programs. He has experienced working with physicians and clinical staff in primary care, community and acute settings, as well as community partners.
His educational background includes clinical training in medical school (Faculty of Medicine, UNAM), a baccalaureate in Geography (University of British Columbia) and a Masters in Science Planning (School of Community and Regional Planning, UBC). Juan is also certified in LEAN Six Sigma Green Belt and Cornell University’s High Performance Leadership.
Dr. Gord Miller, BSPE, MA, PhD
Gord is an Adjunct Professor within School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria. He was a former Research Officer and Senior Policy Analyst with the Ministry of Health, and Ministry for Children and Family Development. He has been involved in the provincial development and implementation of: Healthy Workplaces; Healthy Schools; Healthy Communities; Health Impact Assessment (HIA); Provincial Health Goals; Youth Agreements; Agreements with Youth Adults; Youth Safe House Standards; Child, Family and Community Services Act; and, Youth Policy Framework. As an international consultant, he has been involved in the country-wide development and evaluation of “Healthy Schools Initiatives” and “Health Impact Assessment” within Sweden, Australia, and the Bahamas. Gord is founding chair of the “Community Youth Development Coalition of British Columbia”.
He received an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. from the University of Victoria, and is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Research Fellow. His research centers on understanding how programs, institutions, and communities affect children and youth health, well-being and development. Gord is the principal investigator and co-researcher for Surrey’s Community Youth Mapping Research Project; SD 62’s Staying in School Research Project; and, the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s Youth Engagement Project.
He is actively involved in teaching both undergraduate and graduate level courses and is the recipient of the 2013 Faculty of Human and Social Development Teaching Excellence Award, UVic. Gord is also a recipient of the 2014 ‘Premier’s Award for Innovation’ for his work in the area of Youth Engagement and Collaborative Action Research within the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Gord works as a private consultant (Miller and Mitic Research and Evaluation Consulting) and is currently involved with the BC Observatory for Population and Public Health (BCOPPH) supporting the development of provincial and regional surveillance capacity, as well as being involved with the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development in a provincial evaluation of their long-standing Afterschool Sport/Physical Activity and Arts Initiative (ASSAI).
Scholarly & Professional Interests:
- Community Youth Development
- Youth Engagement
- School as a Setting for Health Promotion
- Intersectoral Action for Health
- Health Impact Assessment
- Policy Development
- Adolescent Health and Development
- Youth Services
- Collaborative Action Research
- Research Methodology
Dr. Theresa Healy, PhD
Dr. Theresa Healy is an Adjunct Professor with the School of Planning and Sustainability and with the Gender Studies Program at UNBC. She also holds an appointment as Senior Lecturer. Currently, she is a co-lead on “Nature for all: A Barrier free Canada through Standards Based Practice” with Dr. Mark Groulx at UNBC and Nancy Harris of Spinal cord Injury of BC. She is also co lead on Lead “Rural Consultations on Rural Health” with Dr. Mark Harrison and Dr. Magda Aguilar from UBC. Her research and work interests include community development and capacity building, participatory and action research, facilitating community driven initiatives and designing workshops and other learning modules for community members and organizations. Her past research projects have utilized these skills and interests in the subject areas of HIV/AIDS; Youth and Sexual Health, Homelessness and sexually exploited youth and Marginalized Populations and Health Care Services, food security, and disability studies. She was a Co-Principal Investigator on the Men’s Healthy Eating and Active Living (M-HEAL) project, a member of the UBC Youth Sexual Health team under Dr. Jeannie Shoveller, and an advisor to the Prince George New Hope Society providing services to street involved girls and women. She has also worked for 10 years as a founding staff member of Northern Health’s Population Health program, including 4 years with the Indigenous health program
Roger Wheeler, MBA, MSc
Roger Wheeler is a Professor in the School of Business at Okanagan College in Kelowna, BC. His teaching focuses on business strategy and policy, strategic human resources management, organizational behaviour, and quantitative decision making. He is a Certified HR Professional who holds an MBA from Athabasca University and an MSc from Queen’s University.
Prior to joining Okanagan College, Roger’s healthcare career spanned 15 years and a variety of consultant, manager and director roles. For 5 of his last 6 years in the healthcare industry he held the position of Corporate Director, Public Health at Interior Health. During that time he was a decision partner with the Core Public Health Functions Research Initiative, and director of the public health emergency response to H1N1.
Roger has presented at annual conferences for several organizations, including the Public Health Association of BC, the Union of BC Municipalities, Health Work & Wellness, and the World Congress of Medical Technology. He currently sits on the Federal/Provincial Policy Committee of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and volunteers with the Greater Westside Board of Trade in West Kelowna.
Shannon Weightman, MPH
Shannon is a white settler of English, Irish and Scottish ancestry, living and working in Victoria, BC on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen peoples of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations. After completing her master’s degree in public health at the University of Victoria in 2014, she worked as a Healthy Communities Planner for the Capital Regional District. She later moved on to work as a Community Well-being Specialist at BC Healthy Communities Society where she worked with local governments and community groups across BC to support them in developing policies, processes and initiatives through a health and equity lens.
In April of 2019, she accepted a position as a Research Officer with the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth. In this role she works with provincial ministries, research organizations and service providers to improve outcomes for children, youth and families across BC; particularly for those children and youth who are receiving government services.
Her work experiences have given me the opportunity to engage with diverse partners, including local, Indigenous and provincial governments, health authorities, educational institutions, community funders, local businesses and community organizations. Shannon strives to build strong relationships with community partners and work with them, rather than for them, to identify opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing, and to develop strategies that better support community needs and interests. She is always working to better understand her white privilege, decolonize her personal and professional practices, and work in a way that is culturally humble, agile and safe.
