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

Patti 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.

Michelle Barros Pinheiro, MD

Michelle Barros Pinheiro is the Senior Policy Analyst for Women’s, Maternal and Early Childhood Health with the BC Ministry of Health.

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.

Radhika Bhagat, RN, MN

Radhika Bhagat is the Regional Manager of Public Health/Prevention for Vancouver Coastal Health.

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.

Nancy Delgado, RN, BN

Nancy Delgado is the Team Lead for the Healthy from the Start Program, Maternal Child Health – Population Health for the Interior Health Authority.

Kathryn Dewar, PhD

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

Robert Finch, BHS

Robert Finch is the Director for the Maternal, Newborn, Child & Youth Network for the Interior Health Authority.

Emily Gemmell, BSc, MPH

Emily Gemmell is a Graduate Research Assistant with the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

Kathryn Germuth, RN

Kathryn Germuth is the Interim Regional Nursing Lead for Maternal, Infant and Child, Public Health Practice with the Northern Health Authority.

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

Michael 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

Andrew 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 the Interior Health Authority.

Brenda Marsman, RN, BScN

Brenda Marsman is the Interim Manager for Maternal, Child and Youth Health-Population Health Services for the Interior Health Authority.

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

Sheona 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, PhD

Sarah Munro is an Assistant Professor with the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 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

Beth 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

Laurie Pinda, RN, BSN

Laurie Pinda is a Public Health Nurse with the Healthy from the Start Program, Maternal Child Health – Population Health for the Interior Health Authority.

Vanessa Salmons, RN, BSN

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

Diane Sawchuck, RN, PhD

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

Kathrin Stoll, PhD

Kathrin Stoll has degrees in psychology and sociology and completed an interdisciplinary PhD in midwifery, nursing and epidemiology at the University of British Columbia. She is a Research Associate with the Birth Place Lab.

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

Saraswathi Vedam is an Associate Professor of Midwifery at the University of British Columbia and the Lead Investigator of the Birth Place Lab.

Brenda Wagner, MD, FRCSC, MHSc

Brenda 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

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

Amanda Welsh, RN, BScN, PHN

Amanda Welsh is a Public Health Nurse with the Healthy from the Start Program, Maternal Child Health – Population Health at the Interior Health Authority.

Shaina Pennington, MSc

Shaina Pennington is the Research Manager for Optimal Birth BC.