Our Leadership

Learn more about our leadership team by reading the sections below. 

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Stirling Bryan, President, BC AHSN

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Professor, School of Population & Public Health, University of British Columbia
Senior Scientist, Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Evaluation Vancouver Coastal Health
Professor (part-time), Health Economics Research Unit, University of Aberdeen
Scientific Director, BC SUPPORT Unit (a unit of BC AHSN)

Dr. Stirling Bryan is a university-based health economist with extensive experience of engagement with the policy and decision-making world. He began his career in the UK with appointments at St Thomas' Hospital Medical School and then Brunel University, before moving to the University of Birmingham. His research track-record reveals a long-standing goal of informing policy and practice, demonstrated, in part, through extensive engagement with the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE). For many years he led the University of Birmingham team that conducted economic analyses for NICE, and subsequently served for three years as a member of the NICE technology appraisals committee. In 2005 he was awarded a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellowship and spent one year at Stanford University, researching technology coverage decision making in a US health care organizations. He immigrated to Canada in 2008, taking on the roles of professor in UBC's School of Population & Public Health, and Director of the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Evaluation. Over recent years, Dr. Bryan has become a strong advocate for, and practitioner of, patient-oriented research, and now partners with patients in all of his research activities. In 2016, he was appointed Scientific Director for the BC SUPPORT Unit, an operational unit of the BC Academic Health Science Network (BC AHSN), focused on promoting patient-oriented research. In 2020, he became President of BC AHSN. 

Minnie Downey, Executive Director

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Minnie Downey provides operational leadership of the BC SUPPORT Unit and oversees the implementation of the Unit’s business plan. In her most recent position with the Fraser Health Authority, she worked in the strategic projects division of the Office of the CEO. In this role, she championed Community Action and Resources Empowering Seniors (CARES), a collaborative project that spanned BC and Nova Scotia and proactively engaged with seniors to delay or reverse frailty. Previously, she was program director for Fraser Health’s Cardiac Services, providing leadership for the development and execution of services across the health authority’s 13 facilities and community programs. This work led her to receive the 2015 Golden Apple Innovation award from the Health Employers Association of BC for her leadership in the regionalization and standardization of the Implantable Cardiac Electrical Devices (ICED) project.

Minnie holds a Master of Arts in Health Leadership from Royal Roads University, Bachelor degrees in Technology and Business Administration from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology Science from the College of the North Atlantic. Also, she has completed a fellowship in Executive Training in Healthcare Improvement with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, and is a Certified Healthcare Executive with the Canadian College of Healthcare Leaders.

Stirling Bryan, Scientific Director, BC SUPPORT Unit

Stirling Bryan, BC AHSN President (see above), is also the BC SUPPORT Unit's Scientific Director.

Kim McGrail, Data Director, BC AHSN

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Kimberlyn McGrail is Data Director for the BC Academic Health Sciences Network. She is also a Professor at UBC in the School of Population and Public Health and the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Scientific Director of Population Data BC, and the PI for the SPOR Canadian Data Platform. Her research interests are quantitative policy evaluation, aging and the use and cost of health care services, learning health systems and all aspects of population data science. She conducts research in partnership with clinicians, policy-makers and the public. Kim is a founding member of the International Population Data Linkage Network and founding Deputy Editor of the International Journal of Population Data Science. She was the 2009-10 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Associate in Health Care Policy and Practice, a 2016 recipient of the Cortlandt JG Mackenzie Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and 2017 recipient of a UBC award for Excellence in Clinical or Applied Research.

Victoria Schuckel, Government Advisor

Victoria Schuckel is Executive Director, Research and Innovation (R&I), at the BC Ministry of Health (MoH).  She is the MOH Project Lead for the BC SPOR SUPPORT Unit and for the Academic Health Science Network. The R&I branch supports MoH collaboration with external research units and funders, manages the Ministry’s health technology review process and works on a range of initiatives involving other ministries and stakeholders who have academic, social policy and economic development and interests health research. She is currently providing leadership to a series of research projects meant to support the successful implementation of primary and community care transformation.