Project Team

Project Team

Co-Principal Investigators

Dr. Robin Cox

Dr. Robin Cox, PhD, Secretan Consulting, JIBC Research Associate, Associate Professor Royal Roads University
Key Interests: Psychosocial Disaster Recovery Process; Disaster Responder Stress & Coping

Robin Cox is an Associate-Professor in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences at Royal Roads University where she is Program Head of the Master in Disaster and Emergency Management programs and a faculty member of the new interdisciplinary Doctor of Social Science Program. Dr. Cox is a steering committee member and disaster responder with the B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority’s Disaster Psychosocial Services (DPS) network, a member of the National Emergency Psychosocial Advisory Consortium, and the International Disaster Sociological Association. She has an active, applied research program focused on several interrelated interests: (1) the psychosocial and gendered dimensions of disasters; (2) the needs and rights of children and seniors in disaster; (3) individual, organizational, and community-level disaster resilience and recovery; (4) rural and community-based research and capacity building; and (5) qualitative research methods and the use of visual media and storytelling. Dr. Cox is Co-Investigator and Lead Researcher on the Rural Disaster Resilience Project (RDRP), co-Principal Investigator on the Simulation Training and Exercise Collaboration (SIMTEC): Enhancing CBRNE Psychosocial Capacity and Capability Management project and is a Research Associate with the Justice Institute of British Columbia’s Applied Research Division. She received her doctorate in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia with a focus on psychological trauma, stress and coping.
Prior to her involvement with RRU, Dr. Cox developed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of British Columbia, the Adler School of Professional Psychology, the BC Institute of Technology and the Justice Institute of BC. She has over 12 years consulting experience as a clinical counselor specializing in trauma and other anxiety disorders; critical incident stress management training and response; conflict communication; and the design and delivery of training for mental health professionals in disaster response. In her work as a consulting researcher she has developed and authored several disaster psychosocial planning frameworks including: Annex P: the psychosocial annex to the Canadian Pandemic Plan for the Health Sector; the British Columbia Ministry of Health’s psychosocial planning framework for communities, and the health sector; and a competency framework for psychosocial service providers.

>> Click to read Robin's CV.

Dr. Laurie Pearce

Dr. Laurie Pearce, PhD: Research Chair, JIBC, Pearces 2 Consulting Corporation

Key Interests: Psychosocial, Community Planning, Disaster Response and Recovery

Within a disaster context, Dr. Laurie Pearce has a broad range of interests including community development; hazard, risk and vulnerability analysis; issues of gender, culture and vulnerability; and the psychosocial dimensions of disaster.

Laurie has specialized in disaster management and traumatic stress for over 25 years. She is a member of the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine, the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists, the International Disaster Sociological Association and the Emergency Preparedness for Industry and Commerce Council of BC. Laurie is a Research Chair at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, an Associate Faculty member at Royal Roads University, and is affiliated with the University of British Columbia Institute for International Health. She is a partner with her husband, Larry Pearce, in Pearces 2 Consulting Corporation.

>> Click to read Laurie's CV.

Colleen Vaughan

Colleen Vaughan, MEd, Dean, JIBC School of Public Safety

Key Interests: education education and disaster resilience

Colleen Vaughan M.Ed. is the Dean for the School of Public Safety at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. In this role she is responsible for program/curriculum development and delivery including certificates, diplomas and degrees as well as research initiatives for the Division. She oversees a Certificate in Emergency Management; a Certificate in Exercise Design; a Bachelor of Emergency and Security Studies; contract and tuition offerings in Emergency Management and ICS; the development and delivery of Emergency Management, Search and Rescue (SAR) and Emergency Social Services (ESS) training for Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC); and Emergency Management training for the health sector in B.C. In addition to her educational role, Colleen has been involved in emergency and disaster responses throughout British Columbia and the State of Georgia. Colleen holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Education from the University of British Columbia. She has been honored as the recipient of the Justice Institute of British Columbia Instructor of the Year Award, and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Award for teaching from the University of Texas.

>> Click to read Colleen's CV.

Project Management

James Boerma

James Boerma, SIMTEC Project Manager

In charge of leading multimillion-dollar projects funded by the Centre for Security Science (CSS) and Department of National Defense. Managing the contract negotiation process for projects, project charter, budget, overall work plan, communications plan. Providing administrative support to recruit and manage the research team. Other important tasks include design and creation of the project's websites and social media platforms, providing managerial oversight and production support for the development of educational videos and training materials and designing and implementing a successful financial and administration management process to meet funder, partners, and JIBC audit guidelines.

Simulation Training and Exercise Collaboratory (SIMTEC)
$3.6M project created to assist Emergency Operation Center (EOC) personnel to develop a more considered approach of the psychosocial dimensions of CBRNE and other hazardous events.

