Warren Brock

Communications Manager

Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, Southern Medical Program
Office: Reichwald Health Sciences Centre
Phone: 250.807.8601
Email: warren.brock@ubc.ca


In early June, Dr. Chris West’s lab hosted a launch event at UBC Okanagan with research and industry partners for his recently awarded Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Alliance Grant.

The NSERC Alliance grant represents a large research collaboration with the UBC Faculty of Medicine, UBC Okanagan School of Engineering, and industry partner Transonic.

The overall goal of the project is to develop a state-of-the-art telemetric solution that would allow researchers to conduct long-term monitoring of vascular blood flow, blood pressure and ECG in animal models.

“This partnership represents an extremely exciting endeavor for our lab and will enable us to make the first simultaneous measure of cardiac pressures, blood flow and ECG,” says Dr. West, investigator with the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management. “These innovative devices will advance our fundamental understanding of how the cardiovascular system responds to a wide range of stimuli.”

Key project collaborators include Dr. Brian Kwon, Canada Research Chair in Spinal Cord Injury and Professor with the UBC Department of Orthopaedics and Dr. Rudolf Seethaler, Associate Professor with the UBC Okanagan School of Engineering.

Recruiting volunteers for a study examining diet and appetite across the menstrual cycle

You may qualify for this study if you:
• Are female
• Are 18-35 years old
• Have a body mass index between 18.5—24.9
• Have a regular menstrual cycle (~24—31 days)

These criteria are a partial list of requirements to participate in this research study. Only a study member can determine eligibility

Participation will include:
• Measurement of body composition and metabolic rate
• 10 days of provided food
• Assessment of appetite and diet in a lab and in your free time

If interested, please complete our pre-screening survey:

Or email the study team at: hilaryk@mail.ubc.ca

Ethics ID:# H22-00874 Version: 5/20/22 PI: Sarah Purcell, PhD


Being more active might be related to better blood glucose levels in people with diabetes, which is important to optimize health outcomes. Little is known about how active children with diabetes are, or why they are active (or not). Our aim is to learn about physical activity in children with type 1 diabetes in the BC Interior, including rural/remote communities. We hope that results from this study can be used to support children with diabetes to be more active.

Led by Principal Investigator Dr. Christine Voss and an interdisciplinary team of researchers, clinicians and graduate students, we are seeking to learn more about physical activity in children aged 8 – 12 years with type 1 diabetes in Interior British Columbia.

The study consists of 3 phases: 1) parents completing an online survey 2) children wearing an accelerometer for 7 days, and 3) parent/child semi-structured interviews with a researcher.

Inclusion criteria: Children aged 8 – 12 years who:

  • Reside in the Interior Health Region
  • Have a clinical diagnosis of type 1 diabetes for at least 1 year
  • Have 1 parent/legal guardians who is also willing to take part in an interview

Participants will receive a $25 gift card for their time. For more information contact Simran by phone (250) 878-9959 or email at simran.gill@ubc.ca.

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic conditions in children and youth. There are a lot of things one has to take care of everyday when living with diabetes. Sometimes this can lead to ‘diabetes distress’, which refers to the emotional burden of living with diabetes. It is estimated that 1 in 3 adolescents with type 1 diabetes suffer from significant ‘diabetes distress’. Experiencing diabetes distress is associated with poorer glycemic control and thus long-term prognosis. The aim of our project is to figure out what can be done to better help young people in Interior Health manage their diabetes.

Led by Principal Investigator Dr. Christine Voss and an interdisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians, we want to better understand the challenges that teens (ages 13-19) with type 1 diabetes face and what can be done to better support them. Parent/guardians of teens with type 1 diabetes are also invited to take part (separately).

The study consists of 2 phases: 1) complete an anonymous online survey 2) participate in a virtual focus group with up to 5 other teens (or parents of teens) living with type 1 diabetes.

Participants will receive a $25 gift card for their time. For more information contact Simran by phone (250) 878-9959 or email at simran.gill@ubc.ca.

Parents of children with developmental disabilities needed for study exploring the context of when and where children with developmental disabilities are active in British Columbia.

Currently, Canadian children with developmental disabilities are not getting enough daily physical activity to gain health benefits. Little is known about the locations where children with developmental disabilities are active.

The Feasibility of qualitative-geospatial methods to investigate physical activity behaviours in children with developmental disabilities in British Columbia is a study led by Principal Investigator Dr. Christine Voss and graduate student Brianna Tsui, who are exploring the context of when and where children with developmental disabilities are physically active.

This study will also give parents the opportunity to learn more about your child’s daily physical activity behaviours.

The overall aim of this study is to provide more insight on physical activity behaviours in children with developmental disabilities and to test the feasibility of qualitative-geospatial research methods. This includes wearable devices and interviews.

