Our Team

Optimal Birth BC represents a partnership between the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia and provincial health authorities.

Together we are a team of researchers, clinicians and policy planners from across the province who are committed to supporting change among healthcare providers, administrators and expectant women and their families by providing up-to-date, relevant information, and evaluating practice in maternity care.

Patricia Janssen, RN, PhD

Dr. Janssen is an Associate Professor, Director of the Masters of Public Health Program and Theme Leader and Maternal Child Health at the UBC School of Population and Public Health. Her clinical training is in nursing and midwifery.

Jan Christilaw, MD

Dr. Christilaw is an obstetrician and President of BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre. She works closely with the Provincial Health Services Authority to develop policy related to women’s health for British Columbia.

Kathryn Dewar, PhD

Dr. Dewar is a Research Program Manager with the Women’s Health Research Institute.  Her current research is in the area of women’s health and health service delivery.

Andrew Kotaska, MD

Dr. Kotaska is the Clinical Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife, NWT.

Michael Klein, MD

Dr. Klein is Emeritus Professor of Family Practice and Pediatrics at UBC and former Head of Family Practice at BC Women’s and Children’s Hospitals.

Shoo Lee, PhD

Dr. Shoo Lee is a neonatologist with a PhD in health policy and economics. He is a Professor in Pediatrics and Head of Neonatology at the University of Toronto, Neonatologist-in-Chief at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital and Pediatrician-in-Chief at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Robert Liston, MD

Dr. Liston is a Professor and former Chair of UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a member of the Canadian Perinatal System Steering (CPSS) Committee.

Ying MacNab, PhD

Dr. MacNab is an Associate Professor of Statistics in the UBC School of Public and Population Health, an Associate Member in the UBC Department of Statistics, and a Scientist at the BC Child and Family Research Institute.

Diane Sawchuck, RN, PhD

Dr. Sawchuck is a midwife and obstetrical nurse with expertise in knowledge translation.

Brenda Wagner, MD

Dr. Brenda Wagner is Program Medical Director for Fraser Health Women’s Health and Maternal, Infant, Child and Youth Program.

Shaina Pennington, MSc

Shaina Pennington is the Research Manager for Optimal Birth BC.