Who We Are

Our Vision

Maternal Infant Health Canada (MIH Can) is comprised of public health professionals, doctors, researchers, and integrative health practitioners who work to improve the health of women and children in India and Canada. Together we aim to work closely with local healthcare workers, traditional medicine providers, government and community members to improve maternal and infant wellbeing and reduce maternal and infant mortality in India.

Our Team in Canada

Dr. Nadra Ansari, is an OB/GYN trained in Pakistan, who has worked for many years in Saudi Arabia.

Alan Creighton-Kelly is a retired Adult Educator and Counsellor, and former faculty member at Capilano University (2009). His practice has been informed largely by Brazilian educator Paulo Freire and has focused on Indigenous Education, Prison Education, and outreach college and university programs for marginalized students and recent immigrants.

His work with native and non-native communities spans the Arctic to the US border and across most of Canada. He has also conducted community development projects in various parts of the Americas, from the Yukon to Chile.

Cathy Ellis (BFA, RM, MSc. PhD) is a Senior Instructor in UBC’s Midwifery Program (Department of Family Practice). Cathy has worked in Uganda since 2005 and Nepal since 2007 with midwifery students as part of a global health course. She completed her PhD at Simon Fraser University in Health Sciences (Global Health) focussing on access to midwifery care in a remote area of Nepal. She continues to work with nurses and midwives in urban and rural areas of Nepal and Uganda, and more recently, health care providers in South Sudan.

Dr. Tania Das Gupta, PhD, is a sociologist and professor at York University who specializes in equity and social justice. Her work focuses on the South Asian diaspora, race and racism, anti-racism, immigration and refugee issues, state policies, and women, work and families.

Arun Garg, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Consultant Medical Biochemist, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Fraser Health
Clinical Professor, Department of Pathology, University of British Columbia
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
Program Medical Director South Asian Health Inst; Fraser Health
Office: 604-520-4330
Cell: 604-897-3171
arun.garg@fraserhealth.ca ; https://pathology.ubc.ca/faculty/arun-garg/
Twitter: @DrArunGarg

Dr. Nazrul Islam, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the United International College, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University where he teaches public health and sociology courses. Currently he is a Visiting Associate Professor in the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia.

Dr. Patti Janssen, PhD, is a Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at UBC where she specializes in Maternal/Fetal/Newborn Health, Women’s Health, Population Health, Clinical Epidemiology/Clinical Trials. She has received many awards and accolades for research and teaching excellence.

Dr. Nané Jordan has a PhD in education from the University of British Columbia. She has degrees in photography/visual arts (University of Ottawa) and women’s spirituality (New College of California). Her practice integrates writing, art making, and scholarship with women’s health: mothering, ecological living, and cultivating spirit.

Dr. Harshavardhan Ashok Kale (MD, MPH), has a passion and drive for preventive health. His journey into the field of medicine, though started as a hardcore clinician, eventually the "lightening" of Public Health and Preventive Medicine struck him! Dr. Kale is a Public Health Consultant and Policy advisor with combined 10 years of Medicine and Public Health. He was a senior consultant and subject matter expert in my previous avatar, being responsible to introduce innovative and industry driven healthcare courses.

Dr. Videsh Kapoor, MD, is a family physician and the director of the Division of Global Health in the Department of Family Practice and co-founder of the Global Health Initiative.  She leads several initiatives nationally and at UBC to improve global health education within medical schools.  She currently is coordinating several projects in India, Kenya, Uganda, Peru, and is assisting with a new project in Nepal.

Sevena Khunkhun was a family physician in an urban practice for 20 years. Additionally, her work with BC Women’s Hospital Sexual Assault service, established an appreciation of the value of multidisciplinary collaborations that span the healthcare, police, judicial, and social services professions.

Dr. Jude Kornelsen, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Practice at UBC where she leads research on rural maternity care. She has published dozens of papers and held millions of dollars in research funding.

Dr. Brenda Leung, ND, PhD, is the Director of Research at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine. Dr. Leung has conducted studies in children’s use of naturopathic medicine, on mentoring within networks to increase research capacity & literacy in CAM practitioners, the effects of a homeopathic remedy on lymph edema in breast cancer patients, and on Chinese and Caucasian population use of healthcare services and complementary medicine in the Calgary Health Region.

Dr. Fatima Mohamedali, MBChB, MPH, is family physician and a public health specialist, who has worked in maternal and child health in Eastern and Southern Africa. She spends part of every year in Canada where she has also worked in women’s health as a researcher.

