Plenary Speakers

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Plenary Speakers

Andrew Clarke

Dr. Andrew Clarke grew up in Vancouver and studied chemistry at Stanford University and medicine at UBC. He did his post-graduate training in Ontario, and practiced Occupational Medicine privately in Toronto for 22 years. In 2008, he moved back to Vancouver to lead the Physician Health Program and has held that position since then. Andrew’s research interests are in the field of Organizational (workplace) Interventions to facilitate return to work and reduce conflict in the workplace. In particular, his focus has been on the effects of common mental health issues both on those diagnosed and on their colleagues.


Toby Desnomie

Toby Desnomie is the Founder, President & CEO of Saskatchewan First Nations Safety Association, and Founder and National Chairman of the Canadian First Nations Safety Association. Toby is Nehiyaw from the Peepeekisis Cree Nation within the Treaty #4 Territory. He has been working alongside First Nation communities as a technician, manager, and consultant for over 20 years. Toby was the Recipient of the 2016 SHSA Safety Leadership Award for Outstanding Leadership in Health and Safety. Toby’s education and career are a genuine reflection of his journey towards building awareness and safe communities.


Lori Guiton

Lori Guiton is the Director of the Policy, Regulation and Research Division at WorkSafeBC. She is responsible for policy and regulation development in the areas of occupational health and safety, compensation, occupational disease, and employer assessments. Lori is also responsible for WorkSafeBC’s research program. This department supports occupational health, safety and workers’ compensation research and the transfer of research knowledge.


Vicki Kristman

Dr. Vicki Kristman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Lakehead University and the Inaugural Director for a new Research Institute at Lakehead University: EPID@Work – Enhancing the Prevention of Injury and Disability @ Work. She also holds appointments in the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. She holds a doctoral degree in epidemiology and completed the CIHR Work Disability Prevention strategic training program as a postdoc at the University Health Network in Toronto. In 2014, she was awarded a prestigious CIHR New Investigator Award for her program of research on “Preventing Work Disability through Accommodation”. She is currently leading projects to test the effectiveness of a supervisor training program to prevent prolonged work disability; to identify factors associated with Indigenous work, health and safety, and to determine factors associated with supervisors’ support for providing work accommodations for workers with mental health disorders.


Nancy Lightfoot

Dr. Nancy Lightfoot is an epidemiologist with a B.Sc. (Microbiology), M.Sc. (Microbiology), and Ph.D. (Community Health- Epidemiology) from the University of Toronto. She is a Full Professor, and Graduate Coordinator for the Master’s of Interdisciplinary Health Program, in the School of Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University. She conducts quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. Her research experience includes work on several large mining cohort studies of nickel and copper-zinc workers, prostate cancer case-control studies, the impacts of wildfires on communities, community-based Indigenous occupational health and safety experience, congenital heart disease survival and satisfaction with care, and the impact of mining-related lung cancer on caregivers, etc. She is an Affiliated Scientist with Cancer Care Ontario’s Occupational Cancer Research Centre and has experience on several occupationally focused grant review panels. She teaches critical appraisal and research methods to master’s and doctoral students (Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Rural and Northern Health), as well as supervising both master’s and doctoral level graduate students.


Alex McKeen

Alex McKeen is The Star Vancouver’s Work and Wealth reporter, covering a range of issues impacting workers and employers in the twenty-first century economy. She enjoys using data to tell stories about how work is changing, while also trying to upgrade her data skills so as to stay relevant as her own field evolves.


Jeannie Morgan

Dr. Jeannie Morgan is a Limited Term Lecturer in the Department of First Nations Studies at Simon Fraser University. She is an Indigenous qualitative researcher who has completed a PhD in Sociology at the University of British Columbia. For her dissertation, she used critical Indigenous and feminist methodologies to explore how Indigenous women cope with the competing demands of seasonal, part-time salmon cannery work and family and how these dynamics impact (directly and indirectly) the wellbeing of women and families. She brings over 20 years of experience of working with First Nations communities in the public and private sector. Her past, current, and future research projects reflect her dedication to examining significant sociopolitical problems as they relate to the intersections of Indigeneity, gender, health and wellbeing. This ethic has been exercised in her research experiences, including her academic activist work with the Vancouver Status of Women, as well as her research involvement with the Someone’s Mother, Sister or Daughter project through the University of Victoria which resulted in peer-reviewed co-authored publications in Hypatia and Violence Against Women, and examined Canadian media coverage of disappeared and murdered women in Western Canada. She is currently working on an article that examines economic wellbeing as a determinant of health for Indigenous precarious workers.


Lisa Ross-Rodriguez

Dr. Lisa Ross-Rodriguez is the Director of the Occupational Disease and Injury Prevention Section in the Ministry of Labour. Dr. Ross-Rodriguez received her MSc and PhD from the University of Alberta in Medical Sciences. Her role with the government is to facilitate collaborations with a focus on research, surveillance, informatics and evaluation that will assist in making evidence-informed policy decisions for occupational disease and injury prevention. In order to build knowledge capacity, Dr. Ross-Rodriguez works to connect with likeminded researchers and partners, and pool resources with the result being the reduction and/or elimination occupational diseases and injuries. She also has a passion for wellness and building a positive workplace culture through mentorship and coaching.


Ian Shaw

Ian Shaw has provided trusted legal and governance advice and strategic planning for two of B.C.’s largest public agencies for the past 15 years. In 2015, he was appointed senior vice-president and general counsel for WorkSafeBC. He advises on legal, policy, regulation, and related business matters. Ian previously worked at ICBC, as a director in three different claims divisions before becoming general counsel. Ian holds an MBA in strategic management from UBC’s Sauder School of Business and Manchester Business School. He has been a McLaren Housing Society of BC board member, an executive on loan to United Way, and a group leader for a marathon training clinic.