The Rural Disaster Resilience Project (RDRP)
$1.9M project designed to support the ability of rural, remote and small coastal communities to implement disaster preparedness and resilience enhancement planning.


Sean De Maio

Sean brings several years of both quantitative and qualitative research experience (primarily in health studies) combined with excellent organizational and analytical skills to summarize and synthesize data. Sean is well versed in both qualitative and quantitative analytical software programs. He brings excellent research skills and professional-level information management skills. He has earned both an M.A. degree (Health Policy) from Simon Fraser University and an M.L.I.S. (Library and Information Science) degree from the University of Western Ontario. His work experience also includes co-writing and editing research-based reports, and interviewing medical professionals and patients for health-related studies.

Rachel Friederichsen

Rachel Friederichsen is entering her second year of the UBC MA in Counselling Psychology. She is grateful for the multiple opportunities, both educational and practical, that her program has afforded her. Favourite avenues of study and research have included group therapeutic processes, countertransference in the therapeutic relationship, morals and ethics of clinical practice, education, and research, program design and evaluation, interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder, family, couple, and adolescent counselling, and research methods in applied psychology. She is thrilled to be coming aboard the SIMTEC project which will undoubtedly expand her research skills exponentially.

Laurie Hearty

Laurie brings a positive approach with demonstrated leadership rooted in academic achievement, collaborative decision-making, and practical experience in undertaking research that informs public policy and community response. Laurie is committed to supporting an organizational culture that promotes continuous improvement through the meaningful involvement of all stakeholders and through the application of knowledge that is generated through research, valued, shared, translated and integrated into practice, and celebrated. Laurie has Master of Arts degree in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University and has completed the coursework for her PhD in social policy.

Andrea Javor

Andrea completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Guelph in 2004 and studied philosophy at the University of British Columbia. She gained research experience while working at the Schizophrenia, Cognition and Imaging lab at UBC. While there, she conducted interviews with schizophrenic patients, coordinated an MRI study on addiction, and co-authored a philosophy of psychiatry paper. Andrea also worked at the Biomotion Lab at Queens University, and at a cognition lab at the University of Guelph. Andrea volunteered with Humanities 101, a program for residents of the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver.

Beth Larcombe

Beth Larcombe has proven expertise in management and leadership in emergency management. She has experienced various positions that have allowed a focus in risk management and emergency preparedness both in the government public sector and the private sector. Her earlier work in crisis intervention and emergency response on the front line with police agencies in a role that supported those affected and impacted by disaster and crime led her to the role of Coroner and her pursuit of her academic achievements to support and add credibility to her practical experience. Beth Larcombe is now an integral member of the emergency management profession with a balance of extensive practical experience and education.

Bethan Lloyd

Bethan Lloyd has over 25 years’ experience working with research teams to design,propose and implement large- and small-scale projects, including action research with community-based organizations, policy research with provincial and federal governments, program evaluation with non-profit agencies and post secondary institutions, and mixed methods research with community/academic collaborative teams.

Bethan has taught research at the undergraduate and graduate level in Vancouver, Halifax and Toronto. Bethan has an MA in Community Psychology from the University of Toronto (OISE) and a PhD in Education (Social Organization of Knowledge) from Dalhousie University. Her research content area may be broadly defined as the social determinants of health with
a particular emphasis on working with marginalized populations within a conceptual framework of intersectionality.

She is a methodologist with a specialty in research ethics, innovative research design, sampling strategies and recruitment, and the training and supervision of community based research teams and novice researchers.

Bethan’s work is informed by her practice of mindfulness and meditation within the engaged Buddhist tradition of Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Rebecca McNeil

Rebecca has a Master of Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University.
Over the past three years she has been part of collaborative research labs with Dalhousie University and the University of Saskatchewan. In these capacities her chief responsibilities included organizing major components of the research, data labeling, filing and analysis using N’Vivo and other software, and compiling a methodology for a six-year, multi-methods research project that required input from more than twenty stakeholders. She was also the lead author on six publishable manuscripts, which drew from a number of fields including discourse analysis, sustainability studies, policy mobility and diffusion, change management theory, neoliberal critique, and environmental psychology.

Rebecca currently works with the Social Change Institute, Hollyhock and Renewal Investments to promote a variety of enterprises through traditional and social media, as well as coordinating events and crafting press releases.

Jennifer Pinette

Jennifer Pinette holds a Master of Arts in Disaster and Risk Management Planning from the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Jennifer’s thesis, Fostering Social Capital and Building Community Resilience Using a Neighbour-to-neighbour Approach, explored shortcomings and best practices as they relate to the Hazard Management Cycle and proposed a neighbourhood-based model that maximizes community resilience during each phase. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Psychology from UBC.

