Core Team

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Our core team is based in Vancouver. We work closely with our collaborative partners in the BC Ministry of Health, provincial Health Authorities, professional groups, and rural communities to plan and develop the strategies of the Centre.

The diversity of our expertise, backgrounds, and interests enhances our ability to comprehensively investigate the complexity of challenges and opportunities for rural health services across Canada and internationally.

Co-Directors


Jude photoJude Kornelsen
 , PhD, is a health services researcher and Associate Professor in the Department of Family Practice at UBC who has a focused program of research on rural maternity care. As co-director of the Centre for Rural Health Research, her primary focus involves rural maternal health issues including the emergence and integration of midwifery in our health care system. In this position Dr. Kornelsen works toward creating productive research environments and coordinates and oversees student positions. She has undertaken numerous funded studies on rural women’s experiences of care and additionally directs a program of research into the emerging social phenomenon of elective cesarean section. Dr. Kornelsen is a former CIHR New Investigator, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar and an Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Sydney.

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Stefan Grzybowski , MD, CCFP, MClSc, FCFP, is a Professor in the Department of Family Practice at UBC and a family physician with many years of rural clinical experience. He was Director of Research in the Department of Family Practice at UBC for 10 years and currently holds a Michael Smith senior scholar award. He has an abiding focus on rural health services research and building research capacity, both of which are exercised through his current position as co-Director of the Centre for Rural Health Research. Specific research foci include the safety of small rural maternity services with and without cesarean section capacity and supporting primary care clinician investigators. Dr. Grzybowski is also the director of the Rural Health Services Research Network of BC and an Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney.

Research Team

 Research Assistant, Choice and Place of Birth Project

kira_ubcid-1-e1496184036314.jpgKira Barwich is the Research Assistant for the North Island Decision Aid project. Kira has her MSc in Global Health from Trinity College University of Dublin, Ireland and has spent time working on health research projects in Zimbabwe and Cambodia. Prior to this, Kira spent several months interning with a health-focused non-government organization in rural Indonesia. Kira is passionate about health for marginalized populations and rural health. She is keen to apply her international experience in health to the rural Canadian context. In her free time, Kira enjoys being active in the outdoors and is looking forward to calling British Columbia home and exploring more of its natural beauty.

UBC Medicine FLEX Student, Choice and Place of Birth Project

Krista picKrista Loewen is a medical student at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, Southern Medical Program. Previously, she completed a BA in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, where she developed a strong interest in Indigenous health and health care systems and policy. Her study interests also include rural and remote medicine, and she is keen to spend more time working in rural areas. Prior to university, she spent several years working in the international development sector and in the music industry. Her hobbies include cross-country skiing, music and gardening.

UBC Medicine FLEX Student, Choice and Place of Birth Project

hannah chesterI am a medical student at the University of British Columbia in the Northern Medical Program. I completed by Bachelor of science in Nursing at Vancouver Island University and I practiced as a Registered Nurse for 2 years in a rural community prior to entering medical school. I am very interested in rural and remote health and am looking forward to working with this team to work towards improving health for remote communities. My hobbies include playing sports and being outside.

Project Assistant, Mobile Maternity (MOM) Project

Jessica Kim

Jessica Kim is the Mobile Maternity Project Assistant at CRHR. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University with concentration in population and quantitative health sciences. Her particular research interests lie in rural health services, Indigenous health and patient-centered care. Previously, she was employed as a research assistant at the SFU Centre for Research on Early Child Health and Education. Jessica has extensive volunteer leadership experience with non-profit organizations in BC, including the one she has founded. Outside of work, she loves to play cello and travel with her family.

 Media Assistant

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Evonne Tran is an undergraduate at the University of British Columbia. She is currently completing her Bsc in Global Resource Systems with a specialization in Global Health and Nutrition. Her passions in her field include food nutrition, food security and sustainability in agriculture and urban planning. She works as a media assistant at CRHR where her roles include facilitating knowledge translation and media engagement. Her interests in CRHR is to understand rural health services in Canada, potential barriers to access, and its  accessibility within a rural community. Evonne’s hobbies include dance, travelling, and blogging.

Videographer

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Tamara Wojciechowska is a videographer and graduate exchange student from Poland. Her passion for telling compelling stories through film brought her to CRHR in September 2016 to lead the production of a documentary project, which she believes will help reveal the human elements in the health system. She brings her experience in the media industry, including radio journalism, videographer at a creative agency, and manager for audiovisual projects. She is passionate about the world’s diversity of cultures and tries to combine her professional work with her interest in travelling. She can speak four and a half languages, has lived in six countries, and looks forward to more!

Research Collaborators

Postdoctoral Fellow

Kathrin StollKathrin Stoll has degrees in psychology and sociology and recently completed a doctorate at the University of British Columbia. She just started a three year postdoctoral fellowship, jointly supervised by Jude Kornelsen and Patti Janssen.  Dr. Stoll teaches advanced research methods to midwifery graduate students and has been involved in academic and community based research for the past 10 years, using a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods. She has expertise in rural maternity research, pregnancy and birth research and quantitative methods, including survey and scale development, psychometric testing, regression modeling and analysis of rural perinatal outcomes, using population data. Her primary postdoctoral research project is about perinatal outcomes of women who live in small rural communities; she is particularly interested in how maternity care provider mix and access to operative delivery effect outcomes.

Research Network Coordinator, RHSRNbc

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Nisrine El Amiri obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University in Montreal and her Master of Public Health degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She has also completed the Canadian Disaster and Humanitarian Response Training Program as well as training by the United Nations, Medecins Sans Frontieres and other agencies. Nisrine was previously employed by the BC Center for Disease Control and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Passionate about improving access to healthcare for communities in rural and remote regions and supporting rural health services researchers, Nisrine joined RHSRNbc in May 2017 as the Research Network Coordinator.

For more information on the Rural Health Services Research Network, see http://rhsrnbc.ca/.

Research Network Coordinator Student Assistant, RHSRNbc

NicoleNicole Liang is an undergraduate student at UBC who joined the RHSRNbc in May 2016. As part of the Network, she is excited to witness the collaborations and engagement between rural health services researchers. She is particularly interested in rural mental health services and how to break down barriers of access to care, issues that she witnesses as a crisis line volunteer. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys reading, photography, and weightlifting.