October 12-14, 2023

5th Northern Perinatal Conference 2023

Welcome to the 5th Northern Perinatal Conference!

Championing change together; collaborating for sustainable perinatal care

Location: Prince George Civic Centre

Who should attend: Physicians, Midwives, Nurse practitioners, Nurses, Allied Health Professionals, Administration, Residents and Nursing Students, Exhibitors

Land Acknowledgement

We are grateful to gather together and host this conference on the unceded territory of the Dakelh Peoples, including the Lheidli T’enneh Nation who’s lands Prince George was built on. You can learn more about the history of the Lheidli T’enneh on their website.

Draft Conference at a Glance

Please note the conference program is subject to change.

Thank you to our partners and sponsors!

  • Rural Coordination Center of BC (RCCbc)
  • Northern Health Authority
  • Salus Global Corporation moreOB
  • BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre
  • Perinatal Services BC
  • Provincial Health Services Authority
  • First Nations Health Authority


  • Kristy Ware

    Kristy Ware


    Kristy is an Organization Development / Psychological Health and Safety Consultant at Northern Health and is a speaker and author. Kristy inspires individuals and organizations to take action toward improved personal and collective wellness. Kristy weaves together powerful stories, current research, and simple strategies that will uplift, empower, and educate. Expertly using their contagious energy and straightforward approach, Kristy sparks audiences to take conscious steps towards achieving success. When Kristy is not working you will find them biking, weight training, cooking, reading, or playing LEGO with or without their 10-year-old son.

  • Carolynn Russell

    Carolynn Russell

    (She, Her, Hers)

    Carolynn Russell is a Success Partner with Salus Global, facilitating the moreOB and moreEX program in Northern Health. Carolynn is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and has previously held Canadian Nursing certifications in perinatal and perioperative specialties. Carolynn has over 28 years of nursing experience in various service delivery areas including medical, obstetrics, perioperative services, and oncology. She is passionate about building teams and making a difference in improving experiences for health care workers and patients. Carolynn acknowledges that she lives and works within the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territory of the Secwépemc Nation.

  • Tom Skinner

    Tom Skinner

    Tom has worked with the Rural Coordination Centre of BC since 2019, managing the Rural Surgical and Obstetrical Networks, Real-Time Virtual Support, and Obstetrical Surgical Skills programs. With a background in community engagement and information technology, Tom’s had the opportunity to work with rural teams developing local data collection and analysis tools to inform Quality Improvement projects and local education initiatives. He lives in Vancouver with his family.

  • Dr. Terri Aldred

    Dr. Terri Aldred

    Dr. Terri Aldred is Dakelh (Carrier) from the Tl’Azt’En Nation, located north of Fort St.James. Dr. Aldred is the Site Director for the Indigenous Family Medicine Program, Family Physician for Carrier Sekani Family Services, Executive Medical Director for Primary Care for FNHA, the Indigenous Lead for the RCcBC, and on the editorial board for the BCMJ. She was a recipient of the 2018 BCCFP’s First Five-Years in Practice Achievement Award, 2020-21 RDoC Mikhael Award for Medical Education, 2021-22 Alumni Horizon Award. She is passionate about Indigenous health, physician well-being, and medical leadership.

  • Jesse Sales

    Jesse Sales

    Jesse Sales is a Registered Nurse and currently is the Director of Care at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital and Haida Gwaii. Previous to that Jesse has held leadership roles in Community Services, and Long Term Care. Most recently Jesse has completed his Masters of Health Administration at University of British Columbia. Jesse was born and raised in the North originally from Quesnel B.C.. He understands the importance of maintaining access to health care requires being creative and innovative to best meet the needs of the population that live in the North.

  • Nicole Carter

    Nicole Carter

    Nicole worked as a RN on the Families in Recover (FIR) unit, a perinatal substance use stabilization unit providing care to mother-baby dyads in Vancouver at BC Women’s Hospital for over 12 years. She has held a number of nurse leader roles including Perinatal Clinical Educator providing nurses with education, knowledge translation, advanced skill validation, as well as FIR Patient Care Coordinator, triaging referrals, coordinating complex care and providing nursing leadership onsite. Nicole is now in the role of Senior Leader, Provincial Education, connecting with regions across the province and supporting perinatal substance education and initiatives.

  • Lea Geiger

    Lea Geiger

    Lea Geiger is the Provincial Clinical Coordinator, Maternal Infant Health for Perinatal Services BC which provides leaderhsip, support, and coordination for the strategic planning of perinatal services in BC. Along with contributing to the overall goals of PSBC, she supports the integration of continuous quality improvement in infant and young child feeding best practices. Lea has over 30 years of experience in perinatal care and including Clinical Nurse Instructor for Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC. She obtained her BScN from Thompson Rivers University and is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Lea has also acted in leadership roles at provincial and national levels as the Chair of the Provincial Infant and Young Child Feeding Committee, past co-chair of the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC) BFI Assessment Committee, past co-chair of the BCC Provincial-Territorial BFI Implementation Committee and past member of the BCC Board of Directors. Lea is a Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) Assessor for the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. While considering the individual needs of women/people and families in BC, Lea is passionate about the implementation of the BFI QI frame work at the facility and community level and the promotion of equitable access to culturaly and trauma informed breastfeeding/chestfeeding services for all families

  • Dr. Catriona Hippman

    Dr. Catriona Hippman

    Dr. Catriona Hippman is a postdoctoral research fellow with the BC Women's Reproductive Mental Health Program, the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and the University of Calgary Faculty of Nursing. She is supported by four competitive fellowships, as well as the BC Women's Health Foundation, and was recently awarded the Early Career Researcher Award in Women’s Mental Health by the Women's Health Research Institute.

