Leadership
Chris Carlsten — Director

As the Director, Dr. Chris Carlsten MD MPH is responsible for providing overall leadership for LAH, particularly through the development and execution of our Strategic Plan, mentoring and supervising key team members, and cultivating relationships with key stakeholders such as UBC and other academic institutions, local and provincial government leaders, non-profits including the BC Lung Association and, most importantly, patients and community advocates.

Dr. Carlsten attended undergraduate and medical school at Stanford University before training in internal, occupational, pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Washington. He is Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Respiratory Medicine at UBC, and an active respirologist with Vancouver Coast Health. He holds both the Canada Research Chair in Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease and also the Astra-Zeneca Chair in Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease at the UBC. He is the Director of the Air Pollution Exposure Laboratory, the lead for the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Personalized Health initiative, and holds adjunct positions at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, the UBC School of Population and Public Health and the UBC Centre for Heart Lung Innovation.

The Carlsten laboratory focuses on the respiratory and immunological health effects of inhaled environmental and occupational exposures, using diesel exhaust, western red cedar, wood smoke, and phthalates as model inhalants, in order to inform public health interventions and policy.

As Director of the Occupational Lung Disease Clinic at The Lung Centre (Vancouver General Hospital), Dr. Carlsten welcomes patients with concerns regarding occupational or environmental exposures contributing to respiratory disease — particularly asthma and COPD, but also upper airway disorders, interstitial lung disease, cancer, and pleural disease.

Dr. Carlsten is thrilled to have called Vancouver home since 2007, and is grateful to this vibrant community for fostering an unparalleled setting not only for his professional pursuits but moreover for his family and their passion for engagement within a healthy environment.

Patricia Daly — Chair Governance Committee

Dr. Patricia Daly is the Vice President, Public Health and Chief Medical Health Officer for Vancouver Coastal Health. She is also a Clinical Professor in the School of Population and Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.

As a public health physician, her primary mandate is to improve the health of the population that Vancouver Coastal Health serves through prevention and health promotion. She is responsible for communicable disease control including management of outbreaks, health protection and environmental health, community care facilities licensing, population health and public health surveillance within Vancouver Coastal Health.

Dr. Daly obtained her medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1985. She worked as a family and emergency physician in Ontario before undertaking further specialty training at McGill University and the University of Toronto. She obtained a fellowship in Community Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1992.

After moving to Vancouver in 1993, Dr. Daly worked for two years at the BC Centre for Disease Control before moving to Vancouver/Richmond Health Board as a Medical Health Officer and Director of Communicable Disease Control. Dr. Daly continued in this role after the formation of Vancouver Coastal Health in 2001. She assumed her current position in September, 2007.

In addition to providing consultation to a wide variety of health professionals and advising the public on important public health issues, Dr. Daly also teaches medical students and residents within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.

Phalgun Joshi — Director of Operations

Dr. Joshi is responsible for functional operations at LAH including strategic planning, budgeting, reporting, partnerships, and stakeholder engagement. Prior to joining LAH, Dr. Joshi was the Managing Director of Program Operations at the Rick Hansen Institute (Praxis Spinal Cord Institute) where he was responsible for strategic and operational planning, reporting, performance evaluation, risk management, and regulatory compliance related to translational research and best practice implementation. Dr. Joshi received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of British Columbia and has published in diverse areas including genomics, gene therapy, drug discovery, and parasitology across several positions in academia and industry. Dr. Joshi has a passion for promoting and ensuring impact of research on patients and priority populations through collaborations and inclusion of diverse perspectives and voices.

Mark FitzGerald — Co-Chair Care Working Group

Dr. J. Mark FitzGerald graduated from University College Dublin in 1978. After interning and training in Internal Medicine in Dublin, he worked for two years in Lesotho, Southern Africa as a General Internist. Subsequently, he completed post-graduate training in Respiratory Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology at McMaster University before accepting a position on faculty at McMaster University in 1987. In 1989, he moved to the University of British Columbia.

Dr. FitzGerald is the Co-Director of the Centre for Lung Health and a past Head of the Respiratory Medicine Divisions at both UBC and Vancouver General Hospital.

Dr. FitzGerald’s clinical and research interests include asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease, tuberculosis, and health outcomes. His current research focuses on health literacy and ethnicity in the management of asthma and COPD as well as the economic evaluation of asthma and its cost effective treatment. He has been involved in a number of regional and provincial initiatives to improve COPD care. As a PI with the NCE AllerGen, he is involved in the evaluation of novel new asthma therapies.

Dr. FitzGerald is past Chair of the GINA Science Committee and the GINA Executive. He is the past President of the Canadian Thoracic Society. He has published over 550 peer reviewed papers and editorials in high impact journals including: the New England Journal of Medicine, British Medical Journal, The Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Nardia Strydom — Co-Chair Care Working Group

Dr. Nardia Strydom has been working as a family physician in BC for the last 25 years and loves her job! She enjoys the variety and unexpected nature of family medicine, the connections with her patients, and the comprehensive long-term care she can provide. As a “full-service family physician” her patients are newborns, seniors, and everything in-between. Nardia is a teacher and a learner and is stimulated by change and its possibilities. She is the Department Head of Family Medicine at Providence Health Care, Regional Department Head of Family Medicine, Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care and Regional Medical Director of Primary Care for Vancouver Coastal Health. Her family, friends, gardening, exercise and anything to do with food keep her life in balance.

Cathy Helliwell — VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Representative

Cathy Helliwell is the Vice President, Organizational Performance and Partnerships at VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. She has been with the Foundation since 2015 and leads the teams responsible for product and proposal development, fundraising analytics and research within the foundation. Her team works closely with VCH health leaders and other stakeholders to advance goals and deliverables for the Foundation’s large-scale projects and initiatives.

Cathy has spent much of her career in leadership roles with Providence Health and the Provincial Health Services Authority, as well as the private sector. She has been the Corporate Director for “Think PHC” at Providence Health where she led and implemented initiatives to enhance performance and encourage innovation.  Prior to that, Cathy was the Corporate Director, Transformation Support with the Provincial Health Services Authority.  All of her roles have involved building strong partnerships within complex organizations with broad stakeholder groups.  This includes working within and across health authorities, and with government and other partners. Cathy has a BA in Political Science from Queen’s University and an MBA from Royal Roads University.