Jennifer is guided by a community-based participatory approach with experience in risk transfer research, capacity building, community engagement, emergency management, community resilience, international development, participatory action research, and strategic and regional planning. She has worked in Canada, Grenada, and Mozambique and studied emergency management in North America, Japan and Costa Rica extensively. She is particularly interested in exploring ways to increase the general public’s level of participation across all aspects of emergency management.

Gary Thandi

Gary Thandi has his Masters in Social Work and in addition to being a Justice Institute of British Columbia research associate, is a clinical services program manager at a non-profit agency in Surrey that specializes in working with ethno-cultural communities. He has also worked as an addictions and family counsellor and was a probation officer in Abbotsford for 7 years. As a member of the Centre for the Prevention and Reduction of Violence at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, he has co-authored the report “This is a Man’s Problem”: Strategies for Working with South Asian male perpetrators of intimate partner violence..

Alanna Thompson

Alanna Thompson completed her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology from the University of British Columbia in 2008. She recently completed her MA in Counselling Psychology at UBC. For her master’s thesis project, Alanna investigated the perceived impact of operational stress in policing on the marital relationship, to gain the knowledge required to assist in the development of new resources to enhance social support and resilience for police families.

Alanna’s practical experience involves providing counselling in a community-based setting to individuals, couples, and families. Alanna has six years of experience as a volunteer and auxiliary caseworker in a police-based victim services program, and worked previously as a family support worker with a non-profit agency, providing strength-based outreach support to families facing issues such as poverty, violence, and trauma.

Adam Vaughan

Adam is a PhD student with the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. The overarching approach to his research is to explore the overrepresentation of minorities in the criminal justice system.

His current research investigates the intersection between the mental health care system and the criminal justice system. More specifically, he is interested in the effectiveness of collaborative problem solving programs between the mental health care practitioners and the police on reducing recidivism and improving mental well-being in severely mentally ill persons.

Adam teaches criminological research methods to undergraduate students, he is a research assistant with The Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies, and he sits on the board of directors for the Canadian Chapter of the National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation.

International Partners

Bruce T. Blythe

Bruce T. Blythe

Key Interests: education education and disaster resilience

Bruce Blythe is an internationally acclaimed crisis management expert. He is the owner and chairman of three companies that provide employers with a continuum of crisis preparedness, crisis response, and employee return-to-work services. Crisis Management International (Atlanta-based) is the preparedness arm of the three companies. CMI has assisted hundreds of companies worldwide with crisis and business continuity planning, training and exercising. CMI also provides workplace violence preparedness programs and threat of violence consultations through a specialty network of threat management specialists, including former FBI and Secret Service agents. Crisis Care Network (based in Grand Rapids, Michigan) responds to corporate crisis situations 1000 times per month through a North American network of crisis mental health professionals. Behavioral Medical Interventions (Minneapolis based) accelerates employee return-to-work for workers comp and non-occupational injury cases.

Widely regarded as a thought leader in the crisis management and business continuity industries, he is the author of Blindsided: A Manager’s Guide to Catastrophic Incidents in the Workplace. He has served in the Military Police for the U.S. Marine Corps. He's a certified clinical psychologist and has been a consultant to the FBI on workplace violence and terrorism.

>> Click to read Bruce's CV.

Alan Kirschenbaum

Alan (Avi) Kirschenbaum

Present Positions: Senior Research Fellow: The Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, ISRAEL.

Professor in Organizational Sociology and Disaster Management, Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, Technion.

Senior Research Advisor: Technion Research and Development Foundation

Academic Degrees
B.A. - Sociology, Yeshiva University, N.Y., 1964.
M.A. - Sociology/Demography, Brown University, Rhode Island, USA, 1966.
Ph.D. Sociology, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y., 1966-69,

Past director of research, and senior consultant to the Population Behaviour Section, Israel’s Home Front Command. The author of dozens of scientific journal articles and book chapters and a recently published book “Chaos Organization and Disaster Management” (Marcel Dekker, 2004). He was a member of editorial boards of leading international journals, executive board member of the International Research Committee on Disasters (RC-39) and the European Disaster & Social Crisis Research Network and member of various international professional academic associations. He is coordinator of a European Union research project (PF7) for developing a behavioral science model and training program dealing with airport security (BEMOSA). Professor Kirschenbaum is also involved in a number of applied research projects that include measuring the effectiveness of disaster management organizations, business continuity during disasters and enhancing local authority, household and organizational preparedness. He is currently doing international research on the community basis of societal resilience and the importance of adaptive behavioural changes in reducing the impact of terrorism. He has frequently appeared in local and international TV – radio programs and quoted in newspaper interviews.