  • Donna Porter

    Donna Porter

    I am a proud Métis Woman and a citizen of Métis Nation BC. I am of Saulteaux/Ojibway ancestry on my mother’s side and first-generation German on my father’s side. My Indigenous family originated from the Red River Settlement of Manitoba. I am Mother to four children and grandma to five grandchildren. I have been an Indigenous Registered Nurse for 4 decades and I started my career as a health care aide before becoming a registered nurse. I also hold a master’s degree in leadership with a health focus. I have worked as a registered nurse in three different Health Authorities between Alberta and BC. I was a NICU nurse for more than 20 years working in neonatal transport and teaching others in Neonatal nursing/resuscitation/ECMO and transport. I worked in operational Leadership, in perinatal services, surgical services as well as holding operational Director positions in both urban and rural Northern centers. I supported Dr. Martha MacLeod for two years in co-teaching Nursing 704 Leadership in Health Practice for first year Nursing Master’s students at University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). I am currently the Regional Lead for Cultural Safety and Anti-Indigenous Racism Education in the Indigenous Health team in Northern Health situated in Prince George BC.

  • Dr. Jennifer Kask

    Dr. Jennifer Kask

    Dr Jennifer Kask is a family physician based in Campbell River and Clinical Instructor, Dept Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine, UBC. Jen grew up on a remote island near Quadra Island, commuting by small boat to school and sport in Campbell River as a child. She attended medical school at UBC and completed her family practice residency in Prince George in 2003. A fear of commitment has led her to being a locum for her entire career, working in Northern BC, on Vancouver Island and in rural New Zealand.

    She is one of group of family physicians working in a collaborative hospital-based maternity clinic at North Island Hospital Campbell River Site. The team cares for pregnant individuals from many rural and remote communities. She has an interest in quality improvement and has been involved in projects related to Maternity Care, Preterm Birth Prevention, Self-Swabs for STI Testing and Identification of Pregnancy Related CVD Risk. She has recently started the BiRCH (Birth Related Cardiovascular Health) Clinic with an internal medicine colleague.

    Outside of work Jen loves to sail, canoe, camp, travel, and hike with her family. Her 2 Prince George born children attend post-secondary school and her “baby” is in grade 12 so she is savoring the waning days of her “soccer mom” era.

  • Jessi Minnabarriet

    Jessi Minnabarriet

    Jessi Minnabarriet, RN, Provincial Lead, Indigenous Health, Perinatal Services, BC

    Jessi identifies as a person with mixed Métis and White ancestry, her pronouns are she/her. Jessi lives in the unceded, occupied, traditional territory of the Secwépemc Nation. Jessi is wife to Shane and mother to Shawn and Jacob, members of the St’uxwtéws First Nation community. Jessi has been a RN for 20 years, she is particularly passionate and deeply devoted to elevating client voice and advocacy that promotes, protects and honors Indigenous life givers and their families. Jessi is humbled to work in the role of Provincial Lead, Indigenous Health and is committed to addressing systemic colonial racist harms, directed towards Indigenous peoples.

  • Sarah Hilbert-West

    Sarah Hilbert-West

    Sarah Hilbert-West BSc Midwifery (UBC 2010); MEd Counseling (UNBC 2019) was born and raised in Quesnel, BC, before relocating to Prince George to practice Midwifery in 2011. She is currently on leave from clinical practice but continues to present on perinatal mental health, pregnancy loss, and secondary trauma in health care. She has previously worked as an adjunct professor/course tutor for the UBC Midwifery Program and as an overseas instructor for the UBC Faculty of Medicine (Midwifery) Students for Global Citizenship

  • Dr. Eric Cattoni

    Dr. Eric Cattoni

    Academic Lead for Perinatal Addiction Services and FIR Program

    Dr. Eric Cattoni is a full scope family doctor trained in Edmonton. He moved to Vancouver to start practice in 2015. He has a large private practice, and also sees patient at Sheway Medical clinic. Sheway is an outpatient clinic for pregnant and parenting patients, with lives impacted by substance use. He is a member of Family Practice Maternity Service and delivers babies at BC Women’s Hospital. He is also the Academic Lead for Perinatal Addiction Services and Fir Square, an inpatient unit for pregnant persons impacted by substance use.

