Learn more about our leadership team by reading the sections below.
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Stirling Bryan, President, BC AHSN
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
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
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.
Danielle Lavallee, Scientific Director, BC AHSN/BC SUPPORT Unit
Dr. Danielle Lavallee has a key role in the senior leadership of BC AHSN, working with all operational units and supported networks. She brings expertise in patient and stakeholder engagement to the Network through her work with the Comparative Effectiveness Research Translation Network (becertain.org), which supports active patient and stakeholder engagement in research and quality improvement initiatives. Her research focuses on advancing methods to incorporate the patient perspective into both clinical care and research activities through the capture of patient-reported outcomes and active patient involvement in research conduct.
In addition to being BC AHSN’s Scientific Director, Danielle is a Research Associate Professor and health services researcher in the Department of Surgery at the University of Washington. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Kansas and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
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.