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Dr. Charles Scudamore

BC Chapter Board President, Canadian Liver Foundation
Associate Professor of Surgery, University of British Columbia

Dr. Charles Scudamore is one of Canada’s most well-known hepatobiliary, liver transplant surgeons and is British Columbia’s foremost physicians, working to extend the lives of those diagnosed with serious cancers.

Dr. Scudamore co-founded the liver transplant program in 1989 and has been a leading surgical expert in liver transplantation, hepatobiliary oncology and trauma at the Vancouver General Hospital and British Columbia Children’s Hospital. He also developed Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery at the University of British Columbia and is the former president of the North Pacific Surgical Association and British Columbia Surgical Society.

An expert on the early recognition of pancreatic cancer as well as advanced colorectal metastases to the liver, Dr. Scudamore has led efforts to increase the number of liver transplants performed in British Columbia.

In recognition of research and other efforts to improve outcomes for patients with pancreatic cancer, Dr. Scudamore received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and was a recipient of the Order of British Columbia, the highest honour a resident of British Columbia can obtain. He was honoured by the Vancouver General Hospital and is a past Medical Honouree of the Canadian Liver Foundation, BC/Yukon Region’s LIVERight Gala and has received the Gift of Life Award from the Happy Liver Society.

Dr. Scudamore served as the honorary Chair of the Canadian Liver Foundation, BC/Yukon Region’s LIVERight Gala and has volunteered his time as a lecturer at the annual LIVERight Health Forum.

Fatty Liver: Do You Have It? (English Session)
Dr. Mamatha Bhat

Staff Hepatologist and Clinician-Scientist, Ajmera Transplant Program
University Health Network
Assistant Professor, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Director, Clinician-Scientist Training Program (CSTP) Department of Medicine
University of Toronto

Dr. Mamatha Bhat is a staff Hepatologist and clinician-scientist at UHN’s Ajmera Transplant Program and Assistant Professor at University of Toronto’s Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. The goal of Dr. Bhat’s research program is to enable a precision medicine approach to long-term complications after liver transplantation through a better understanding of their mechanistic basis. She has been specifically examining non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma in the context of liver transplantation. Her research program employs a bench-to-bedside paradigm that connects clinical outcomes with basic research using bioinformatic analysis of ‘omic datasets (e.g., transcriptomic, miRNA, methylation, intestinal microbiome) and machine learning tools. Her research program is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), NSERC, American Society of Transplantation, Canadian Liver Foundation, and Canadian Donation and Transplant Research Program. She has over 100 publications to her credit, including in journals such as Hepatology, Lancet Digital Health, Journal of Hepatology and JAMA Surgery. Mamatha is on the Executive committee of the Canadian Donation and Transplant Research program and serves on the ILTS Translational Science committee.

Eric Yoshida

Alcohol, Pandemic and Mental Health (English Session)
Dr. Eric Yoshida

Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia
Division of Gastroenterology, Vancouver General Hospital
Chair, Medical Advisory Committee, Canadian Liver Foundation

Dr. Eric Yoshida is a Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He is also currently the President of the Medical Staff Association at the Vancouver General Hospital. He is the past Head of the Division of Gastroenterology at UBC and VGH, past President of Canadian Association for the Study of Liver Disease (CASL) and has the distinction of being CASL’s longest-serving Governing Board Member. He is well known nationally and internationally, as he has published more than 320 papers in peer-reviewed journals in the area of liver disease and liver transplantation. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the Canadian Liver Journal, the official journal of CASL, and was the co-editor-in-chief of the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (previously the official journal of CASL). 

Dr. Yoshida is the founder of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s Diploma Program in Hepatology and is the past Chair of the Royal College subcommittee. He has received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, the CASL Distinguished Service Award, the VGH Clinical Excellence Award, and the Order of British Columbia.

Dr. Yoshida has served for almost a decade as the Chair of the Canadian Liver Foundation’s National Medical Advisory Committee. He has given lectures at the CLF’s LIVERight Health Forums and other public liver disease forums since 2002 and contributed articles for the LIVERight Gala program magazines. He is one of the inaugural Fellows of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and is the only adult hepatologist in BC with that distinction.

