Saleema Dhalla, Interim CEO
Saleema completed her Masters of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene at UBC. She began her career in the geochemical industry, implementing a safety program to account for a diverse range of occupational exposures and improve worker safety. She has also designed and executed systems at the provincial and national level to reduce workplace injuries and improve employee well-being.
Saleema also led the development and execution of a province wide initiative that standardized and improved the safety program at 300 locations across BC, gaining COR (Certificate of Recognition) certification and thus providing significant cost savings. As a safety professional, she has acted as a consultant to a wide array of businesses in many sectors, including healthcare, finance, and heavy industry.
Saleema has worked in two other roles at SafeCare BC, including the Director of Workplace Health and Safety Programs and Acting Chief Executive Officer. In her personal time, Saleema enjoys being active. As a certified Indoor Cycling Instructor, Saleema enjoys creating an environment that is fun and allows her students to work to their physical limits. She also enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with her family.
Ken Donohue, Director, Communications and Member Services
Ken joins the SafeCare BC team with an 18-year background in health communications, having worked for large and small organizations. Ken has developed numerous health campaigns, and led a team that was nominated for a BC Health Care Award for developing an online organ donor registry, the first in Canada. He is inspired by those who create positive and lasting impressions for the people they care for. Curious by nature and fascinated by the places, people and stories that make up our world, Ken is an accomplished author of more than 70 feature magazine articles. Passionate about writing and travel, his wife once remarked that Ken’s hobby is his passport.
Mavis Gibson, Director, Workplace Health and Safety Programs
Mavis joins the SafeCare BC team with over 20 years of experience in health and safety, employee wellness and disability management. As an entrepreneur with a passion for workplace safety, Mavis has designed and implemented cost-effective injury prevention programs throughout BC’s public sector and was co-founder of a national company centered around employee safety and well-being. In her spare time Mavis enjoys skiing, hiking, kayaking and sharing home cooked meals with her family. She has recently discovered the usefulness of hiking sticks and has taken up the art of creating designer hiking sticks to share with those who also appreciate all that BC’s great outdoors has to offer.
Brooke Astles, Education and Gerontology Lead
Brooke is originally from Ontario, where she completed an undergraduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning. A passion for older adults (and a love for skiing) prompted Brooke to move to BC to pursue a Masters in Gerontology from SFU in 2013. After finishing her studies, Brooke worked for BC’s largest community living organization in quality assurance; monitoring the safety and well-being of individuals with disabilities.
As a SafeCare BC employee, Brooke first worked as a manager to SafeCare BC’s facilitators; hiring, training and supporting their development. At the same time, Brooke led and co-led projects including the establishment the online resource, CareforCaregivers.ca; formation of new program streams; and development of widespread online video initiatives. Since the birth of her son, Brooke has transitioned to the role of Education and Gerontology Lead, using her gerontological background and facilitation experience to help develop SafeCare BC’s educational offerings; provide mentorship to facilitators; and offer direct training to continuing care workers. In her free time, Brooke can be found skiing, playing piano, exploring neighbourhoods, and spending quality time with her wonderful family.
Rhys Mahannah, Program Manager
Rhys grew up in Kelowna. In 2014, he completed a Masters in English Literature at the University of Victoria.
Previously, Rhys worked with UBC’s Island Medical Program, which delivers UBC’s MD Undergraduate program in partnership with UVic. He also worked with UBC’s Faculty of Management, where he planned networking events, oversaw the co-op program, and supported students.
Rhys is excited to bring his experience to SafeCare BC in support of continuing care workers. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, writing, cycling, soccer, and cheering on the Vancouver Canucks.
Katie Schultz, Learning and Development Advisor
Katie brings to her position a wealth of experiences in the field of Education.
From teaching high school biology and chemistry students during her Bachelor of Education at the University of Alberta to supporting University of British Columbia Faculty of Education instructors with the development of their courses–Katie has taken every opportunity to be involved with teaching and learning. Currently, she is working towards her Masters of Distance Education with Athabasca University and is excited to apply her learning to her work.
Her enthusiasm for lifelong learning keeps her in continuous reflection upon the changing needs of the “learner” over time. Katie is thrilled to offer her knowledge and skills to contribute to the important work of SafeCare BC.
Zach Butler, Digital Media and Communications Coordinator
Zach completed a degree in Communications from Simon Fraser University and a Diploma in General Business from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. During his education, he developed a passion for media production and writing, and is excited to share that passion through his work as a member of the SafeCare BC team.
Bringing with him a background in customer service, Zach is looking forward to helping people by contributing to SafeCare BC’s goals. In his spare time, Zach enjoys playing guitar, going rock climbing and playing tennis.
Jennifer LeSage, Program and Facilitator Support Lead
Jennifer completed her degree from the University of Calgary, with a major in Communications and a minor in Sociology.
With a passion for bettering her community, Jennifer is thrilled to fuse her passion of event planning with her customer service background to make a difference through her work at SafeCare BC. When Jenn isn’t in the office you can catch her at the yoga studio or in the mountains of the North Shore hiking.
Anna Richter, Occupational Health and Safety Consultant
Anna Richter has more than 20 years’ experience as a safety professional. Anna’s first foray into occupational health and safety came many years ago when she was travelling through New Zealand and worked for a safety inspection company as an office manager. She would often ask to go out in the field with the inspectors, and it was then that she realized her passion for working with organizations to make workplace safety a priority. She returned to Canada and enrolled in the Occupational Health and Safety program at BCIT.
Over the last 20 years, Anna has worked in both provincially and federally regulated industries in a safety capacity. For the past 13 years, she has been teaching health and safety courses in the certificate program at BCIT. She is excited to be working in the continuing care sector with SafeCare BC.
In her spare time, Anna enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and photography. She is also a bit of a foodie and loves experimenting with new recipes.
Jenni Cannon, Pandemic Response Engagement Lead
Jenni joined SafeCareBC after over five years working for the UK Civil Service in London, where she gained a rich variety of experience working across the public sector, leading projects in areas including border security, school transformation, and counter-terrorism, as well as spending time working for the National Health Service (NHS). Most recently she was responsible for national reforms to university funding and healthcare education policy. She moved to British Columbia in March 2020, and is excited to bring her experience in negotiation, communication and stakeholder engagement to support the work of SafeCareBC during this particularly challenging time for the care sector. Outside of work you can find her running by the beach, cooking, kickboxing, or exploring BC’s great outdoors (and/or craft breweries)!