>> Click to read Avi's CV.

Lars-Erik Lauritz

Lars-Erik Lauritz

Bio coming shortly.

Colin Tansley

Colin Tansley, National Security - UK

Colin Tansley has over 31 years’ experience as a senior Law Enforcement officer within the UK. His duties have included Counter Terrorism, Critical Incident Planning, Major Events, VIP and Close Personal Protection, Bomb Scene Management and Search, CBRN Commander and Trainer. These duties involved working with a number of foreign agencies on high profile operations such as 9/11, G8, NATO Conferences and the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Colin is now the owner of a successful business providing bespoke security solutions and a Director on the board of a Forensic Supplies company.

Colin Tansley (Msc) has a wealth of experience in law enforcement, counter terrorism, CBRN, contingency and event planning. Prior to and during the 2010 Winter Olympics, training and advice was delivered to law enforcement and multi-agency partners involved in the security operation and assistance with the development of the British Columbia Mass Fatalities Plan. In 2010 he joined a first class team of experts who have developed an excellent product that affords total protection of IT systems from 'cyber attacks', focusing on the financial and security sectors.

For several years Colin has been involved in the protection and security of high profile individuals associated with a first class Premier League football club, providing comprehensive contingency planning, advice and personal protection.

The most recent projects have included a security review at a major NHS Trust site, liaison with North American Law Enforcement agencies’, Funeral Services and presenting to an EU funded project in Oslo.
In the Spring of 2011 Colin was invited to join the board of new and exciting company providing world beating forensic solutions to law enforcement agencies, laboratories, healthcare units and the food industry.
In July 2011 Colin joined an International Team to undertake preparatory work on a major CBRN project based in North America.

Specialties: Counter Terrorism Search, CBRN, Contingency and Events Planning and the Protection of IT systems.

>> Click to read Colin's CV.

Michael Tarrant

Michael Tarrant, Associate Professor

Michael Tarrant holds adjunct appointments; including Associate Professor in the Public Health Faculty at Queensland University of Technology and in the Department of Tropical Medicine at James Cook University Townsville. Until 2012 he was an Assistant Director at the Australian Emergency Management Institute.
He has worked in Disaster management for the past 25 years and since 1996 has been a member of Standards Australia, Risk Management Committee and is a joint author of the Australian Standard on Business Continuity-Managing Disruption Related Risk AS/NZS 5050.

He has presented to conferences, run courses and workshops in Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Philippines, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Italy, China, England, Canada and the US and is an advisory Board Member for the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness.

Since 1996 he has worked at a national level as member of Standards Australia, Risk Management Committee and is a joint author of the Australian Standard on Business Continuity-Managing Disruption Related Risk AS/NZS 5050. He has written and contributed to a wide range of emergency management publications over many years. He is a technical expert to three ISO TC 223 working groups on societal security.

>> Click to read Michael's CV.

Expert Working Group

Rene Bernklau

Rene Bernklau

Rene Bernklau is a thirty-three year veteran of the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS). A Paramedic Chief working in Vancouver as the Provincial Coordinator of Hazardous Substance Response and the BCAS Provincial CBRNE program.

Rene has instructed for the now closed Canadian Emergency Management College (CEMC) in Ottawa and the Counter Terrorist Training Center (CTTC) in Suffield Alberta, training hundreds of first responder’s in counter terrorist medical response and tactics since 2003.

He has lead the Province of BC’s health care providers in the development and roll out of training and sustained operations, including equipment procurement for decontamination procedures across the province of BC and continues to build a second and third level of training for health care centers provincially.

Dr. F. John Blatherwick

Dr. F. John Blatherwick, CM, CStJ, OBC, CD, BSc, MD, DPH, FRCP(C), LLD(Hon)

Key Interests:

Dr. John Blatherwick was the Chief Medical Health Officer for Vancouver (and later Vancouver Coastal Health) from 1984 to 2007. In all, he was a Medical Health Officer in British Columbia for 37 years. In addition, he served in the Canadian Forces for 39 years starting with the Governor General’s Foot Guards at age 16, the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps and 29 years as the Principal Medical Officer in Vancouver’s Naval Reserves at HMCS Discovery. After 50 years in uniform, he still serves as the Honorary Colonel for 12 (Vancouver) Field Ambulance. John has published 21 books, mainly on Canadian Orders and Decorations, airplanes and Environmental Health Officer stories.

>> Click to read John's CV.