The research team is inviting one adult (parent/legal guardian) and their child with a developmental disability between the ages of 8-12 years living in British Columbia to participate in this study.

Parents will fill out a 20-minute questionnaire about their child’s physical activity behaviours. Children will be asked to wear a Fitbit and GPS device for 7 days to track their daily physical activity. Parents and children will also participate in a 1-hour virtual interview on Zoom. After the study, children will be able to keep their Fitbit device.

 To learn more or to participate in the study please contact the main study contact, Brianna Tsui via phone 250 878-9959 or email at brianna.tsui@ubc.ca.


The UBC Okanagan Interdisciplinary Student Health Conference (IDHC) brings together students from across UBC Okanagan to showcase their health science research and public health experiences at an engaging presentation event.

At our 2022 conference, an astounding 69 students presented 55 different projects from Science, Medicine, Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies, Heath and Social Development, Arts and Social Sciences, and Applied Sciences.

Congratulations to our top presenters for this year’s conference.

2022 top Presentation Awards

Biomedicine and Pharmaceuticals
Creation of mucus factories using colon organoids to combat intestinal diseases
Spencer Ursel, Science; Ojogbane Amedu, Applied Science

Child and Public Health
Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 Precautions on Classroom Communication for Adolescents with Hearing Loss: A Qualitative Study
Lindsay Booth, Medicine

Clinical and Emergency Care
ERCP Under General Anesthesia Compared to Conscious Sedation (EUGACCS) Study
Grant Greaves, Medicine

Community Health
The Toxic Drug Response Project
David Byres, Arts and Social Sciences; Victoria Bester, Health and Social Development

Health Policy and Advocacy
Planning and piloting peer-led food skills workshops for UBCO students
Morgan Game, Arts and Social Sciences

Rural and Remote Health
Being there: A qualitative exploration of support systems for rural adults 50 years and older with mental health concerns
Carley Paterson, Arts and Social Sciences

Student and Social Health
Understanding early semester distress in undergraduate students: The impact of work and predictability of work schedule
Jaime-Lyn MacLeod, Arts and Social Sciences; Eric Ferguson, Arts and Social Sciences

Virtual and Digital Health
Mobile App-Delivered Motivational Interviewing for Individuals on an Eating Disorder Clinic Waitlist: Pilot and Feasibility Study
Amané Halicki-Asakawa, Arts and Social Sciences

Download 2022 Conference Guide

Dr. Sarah Purcell has been appointed Assistant Professor with the UBC Faculty of Medicine Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and UBC Okanagan Faculty of Science, Department of Biology effective January 1, 2022. Dr. Purcell will serve as an Investigator with the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management (CCDPM) based at UBC Okanagan.

Dr. Purcell completed a BSc in Dietetics and MSc in Clinical Nutrition at Florida State University followed by a PhD in Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Alberta. For the past two and a half years, she has served as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the University of Colorado focused primarily on energy intake regulation among breast cancer survivors. Dr. Purcell’s research aims to improve our understanding of the unique dietary requirements of people with chronic diseases and reduce obesity in people with chronic disease by implementing nutrition and exercise interventions. She has authored 23 peer-reviewed publications and served as a Principle Investigator on three pilot grants and two U.S. national fellowships.

In her new role, Dr. Purcell will lead a strong, innovative, and internationally-recognized research program in nutrition and chronic disease prevention and management. She will work collaboratively with faculty and graduate students from both UBC campuses, health professionals and researchers with Interior Health, and communities and health populations across the BC Interior. Dr. Purcell will also serve as a national leader in nutritional interventions to prevent or manage chronic conditions.

Participants needed to help develop solutions and improve long-term patient outcomes

In British Columbia, large rehabilitation centers that provide ongoing care for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) are in Vancouver. However, many individuals with SCI live outside of the lower mainland. Since local factors are known to play a role in care delivery it is anticipated that individuals with SCI living in the Interior of BC may face unique challenges for managing their health.

Following a SCI there are several autonomic disturbances that occur including, but not limited to, autonomic dysreflexia, temperature dysregulation, orthostatic hypotension, neurogenic bladder/bowel, and sexual dysfunction. Furthermore, there are several secondary health conditions occurring in individuals with SCI. Depending on the severity and location of injury, secondary health conditions can range from fatigue and pain to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is not surprising, therefore, that the ongoing care for individuals living with SCI must take into consideration the management of secondary health and autonomic complications

Led by Principal Investigator Dr. Chris West, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, an interdisciplinary team of researchers, clinicians, graduate students, and medical students are seeking insight into the healthcare experiences of individuals living with SCI in the Interior of BC. The long-term vision is to work with the SCI community to develop solutions to improve outcomes for patients with SCI.