Dr. Ashnoor Nagji, MD, is a family physician with expertise in maternal and child health. She has worked in many countries including Afghanistan, Uganda, Pakistan and elsewhere.

Dr. Gina Ogilvie, MD, MSc, is the Medical Director of Clinical Prevention Services at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Family Practice, Obstetrics & Gynecology and the School of Population and Public Health.

Shirley Ross, BSN, is a longtime global health organizer and leader, as well as a fundraising and health communications expert. She has extensive multicultural experience both in North America and abroad.

Dr. Emilie Salomons, Dr. TCM, is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She is the president of the Canadian Association of Oriental Obstetrical Medicine and co-created the first Obstetrical Acupuncture course for Midwives in North America. She has taught and worked in Nepal and Uganda.

Dr. Hasina Samji is an infectious disease epidemiologist. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she also undertook Masters’ training. She has worked with a number of local and national organizations, including the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, and the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Her research examines barriers to access to care for marginalized populations. She received a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Association for HIV Research in 2011 and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2015. She joined the Faculty of Health Sciences in 2015 as a Lecturer.

Arunima Sharma, MEd, is a community development specialist with a great deal of experience in India. She is a psychotherapist who has studied holistic systems of healing.

Dr. Dorothy Shaw, MD, is Canada's spokesperson for the G8/G20 for The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), past president of FIGO and the SOGC. She is a faculty member at UBC and VP of Medical Affairs at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre.

Farah M Shroff, PhD is the Founder and Lead of Maternal and Infant Health Canada. She is a public health educator and researcher who has worked in global women’s health for many years. She teaches in UBC's Department of Family Medicine and School of Population and Public Health.

Eva Sullivan is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from UBC. Her interests include midwifery & women's health, migration & mobility, and holistic medicine. She has spent several years volunteering with health and gender related NGOs in Canada, Israel, India and elsewhere.

Prof. Saraswathi Vedam is an Associate Professor at the Division of Midwifery in the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, and founder of the UBC Midwifery Faculty Practice, Birth & Beyond. Over the last 27 years, she has cared for families in the U.S., the Netherlands, India, and Canada in a variety of private and public health care settings.

Dr. Ellen Wiebe is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia. After 30 years of full-service family practice, she now restricts her practice to women’s health and assisted death. She is the Medical Director of Willow Women’s Clinic in Vancouver and provides medical and surgical abortions and contraception. She developed Hemlock AID to provide consultations for doctors and patients about aid in dying and provides assisted death. She has published widely on women’s health and now is researching the experience of assisted dying in Canada.

Dr. Mei-ling Wiedmeyer is a staff physician at the Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-operative, Willow Women's Clinic and Elizabeth Bagshaw Women's Clinic in Vancouver. She completed medical school at McGill University, and did a family medicine residency and fellowship in Women's Health at the University of Toronto, with a special concentration in refugee health.

Robert Woollard, MD, CCFP, FCFP, is Professor of Family Practice at UBC. He has extensive national and international experience in the fields of medical education, the social accountability of medical schools, ecosystem approaches to health, and sustainable development. He is actively involved in Nepal with a new national medical school, school of public health, and nursing school founded on the principles of social accountability, and also works in East Africa on matters of social accountability, primary care, and accreditation systems. He co-chairs the Global Consensus on Social Accountability for Medical Schools (GCSA) and does extensive work in this area with many international bodies. He was a lead organizer for the World Summit on Social Accountability that led to the Tunis Declaration < https://thenetworktufh.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Tunis-Declaration-FINAL-2.pdf> His primary research focus is the study of complex adaptive systems as they apply to the intersection between human and environmental health. His book, “Fatal Consumption: Rethinking Sustainable Development” details some of his work in this regard. He is Associate Director of Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc). He also provides central leadership in the development of a Canadian national strategy for addressing educational and service needs for surgical and obstetrical services in rural Canada—in particular Aboriginal service access for birthing. He was instrumental in establishing the mobile clinic for agricultural workers. Above all he is a husband, father and grandfather.

Robyn Wyman is a holistic healer, focusing on supporting people who are going through the two most important phases of life: the beginning and the end. Robyn Wyman is also  currently serving as the Ambassador of Advancement for MIH Can.

Our Team in India

Dr. Shilpa Karvande, Phd, MSc, has been in Public Health related research since 1995. She is working in rural and urban settings in various states of India.  She has worked in various subjects under reproductive health such as induced abortion, domestic violence and reproductive health of rural communities.   She was involved in various collaborative research projects with International organizations such as London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, UK, Target TB, UK, etc.