Judy Bushe

Judy Bushe

Judy Bushe is the recipient of the Zillah (Hobart) Wood Scholarship in Nursing. She is training to be a nurse educator and has extensive emergency room experience.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she has been working as a nurse educator to support the prevention and treatment of children with malaria. In her spare time she is hoping to make a difference by raising funds for orphaned, war-affected children. She says, "I am honored to receive such a generous donation that will help me continue my education in nursing so that I may be in a better situatiion to help others."p>

>> Click to read Judy's CV.

Karen Collins

Karen Collins is currently the Manager, Health, Safety and Emergency Management at Douglas College. Karen’s involvement with SIMTEC has thus far included serving on the Expert Working Group as a subject matter expert on fatality management and providing support with respect to planning, research, exercise facilitation and training. She particularly appreciates the value of the research being conducted for the SIMTEC project because of her personal research interests which entail ethical and psychosocial considerations that come to play within disaster victim identification operations.

>> Click to read Karen's CV.

Alan Dick

Alan Dick

Key Interests:

Alan Dick MSW RSW, is a General Medicine/Critical Care Social Worker at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. Combined, he has over 19 years experience working in both Community Mental Health and Acute Care. During this period, Alan developed first an interest in the psychosocial issues involved in disaster response, particularly with regards to the psychosocial issues involved in a medical response and hospital preparedness. In addition to his work at Sunnybrook, Alan is the Supervisor for the Psychosocial Health Team (PSH) part of Ontario's Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT). PSH provides psychosocial/behavioural health response support to EMAT and the populations it serves. Alan has participated or organized more than 20 live disaster exercises, as well as being involved in a variety of real life disaster/emergency incidents including 9/11 and SARs. In the summer of 2011 Alan was deployed for 2 weeks in northern Ontario with EMAT to work with forest fire First Nations evacuees. Spring 2011 Alan started teaching a course at George Brown College's Emergency Management program on the Psychosocial Issues of Disaster Response. Currently, Alan is working on a bachelor level course for Centennial College on Disaster Psychosocial issues in addition to his involvement as the Psychosocial End-user Lead for a CRTI contract looking at nationwide online training for the varying levels of front line responders in the areas of Health, Psychosocial and Communication. Alan continues to maintain contact with other psychosocial responders in the field by participating in various committees and projects at National, provincial and municipal levels.

>> Click to read Alan's CV.

Dr. Graham Dodd

Dr. Graham Dodd, Physician

Since 1998 Dr. Dodd has practiced as an emergency, urgent care and family physician in Kamloops, BC. During that time he has served as the Royal Inland Hospital’s Chief of Emergency Medicine and Trauma Director for the Province’s third busiest trauma center. He also served as the regional medical director for BC Ambulance in Kamloops and initiated the Province’s first ground-based Critical Care Transport program. He is currently a physician at the Kamloops Urgent Care Clinic, a Medical Director for the Emergency Medical Response Team at the Sun Peaks Ski Resort outside of Kamloops as well as one of the directors of the regional Division of Family Practice. He has served on a variety of regional, provincial and national emergency committees for groups such as the Ministry of Health (BC), Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, and Society of Rural Physicians of Canada.

In addition to his clinical practice, he has recently served as a medical consultant for pandemic planning in the Interior Health Authority (IHA); and then during H1N1, for both the IHA and the Provincial Public Health Office (Clinical Care Advisory Group). He continues to serve as an Associate Medical Director with Global Medical Services / Consulting in Vancouver and as a clinical consultant to TASCMET, an emergency exercise planning group in Edmonton and Kamloops.

His interest in disaster management / medicine began on 1998 when he helped to direct one of the few evacuations of a Canadian hospital during the wildfires in Salmon Arm, BC. That experience contributed to the desire to see the professions of health and emergency management form better collaborative relationships so as to increase community safety and resilience. In 2010, he was the first physician to complete the Master’s program in Disaster and Emergency Management at Royal Roads University (Victoria) and was nominated for the Governor General’s gold medal for his thesis on how to better engage Canadian physicians in emergency/disaster management.

>> Click to read Graham's CV.

Perry Goertzen

Perry Goertzen

Mr. Goertzen has had extensive experience in disaster and emergency response, serving as a psychosocial disaster response specialist for the Emergency Medical Assistance Team (E.M.A.T.) in Toronto prior to relocating to the Vancouver area in 2007. For several years, Perry was employed as a Crisis Intervention Worker in four separate Toronto-area emergency departments. He also worked as the clinical director of a Critical Incident Stress Management team for the Emergency Medical Services (E.M.S.) of the City of Mississauga, Ontario, a city of approximately one million residents.

Perry is trained and certified in several models of emergency / disaster response. Since relocating with his family to the Fraser Valley five years ago, Mr. Goertzen has been employed as a critical care social worker in the emergency department and intensive care unit at B.C. Children's Hospital. Concurrently, he has worked in the area of psychiatry in the mental health unit, as well as having worked in the role of an emergency room social worker at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital & Cancer Centre.

