Catherine Allaire, M.D., F.R.C.S.C.

Clinical Professor and Head, Division of Gynecologic Specialties, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UBC

Dr. Allaire is the co-founder and medical director of the BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis, a unique interdisciplinary clinic, and has devoted her professional life to investigating and treating these conditions.  She was an early adopter and teacher of minimally invasive surgical techniques for gynecologic conditions. She founded and has been director of the UBC Advanced Training Program in Advanced Laparoscopy, Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis, a 2 year intensive program that so far has graduated 12 experts who have gone on to offer outstanding care across Canada.  She is part of an active endometriosis research team that has substantial CIHR funding and has co-authored over 100 publications in her field. She was the project lead and first author of the recently published SOGC Guidelines on Chronic Pelvic Pain and is a co-author of the SOGC Endometriosis Guidelines. Dr. Allaire is past President of the Canadian Society for the Advancement of Gynecologic Excellence (CanSAGE) and a founding member of EndoAct, a national advocacy group dedicated to driving policy action on endometriosis. She has been an invited speaker at many national and international meetings, where she has advocated for increased awareness and access to evidence-based patient-centered care for those suffering from endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain.

Brittany Bingham, PhD

Assistant Professor, Division of Social Medicine, UBC

Dr. Bingham – (she/her/hers) is a proud member of the shíshálh (Sechelt) nation and holds an MPH and PhD in Health Sciences from Simon Fraser University. Brittany is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Social Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, a Michael Smith Health Research BC Scholar and Director, Indigenous Research at the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE). Brittany leads Indigenous community-driven health research with the primary aim of improving Indigenous experiences in healthcare and informing system transformation. She has worked in various capacities in research with Indigenous communities, healthcare and policy for 20 years. She is passionate about community-driven research, Indigenous health equity, implementation science, planetary health, climate justice, sexual and reproductive health, health systems research and cultural safety & humility. Brittany is PI of a CIHR grant called the Amplify Study: Elevating the stories of Indigenous women, gender diverse and Two-Spirit peoples.

Katrina Bouchard, PhD, RPsych

Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, UBC

Dr. Bouchard (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia and holds an Investigator Award from the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. She is the Director of the Psychology, Health, and Sexuality Lab (@thephaselab), a multidisciplinary team of researchers working to improve sexual health outcomes for women, people with vulvas, and their partners. Her research is currently funded by the BC Knowledge Development Fund, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the University of British Columbia, and the Women’s Health Research Institute. Dr. Bouchard is a registered psychologist and the Research Director at the BC Centre for Vulvar Health (@hello.vulva). In these roles, she uses evidence-based psychological therapies to help patients coping with sexual and vulvar health concerns and leads the clinical team in developing patient-oriented research on vulvar health.

Jessy Dame, MSN

Lead, Indigenous Gender and Sexual Health, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority

Jessy Dame is a proud Two-Spirit, Métis, Certified Registered Nurse. Jessy’s family is from Treaty 1 and 2 territories, which is known today as Winnipeg and St Rose-du-lac. Jessy has worked within Neonatal/Postnatal health. He currently works casually within a queer sexual health clinic in downtown Vancouver. Jessy is the Indigenous Sex and Gender Leader within the Indigenous Wellness team and the Director of Two-Spirit Health with the Community Based Research Centre. Through these roles Jessy is able to work with and for the Two-Spirit community to create resources and advocate for services.

Samantha Dawson, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, UBC

Dr. Dawson (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar, the Director of the Sexuality and Well-being (SWell) Lab, and a registered clinical psychologist. Her multi-method research program focuses on identifying cognitive and affective mechanisms contributing to sexual function and sexual well-being in individuals and couples, with the goal of using these mechanisms to develop targeted and gender-specific interventions for sexual dysfunction. Her research program involves experimental laboratory-based research using various sexual psychophysiological measures, such as eye tracking, genital plethysmography, as well as more ecologically-valid intensive longitudinal methodologies. Her research is currently funded by operating grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Women’s Health Research Institute, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, as well as the University of British Columbia. 

Roxana Geoffrion, M.D.C.M., F.R.C.S.C.

Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, UBC

Dr. Geoffrion is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Division of Gynaecologic Specialties. She holds the position of Director at the UBC Fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery and serves as Chair of the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency research committee. Dedicated to upholding the highest standards of education, Dr. Geoffrion is committed to guiding aspiring medical professionals towards successful academic careers. Her approach involves a fusion of clinical and research mentorship, fostering an environment conducive to comprehensive learning. Continuously striving for excellence in her teaching methods, Dr. Geoffrion has pioneered initiatives such as randomized controlled trials and the development of low-fidelity simulation models. These innovations are specifically designed for the teaching and evaluation of surgical skills in the field of gynecologic surgery. Dr Geoffrion’s research interests also include surgical optimization, and patient outcomes following pelvic floor surgeries. She has co-authored numerous SOGC best practice guidelines in urogynecology. More recently, she has started producing innovative whiteboard animation videos of pelvic floor health, for patient education and knowledge translation based on these guidelines.

