Saleema Dhalla, CEO
Saleema completed her Masters of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene at UBC. She has 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 the Certificate of Recognition certification and thus providing significant cost savings.
Saleema’s vision for SafeCare BC closely matches her own personal values. A workplace free from injury, is the ultimate goal and focusing these efforts in healthcare, deepens her passion for this work. 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, Senior Director, Innovation and Partnerships
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.
Anna Richter, Director, Workplace Health and Safety Programs
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.
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.
Katie Schultz, Learning and Development Manager
With a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta and a Master of Education in Open, Digital, and Distance Education specializing in Instructional Design from Athabasca University, Katie offers a wealth of experience in the field of Education.
As the Learning and Development Manager, Katie oversees SafeCare BC’s educational delivery strategy, including creating and delivering tailored training programs for the continuing and community care sector. Katie is responsible for identifying training needs, customizing content with stakeholder input, and developing various educational opportunities to support the health and safety needs of workers in the sector.
Her enthusiasm for lifelong learning keeps her in continuous reflection upon the changing needs of learners over time. Katie is thrilled to apply her knowledge and skills 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 music, going hiking 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.
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)!
Marga Sison, Programs Coordinator
Marga is the Programs Coordinator and looks to make connections and develop relationships with the people who work in the continuing care sector to understand their needs and how we can continue to provide the right tools and resources for them to be safe and successful in their work.
Marga holds a Bachelors of Degree in Kinesiology from UBC, and Rehabilitation and Disability Management Diploma from SFU. She recently founded a non-profit called KadaKareer to assist underserved students in the Philippines to support their career development.
Jennifer Derksen, Occupational Health and Safety Consultant
Building on her undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba, and Occupational Health and Safety certification from BCIT. Jennifer has collected a range of knowledge in various industries, including 10 years in the K-12 sector.
Jennifer is a self-proclaimed health and safety nerd and is particularly passionate about stakeholder engagement, improving safety systems, and violence in the workplace. She is thrilled to join such an important sector and is keen to collaborate with, and support SafeCareBC members on improving their health and safety programs.
In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys volunteering and a multitude of sports. Jennifer can be found running and biking through Vancouver (on the quest to collect the best donut or fried chicken) and is always happy to incorporate a walking meeting, or tennis at lunch.
Garrett Chance, Programs Advisor
Garrett completed his degree from the University of British Columbia, with a major in Kinesiology and a minor in History. Currently, he is taking courses at BCIT and holds a certification in Project Management. Having worked in healthcare as a kinesiologist, he is looking forward to further developing his connections in the continuing care sector and using his project management knowledge with SafeCare BC. In his free time, he enjoys soccer, running, playing music and reading.
Mark completed his Bachelor of Kinesiology and Bachelor of Education with a minor in Special Education at the University of Alberta before going on to teach almost every subject in grades 7 to 12, before moving to Vancouver in August 2020. He is looking forward to applying his teaching knowledge to create curriculum and programming to help improve knowledge of how vaccines work to protect ourselves and our communities. Outside of work, Mark can often be found cooking, riding his bike along False Creek, or looking for Vancouver’s best pastries.