Educational accomplishments for Mr. Goertzen include a bachelor degree in psychology and a master of social work degree. Perry is actively involved on emergency preparedness committees, and has volunteered his time with various front-line disaster response agencies such as the Canadian Red Cross.

In addition to working for the Emergency Medical Assistance Team (E.M.A.T.), Mr. Goertzen has participated as a psychosocial disaster response subject matter expert in a program of mass casualty event simulations via the I.D.E.A.S. Network (Interprofessional Disaster / Emergency Action Studies) in Toronto.

Mr. Goertzen’s experience in disaster response includes the 2003 S.A.R.S. (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in Toronto and the Air France crash at Pearson International Airport in 2005. He has also served under the auspices of the Disaster Psychosocial Services program (B.C.’s Emergency Management Unit) via deployment to the 2010 Bella Coola floods in northern British Columbia and at the Lakeland Saw Mill disaster in Prince George in April of 2012.

Mr. Goertzen has received various high-level commendations and recognition for his work as a disaster response mental health specialist, most notably from the ACTS World Relief agency in Haiti, with whom he served following this nation’s 2010 mass-casualty earthquake.

Perry’s personal interests include storm-chasing, particularly going on tropical vacations during peak hurricane season.

Dr. Brian Guthrie

Dr. Brian Guthrie,

Dr Brian Guthrie Ph D, RSW, Member of Clinical Registry

Key Interests: Disaster Mental Health, Psycho-social Emergency Response, Disaster Response and Recovery.

Dr Brian Guthrie is an Associate Professor at Mount Royal University in the Social Work and Disability Program and an Associate Faculty at City University of Seattle in the Master of Counselling Psychology Program. He has been a clinical therapist for 30+ years focusing on the treatment of trauma. In addition to his clinical practice, he has held positions as a Regional Director for a national EAP and EAP Trauma Coordinator. Brian has been a member of Canada's Psychosocial Emergency Response Team (PSERT) since it's inception in 2002. He recently presented his research on this teams mobilization to the 2010 Olympic Games at the 3rd Australasian Mental Health and Psychosocial Disasters Conference 2011 in Brisbane, Australia.

>> Click to read Brian's CV.

Caitlin Harrison

Caitlin Harrison

Caitlin Harrison joined the field of emergency management in 2005, and has focused much of her work on planning within the health sector. Her experience includes emergency management roles with the Vancouver Island Health Authority, the University of Victoria, and Public Safety Canada. As the Regional Emergency Preparedness and Response Coordinator for the Public Health Agency of Canada, Caitlin is responsible for the overall leadership, management, and coordination of federal health emergency management with British Columbia and the Yukon. Born and raised on the west coast, Caitlin is a graduate of the University of Victoria.

Guenther Krueger

Guenther Krueger

Guenther is a nurse researcher with an interest in pediatric palliative care as well as other health related issues. He has worked in health care communications, hospital administration, and government. Currently he does data analysis for qualitative health care projects as well as teaching and consulting for QSR NVivo, a software package used by researchers. He has an interdisciplinary PhD and master’s degrees in Counselling Psychology and Liberal Studies. In his spare time he is involved in raising and showing Scottish Terriers with Glenfraser Kennels.

Jeanne LeBlanc

Jeanne LeBlanc, Registered Psychologist

Key Interests: Occupational Stress and Coping; Stress Management Interventions

Dr. Jeanne LeBlanc, Ph.D., Registered Psychologist; Diplomate in Rehabilitation Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology. Private Practice in Clinical Neuropsychology
Key Interests: Disaster Behavioral Health; Disaster Preparedness; Community Disaster Response with an emphasis upon Disaster Planning and Response for Individuals with Disability; Behavioral Health components of Disaster Responder Preparation and Deployment.

Dr. Jeanne LeBlanc is a Registered Psychologist, in private practice. She is the British Columbia Psychological Association (BCPA) Representative for the American Psychological Association State, Territorial and Provincial Disaster Response Network, and has also been appointed as the Behavioral Health Liaison to the American Board of Disaster Medicine. She also represents BCPA in the BC Provincial Health Services Authority’s Disaster Psychosocial Services network, is on the Board of Directors of High Alert International, a non-profit agency involved with disaster response and training. Jeanne volunteers with Canadian Medical Assistance Team (CMAT), and is the past director of Behavioral Health for an international non-profit involved in disaster response. She has been deployed to disasters in North America, the Caribbean, and Asia. Jeanne has published in the area of disaster response, and has provided trainings and workshops to specialists in behavioral health and medicine, internationally. She is also a Clinical Associate of Simon Fraser University.

