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 a Professor and Theme Leader of Maternal Child Health at the UBC School of Population and Public Health. Her clinical training is in nursing and midwifery.

Melanie Basso, RN, MSN, PNC(C)

Melanie Basso is an Advanced Practice Nurse and a Senior Practice Leader-Perinatal at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre

Barbara Campbell, RN

Barbara Campbell is a Nurse at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Island Health Authority.

Deborah Chaplain, RN, MSN

Deborah Chaplain is the Director of Health Services – Child, Youth and Family Health for the Island Health Authority.

Susan Conley, BScN, MA

Susan Conley is the Regional Manager of Public Health – Perinatal & Early Childhood Development for Vancouver Coastal Health.

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.

Emily Gemmell, BSc

Emily Gemmell is a Master of Public Health student with the UBC School of Population and Public Health.

Ruth Johnson, RN

Ruth Johnson is the Director of the Perinatal & Neonatal Network for Interior Health.

Sarah Kaufman, RN, BSN, MSN

Sarah Kaufman is a Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Perinatal Maternal Infant Child Youth Program with the Fraser Health Authority.

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.

Andrew Kotaska, MD

Dr. Kotaska is the Territorial Clinical Lead for Women’s & Children’s Health with the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority.

Penny Liao-Lussier, BScN, MN

Penny Liao-Lussier is the Manager for Maternal Child Health & Regional Acute Pediatric Initiatives for Interior Health.

Anne Malott, RM, MScN, PhD

Dr. Malott is a Registered Midwife and a senior partner in a clinical practice in Ontario. She is an Associate Professor in the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University.

Kelsey Martin, BA&Sc, RM

Kelsey Martin is a practicing Midwife.

Sheona Mitchell-Foster, MD, MPH, FRCS(C)

Dr. Mitchell-Foster is a practicing Obstetrician Gynecologist and an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia and with the Northern Medical Program.

Sarah Munro, MA

Sarah Munro is a PhD student in interdisciplinary studies at the University of British Columbia. She is a specialist in health communications.

Erin O’Sullivan, RN, BScN, MPH

Erin O’Sullivan is the Regional Perinatal Program Development and Evaluation Lead for the Island Health Authority.

Beth Payne, BSc(hons), PhD

Dr. Payne is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Her doctoral research was in the area of reproductive biology and epidemiology

Vanessa Salmons, RN, BSN

Vanessa Salmons is the Executive Lead of the Perinatal Program for Northern Health.

Diane Sawchuck, RN, PhD

Dr. Sawchuck is a Research Manager for Island Health Authority and is a Midwife and Obstetrical Nurse with expertise in knowledge translation.

Kathrin Stoll, PhD

Dr. Stoll has degrees in psychology and sociology and completed an interdisciplinary PhD in midwifery, nursing and epidemiology at the University of British Columbia.

Saraswathi Vedam, RM, FACNM, MSN, Sci D(hc)

Saraswathi Vedam is an Associate Professor of Midwifery at the University of British Columbia.

Brenda Wagner, MD, FRCSC, MHSc

Dr. Wagner is a practicing Obstetrician and a Clinical Associate Professor with the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Janet Walker, RN, MSN

Janet Walker is the Regional Director of the Maternal Child Program for Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

Barbara Webster, RN, BScN, MSc

Barbara Webster is a Clinical Nurse Specialist for Maternal and Child Health with the First Nations Health Authority.

Glenys Webster, PhD

Dr. Webster is the Director of Women’s Maternal and Early Childhood Health at the BC Ministry of Health.

Shaina Pennington, MSc

Shaina Pennington is the Research Manager for Optimal Birth BC.