International Virtual Event

CINI 2022

June 18 -19

Women’s Health
Engaging & Empowerment for Healthy Civil Society

– Voices From the Trenches –

Virtually June 18th – 19th

Speaker biographys by day of presentation

Saturday June 18th 2022 – Woman’s Health Main Session 1

VIRTUAL MEETING VIA ZOOM [Register for link]
MODERATOR: Minnie Downey (Vice-Chair CINS)
CO-CHAIRS: Dr. Lesa Dawson and Dr. Nita Bhandari

Bhandari, Nita - Moderator

Bhandari, Nita – Moderator

PhD, Director, Centre for Health Research and Development, Society for Applied Studies, New Delhi, India

Dr. Bhandari is a Public Health Researcher with over 25 years of experience in conducting community-based studies. Her current affiliation is Director, Centre for Health Research and Development, Society for Applied Studies, New Delhi, India, a not-for-profit organization engaged in community based research related to child health and nutrition, development of interventions and their evaluation, and evaluation of childhood vaccines. She has numerous research publications in international and national peer reviewed journals.

Dawson, Lesa


Dr. Lesa Dawson MD FRCSC is a Clinical Associate Professor at UBC, Vancouver and an Associate Professor at Memorial University, St. John’s, NL.

As a gynecologic oncologist with over two decades of experience in cancer care, Dr. Dawson brings her expertise to a practice focused on inherited cancer screening and prevention. 

She leads the newly launched Hereditary Cancer Survivorship Clinic at Vancouver General Hospital and runs the Inherited Cancer Prevention Clinic in St. John’s NL. Both clinics are dedicated to the preventative care and quality of life needs of patients with hereditary cancer predisposition. She is trained in gynecology, oncology, clinical epidemiology and cancer genetic risk assessment.

Dr. Dawson’s research interests include genomics and public health, management of early menopause, hereditary cancer prevention and survivorship.

Ogilvie, Gina


Gina Ogilvie, MD MSc FCFP DrPH is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Global Control of HPV related diseases and prevention, and Professor at the University of British Columbia in the School of Population and Public Health. She is also Senior Public Health Scientist at BC Centre for Disease Control and Senior Research Advisor at the BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre. She was previously Medical Director of Clinical Prevention Services at BC Centre for Disease Control where she provided both operational and scientific leadership to an integrated public health unit with over 100 staff.  This unit focuses on providing public health leadership and service in STIs, HIV, Hepatitis and Tuberculosis provincially, nationally and globally. Dr. Ogilvie is currently principal investigator on over 10 million dollars in research grants and she has received funding from NIH, PHAC, CIHR, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Canadian Foundation for Innovation and private foundations including BC Women’s Hospital Foundation among others.  Her research is focused on both the public health and clinical aspects of reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, HPV screening and the HPV vaccine, and her findings have been highly influential in setting and directing health policy both in Canada and globally. Among other research projects, she is principal investigator for the ASPIRE program, a global health initiative conducting research and providing women-centred, innovative solutions for cervical cancer prevention and reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa.  She also leads HPV FOCAL DECADE, which is a randomized trial of over 25,000 women comparing primary screening for cervical cancer, and QUEST, a pragmatic randomized trial defining the effectiveness of reduced dosing of the HPV vaccine.  


Tyler, Ingrid


Dr. Ingrid Tyler is a Medical Health Officer (MHO) and the Executive Medical Director for Population and Public Heath at Fraser Health Authority. She has also held roles as Medical Director for the Wellness Program, providing direction to the Healthy Communities and Healthy Schools Programs, as well as supports strategy and coordination for healthy living initiatives in mental wellness, physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco; and, Medical Director for the Communicable Disease and Harm Reduction Program in the early phases of the emergency opioid overdose response. Prior to Fraser Health she was at Public Health Ontario (PHO), in the Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention.  

Ingrid has also held a number of positions across the public health system with a focus on relationship building between provinces and public health professions, including several terms as a Board member for the Canadian Public Health Association and the Public Health Physicians of Canada, and currently President-Elect for the Health Officers Council of British Columbia. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia and actively involved in resident and medical student education.

Ingrid obtained her MD from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of British Columbia. She completed her residency training at the University of Toronto, is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and a certificant of the College of Family Physicians of Canada in Family Medicine.  She also has a Master of Health Sciences from the University of British Columbia and a Masters of Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). 

She is a proud mother to three wonderful children and a menagerie of pets.