In her private practice, Jeanne is involved with providing assessment and rehabilitative services, primarily, to individuals with acquired disability. She has been qualified as an expert in Neuropsychology by the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and also provides forensic services.

>> Click to read Jeanne's CV.

Dorit Mason

Dorit Mason

Dorit is the Director of the North Shore Emergency Management Office (NSEMO) which is the emergency management department for the District of West Vancouver, District of North Vancouver and City of North Vancouver in British Columbia. She is responsible for coordinating the jurisdictional response to major emergencies and disasters, establishing the integrated North Shore Emergency Operations Centre, writing plans, managing volunteers, conducting training and exercises, engaging stakeholders, and providing emergency preparedness training and education for residents and businesses. She has been in the emergency management field for over 20 years and has also worked in the Health and Safety, and Environmental Industry.

Doreen Myers

Doreen Myers,

Doreen Myers currently holds the position of Director, Emergency Management & Business Continuity, for Lower Mainland Health Authorities, (Fraser Health, Providence Health Care, Provincial Health Services and Vancouver Coastal Health.) Ms. Myers is responsible for the strategic planning and direction of emergency management and business continuity operations for Provincial Programs and Consolidated Services, including emergency preparedness and response programs and initiatives. She holds an MA in Health Leadership, and Emergency Management Certificate from the Justice Institute of BC, and an Associate Business Continuity Planner Certificate from the Disaster Response Institute Canada

Lee Patterson

Lee Patterson,

Lee served in the Royal Navy- Fleet Air Arm between 1986 and 1992, leaving to join the West Midlands Police Service. Over ten years he worked in three major UK Cities and gained operational experience on a specialized public order and anti terrorist search team. As his career unfolded he became a nationally qualified Tactical Advisor and Public Order Commander, gaining experience as part of the security team at the G8 Summit and Commonwealth Games.

In 2002, Lee immigrated to Vancouver and joined the Vancouver Police Department. Whilst attending the JIBC Lee was presented with a Class Leadership Award and awarded Class Valedictorian. During his ten years of police service in Canada, Lee was promoted to Sergeant and has been a leading figure to the Department’s Public Order and Anti-terrorist Search Programs receiving the Provincial Award of Meritorious Service for his dedication.

Lee represented Vancouver Integrated Security Unit as the Chief Search Coordinator responsible for the security searching of all the 2010 Olympic venues.

Lee was further promoted to Staff Sergeant in December 2010 and continues his work within the Public Order Group playing a key policing role as the Tactical Advisor to the Commanders during the 2011 Vancouver hockey riot as well as being involved post disorder in Riot Review Projects. Lee is currently assigned to the Downtown District of Vancouver as a Staff Sgt.

Away from his police duties Lee graduated from Royal Roads University in 2010 having completed a Masters Degree (Disaster and Emergency Management). He also received the Founders Award for Leadership, Sustainability and Development. His major research subject was related to police departments and counter terrorism. He currently sits on the National Working Committee for BC Disaster Victim Identification and is also currently working with the ICURS and MoCCSy research group at SFU as well as guest lecturing at BCIT.

Lise Anne Pierce

Lise Anne Pierce,

Lise Anne Pierce is the Provincial Manager, BC/Yukon Disaster Management Programs of the Canadian Red Cross Society. Her responsibilities include building partnerships and developing provincial, local and private sector agreements as well as providing leadership, coordination and support to the planning, development and delivery of all Red Cross Response programs in British Columbia and the Yukon. Lise Anne has been involved with the Red Cross as a volunteer, contractor, and employee for over a decade. During this time, she has represented the Red Cross working in support of governments on numerous responses in across Western Canada and Haiti.


Abstract: The Canadian Red Cross Society

Mission: “To improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world”

The Red Cross is a national volunteer aid society, auxiliary to the public authorities in their humanitarian work, be they municipal, provincial/territorial, federal or Aboriginal.

The Red Cross works with all levels of government, (municipal, regional district, First Nation, provincial, federal) regional and Aboriginal health authorities, transportation authorities, educational institutions, community organizations and other relief agencies to assist those affected by disaster. Provision of direct services to people impacted by disaster and conflict, the provision of reliable and timely information, working on teams with other community organizations or serving in a support or training role. The Red Cross also supports activities designed to build capacity and encourage active involvement at the community and individual levels.

Heleen Sandvik

Heleen Sandvik,

Heleen Sandvik was a Social Worker in Child Welfare in Surrey, British Columbia for 12 years, 2 of them as a District Supervisor. Following that she managed a Provincial, Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf Blind, Mental Health Program, Vancouver Coastal Health for 13 years. She has been a disaster response volunteer since 1995; including the Red Cross and Emergency Social Services, Disaster Assistance Team Leader and the SW Mobile Support Team; she has responded to over 150 local, provincial and international disasters and emergencies, including the 2003 & ’09 Firestorms, New York after 9/11, and Haiti following the 2009 earthquake.

