Featured Presenters

Warren Bell

BA, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP(LM), Past Founding President, CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment); Founding President, WA:TER (Wetland Alliance: The Ecological Response);
Rural Preceptor, University of British Columbia, Salmon Arm, BC

Born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., Warren Bell has been a family physician for over 40 years, having graduated from McGill Medical School in 1974, and completed a residency there in 1976.
For 4 decades he has been concerned about and involved in issues of social development and the environment, as well as the peace and anti-nuclear movement, global health and development (with an emphasis on the role of multinationals — especially drug companies — and patents), and the integration of healing modalities of all kinds. He has written and spoken in many settings on these and related issues, and participated in a number of projects both locally and nationally.

Among other leadership roles, he is past founding president of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, and past president of the Association of Complementary and Integrative Physicians of B.C.

He lives and practises in Salmon Arm, a small town in south-central B.C., integrating conventional and complementary remedies, as well as practising insight-oriented psychotherapy.


Nathalie Charpak

MD, Scientific Coordinator, KMC Centers of Excellence; Founding Member, Senior Researcher and Director, Kangaroo Foundation; Attending Pediatrician, Kangaroo Mother Care Program, San Ignacio University Hospital, Bogotá, Columbia

Dr. Charpak received her M.D. from the “Paris Sud” University and her paediatrician diploma from “Rene Descartes” University in Paris, France. She migrated in 1986 to Colombia where she validated her title as Paediatrician and began in 1989 to work on the evaluation of the Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) Method. She is now a Colombian citizen. With several colleagues she founded in 1994 the Kangaroo Foundation, an NGO devoted to research, teaching, training and direct medical care related to KMC for premature and low birth weight infant.

The Kangaroo Foundation has conducted large clinical trials on KMC and has been actively disseminating KMC predominantly in low and middle-income countries in Latin America, South East Asia, India, Africa and Eastern Europe. In 1996 in Trieste, Italy she was amongst the group of international researchers, physicians and nurses who created the International Kangaroo Network -INK- an international alliance devoted to collaborating, enhancing and disseminating the KMC Method.

Dr. Charpak continues to work as an attending paediatrician in the KMC Program and amongst her research interest are integrative methods for summarizing and placing into action what is known about KMC in the form of an evidence-based practice. Her main research interest is exploring the long-term effects of KMC in adolescents and young adults that were low birth infants exposed or not exposed to KMC during the neonatal period.


Evelyn George

Registered Midwife, Vancouver, BC

Evelyn George is a Nbissing Anishinaabe Registered Midwife currently on leave from clinical practice. Evelyn’s current work is centred in responding to the needs of Indigenous communities and Indigenous midwives, and creating inroads where possible to support the return of birth and midwifery. Evelyn works as the Partnership Development Coordinator and is a past Co-Chair for the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, Indigenous Lead for the Midwives Association of BC, and Indigenous Student Coordinator for the UBC Midwifery Program.


Michael C. Klein

MD, CCFP, FCFP, FAAP (Neonatal/Perinatal), FCPS, Emeritus Professor, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia; Senior Scientist Emeritus, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institue, Vancouver, BC

Dr. Klein is best known for his RCT of episiotomy, demonstrating that it caused the very trauma that it was supposed to prevent, which is credited with contributing to a large drop in routine episiotomy use and a concurrent fall in rectal trauma. He teaches at UBC in family practice and midwifery and is on the editorial board of BIRTH.

He was head of a McGill teaching Centre and Department of Family Medicine at a McGill teaching hospital in Montreal for 17 years and Head of the Department of Family Practice at Children’s and Women’s in Vancouver for 10 years.

He is a recipient of the Order of Canada, The Award for Lifetime Contributions to Primary Care Research from the North American Primary Care Research Group, Family Physician Researcher of the Year from the College of Family Physicians of Canada, The Award for Lifetime Contributions to Family Practice Research from the College of Family Physicians of Canada. He is the author of “Dissident Doctor—catching babies and challenging the medical status quo.

He and his wife Bonnie emigrated from the US to Canada in 1967 because he refused to be a military physician during the Vietnam War. His son Seth and daughter Naomi were born and work in Canada. Bonnie is a disabled film-maker, writer and disability rights activist.


Ylva Thernström Blomqvist

PhD, RN, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Uppsala University Children’s Hospital; Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Dr. Thernström Blomqvist became a registered nurse (RN) in 1994, and completed her PhD in medical sciences in 2012 at Uppsala University in Sweden. She is currently responsible for nursing care research, education, and nursing care improvement in the NICU in Uppsala, Sweden. She was formerly Head nurse in the NICU.


Laura van Dernoot Lipsky

Founder and Director, The Trauma Stewardship Institute, Seattle, WA, USA

Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, founder and director of The Trauma Stewardship Institute and author of Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others, has worked directly with trauma survivors for more than three decades.

She has worked with groups as diverse as zookeepers and reconstruction workers in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, community organizers and health care providers in Japan, U.S. Air Force pilots, Canadian firefighters, public school teachers, private practice doctors, tiny non-profits, massive state agencies, libraries, the Pentagon, alternative colleges, and Ivy League universities. Much of her work is being invited to assist in the aftermath of community catastrophes–whether they are fatal storms or mass shootings. She has worked locally, nationally, and internationally. Laura is known as a pioneer in the field of trauma exposure.

Laura is on the advisory board of ZGiRLS, an organization that supports young girls in sports. She is a founding member of the International Transformational Resilience Network, which supports the development of capacity to address climate change. Laura also served as an associate producer of the award-winning film A Lot Like You, and was given a Yo! Mama award in recognition of her work as a community-activist mother.