Alcohol, Pandemic and Mental Health (English Session)
Dr. JJ Sidhu

Psychiatrist
Department Head & Medical Director MHSU Vancouver Acute, Tertiary, & Urgent Services

Dr. JJ Sidhu is the Department Head of Psychiatry for Vancouver Acute and Community. He is also the Mental Health & Substance Use Medical Director for Vancouver Acute, Tertiary, and Urgent Services, and the Medical Director for the BC Occupational Stress Injury Clinic. Dr. Sidhu completed his medical school and residency in psychiatry through the University of British Columbia, and a Master in Public Health through Harvard University. In addition to his administrative roles, he was previously the Mental Health lead for the Richmond Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program and he currently works as a Consult Liaison Psychiatrist at Vancouver General Hospital.

 

Fatty Liver: Do You Have It? (French Session)
Dr. Giada Sebastiani

Associate Professor
Department of Medicine, McGill University

Giada Sebastiani is Associate Professor of Medicine at McGill University and Clinician Scientist at the Research Institute of McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada. She provides clinical services in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. She received a medical degree and specialized in internal medicine at the University of Padua, Italy. She had training in clinical and basic research at Harvard Medical School (US), University College of London (UK), University of Bordeaux (France) and Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (Montreal, Canada). Her work focuses on fatty liver disease, liver fibrosis and non-invasive diagnostic tools in liver disease, with a current focus on at-risk populations, including people living with HIV, diabetics, patients with inflammatory bowel diseases and women with polycystic ovary syndrome. She is author of 120 articles in peer-reviewed journals (including Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Journal of Hepatology, Clinical Infectious Diseases; h-index=40, total number of citations 6,237), 16 book chapters, 190 conference publications at national and international congresses. She is founding and steering committee member of the Canadian NASH Network and panel member in the Consensus on Models of Care in NAFLD of the International Liver Foundation. 

Dr Sebastiani is the sole North American representative in the guidelines of the European AIDS Clinical Society. She has been invited speaker in 70 international congresses and universities, including European, Asian Pacific, Mexican, Italian and Canadian Associations for the Study of the Liver. She was awarded the prestigious Senior Clinical Research Salary Award from Fonds Recherche Sante Quebec. Other honors include: honorary membership of the Romanian Association for the Study of the Liver; Emerging Stars in Hepatology Award (Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver, 2010); Top 10 cited papers 2006-2008 Award by Journal of Hepatology – European Association for the Study of the Liver. 

Alcohol, Pandemic and Mental Health (French Session)
Dr. Marc Deschenes

Director, Division Hepatology, McGill University Health Centre
Past President, Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

Research interest: liver failure, liver transplantation

Alcohol, Pandemic and Mental Health (French Session)
Dr. Nicolas Garel

Senior Psychiatric Resident (PGY5)
McGill University

Dr. Nicolas Garel, M.D., is a fifth-year resident in psychiatry at McGill University.  After completing a bachelor’s degree in psychology and medical school from the University of Montreal, Dr. Garel entered McGill University’s Psychiatry Residency Program in 2017 and McGill’s Clinician-Investigator program in 2022.  His research projects are based at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and focus on substance use disorders, mood disorders, pharmacology, psychotherapy and their combination.


Fatty Liver: Do You Have It? (Chinese Session)
Alcohol, Pandemic and Mental Health
Dr. Peter Kwan

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia
Division of Gastroenterology, Vancouver General Hospital

Dr. Peter Kwan was born in Hong Kong. He came to Canada at a young age. He graduated from medical school at the University of Western Ontario and received his post-doctoral training at the University of British Columbia and the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He is currently a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia and a liver specialist in the Division of Gastroenterology at the Vancouver General Hospital. Because he is one of few liver specialists who can speak Chinese, 80% of his patients are Chinese immigrants. As a result, he has a large hepatitis B practice and has worked tirelessly to promote hepatitis B awareness in the community and has been featured in the Chinese language media on many occasions.

Dr. Kwan has participated in hepatitis B related research projects and was a primary investigator of “Hep Beware” a local hepatitis B epidemiologic study, and “Liver Beware”, a community FibroScan Screening study. Both projects are funded by the Canadian Liver Foundation (CLF), BC/Yukon Chapter. Dr. Kwan has been a speaker at many CLF’s LIVERight Health forums over the years and has contributed to written articles for the LIVERight Gala program magazines.

