Find out more about the leadership team at the British Columbia Academic Health Science Network below.
Stirling Bryan, President – Email
Professor, School of Population & Public Health, University of British Columbia
Senior Scientist, Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Evaluation Vancouver Coastal Health
Professor (part-time), Health Economics Research Unit, University of Aberdeen
Dr. Stirling Bryan is a university-based health economist with extensive experience of engagement with the policy and decision-making world. He began his career in the UK with appointments at St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School and then Brunel University, before moving to the University of Birmingham. His research track-record reveals a long-standing goal of informing policy and practice, demonstrated, in part, through extensive engagement with the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE). For many years he led the University of Birmingham team that conducted economic analyses for NICE, and subsequently served for three years as a member of the NICE technology appraisals committee. In 2005 he was awarded a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellowship and spent one year at Stanford University, researching technology coverage decision making in a US health care organizations. He immigrated to Canada in 2008, taking on the roles of professor in UBC’s School of Population & Public Health, and Director of the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Evaluation. Over recent years, Dr. Bryan has become a strong advocate for, and practitioner of, patient-oriented research, and now partners with patients in all of his research activities. In 2016, he was appointed Scientific Director for the BC SUPPORT Unit, an operational unit of the BC Academic Health Science Network (BC AHSN), focused on promoting patient-oriented research. In 2020, Dr. Bryan became the president of BC AHSN which includes oversight of its operational units: the BC SUPPORT Unit, Clinical Trials BC and Research Ethics BC.
Danielle Lavallee, Scientific Director
Dr. Danielle Lavallee has a key role in the senior leadership of BC AHSN, working with all operational units and supported networks. She brings expertise in patient and stakeholder engagement to the Network through her work with the Comparative Effectiveness Research Translation Network (becertain.org), which supports active patient and stakeholder engagement in research and quality improvement initiatives. Her research focuses on advancing methods to incorporate the patient perspective into both clinical care and research activities through the capture of patient-reported outcomes and active patient involvement in research conduct.
In addition to being BC AHSN’s Scientific Director, Danielle is a Research Associate Professor and health services researcher in the Department of Surgery at the University of Washington. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Kansas and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Lindsay Hedden, Assistant Scientific Director
Lindsay Hedden, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Learning Health Systems in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and is the Assistant Scientific Director of BC AHSN. Her work in primary care focuses specifically on how we can improve access for patients; how we can measure current and predict future supply and demand; and how we can address physician workforce issues, all in the context of a developing learning health system. As a post-doctoral Health System Impact Fellow, she worked with the provincial Ministry of Health on an improved strategy for physician workforce planning, supporting physician recruitment and retention efforts, and the development and evaluation of new models of primacy care delivery. Dr. Hedden completed a previous post-doctoral fellowship with the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation. She has a PhD in Population and Public Health, and Master of Science in Epidemiology from the University of British Columbia, and an Honours Bachelor of Science in Health Studies from the University of Waterloo. She currently serves as the Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Justice Emmett Hall Memorial Foundation. She joined the Faculty of Health Sciences in 2020.
Gordon Schwark, CPA, CMA, Director, Financial and Corporate Business Development Activities
Gordon provides financial oversight to the BC Academic Health Science Network. He is the former Vice-President of Finance and Corporate Services at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (where he was the recipient of the 2014 BiV CFO award). He has also previously held the position of Director of Finance at the Child and Family Research Institute funded by the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, and worked in both Research and Financial Services at the University of British Columbia.
Minnie Downey provides operational leadership of the BC SUPPORT Unit (a unit of the BC Academic Health Science Network) and oversees the implementation of the Unit’s business plan. In her most recent position with the Fraser Health Authority, she worked in the strategic projects division of the Office of the CEO. In this role, she championed Community Action and Resources Empowering Seniors (CARES), a collaborative project that spanned BC and Nova Scotia and proactively engaged with seniors to delay or reverse frailty. Previously, she was program director for Fraser Health’s Cardiac Services, providing leadership for the development and execution of services across the health authority’s 13 facilities and community programs. This work led her to receive the 2015 Golden Apple Innovation award from the Health Employers Association of BC for her leadership in the regionalization and standardization of the Implantable Cardiac Electrical Devices (ICED) project.
Minnie holds a Master of Arts in Health Leadership from Royal Roads University, Bachelor degrees in Technology and Business Administration from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology Science from the College of the North Atlantic. Also, she has completed a fellowship in Executive Training in Healthcare Improvement with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, and is a Certified Healthcare Executive with the Canadian College of Healthcare Leaders.
Alison is a Clinical Research Professional with more than 20 years of experience leading health research studies and project teams at both community and academic sites. She has a passion for quality, integrity and continuous improvement.
A globally certified clinical research coordinator with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University, Alison has facilitated more than 80 industry and grant-funded clinical trials, outbreak investigations, retrospective chart reviews, attitudinal surveys and evaluation projects. She has held a variety of research leadership positions in the public and private sectors, including at TASC Research Services, at a large multi-investigator site, and most recently within the Population Health Observatory at Fraser Health.
As part of her role with Clinical Trials BC, a unit of the BC Academic Health Science Network, Alison is leading a national initiative to engage research participants about their experience with clinical research in order to enhance patient and public participation in trials and their overall experience as a participant. Recently she coauthored a published outbreak research protocol and is a co-investigator on two research studies.
Terri Fleming joined BC AHSN as the Director for Research Ethics BC after successfully leading the BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative as the Chair of the Advisory Committee. While working with Island Health as the Manager of Research Ethics and Compliance, Terri used her skills in project management to guide the successful implementation of harmonized research ethics review processes within BC.
Terri holds an MBA in business change management and two qualifications in Project Management, as well as being a qualified Good Clinical Practice (GCP) auditor.
Originally from Alberta, Terri considers it a benefit that she has had the opportunity to work and learn in Canada, US, UK, and Switzerland. She makes her home on Vancouver Island and treasures the camping adventures with her family and dog.
Highly organized and committed to creating efficiencies in processes wherever she works, Terri is also an avid knitter and considers large and small knitting projects to be where she relaxes into her creative side.
Read more about Terri in a profile on BC AHSN’s website.