Since 2006 Heleen has been the Provincial Lead for the Disaster Psychosocial (DPS) Program, Provincial Health Services Authority. She manages and collaborates with several councils, committees and working groups towards the development of a Provincial framework for the delivery of pre-, during and post-disaster psychosocial services.

Dave Scott

Dave Scott

Dave Scott has been involved in emergency management since 1993. Most of his experience has been in the field of Emergency Social Services(ESS) as the Provincial ESS Coordinator with the Ministry of Human Resources from 1993 to 2001 and as the ESS Specialist with Emergency Management BC (EMBC) from 2007 until the present. Dave also worked as the Business Continuity Manager for the Ministry of Human Resources from 2001 to 2004 and as the Local Government Emergency Planning Officer with Provincial Emergency Program from 2004 to 2006.

Dave’s responsibilities as ESS specialist range from day to day program administration, operational support to local governments and First Nations for ESS events large and small, policy and plan development and managing relationships with provincial and federal government agencies and NGOs and private sector partners that support ESS in British Columbia. The primary focus of Dave’ work is to ensure ongoing support to local government ESS volunteer programs to build capacity for small and midsized responses and to work with other government and non profit and private sector organizations to build plans and capacity for major and catastrophic events. Strengthening relationships between the Health Emergency Management sector , including Disaster Psychosocial components, and ESS is a priority for the ESS Program within EMBC.

Carolyn Sinclair

Carolyn Sinclair,

Carolyn Sinclair is a co-founder and partner of Strategic Business Risks Inc (SBRI) which delivers investigation, emergency management and educational solutions to public and private organizations and institutions.

She has over 25 years of professional and practical experience in the areas of forensic investigations and emergency management.

Carolyn is the Emergency Services Coordinator for the New Westminster Police Department, She is a member and Provincial Lead Alternate for the Disaster Psychosocial Service Team. She is the Executive Director for Police Victim Services of BC & the BC Crime Prevention Association. Carolyn is an instructor at the Justice Institute, Emergency Management Division, Seneca College and the University of Fraser Valley.

Academic Partners

Dr. Bonita Clarice Long

Dr. Bonita Clarice Long, Professor Emerita, UBC

Key Interests: Occupational Stress and Coping; Stress Management Interventions

Dr. Long is a Professor Emerita, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, UBC. She has worked in the area of stress and coping for over 30 years. Bonita is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, and a faculty associate with the Centre for Research in Women’s Studies and Gender Relations. Her program of research focuses on the influence of personality, gender, social roles, and contextual factors on the health of individuals who experience chronic psychosocial stress (e.g., work stress, chronic illnesses). She has examined conceptual and theoretical aspects of stress and coping processes, as well as and stress management interventions (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy, narrative therapy, exercise). She has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters relating to research on stress and coping. Among her publications is the book Women, Work, and Coping: A multidisciplinary Approach to Workplace Stress.

>> Click to read Bonita's CV.

Government Partners

Francois Legault

Francois Legault, MSW, RSW

Key Interests: Occupational Health : Psychosocial Emergency Preparedness and Response for Federal Workers, Trauma Management, Disaster Management, Mental Health in the Workplace, Employee Assistance Programs, Disability Management.

Working in this field since 1982, François has practiced at several levels within a variety of private and public organizations. Joining Health Canada`s Employee Assistance Program in 2001, François has lead this Shared Service within the Federal Organizations through continuous growth and success, becoming the largest internal EAP in Canada, serving over 1.3M lives.

>> Click to read Francois's CV.

Community Partners

Norma Sorensen

Norma Sorensen, Disaster and Emergency Management

Key Interests: Occupational Stress and Coping; Stress Management Interventions

Norma is a disaster and emergency management professional with extensive health care and nursing experience. She is committed to developing comprehensive disaster plans to ensure readiness for emergency situations by examining lessons learned from others and the latest research on disaster management strategies. She leverages knowledge of the health-care industry, research, and analysis skills to advise on and develop preparedness disaster-management strategies and resilience-building initiatives for health care staff and within the broader community. She is bilingual in Spanish and English, with extensive experience in medical clinics as a nurse/translator in multiple developing countries. Her most recent experience was conducting research in Concepcion, Chile with hospital staff on-duty the night of the February 27, 2010 earthquake.

>> Click to read Norma's CV.


This project received funding from the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP), a federal program led by Defence Research and Development Canada, in partnership with Public Safety Canada.

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