Alcohol, Pandemic and Mental Health (Chinese Session)
Phyllis Chan

Clinical Counsellor

Phyllis is a Canadian Certified Counsellor and a Community Engagement Advisor. Phyllis has over 15 years of counselling and community engagement experience. She has extensive training and experience working with people with addictions and with individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, family issues or trauma. She completed her master’s degree in counselling psychology at the University of British Columbia. Besides being a counsellor, Phyllis is also very active in her community. She was the spokesperson for StopOverdoseBC Campaign for the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions for the Canadian Chinese community in 2019.

Fatty Liver: Do You Have It? (Punjabi Session) 
Alcohol, Pandemic and Mental Health
Dr. Harjot Bedi 

Gastroenterology Fellow 2022-2024

Dr. Harjot Bedi is an Internal Medicine resident and will be starting her gastroenterology fellowship this year at University of British Columbia (UBC). She completed her bachelor’s degree at Queen’s University and master’s degree at UBC, both specializing in Immunology. She also completed medical school at UBC and went on to obtain another master’s degree in health sciences, which combined her interest in epidemiology and global health. She has an interest in various fields of gastroenterology and has been involved in various research projects spanning topics, such as, inflammatory bowel disease, primary sclerosing cholangitis, viral and drug induced hepatitis, and cirrhosis. She envisions combining her interest in gastroenterology and global health in the future.

Alcohol, Pandemic and Mental Health (Punjabi Session)
Dr. Gulzar Cheema

Family Physician

Dr. Cheema received his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from India’s Punjab University, interned at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and was a resident at Saskatoon’s University Hospital. He has practiced medicine in rural Manitoba and in Winnipeg and was a clinical instructor in Punjab before coming to Canada in 1979. He is now settled in Surrey, British Columbia as a family physician. His special interests include psychiatry, psycho-geriatrics, geriatrics and neonatology. He was appointed Minister of State for Mental Health in BC in 2001, marking the first time in the Commonwealth that a minister had been made solely responsible for mental health.

Children and Liver Disease – What All Parents Should Know (English)  
Dr. Richard Schreiber

Clinical Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, BC Children’s Hospital

Dr. Richard Schreiber is the senior liver specialist at BC Children’s Hospital. His clinical research interests include biliary atresia, pediatric viral hepatitis B and C, autoimmune hepatitis and liver transplant. He is co-founder of the Canadian Pediatric Hepatology Research Group, a national collaborative effort to research and help improve the care and outcome of Canadian children with liver disease. He established and is the medical advisor of the Perinatal Services BC biliary atresia home screening program using stool colour cards. He is the co-director of the Canadian Biliary Atresia Registry (CBAR). He is a Past President of the Canadian Association for the Study of Liver Disease.

Patient Sharing (English)
Natalie and Nickie Williams

Natalie is 24-year-old and was born with Biliary Atresia, a childhood liver disease. She had her Kasai operation at 9 weeks old and underwent a liver transplant at age 19. The generosity of her organ donor and his family has gifted Natalie with remarkable health ever since. She is now in the third year of a 4-year nursing degree at University of Victoria in British Columbia. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, skiing, road biking and spending time with friends. Natalie won three gold medals in the Canadian Transplant Games in 2018 at 14 months post transplant and aims to complete her first triathlon this summer.

Nickie is the mom of Natalie and Natalie’s twin sister, Kathryn, who does not have any health issues. Within weeks Nickie knew something wasn’t right with Natalie and shortly after learned her baby had a serious life-threatening illness that would one day result in transplant. Initially there was shock, fear and grief – a sense of impending doom which over time was processed on a rollercoaster of emotions eventually resulting in acceptance and a determination that Natalie & Kathryn would embrace life, built on a mantra of “if she’s alive she’ll live”.

Nickie works in financial services, is also a reiki practitioner and a licensed aromatherapist for 30 years which she credits with keeping her sane in the darker moments. Nickie knows she is absolutely blessed to be the mom of Natalie and Kathryn – her pride, joy and greatest teachers. Each day she lives in deep gratitude to the donor and donor family for their selfless decision that allows her to see her daughters grow and achieve their dreams.