Prescott, Cheryl


Cheryl Prescott, RN(C), BScN MPH has over 30 years of nursing experience with the bulk of practice in sexual health. Prior to working in Fraser Health Cheryl worked at BC Children’s Hospital, INSITE in Vancouver Coastal Health, and as a clinical practice lead in the STI, TB and Harm Reduction at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC). Cheryl holds BCCNM certified practice in reproductive health for sexually transmitted infection and contraception management and a Master’s degree in Public Health and Social Policy. Cheryl is an adjunct professor at the UBC School of Nursing and a knowledge user on the Equity Lens in Public Health Research Project (ELPH).

Since 2018, Cheryl works as a Clinical Nurse Specialist on the Fraser Population Public Health, Sexual Health and Blood Borne Infections team.  This role involves the application of a systems lens to create innovative solutions to complex clinical issues related to sexual health, leadership to influence change within and across systems for improved health outcomes and design/implementation of evidence based practices. 


Urbina-Beggs, Michelle

RN(c), BScN, MN

Michelle Urbina-Beggs, RN(c), BScN, MN-has been working in the area of Population and Public Health since 2002 and is currently the Clinical Nurse Specialist for Population and Public Health- Maternal Child Health for the Fraser Health Authority in British Columbia, Canada.  Michelle holds BCCNM certified practice in reproductive health for sexually transmitted infection and contraception management and a Master’s degree in Nursing .Michelle’s role includes clinical leadership, quality and strategic planning for maternal and child health across the Fraser Health Public Health region.  Michelle supports the establishment and advancement of perinatal health and is focused on


Lear, Scott

MD, Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University 

Biography Coming Soon 


Garg, Arina


Dr. Arina Garg is a Rheumatologist currently practicing in Surrey, BC. She did her Internal Medicine training at NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn, New York, and rheumatology training at Louisiana State University. She is double Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology by American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). She is Board Certified in

Canada and a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC).

During her rheumatology training, she was a member of  ‘Advocates for Arthritis’ program by American College of Rheumatology (ACR), through which she advocated for

rheumatology patients, and brought her patients’ concerns to the US Congress. She is an active member of ‘ACR Media Expert on Call’, through which she has contributed to rheumatology articles in WebMD and ‘US News and World Report’.

Dr. Garg’s special interests include inflammatory arthritis and connective tissue diseases such as SLE. She is currently devoting her time in understanding how yoga and meditation can help her patients with chronic pain syndrome. 

Parbhakar, Shewta

Head Quality , Fortis Hospital Mohali. NABH Principal Assessor , CAHO -GC Member (Punjab State chairperson)

Biography coming soon…

Khurana, Reena


Dr Reena Khurana trained at UBC as an Endocrinologist.  She has been working in Surrey since 2008 and is the SMH/JP Division of Endocrinology Lead.  She has a passion for improving diabetes care for patients in the community and the hospital.   She is active in quality improvement work including her work in improving the care for women with diabetes in pregnancy, reducing the risk of postpartum diabetes and spreading her work on insulin teaching in the hospital. She is a Specialist representative at the provincial Shared Care Committee.


Davison, Karen

PhD, MSc, RD, CHES – Director
North American Primary Care Research Group Fellow
Inductee, Royal Society of Canada (2019-2026)

Karen Davison has been faculty in the health science program at KPU’s since 2014. As a health educator, practitioner and researcher, Karen has been involved with several health studies and initiatives that have advanced health practice among diverse populations. She is currently an Associate Editor for BMC Public Health, Academic Editor for PLoS One, and serves on the editorial review boards for the Canadian Journal of Dietetics Practice and Research and Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. She is alumna of two Canadian Institutes for Health Research fellowship programs and recipient of both a Dietitians of Canada Peer Recognition Award and Popular Science’s Magazine Clinical Leader Recognition Award. Karen is the first Canadian registered dietitian to be awarded a Fulbright Canada Research Chair and to be inducted in the College of New Scholars, Scientists, and Artists of the Royal Society of Canada (2019-2026).  Her research interests include examining how nutrition contributes to physical, mental, and cognitive health, particularly among marginalized populations. She also does research in nutrigenomics and personalized nutrition, digital health technologies, and biometrics assessment.

Ratnasekera, Pulindu

PhD candidate

Pulindu Ratnasekera is a PhD candidate in Statistics at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC. His research interests are in Statistical Learning with applications in Statistical Genetics. Before undertaking doctoral studies, Pulindu worked as a Senior Analyst at Remote Sensing Metrics Asia (Pvt) Ltd (a fully owned company of Remote Sensing Metrics LLC, based in New York) a market-leading company for satellite imagery and geospatial analytics for businesses and investors. Pulindu also holds a Master’s degree in statistics from Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.