The primary goals of the study are to:

  1. Understand where the current gaps are in relation to care for autonomic disturbances and offsetting secondary health conditions via a short survey that all people living with SCI within the B.C. interior will be invited to complete.
  2. Determine where SCI residents are receiving their care, whether it is locally or in the lower mainland.

Currently the project is recruiting individuals with spinal cord injury that live within the B.C. Interior to complete a 15 minute electronic survey to share their experiences. All information will be kept completely confidential.

To learn more or participate in the study, please contact study lead and Southern Medical Program student Lisa Renaud at LRenaud@student.ubc.ca or west.lab@ubc.ca.

2021 Michal Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar: Dr. Christine Voss

Dr. Christine Voss

Dr. Christine Voss has received a 2021 Scholar Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) in partnership with Interior Health (IH) and the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management (CCDPM).

The CCDPM has partnered with IH and the MSFHR, as part of a new funding venture, to help advance clinical health science collaborations between IH and UBC Okanagan.

Dr. Voss’s work will focus on physical activity and the clinical management of chronic diseases in children living in rural and remote communities across the Interior Health region.

“The award allows me to pursue excellence in all aspects of my clinical research endeavors, ranging from partnership building with clinicians and patients, to training the next generation of health researchers,” says Voss, assistant professor with the UBC Department of Pediatrics and investigator with the CCDPM. “I am thrilled to receive a MSFHR Scholar Award and to partner with Interior Health for my clinical research going forward.”

The MSFHR Scholar Program supports early career researchers to establish independent research careers, develop research teams, and advance cutting-edge health solutions.

“Interior Health is extremely pleased to be a partner in funding for Dr. Christine Voss,” says Dr. Devin Harris, Medical Director, Quality, Patient Safety and Research, Interior Health. “In partnership with IH physicians and staff, her research will impact health and wellness for children and families in our region, and strengthen our research collaboration with the Southern Medical Program. Congratulations to Dr. Voss on this award for her achievements in research to advance health care.”

Voss and her research team will examine current practices and attitudes towards physical activity promotion and ultimately develop and implement new approaches to help children with chronic conditions lead more active lives.

For more information about the award and other award recipients, visit the MSFHR website.

Incubator program partners clinicians and allied health professionals with researchers at UBC Okanagan

From enhancing primary care for cancer patients to monitoring compliance with screening guidelines for cervical and breast cancer, researchers and students at UBC Okanagan have combined forces with health care professionals to tackle current and emerging health care challenges.

The new collaborations are a direct result of the Clinical Research and Quality Improvement (QI) Incubator, a partnership with the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management (CCDPM) and Interior Health (IH). The program is aimed at developing and implementing real world solutions that directly support health service delivery and patient care in the IH region and across the province.

“We’ve had tremendous engagement from clinicians and allied health professionals in formulating clinical research questions,” says Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis, CCDPM Director and Professor at UBC Okanagan. “The projects have also created opportunities for medical, graduate, and undergraduate students to immerse themselves in research that can significantly impact patient care.”

After the initial call for submissions, the following six Incubator projects are currently underway:

(1) Evaluating the effectiveness of Nabilone (Synthetic THC) for long-term care patients
Clinician Lead: Dr. Michael Koss, family physician; Investigator: Dr. Chris West

(2) Primary care dietary intervention for improved metabolic outcomes
Clinician Lead: Dr. Janet Evans, family physician, Heidi Howay, registered nurse; Investigator: Dr. Brodie Sakakibara

(3) Measuring the impact of changes in cervical cancer screening guidelines on compliance to breast cancer screening guidelines
Clinician Lead: Dr. Gayle Klammer, family physician; Investigator: Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis

(4) What Can Parents Teach Us About Routine Growth Monitoring in Infancy?
Clinician Lead: Dr. Ilona Hale, family physician, Stephanie Obara, registered nurse; Investigator: Dr. Christine Voss

(5) Towards an optimal integration of family physicians into the post-cancer treatment pathway in BC’s interior: challenges, research priorities and solutions
Clinician Lead: Dr. Siavash Atrchian, oncologist, BC Cancer; Investigator: Dr. Christine Voss

(6) Pediatric Diabetes Care in the Interior Health region
Clinician Lead: Dr. Tom Warshawski, Interior Health Medical Director for Child and Youth); Investigator: Dr. Christine Voss

“The program has helped us to investigate pertinent clinical questions, despite a lack of time and resources,” says Dr. Gayle Klammer, Affiliate Clinician with the CCDPM. “The results from these studies will inevitably guide our approach to patient care and improve outcomes.”

Martin Ginis highlights the tremendous support from the health care community and program partners for the Incubator’s early success. The preliminary work from each project was recently presented by students at the virtual UBC Okanagan Interdisciplinary Student Health Conference hosted by the Southern Medical Program.

The CCDPM anticipates the next call for projects will be held when normal research operations resume. For more information, visit the Incubator webpage.