PHABC Board of Directors

Public Health Association of BC

Board of Directors




Executive Members

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 ( 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


Theresa Healy









Dr. Theresa Healy is an Assistant Professor with the School of Planning and Sustainability at the University of Northern BC. 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


Gordon Cote, MBA










Originally from Nelson, British Columbia and resident of Nanaimo since 1987, Gordon provides leadership, governance, and management for a multi-service agency focusing on delivering health and counselling programs within Nanaimo and funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development and Island Health. The agency has initiated ground-breaking programming to address substance use and homelessness while providing a reputable and high-quality service for referred children, youth and families.

Having completed an MBA in Executive Management, Gordon initiated a consulting practice using his functional skills in leadership, change management and quality assurance to assist organizational development for business and strategic planning, human resource management, change facilitation, governance and quality improvement. His consulting work has been on a part time, project basis mainly being provided to government and non-profit organizations. As a consultant these skills and competencies have been used to assist organizations and leaders manage complex change within a systems perspective. Gordon also provides admin and program quality assurance surveys for the internationally recognized accrediting body, CARF (2005).


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.


Astou Thiam, MSc










“Every choice in life either moves you forward or keeps you stuck” – Oprah Winfrey.

A highly ethical epidemiologist, Astou Thiam is bilingual (French-English), and has extensive academic training with over 8 years experience in the public health sector.

Astou earned a medical degree from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, with clinical rotations done in Bordeaux 2 University in France, and a Master Degree in Epidemiology at Laval University in Québec. She has worked as a Research Scientist Consultant, a Research Associate and a Public Health Lead, and has worked within the public and private sectors in big cities and small towns across Canada as well as in Senegal. All these positions helped her to promote health, develop strong qualitative and quantitative research skills, and create connections among communities by participating in outreach events and conducting multiple research projects from design & implementation to data analysis & knowledge dissemination.

In addition, Astou is the CEO & President of a not-for-profit organization that promotes education and research in clinical, social, and physical activity areas among ethnic minority communities, francophone and the general population of British Colombia.

Astou has led many publications and presentations, including:

  • Astou Thiam. Stroke among Blacks / AVC parmi les Noirs. Black History Month event at La Boussole, 27 Feb 2020 Vancouver BC.
  • Astou Thiam and al. Correlates of unsuccessful hepatitis C virus therapy and recurrent viremia among active drug users: a mixed methods analysis. EASL International Liver Congress™ (April 10-14, 2019 Vienna, Austria) Journal of Hepatology70(1):e243 · April 2019 DOI: 1016/S0618-8278(19)30459-1
  • Thiam A and al. General social support and work social support and the risk of recurrence after a first myocardial infarction: 6-year prospective study. National Student Conference of Canadian Society of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. 27-28 Mai 2010 à Kingston Ontario. Chronic Diseases in Canada, March 2011.


Zahra Mamdani, MPH









Zahra is a Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a Masters of Public Health in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences & Health Promotion. She has several years of experience in managing health-related projects, with specific expertise in program planning, implementation and evaluation, healthcare quality improvement, knowledge translation, and research. She is passionate about promoting health equity and uplifting the quality of lives of marginalized and vulnerable communities, including individuals with mental health challenges or disorders, and individuals who are street entrenched (homeless).


Lena Hozaima, BSN, MSc, CCRP


(Biography to come)


Allysha Ram, MPH








Allysha lives on the traditional and unceded territories of the Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Qayqayt and Tsawwassen First Nations. She holds a Master of Public Health with a specialization in Indigenous and Northern Health, Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and a certificate in Digital Marketing Management.

Allysha has several years of experience working in the non-profit, health care, and social service sectors where she brings experience in research, project management, program planning and implementation, community engagement, and administration.

Allysha is a Policy Analyst at Fraser Health Authority where she leads equity-focused public health initiatives aiming to improve health outcomes of marginalized populations. Alongside this, Allysha is a Program Manager at Engaged Communities Canada Society, where she oversees the design and delivery of a variety of health and social programming supporting underserved communities using low barrier, culturally appropriate, and harm reduction approaches.

Allysha is an avid volunteer both locally and abroad, with a special interest in supporting vulnerable populations through community-based outreach projects, public health education, and mentorship. As part of PHABC’s Board of Directors, Allysha hopes to promote health equity and social justice to mobilize change advancing the positive health and well-being of communities across BC.

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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