Tsang, Ricky

Ricky is a third-year medical student at the University of British Columbia. Prior to attending medical school, he completed degrees in Integrated Science and Nutrition at UBC. He was also involved in basic science and clinical nutrition research as an undergraduate and was involved in undergraduate education as a teaching assistant. He is passionate about women’s health issues and identifying solutions to promote a better future for women. His other research interests include leveraging social media for medical education and utilizing patient portals to enhance healthcare delivery.

Sunday June 19th 2022 – Woman’s Health Session 2

VIRTUAL MEETING VIA ZOOM [Register for link]
MODERATOR: Davin Garg (Board Member – CINS)
CO-CHAIR: Dr. Nirmal Kumar Ganguly & Dr. Arun Garg

Ganguly, Nirmal Kumar 

Biotechnology Research Professor, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi
President, JIPMER, Pondicherry
Prof. Nirmal Kumar Ganguly
Former Director General, ICMR

Prof. Nirmal Kumar Ganguly is a Distinguished Biotechnology Research Professor at the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi. He is also President of the Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Pondicherry. He is former Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research. His major research areas include Tropical Diseases, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Diarrheal Diseases. His area of expertise is Infectious Diseases. His interests encompass the disciplines of Immunology, Biotechnology and Public Health. He is Fellow of all the Indian National Science Academies. He is also Fellow of several international organizations, including the Royal College of Pathologists (London), the Imperial College Faculty of Medicine (London), the Third World Academy of Sciences (Italy), and the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (Canada).

Prof. Ganguly has won numerous national and international awards and received the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award in Medicine. He has made important contributions to the field of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease and their public health aspects and pathogenesis. His other contributions include research on the immunological roots of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and pathogenesis of Takayasu’s Disease. Dr. Ganguly obtained his MBBS from the University of Calcutta, received his MD from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, and obtained honorary D.Sc. from several Indian Universities. Dr. Ganguly has published over 750 original research papers and mentored over 100 Ph.D theses.

Dr. Padamshri H R Nagendra, Guruji PhD


Dr. H R Nagendra completed his PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 1968 from IISc, Bangalore. After serving for a short stint as faculty at IISc, joined the University of British Columbia as Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. Moved to NASA Marshall Space Flight Centre as Post-Doctoral Research Associate, and to Imperial College of Science and Technology, as a Consultant in 1972 and Visiting Staff.

Joined Vivekananda Kendra in 1975 as a whole-time Honorary Director of Training and served as all India of Yoga and later as Vice president. Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari. From 1986 to 2000, he was the Secretary of Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore and the Director of Indian Yoga Institute. From 2000 till date, he is the President of Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samasthana. Served as Vice Chancellor of S-VYASA (Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samasthana), the premier Yoga University from 2002 to 2013, and currently serving as Chancellor from 2013.

Published 30 Research Papers in Engineering and authored 150 papers on Yoga and co-authored 35 books on Yoga. Guided and co-guided nearly 50 PhD students. In 2016 Government of India honoured him with Padmashree Award. Recently recognized by Stanford University under Complementary & Alternative Medicine ranked at 158th world ranking of top 2% Indian scientists.

Brendan, Byrne

Physician and Digital Pioneer; Wellness garage White rock

Brendan has been a physician and digital pioneer for the past 25 years. Trained at Yale and McGill, he has had a parallel career as an entrepreneur.  From his original practice in New Westminster, Brendan created electronic medical record software and built a business that eventually was acquired by TELUS Health and currently serves over 50% of Canadian physicians.  From 2015 to 2018, he served as the Chief Innovation Officer for TELUS Health.  He currently sits on the boards of the BC Academic Health Sciences Network and the Institute for Precision Therapeutic Nutrition.

Saluja, Jasdeep

Medical Director & Internist Aroga Lifestyle Medicine

Dr. Jasdeep Saluja has studied medicine long enough to have reached a fundamental conclusion – that your health outcomes are predictable based on having the right tools and the right guidance. As your doctor, Jasdeep brings his innovative, people-first approach, and matches it with evidence-based and science-backed facts to help you live the life he knows you deserve. When he co-founded Aroga Lifestyle Medicine, he did it to provide programmatic, repeatable, and sustainable approaches for people to live their lives optimally, regardless of stressors and externalities. With that vision, he focuses on meaningfully connecting with his patients, guided by the fundamental underlying belief that patients have everything they need within them in order to lead healthy, positive lives. And it’s working. 