Emily Grey

President, The Canadian PSSD Society

Emily Grey is a medical activist using her lived experience of PSSD to advocate for awareness, recognition, and research of the condition. She is teaming up with researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Ottawa to increase knowledge about the experiences of people with PSSD. She believes in informed consent for all people receiving mental health treatment. Emily has been telling her story and helping others tell theirs for four years. She is one of the founders of the nonprofit The Canadian PSSD Society. She has been published in Here to Help and Our Bodies Ourselves, and quoted in Healthing magazine, BBC Panorama, and the New York Times.

Tamil Kendall, PhD

Director, Partnership for Women’s Health Research (PWHR) Adjunct Professor School of Population and Public Health, UBC

Dr. Kendall is a Women’s Health researcher with 25 years experience working with community-based civil society organizations, academic institutions, and the United Nations. She holds a PhD in Anthropology and Health Sciences from the University of British Columbia and completed her postdoctoral work with the Women and Health Initiative and Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she was also a Takemi Fellow in International Health. Dr. Kendall specializes in community-based and policy-oriented research with a focus on gender, sexuality, HIV and sexual and reproductive health. She has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and four books. Dr. Kendall is the Director of the Partnership for Women’s Health Research Canada, a national alliance of Canada’s leading women’s health research institutes. Additionally she serves as Adjunct Professor at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health. Dr. Kendall is dedicated to generating and mobilizing knowledge in the area of gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights to benefit women, trans and non-binary people and their families.

Renée Monchalin, PhD

Assistant Professor, School of Public Health & Social Policy, University of Victoria

Dr. Monchalin is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria, a Michael Smith Health Research BC Scholar, and Director of the Fireweed Project. She is an Affiliate Scientist with the Well Living House, situated within the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Dr. Monchalin holds a CIHR-funded PhD in Public Health Science from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She holds a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University and a Bachelor of Public Health from Brock University. Dr. Monchalin is a proud citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario. Her current areas of research include culturally safe health service access with a specific focus on abortion access, Métis Peoples health service access, public health feminist praxis, qualitative and decolonizing methodologies, and community based participatory research.

Yassie Pirani, MSW, RSW, RCC

Co-Director, Canadian PSSD Society Clinical Director, Willow Leaf Counselling

Yassie Pirani is a trauma therapist based in Vancouver, BC. Yassie is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors and a Registered Social Worker with the BC College of Social Workers. She works from a trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and harm reduction approach. Her research interest and clinical practice focuses on Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD). Yassie is passionate about working alongside PSSD sufferers and their families to help them to come to terms with what has happened to their bodies, and to find ways to channel their loss into positive action. Her work with the PSSD community uniquely positions her to educate fellow healthcare professionals and the public on the real life impacts of this disabling condition. Yassie is committed to raising awareness about PSSD such that prescribers can engage in better patient education and informed consent practices.

Nicole Prestley

Manager, Research & Knowledge Translation, Women’s Health Research Institute

Nicole has worked as a health research facilitator providing support for research operations, grant writing, patient, community and partnership engagement, and knowledge mobilization (KMb) since 2006. She has formal knowledge translation and implementation training from Dr. Melanie Barwick and Dr. Sharon Straus. As the WHRI KMb lead, she acts as a knowledge broker by forming and sustaining multi-sectoral partnerships, builds KMb capacity through formal training and mentorship to the WHRI community, creates sustainable knowledge use through funding facilitation, and raises the profile of women’s health research impact through science communications. Nicole is a champion for integrated knowledge translation and community-engaged research.

Jodie Pulsifer, BAKPE, MPT

Registered Physiotherapist, Full Circle Physiotherapy Clinical Instructor, Department of Physical Therapy, UBC Chair Scope of Practice, Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia Western Allied Health Director-At-Large, Canadian Society for Pelvic Medicine

Jodie Pulsifer completed her Masters of Physical Therapy from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2012 and expanded her training in 2015 to include Pelvic Health and Persistent Pain Support. Jodie’s work is deeply rooted in the intersection of her interest in the human body and providing care that considers healthcare inequities and social justice. Jodie has published work on pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy and she hopes to continue to explore the role of pelvic health physiotherapists in primary obstetric care and the training of providers who work with vulvovaginal pain conditions. As a registered physiotherapist, Jodie offers physiotherapy services for people experiencing pelvic health and sexual pain challenges through a trauma and violence informed lens working virtually in BC and locally in East Vancouver. Currently, she provides patient care at Full Circle Physiotherapy, a network of pelvic health providers spanning the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.

