Better at Home Reference Group

The Better at Home Provincial Reference Group acts as a consultative body to the Better at Home program, managed by the United Way of the Lower Mainland (UWLM) and funded by the government of British Columbia (BC).

The Reference Group comprises of a group of experts, advocates and community partners that provide input on the projects, evaluation and strategic direction of the Better at Home Program and services in BC.

The members of the UWLM Better at Home Provincial Reference Group are:

Barb MacLean, Executive Director

Family Caregivers of British Columbia

As Executive Director of Family Caregivers of British Columbia, Barb deeply understands the range of issues affecting family caregivers, seniors and the challenges we are facing in our health system as our population ages. Barb has a Masters in Leadership and over 30 years” experience in the nonprofit sector. She sits on a number of community and advisory boards and enjoys traveling with her family.

David Cheperdak, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Broadmead Care, Victoria

David has 28 years of experience in working for community-based, social and health services sectors. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Broadmead Care Society in Victoria, BC. He is committed to strengthening the health services and nonprofit sectors in his board leadership and civic engagements. David has two Bachelor degrees in Physical Education and Social Development and a Master?s degree in Public Administration.

Debbie MacLachlan, Director of Home and Community Care

Ministry of Health, B.C.

Debbie McLachlan is the Director of Home and Community Care with the Seniors Services Branch. Over the last 8 years in public service, Debbie has held several positions as Director of various Ministerial departments. Debbie has an extensive academic background in Nursing with a Leadership focus and Education. During her 24-year health care career, she has developed in seniors health, professional education and patient centered practice.

Dr. Joanie Sims-Gould, Assistant Professor

UBC, Centre for Hip Health and Mobility (CHHM)

Dr. Sims-Gould is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Practice at UBC. She is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar. Joanie has diverse research interests in the experiences of marginalized frail older adults, and delivery of home/community based health care. Joanie has a strong commitment to knowledge mobilization through research and practice.

Kathleen Jamieson, Chair, Health Committee

Committee of the Council of Senior Citizens of B.C. (COSCO)

Kathleen has worked since 2002 as a consultant on social policy and community development with the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society. Previously with Social Planning and Research Council of B.C. (SPARC B.C.) as Director of Consulting Services, Kathleen chairs the Health Committee of the Council of Senior Citizens of B.C. (COSCO).

Marcy Cohen, Policy Advocate

Raising the Profile Project (RTPP)

Marcy has worked as a researcher, policy consultant and educator on various economic and health policies and services, co-authoring over 25 publications on areas of expertise. Now retired, Marcy is increasingly interested in supporting resiliency in older adults. She is a volunteer advocate for several organizations and initiatives in the social, health and government sectors. Marcy co-leads the Raising the Profile Project.

Michelle Sandsmark, Program Coordinator

BC Healthy Communities Society

Michelle is the Program Coordinator for BC Healthy Communities Society. Michelle?s portfolio focuses on seniors” health and wellbeing, and age-friendly communities. Michelle holds a Bachelor?s degree in Human Kinetics and a Master?s of Public Health where she cultivated an appetite for exploring the systems and policies that perpetuate health inequities and the healthy communities movement respectively.

Rebecca Morris, Manager, Advocacy & Education

Alzheimer Society of B.C

Rebecca is the Manager of Advocacy and Education with the Alzheimer Society of B.C. With her passion for creating better communities for people living with dementia, Rebecca is instrumental in the development of the Society?s Dementia-Friendly Communities initiative, health provider education and awareness. Rebecca has a Masters in Sociology specializing in health and aging. She represented young leaders in dementia at the G7, Global Dementia Legacy Event in 2014.

Sheryl Fisher-Rivers, Board Member

United Way of the Lower Mainland (UWLM)

Sheryl Rivers, Siamtnaat (See-um-ten-knot), was born and raised with her culture and language of the Squamish Nation. She holds an Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business & Leadership and has her own consulting business. Through Sheryl’s municipal, regional and national spheres of influence and cross-sectoral engagement, her main priority is making the lives of Indigenous Peoples across Canada better.

Stephanie Williams, General Manager

Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (BEST)

Stephanie’s passion for sustainable transportation has inspired her work at Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (BEST) for almost seven years. From previously managing Bicycle Valet to currently leading the organization, she is currently coordinating the New Horizons project to improve senior’s transportation in Metro Vancouver. Stephanie studied Human Geography and is completing her MA in Community Development.

Tim Rowe, Executive Lead

Northern Health Authority

Tim’s health services career spanned over 40 years covering acute care, residential care, home care and community and population health services. Prior to his retirement, Tim was Executive Lead for the Northern Health Authority and was instrumental in health care and services integration and regionalization in Northern BC. He is particularly interested in community engagement and development of rural and remote communities.

From the Better at Home Provincial Office:

Precious Ile, Administrative Support

Precious provides administrative support to the provincial Better at Home program. With a Criminology background, she is dedicated to community development through the non-profit sector. Having lived in Africa and North America and gained a broad understanding of social issues, Precious is passionate about making global social impact and improving the lives of people in our communities. She is an avid reader and writer.

Camille J. Hannah, Program & Project Assistant

Camille has been supporting the provincial Better at Home program since its inception in 2012. She coordinates local program capacity building, provincial projects, communications and implementation of best practices. Previously, she was a project manager and trainer for Courthouse Technologies. She has an academic and professional background in Communications, Project Management and Business Management. She is a lifelong learner and believes in human wellness. She loves spending time with her family, including her cat.

Kahir Lalji, Provincial Manager

Kahir is the Better at Home Provincial Manager. He has extensive experience in social services with a specialization in community and healthy living for older adults, health promotion, holistic quality of life and immigrant older adults. His expertise includes executive leadership in and beyond Canada, policy development, program delivery and evaluation. Kahir holds several degrees and certificates in Gerontology, Leadership and Management. His work is inspired by his lived and professional experience to create and sustain livable communities for seniors.

For more information on the Better at Home Reference Group please visit the UWLM website at: