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  • Tara Donovan

    Tara Donovan, MSc

    Director, PICNet

    Tara joined PICNet in June 2018 as the Network Director. Tara first began her career in Ontario, working as a vaccine-preventable disease Epidemiologist with public health. Her career brought her to British Columbia where she worked with the immunization team at the BCCDC for a year and then as the IPC Epidemiologist in Fraser Health for 5 years. Tara transitioned to the Managing Consultant role and spent a few years supervising, which provided her an opportunity to foster her leadership abilities. She gained strong surveillance and management experience in her time at Fraser, and expanded her knowledge in infection prevention and control best practices. Tara completed the infection prevention & control professional development course from Queen’s University and holds a Master’s of Science in Community Health and Epidemiology. She has been an active member of IPAC Canada for more than a decade. She held terms as treasurer and president for the IPAC BC Chapter executive. Tara was also Director of Standards and Guidelines on the Board of IPAC Canada. Thus far Tara’s time with PICNet has focused on a variety of projects and initiatives, notably co-leading the provincial COVID-19 pandemic response for healthcare settings, with the Ministry of Health. Collaboration and connection with the health authorities was and continues to be paramount to the work accomplished by PICNet with Tara’s guidance. With the COVID-19 pandemic response, the value and importance of PICNet was recognized and team expansion supported. With Tara’s recruitment efforts the PICNet team has more than doubled. Tara’s work experience and leadership qualities are valuable assets she brings to her position with PICNet.

  • Dr. Titus Wong

    Dr. Titus Wong, MD, MHSc, FRCPC

    Medical Director, PICNet

    A collaborator at heart, Titus is an experienced medical leader who has a passion for improving safety and wellness for British Columbians. Titus joined PICNet as Medical Director in January 2020, with a clinical background in Medical Microbiology, Infection Prevention and Control, and Clinical Epidemiology. He currently serves as an Executive Medical Director in Medical Affairs at PHSA, overseeing a portfolio that includes Infection Prevention and Control, Medical Staff Physical Safety, Psychological Safety, and Wellness. Titus also works at the BCCDC Public Health laboratory as a medical microbiologist and is the BCCDC Medical Director for IPAC and Community Health. Titus has a longstanding interest in improving environmental infection control for patients and staff in healthcare settings through an innovation lens. He has collaborated with clinicians, researchers and industry on the use of antimicrobial copper in healthcare, ultraviolet disinfection, and clean air strategies. Titus also led the development of, and serves as the medical director of the BC/VCH PPE-testing laboratory, Canada’s first ISO-accredited, healthcare-based PPE testing laboratory supporting Canadian healthcare and industry to provide safe PPE for Canadians during the pandemic and beyond. Titus is a dedicated educator and a strong believer in investing in tomorrow’s healthcare leaders. Through the UBC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Titus is a UBC Medical School lecturer, sits on the UBC Medical Microbiology residency training committee as the fellowship advisor, and serves as the course co-director for the UBC Infection Prevention and Control Certificate course. Titus is extremely proud of PICNet’s provincial leadership and contributions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and is honoured to continue serving British Columbians through PICNet.

  • Andrea Vu-Tran

    Andrea Vu-Tran, MOA, MLA

    Administrative Assistant

    Andrea comes to PICNet with much experience, having worked in a variety of administrative roles and varied settings, notably in healthcare clinics and hospitals. Andrea’s diverse skillset, warm personality, and positive energy are wonderful additions to the PICNet team.

  • Noorsallah Esmail

    Noorsallah Esmail, BMLSc, MPH, CIPC

    Education and Practice Coordinator

    Noorsallah has extensive knowledge and experience working in various infection prevention and control positions, spanning both acute and community care settings. Her areas of expertise include development and implementation of best practice guidelines and educational resources, outbreak management, reprocessing and facility planning and construction. In her current role with PICNet, Noorsallah leads the design and development of practice guidelines and education tools and programs for infection prevention and control professionals, healthcare providers, patients and families across the continuum of care. In this role, she is most appreciative of the variety of projects, opportunities for collaboration, and the contributions of multidisciplinary partners.

  • Stephanie Burniston

    Stephanie Burniston, MSc, PhD

    Education and Practice Coordinator

    Stephanie comes to PICNet with extensive experience related to infection prevention and control, research, guideline and policy development. She has worked in various roles within the BC Public Service, most recently as a Senior Policy Analyst for the IPC team in the Population and Public Health Division at the Ministry of Health (MoH), supporting the development and updates of provincial COVID-19 IPAC policies and guidelines for various sectors and professions. She has also worked as an IPAC Practitioner at Fraser Health. Stephanie holds a Master’s of Science in Control of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD in Biomedical Science (Global Health) from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. In this role, she is most looking forward to engaging and collaborating with the many multidisciplinary partners and colleagues that PICNet works with.

  • Katherine Sunderland

    Katherine Sunderland, MPH

    Senior Epidemiologist

    Katherine brings more than 15 years professional experience in research and statistical analysis in health-related studies. She commenced her career in Manitoba working for a decade as an Epidemiologist with CancerCare Manitoba. Following this, she has been working with the BC Cancer agency as a Senior Methodologist performing multiple methodological and analytic responsibilities for clinician-researchers; executing research projects from planning through to publication. Katherine has co-authored 50+ publications during her career. She was member of the UBC Cancer Research Ethics Board, providing critical evaluation and approval of statistical methodology and research design for various research project submissions.Katherine also has experience as a UBC adjunct professor, instructing students in Advanced Predictive Business Analytics and Forecasting and Time Series Prediction within the Master of Business Analytics program.

  • Yosuf Kaliwal

    Yosuf Kaliwal, MPH

    Surveillance Epidemiologist

    Yosuf comes to PICNet with a background in Epidemiology. He has worked in various roles in public health including roles at Ontario's Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and ICES. His past work includes working as an analyst for multiple research projects at ICES, including projects related to cancer, mental health and COVID-19. He holds a Master's of Public Health with a specialization in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. In his current role Yosuf assists in key processes for several of PICNet's surveillance programs (i.e. CPO, MRSA, CDI etc.). He appreciates the hard work needed to maintain provincial surveillance programs and enjoys connecting with his colleagues on a regular basis.

  • Sabbir Hossain, MSc

    Sabbir Hossain, MSc

    Surveillance Systems Coordinator

    Sabbir holds a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Statistics and is currently pursuing his second Master’s in Population and Public Health, with a specialization in Epidemiology through UBC. He has more than three years of research experience in infectious disease (COVID-19, child respiratory infections), chronic disease epidemiology, and developing economics with sound knowledge of epidemiological study design, causal inference, time-series analysis, and numerous advanced epidemiological and statistical techniques. Sabbir also has experience as a teaching assistant in UBC’s Statistics and Public Health departments, instructing undergrad students in elementary statistics and graduate (MSc, MPH, Ph.D.) students in advanced epidemiological methods. Apart from academic skills, Sabbir has gained strong leadership, networking, and team management experience at UBC as Chair of one of the Graduate Student Society’s committees and as Assistant General Secretary of a student-based musical organization in Bangladesh.

  • Mahta Khoshnam Tehrani

    Samar Hejazi, PhD

    Lead, Research and Knowledge Translation

    Samar completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the School of Nursing, the University of British Columbia in 2012 and have developed a strong conceptual and empirical understanding of social and environmental factors impacting health and wellbeing. Samar then joined Fraser Health and, for over 11 years, she provided consultation to FH researchers, employees and medical and pharmacy students with respect to research design and methodological approaches. This includes ensuring the appropriateness of the study deign to address the research question and ensure completeness and transparent of the study procedures. Furthermore, through her academic work and research experience, she has developed an expertise in analyzing complex data sets using a variety of advanced analytic procedures and has supported with study dissemination including writing reports and reviewing manuscripts.

  • Madeline Koeberling

    Madeline Koeberling, BDes

    Graphics and Production Specialist

    As part of PHSA’s Transformation Leadership Office, Madeline supports PICNet and other teams across the organization with design, production, and consultation on various projects, including PICNet’s quarterly surveillance reports. Madeline holds a Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design for Marketing from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and has previously worked with not-for-profit organizations designing marketing, branding, and educational collateral for a range of audiences.

  • Georgia Neindorf

    Georgia Neindorf, BSC

    Project Manager

    Georgia comes to PICNet with over 12 years experience working with health authorities both in Australia and in Canada. She has worked in various roles with PHSA over the last 5 years, most recently as Business Analyst and Project Support for Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services (PLMS) where she supported the Provincial Lab Emergency Operation Centre response to COVID-19, as well as project management to a variety of projects including the Implementation of Diagnostic Whole Genome Sequencing for Rare Diseases in BC, Adoption of Synoptic Reporting, and Point of Use Water Testing. Georgia completed her Bachelor of Science (Health Promotion) through Curtin University in Australia.