Sudha Nagavarapu studied engineering and worked for a few years in the medical device industry in the US. During that time, she volunteered with various organizations and began to think about the politics of development, especially in health and health care. She subsequently returned to India and began working with grassroots organizations and networks. In Bangalore city, she worked with women in slum areas to improve their access to health care, advocated for urban health (and allied) policies and researched the privatization of health services, urban referral systems etc. In Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh state (in North India), she works with a collective of farmer-labourers, both women and men, called Sangtin Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan (SKMS), supporting their initiatives in agriculture and health care. She is currently collaborating on mixed-method research in this region with an economist and sociologist - the goal is to study current and historical links between farming and food (along with gender, caste and class relations) and to investigate how it has impacted nutritional intake and health.

 

Dr. Sumona Karjee Mishra, PhD, is a biotechnologist and social entrepreneur working on the aspect of health care through biotechnological interventions. Presently, she is working on miRNA based pre-symptomatic detection of pregnancy disorder Preeclampsia with pregnant women from Indian sub -population.

Dr. Nerges Mistry, PhD, BSc is the joint director of the Forum for Medical Research. His research studies include Basic and public health aspects of tuberculosis and leprosy with a current focus on multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, Community immune-epidemiology of water borne diseases and Operation research into community based healthcare systems for rural areas.

Ms. Pallavi Patel is a Founding member and Director of Centre for Health, Education and Nutrition Awareness (CHETNA). She is a trained nutritionist who has showcased various innovative approaches and strategies to empower adolescent girls and women to take control of their own health.

Honorary Patrons

MP Don Davies, is a Canadian member of Parliament. He has served on numerous public bodies to improve occupational health and safety.

Senator Mobina Jaffer, was born in Uganda and educated in both England and Canada.

Senator Jaffer’s record of achievement is extensive. She has been noted for her work in the areas of equality and justice for visible minorities and women.

Senator Jaffer sat as Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights for 8 years. She works tirelessly to improve equality both in Canada and abroad. Most notably, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to UN Resolution 1325 that seeks to stress the importance of women’s involvement in peacemaking processes. Due to her relentless commitment to this mandate, she was successful in integrating women in the Darfur peace process.

Dr. Asha Seth (MD, PhD) is a Canadian politician and doctor. She is an ambassador for maternal, newborn and child health.

Mr. Varshney has been a principal of Varshney Capital Corp., a Vancouver based venture capital, merchant bank and corporate advisory services firm, since 1991, a Founding Director of Pyfera Growth Capital social impact fund and a Founding Director of Humanitas Smart Planet Fund.  Mr. Varshney obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia in 1987 and is a FCPA, FCA.

He has been a director or officer of many publicly traded companies over the years including Mogo (Co-Founder) and BetterU Education Corp.  He is also a Co-Founder of G-PAK, Co-Founder of Little Kitchen Academy, CFO of The Plastic Bank and former CFO of Carmanah Technologies which became Canada's largest solar company.  He also was Co-Founder of a predecessor of Mountain Province Diamonds who’s Gahcho Kué in September 2016 became the world’s largest new diamond mine since 2003 & De Beers’ second-largest producer behind its Jwaneng mine in Botswana.

Mr. Varshney is a Toniic member and a long-time member of EO Entrepreneurs Organization – Vancouver Chapter, TiE Vancouver (Founding Director) and Silicon Valley Blockchain Society – Vancouver Chapter (Founding Director).  He’s also on a number of non-profit boards such as The Varshney Family Charitable Foundation, Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education and a Founding Member of instrumentbeyondborders.org.  He's also an SVP Vancouver Partner, a Vancouver Police Foundation Trustee, and on the Advisory boards of Room to Read - Vancouver and The Thomas Edison Innovation Foundation in New Jersey, USA.  He also Co-Founded with his daughter, Jaiya, Down to the Last Straw, a global movement to reduce plastic waste with a major focus on single-use plastic straws. Mr. Varshney is also a past recipient of Business in Vancouver's 40 Under 40 Awards. Mr. Varshney is passionate about utilizing his business savvy for the benefit of women and children in Canada and around the world so he's pleased to work with Maternal and Infant Health Canada.

 

In Memoriam

In 2018, MIH Can, UBC, and the members of our community lost a wonderful member. Despite being a busy resident in Family Medicine, Dr. Rajak Randaw found the time to work with MIH Can, using his aptitude for technology to create media presentations and build this website. We miss Rajak and his warm presence; we honor his life and contributions to the world. He died too soon.

 

The following are some of Dr. Rajak Randaw's contributions:

Please click here to read The Province article with Dr. Rajak Randawa.