Recent projects and experiences in public health include:
- Developing an Active Communities Action Guide and Healthy Housing Action Guide for local governments in BC (2018 – 2019)
- Overseeing the Active Communities Grant Program in the Interior and Island Health regions, supporting 17 local governments with healthy communities work (2017 – 2019)
- Co-presenting on equity in planning at the Canadian Institute of Planners conference in Winnipeg, MB (July 2018)
- Co-presenting on metrics for healthy communities at the Planning Institute of BC conference in Victoria (June 2018)
- Providing a health and equity lens to the Strathcona Housing Needs Assessment project, ensuring community engagement, data collection and reporting processes were healthy and equitable (February – June 2018)
- Coordinating and chairing a multi-sectoral stakeholder group called the Regional Outcomes Monitoring Collaborative to track progress towards desired health and well-being outcomes in the capital region (2014 – 2017).
- Developing an online geographic information system (GIS) mapping resource to support municipal planners and service providers to better plan for diverse populations in the capital region (2015 – 2017)
- Representing the CRD on the Stewardship Committee of the Child & Youth Health Network of the capital region; a collective impact initiative (2015 – 2017)
- Drafting a Community Health & Wellbeing Plan for the capital region, focusing on actions the CRD could take to contribute to a healthy region (2014 – 2017)
- Working with Island Health to implement the CRD’s Clean Air (No Smoking) Bylaw throughout the region (2014 – 2017)
Lara Frederick, MSc
Lara is a registered nurse working in Dawson Creek as the North East Preventive Public Health Program Lead. She completed her masters of nursing with a teaching stream through Athabasca University and conducted her research and final project on recruitment and retention of millennial nurses in rural and remote areas. She has taught at the Northern Lights College locally and enjoys online modalities of teaching and learning.
Currently, Lara leads a team of Public Health Resource Nurses in the northeast region of Northern Health. With a focus on supporting the inter-professional teams at various level of integration, to the primary care model, she is keen to seek out innovative and creative solutions to challenges faced in this rural and remote sector of Northern Health.
Lara is also an avid paper-crafter and runs a business teaching others how to create and find balance through art therapy. She is interested in various aspects of leadership and constantly seeks out opportunities for personal and professional development.
Heather Ouellette, MSc
Heather has a strong passion in the areas of public health and health promotion. She has held formal and informal leadership roles in health promotion, preventive public health care, undergraduate nursing education and direct patient care services both in acute care and community settings. She has continuously upgraded my education and has a Master of Science degree in health promotion. She has completed a number of PHAC Skills Online modules to maintain up to date practice and skills. More recently, Heather has acted as a co-chair of a committee that planned and executed the first Summer of Wellness public health campaign, including writing blog posts for our public web site. She is taking the lead on evaluation of the campaign.
In the past, Heather used a population health promotion framework and community development perspective to plan, coordinate, participate in and evaluate a community screening project for preschoolers in collaboration with an Intersectoral group of professionals. As a university instructor in a nursing program, she endeavored to always include information about the determinants of health, their impacts on health, and the importance of an upstream approach to health.
She maintains up to date membership in a number of professional associations: Canadian Public Health Association, Public Health Association of BC, and Community Health Nurses Association of Canada. These memberships enable her to maintain current awareness of public health literature and evidence-informed practices as they pertain to her professional roles.
Heather is a long-time citizen of the North and is dedicated to improving the health of northern citizens. She is committed to leading by example by engaging in 30-60 minutes of daily physical activity – in her spare time Heather can be found outside in her garden, running the local trails with friends and cross-country skiing.
Mariah Robinson, BA
Mariah Robinson is a member of the ‘Namg̱is First Nation. She was born and raised in Alert Bay, BC. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Management with a Major in Sport and Recreation, and is currently working as the Administrator for the Whe-La-La-U Area Council Society in Alert Bay.
She has many years of experience with public health and in-community. Her values and goals are to provide innovative and healthy program activity that enhances the well being of her community and other across BC. she has a passion and strong skill sets in community engagement where she enjoys bringing community together through social programming to help improve community members’ quality of life.
Her expertise has been connecting her community’s youth to their traditional teachings and building relationships between youth and elders. She has established confidence to connect outcome-based programs through Local traditional teachings and Global Frameworks (UNDRIP). She has a strong background in delivering positive activities for all ages and building inter-generational connectedness; and has been successful in developing relationships amongst community members, government, private sector partners and community organizations.
Chris Van Veen, MSW, PhD(c)
Chris’ career in public health started in front line mental health and addictions service provision in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and in more recent years shifted to leadership positions with local government and Vancouver Coastal Health. In 2016 he became the City of Vancouver’s first Urban Health Planner, where Chris collaborated with stakeholders to implement dozens of high-profile initiatives funded through a contingency budget created to mitigate the effects of the overdose crisis. Throughout this time his team administered over 20 large grants to community non-profits, shepherded a $1M City capital investment in the new St. Paul’s Hospital Mental Health HUB, collaborated closely with local health officials, and successfully advocated for policy change with senior levels of government.
In late 2017, he joined the Senior Leadership Team at the Office of the Chief Medical Health Officer at Vancouver Coastal Health as the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Public Health Planning, where his work is largely focused on addressing the overdose emergency that is impacting communities across the region. In addition to work on the overdose crisis, Chris supports a range of public health planning and knowledge translation projects in the Office of the Chief MHO.
Chris holds an MSW from York University in Toronto and is a PhD Candidate in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University where his research focuses on the history of community-based mental health and addictions policy in British Columbia.
In his free time, Chris can be found drinking unhealthy amounts of coffee in cafés across Vancouver, and training for his next marathon on the seawall with best friend Hogan (an ageing but energetic Great Dane).
Want to join our board and support public health initiatives across BC? Nominations open each August for a 2-year term. Click here to see last year’s nomination form
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