Jasdeep has amplified a successful career as a hospital-based internal medicine doctor to become an international thought leader on Lifestyle Medicine and is a Diplomate of both the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine (ABLM) and the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM). He is passionate about helping people lead the lives they love, and is a respected voice, serving on the Board of Directors for the ABLM since January 2020.

Canada and a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC).

During her rheumatology training, she was a member of  ‘Advocates for Arthritis’ program by American College of Rheumatology (ACR), through which she advocated for

rheumatology patients, and brought her patients’ concerns to the US Congress. She is an active member of ‘ACR Media Expert on Call’, through which she has contributed to rheumatology articles in WebMD and ‘US News and World Report’.

Dr. Garg’s special interests include inflammatory arthritis and connective tissue diseases such as SLE. She is currently devoting her time in understanding how yoga and meditation can help her patients with chronic pain syndrome.

Pawa, Bal


Dr. Bal Pawa has 30+ years as a physician with a focus on integrative medicine and women’s health. She obtained certification in Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Pawa became a Certified Menopause Clinician through the North American Menopause Society. She expanded her knowledge base with Functional/Integrative medicine in Gut health, Heart health, Neuroplasticity, and Autoimmune disease.  Dr. Pawa is co-founder of Westcoast Women’s clinic, the first integrative hormonal clinic in Canada, and has helped thousands of women using integrative and lifestyle medicine to address their hormonal needs. Best-selling author of  The Mind-Body Cure, and a renowned  TedX speaker and is often featured on radio, television, community events, and has published articles in many magazines. She is frequently invited to speak at corporations both national and international levels to transform health at the workplace.

A Clinical Instructor at UBC Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Pawa continues to inspire and mentor young physicians. Uniquely qualified as a pharmacist, medical doctor, and Integrative Physician, Dr. Pawa uses her knowledge to empower and educate individuals to take charge of their own health.  A Strong supporter of Minerva Foundation, YWCA, and Everywoman Health Retreats. Her volunteer work was recognized by a nomination for the YWCA Women of Distinction Award.


Dosanjh, Ramneek

MD, President – Doctors of BC 

Dr Ramneek Dosanjh is a family doctor and hospitalist. She is also a child and youth mental health advocate with a passion for social justice. Dr Dosanjh stepped into the role of Doctors of BC President after holding a number of medical leadership positions such as Division of Family Practice Board member, Doctors of BC Representative Assembly delegate, and Doctors of BC delegate to the Canadian Medical Association General Assembly. Through her advocacy work she was also the Physician Lead for her local Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative Action Team.

Saxena, Anurag

MD, M.Ed, MBA, FRCPC, FCAP, CHE, CCPEprofessor of Pathology and Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME), at the University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Anurag Saxena is a professor of Pathology and Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME), at the University of Saskatchewan. He is engaged in clinical service, administration, teaching and research. He holds qualifications in Anatomic- (Canada and USA) and Hemato-pathology (USA), education (M.Ed.), business administration (MBA) – both degrees with leadership theses, health care administration (CHE and CCPE) and coaching in leadership and emotional intelligence. He has been practicing medicine for the last 23 years.

Anurag has leveraged robust education and extensive experience in PGME to promote evidence-based administration / leadership and forge collaborative relationships across organizational boundaries. His success is reflected in managing operations and leading change, developing and implementing strategy and affecting policy in accreditation, FMEC-PG, competency-based medical education, expansion of PGME, and current initiatives on transformative learning and social responsiveness.

Leadership development is his passion and he has delivered an array of workshops (locally, nationally and internationally) on various facets of leadership. As a strong proponent of succession planning, he has created opportunities in PGME that are being increasingly utilized by younger colleagues. He has combined data-driven decision-making with human factors for business processes reengineering, including LEAN management in education. His scholarly work and publications are in the field of systems and leadership.

With a dialectic worldview integrating philosophy with pragmatism, Anurag is committed to promoting healthy, balanced societies and personal well-being.


Nette, Hanna


Dr. Hannah Nette, InspireHealth Physician & Director of Clinical Services was raised and medically trained in Nova Scotia. After years of working as a full-service family doctor in Vancouver, Hannah was thrilled to join the InspireHealth Supportive Cancer Care team in 2013. When Hannah is not passionately engaged in her work as one of the leaders and physicians at InspireHealth, you can find her searching for hiking trials and scenic picnic spots with her family.

To learn more about Inspired Health HERE


Rao, Sirish

Co-Founder & Artistic Director – Indian Summer Festival 

Sirish Rao (he/him) co-founded Indian Summer Arts Society in 2011, and has served as the Artistic Director since then. Sirish has been responsible for introducing some of the world’s most exciting artists and thinkers to Vancouver audiences, in a roster that features Nobel, Booker, Grammy, and Oscar-winning artists alongside emerging talent. 