Adrienne Sim, MPT

Registered Physiotherapist – BHK, MPT, Graduate Certificate in Clinical Physiotherapy (Continence and Pelvic Health)

Adrienne Sim is a physiotherapist working primarily in pelvic health since 2014. She graduated with a Masters of Physiotherapy and completed a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Physiotherapy Continence and Pelvic Health, at Curtin University in Western Australia. Adrienne’s clinical practice is focused on prevention and treatment of various pelvic floor disorders through a patient-partnered, biopsychosocial approach. Her passion is pelvic health awareness which she is actively engaged in knowledge translation projects with the Canadian Society for Pelvic Medicine and other research initiatives. She was a team member for the web-based “Be Pelvic Health Aware” campaign in 2021-2022, led by Dr. Roxana Geoffrion and funded by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. Adrienne works in private practice virtually and in Langley, BC. Her practice can be found networked with her colleagues through Full Circle Physiotherapy, a pelvic health collective of independent providers in the BC Lower Mainland.

Kate Wahl, MSc

PhD student, Women and Children’s Health Graduate Program, UBC

Kate Wahl is a PhD student in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia. As a researcher she is interested in new strategies for moving evidence into health policy and practice and currently uses qualitative methods to develop and evaluate approaches for sharing research evidence with the public, healthcare providers, and policy makers. Kate’s current focus is on advancing the health of women and gender diverse people, and she is investigating patient decision aids, education programs, and storytelling in this context. Her research has been supported by a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, the Women’s Health Research Institute, the BC SUPPORT Unit, the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the UBC Office of Community Engagement.

Laura Werner, MPT

Pelvic floor physiotherapist, Founder of Laura Werner Physiotherapy

Laura Werner completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology in Athletic Therapy from the University of Calgary in 2002 and a Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) from The University of British Columbia in 2008. Their work has focused on the management and treatment of pelvic floor, abdominal, urogynecological and lumbopelvic dysfunctions, including genito-pelvic pain. Laura has worked for the Multidisciplinary Vulvodynia Program (now the Vulvar Pain Assessment Clinic) at Vancouver General Hospital.

Cally Wesson

President & CEO of BC Women’s Health Foundation

Cally Wesson has committed her career to advancing healthcare initiatives for vulnerable populations. With a consistent theme of bringing people together to foster community and drive positive change, Cally continues to lead and inspire her talented staff at BC Women’s Health Foundation. Collaborating with donors, community partners, and an engaged Board, she remains devoted to delivering on strategic priorities aimed at advancing women’s and newborn health.

In her first year, Cally launched BC Women’s Health Research Month and completed the initial phase of the Midlife and Mature Women’s Health campaign, already impacting women’s health in BC and Canada. While CEO of Variety: The Children’s Charity, Cally doubled fundraising efforts, addressing critical gaps in children’s healthcare and education. Her initiatives, such as supporting continuous glucose monitors and private autism assessments, showcased her visionary leadership.

Her commitment to improving healthcare outcomes in BC reflects her passion and skills, making a significant impact on communities. Cally’s leadership embodies a compassionate and visionary approach to women’s and newborn health.

Whitney Wood, PhD

Assistant Professor & Canada Research Chair in the Historical Dimensions of Women's Health, Department of History, Vancouver Island University

Dr. Wood is Canada Research Chair in the Historical Dimensions of Women’s Health at Vancouver Island University. A historian of gender, health, and the body in 19th and 20th century Canada, Dr. Wood’s research focuses on cultural and medical representations of obstetric and gynecological pain. She is currently working on two projects: Changing Childbirth in Postwar Canada, 1945-2000, funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant, and is Principal Investigator of a new multi-year collaborative study, Pelvic Health and Public Health in Twentieth Century Canada, funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Project Grant. Dr. Wood’s recent articles have explored the history of childbirth technologies and maternal evacuation, pelvic examinations and feminist health activism, and obstetric violence in postwar Canada.

Paul Yong, M.D.

Associate Professor & CRC in Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, UBC

Dr. Yong, MD, PhD, FRCSC is a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain, Associate Professor the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and a Gynecologist at the BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis.  Dr. Yong also serves as Assistant Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute and has a clinical and research interest in dyspareunia in endometriosis.

Patient Partner

Person living with Vulvodynia

“I am a Japanese-Canadian cisgender heterosexual person living on the unceded traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. As a mother of two, I have lived with Vulvodynia for most of my life, only discovering what it was in 2017. Upon seeking treatment in 2020 through the BC Centre for Vulvar Health, I was motivated to advocate for this condition and its counterparts. Through my lived experience, I aim to raise awareness about Vulvodynia, especially its impact during pregnancy and postpartum. Additionally, I have been involved in developing The Vulvodynia Toolkit, where I shared my story and provided feedback throughout its development.”