  • Nicole Carter

    Nicole Carter

    Senior Leader, Provincial Education, BC Women’s Mental Health and Substance Use Programs

    Nicole worked as a RN on the Families in Recover (FIR) unit, a perinatal substance use stabilization unit providing care to mother-baby dyads in Vancouver at BC Women’s Hospital for over 12 years. She has held a number of nurse leader roles including Perinatal Clinical Educator providing nurses with education, knowledge translation, advanced skill validation, as well as FIR Patient Care Coordinator, triaging referrals, coordinating complex care and providing nursing leadership onsite. Nicole is now in the role of Senior Leader, Provincial Education, connecting with regions across the province and supporting perinatal substance education and initiatives.

  • Melissa Dreyer

    Melissa Dreyer

    Patient and Family Advisor, BC Women’s Mental Health and Substance Use Programs

    Melissa is in the role of Patient & Family Advisor for MHSU Programs which includes the Families in Recover (FIR) unit, a perinatal substance use stabilization unit providing care to mother-baby dyads in Vancouver at BC Women’s Hospital. Melissa is a person with lived experience who has engaged with services on FIR as a patient. Her current position provides opportunities to support and advocate for families on their recovery journey while contributing to MHSU Program Initiatives. Melissa’s previous experience includes front-line work in supportive housing and Peer Support Coordinator at VCH community program.

  • Randi Leanne Parsons

    Randi Leanne Parsons

    she/her, they/them/their

    Randi holds the role of Regional Nursing Lead for Maternal Infant Health with Northern Health’s Public Health Practice team. This nursing leadership role allows her to advocate for high-quality, equitable services offered to all mothers/pregnant people, young children, and families living in Northern BC. Through stewardship and human-centered relational practice, Randi supports community health nurses who care for families during pregnancy, after birth, and in the early years. Beyond this role, she has the current privilege of co-chairing the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada’s Board of Directors for a renewed term. With her husband, they’re humbly raising their two young children on the traditional territories of the Dakelh people (notably Nadleh Whut’en and Stellat’en First Nations). In her free time, Randi enjoys playing with arts and crafts, learning in her gardens, and forest bathing across BC.

  • Jude Kornelsen

    Jude Kornelsen

    Jude Kornelsen, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Practice (UBC), co-Director of the Centre for Rural Health Research, Honorary Professor, Sydney Medical School and Implementation Committee lead for the BC Rural Health Network. For the past 20 years she has worked towards creating, examining and sharing comprehensive evidence to support rural health planning, prioritizing the role of diverse community voices in this process. Key values that underlie this work include recognizing the centrality of residents and communities in the planning process; privileging an expansive definition of evidence from individual, key stakeholder and community experience to scientific evidence and approaching research from an integrated perspective with a strong focus on knowledge translation and policy relevance.

  • Dr. Theresa Healy

    Dr. Theresa Healy

    Dr. Theresa Healy is an Assistant Professor with the School of Planning and Sustainability and an Adjunct professor in the Gender Studies Program at UNBC. Her areas of interest include qualitative research, social planning, healthy communities, especially the link between public health and municipal planning .

    She has experience across northern C and beyond with facilitation for community development and capacity building, participatory and action research, supporting community driven initiatives and designing workshops and other learning modules for community members and organizations. Past projects have utilized her skills and interests in the subject areas of HIV/AIDS; Youth and Sexual Health, Homelessness and Sexually Exploited Youth and Marginalized Populations and Health Care Services, Food Security, a Co-Principal Investigator on the Men’s Healthy Eating and Active Living (M-HEAL) project, a member of the UBC Youth Sexual Health team under Dr. Jeannie Shoveller, and an advisor to the Prince George New Hope Society providing services to street involved girls and women. Her most recent learning was in the field of Graphic Facilitation and she continues to put this ll tot eh service of the community She has also worked for 10 years as a founding staff member of Northern Health’s Population Health program, including 4 years partnered with the Indigenous Health program. She is the incoming president of PHABC.

    She and her spouse where litigants in the Same Sex Marriage case, and recently celebrated their 20th (legal) wedding anniversary. All the children (but one couple) have moved to Prince George to be closer and thus they are doting grandmothers to 5 grandchildren.

  • Lauren Evanson

    Lauren Evanson


    Lauren Evanson is a 3rd generation settler of mixed ancestry - Ukrainian and Irish on her mother’s side and Jersey Island on her father’s side. She lives, works, grows and plays on the shared and unsurrendered territories of the sḵwx̱wú7mesh and shíshálh Nations. She puts her heart into the role of Maternal Child Health Nursing Practice Consultant with the First Nations Health Authority with whom she has worked for 5 years. She has also worked in the roles of Community Health Nurse at remote Nursing Stations and in low risk labor and delivery at BC Women’s Hospital. She has recently started the Masters of Science in Nursing: Project Option Program at UNBC and is excited for the future. She is passionate about exploring what nurses need to feel better supported in enacting anti-racist, culturally safe and humble and relationship-informed perinatal care. Lastly, she is a daughter, sister, aunt and proud mother to a family of cherished cats. When not at work, you’ll catch her gardening or walking along the ocean.


Hybrid event

Prince George Civic Centre

808, Canada Games Way Prince George, BC Canada, V2L 5L1

Registration period

July 24, 2023 - 13:05 until September 29, 2023 - 17:00

Contact us

For any questions about the event, please contact jayleen.emery@northernhealth.ca

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