Sirish was born in Bangalore, India, and spent a decade as Director of Tara Books, one of India’s most respected publishing houses. ​​Sirish is a published writer whose books have been translated into seventeen languages, and have won several international awards. Sirish has worked in cultural production in four continents, with some of the world’s leading cultural institutions including the Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles), Museum of London (UK), National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad), Musee du Quai Branly (Paris), and Kunsthal Rotterdam.

Sirish was on the Advisory Committee of Culture|Shift, Vancouver’s new Culture Plan for 2020-2029, and on the jury of the 2021 Lt. Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence. He sits on the Advisory Board of the Global Reporting Centre and Solid State Community Industries. Sirish is deeply committed to playing his part in ensuring that Vancouver is engaged in meaningful local and global conversations.

Datt, Shushma


Recognized as one of the 150 most influential British Columbians by the Vancouver Sun, Shushma Datt may be a pioneer in Canadian Radio, but Vancouver’s top Indo-Canadian broadcaster is just doing what she loves. Naturally inquisitive, Shushma began building her name as a broadcaster in the Sixties, a definite challenge in an industry that was predominantly male and pale. As a member of the BBC, she chatted up Mick Jagger and tackled Jimi Hendrix about a controversial album cover that portrayed him as a Hindu god. Today, she’s the owner and operator of IT Media Broadcasting, a company that holds two radio stations: Radio Rimjhim and Spice Radio1200AM and produces TV show Women In Focus for Omni TV. Shushma Datt has received numerous awards, including the Order of British Columbia in 1992. The Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee

Commemorative Medals, for outstanding contributions to the community. In 2007 Business In Vancouver’s Influential Woman in Business Award for her many accomplishments in broadcasting and multicultural programming The YWCA honored her as a “Women of Distinction” in 2006. In 2015 she was awarded the “Rosalie Award “ by the Radio Trailblazers. This year, 2021 she has been chosen as the recipient of the Bruce Hutchinson Life Tine Achievement award by the Jack Webster Foundation.

Yogacharini, Maitreyi

Founder Arkaya Awareness Centre

Yogacharini Maitreyi is an international master teacher, practical mystic and founder of Arkaya Awareness Centre and Arkaya Foundation. For the last 25 years, she has been dedicated to living an evolutionary life and sharing holistic life principles. She has been immersed in the yogic life even before, through her first guru, her grandfather.

 Since 1997, she has been given titles: Yoga chemmal (expert), Yoga shiromani (gem), and Yoga acharini (guide), in India. She was one of the youngest to be invited to the Advisory Board of the World Yoga Council, in Europe, in 2007. She has shared the deeper dimensions of yoga, self-management and sattvic tantra worldwide.

She loves nature and ayurvedic food and now lives in Vancouver, Canada. She was born and raised in India where she was immersed in the yogic life through her grandfather and gurus. She studied in the Shivananda and then the Ananda ashra

Shroff, Farah


Dr. Farah M Shroff is an incoming Harvard School of Public Health Takemi Fellow in Global Health (Aug ’21-June 22);  a Canadian public intellectual with expertise in global public health research and education, she works in the Department of Family Practice and the School of Population and Public Health in the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine. The emphasis of her research is envisioning and developing Health for All. Her main areas of research are integrative health approaches, and social/environmental justice from a feminist anti-racim lens. She is a women’s health researcher and educator, focusing on gender equity, reproduction, midwifery, HIV, sexuality, mental well-being and so forth.


Marsh, Hanna


Hannah Marsh is a mindfulness teacher and writer. She has an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, where she was awarded a teaching fellowship. Since 2016, she’s been a Consultant with the Mindfulness, where she facilitates Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs, and runs Mindfulness & Creativity, a series of classes to foster creativity and well-being through mindfulness practice. 

Hannah has a lifelong interest in contemplative practices and mental health. As a Trained MBSR Facilitator, her training includes MBSR in Mind-Body Medicine with the Oasis Institute, as well as teacher training intensives and mentorships with the Centre for Mindfulness Studies. She’s completed Mentorship Training with Heart and Bones Yoga, and sat several silent retreats. Her teaching is grounded in trauma-sensitive practices and mindful self-compassion. 

 Hannah has witnessed in her own life the power of mindfulness and creative expression for healing. She feels honoured and grateful to walk alongside others on their healing journeys.

She lives in Edmonton, Canada, and is working on a memoir about mothers and daughters, and healing intergenerational trauma. 

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