Valeriya ZaborskaLIVERight Health Forum Host (English Sessions)
Dr. Valeriya Zaborska

Internal Medicine Resident/PGY-1, University of British Columbia

Valeriya is a first year Internal Medicine resident doctor at the University of British Columbia Internal Medicine Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Science in Biomedical Physiology from Simon Fraser University and has worked for the Canadian Liver Foundation (CLF), BC/Yukon Region as an administrator/fundraiser until 2016. Since then, she has volunteered for CLF events such as the annual LIVERight Gala, LIVERight Health Forum, and the Stroll for Liver. She also worked as a medical office assistant in a hepatology clinic and has contributed as a research assistant on multiple liver-related studies, including treatment for HCC, liver transplants, and HCV. During COVID-19, she worked as a Health Operations Navigator for 8-1-1. She is currently involved in a Behavioural Health Coaching initiative, working on motivating adults to make positive lifestyle changes. She is currently interested in pursuing a career in General Internal Medicine and Hepatology.  


LIVERight Health Forum Host (French Sessions)
Liza Hum

Founder and Event Planner, KNL Productions

Born and raised in Montreal, Liza graduated with a degree in HR Management from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. Fluent in French, English, Cantonese and Mandarin, Liza has been a Master of Ceremony for weddings in the Chinese community since 2008. Her passion for organizing events inspired her to open an event planning company called KNL Productions in 2014.

From 2012, Liza has joined the Canadian Liver Foundation as a volunteer and participated in the Stroll for Liver in Montreal. In 2019, Liza had the privilege to organize the Canadian Liver Foundation’s LIVERight Gala in Montreal. She continuously supports the cause and was actively involved, along with her company, in the Stroll for Liver in 2020-2021.

Liza is happy and proud to support the Canadian Liver Foundation, and is looking forward to their upcoming adventures.

LIVERight Health Forum Host (Chinese Sessions)
Karen So

News Anchor, Omni TV

Before immigrating to Canada in 1994, Karen studied journalism at the Chinese University of Hong Kong before completing her bachelors’ degree at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. As a student, Karen started her career in media as a part-time reporter for a local radio station. She became fascinated by the world of television news and subsequently joined a Chinese-language television station. Karen joined the OMNI team in 2003, expanding her cultural knowledge and enabling her to converse with countless people from different cultural backgrounds.

Apart from covering daily news, Karen has earned two Jack Webster awards while working on a magazine-style current affairs program and mini-documentaries. She has also been the host of many Vancouver’s talk shows and community events.


LIVERight Health Forum Host (Punjabi Sessions)
Prabhjot Kahlon 

Reporter, Omni TV

Prabhjot Kahlon has more than 10-year experience as Television News Reporter with passion of telling stories about social issues in the community.  She moved to Canada in 2006 with a Doctorate Degree in Political Science. Her thesis was based on Women’s Leadership at Grassroots Level Politics in Punjab. During her University education, she participated in a number local, national and international conferences and her number of articles and papers was published in refereed Journals and books. She joined channel m in 2008, which was later branded with Omni Television. Since then, she has not only reported a number of stories from hard core crime scenes to immigration but also done investigative series on Domestic Violence and prevalent Gang Violence problem in South Asian youngsters etc. Prabhjot has well known recognition in the community and she was also awarded with women of year community award in 2014.

Over the past 10 years in media, she also spent a year working as a victim support worker, where she assisted victims of crime and their families in cases of particularly serious/violent criminal offences involving children or other vulnerable people throughout the criminal justice system. She is always very active in the community and especially women’s related issues. During free time, she also participated in diverse community events like Chinese New Year, Vaisakhi, Diwali etc. If someone wants to explore her/his career in journalism, Prabhjot always encourages them to know how knowledge and hard work is key to success.

Prabhjot is very grateful to her parents for always supporting her and her education. Prabhjot is a true example of successful immigrant women in Canada, whose story is archived in South Asian Canadian Heritage.

Born and raised in Gurdaspur, she is currently based in Vancouver, Canada.

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