Warren Brock

Communications Manager

Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, Southern Medical Program
Office: Reichwald Health Sciences Centre
Phone: 250.807.8601
Email: warren.brock@ubc.ca


The annual Reichwald Family Foundation Southern Medical Program (SMP) awards are provided to two second-year medical students who demonstrate excellence in academics, leadership, and community service. Congratulations to this year’s recipients Marisa Levesque and Hannah Young.

Marisa Levesque

Originally from Vernon, Levesque earned a BSc from UBC Okanagan. During her studies with the SMP, she has volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross as a Personal Disaster Assistance volunteer and as Certification Manager for the Companion Paws program run by The LifeLine Canada Foundation. She is the SMP representative for the MUS Oncology Interest Group, a student representative for the Internal Medicine Undergraduate Education Committee, member of the SMP Municipal Political Advocacy Committee, and volunteers for the AccessBC campaign which advocates for universal prescription coverage for contraceptives under the Medical Services Plan.

“I am truly grateful to be one of this year’s recipients of the Reichwald Family Foundation award,” says Levesque.  “It will go a long way in alleviating some of the stress associated with the financial burden of medical education, and allow me to focus more on my studies.”

Hannah Young

Prior to joining the SMP, Young moved from her hometown of Quesnel to complete a BSc at UBC Okanagan. She is a member of the SMP Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) and participates in community outreach through the BC Brain Wellness Program which aims to decrease the isolation of individuals with neurological conditions. She also works with the Peer Mentorship in Medical Education team at the SMP, a member of the Wilderness Medicine Club, and co-chair of the SMP Wellness Initiative Network that promotes healthy activities and social engagement for SMP students.

“I am extremely honoured and grateful to receive this award and would like to express my appreciation for the outstanding support the Reichwald family has provided for the Southern Medical Program,” says Young. “I look forward to supporting our community in the future.”

Southern Medical Program (SMP) faculty and staff from across the Interior Health region have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to medical education. The nomination and selection process for the annual awards program is completed solely by SMP students. Congratulations to our 2021 honourees.

Year 1 Southern Medical Program Excellence Award
Year 2 Southern Medical Program Excellence Award
Mr. Emmett Campbell, Gross Anatomy Laboratory Assistant
Year 3 Southern Medical Program Excellence Award – Kamloops
Dr. Dayne Ortved, Clinical Instructor, UBC Department of Medicine
Year 3 Southern Medical Program Excellence Award – Kelowna
Dr. Sumathi McGregor, Clinical Instructor, UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Year 3 Southern Medical Program Excellence Award – Trail
Dr. Tara Gill, Clinical Instructor, UBC Department of Family Practice
Year 3 Southern Medical Program Excellence Award – Vernon
Dr. Kathryn MacKinlay, Clinical Instructor, UBC Department of Pediatrics
Southern Medical Program Graduating Class Award Winner
Dr. Sarah Brears, Regional Associate Dean, Interior, Clinical Associate Professor, UBC Department of Family Practice
Southern Medical Program Graduating Class Award Winner
Dr.  Olusegun Oyedele, Associate Professor, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences


Congratulations to the Southern Medical Program Class of 2021! Meet some of our newest graduates and hear about where they’re headed next.

Name: Gabby Levesque
Hometown: Penticton, BC

What attracted you to the field of medicine?
Ever since my Grade 12 Biology class, I was fascinated to learn about the intricacies of the human body. I also knew that I wanted to work with people, so medicine seemed like the perfect fit! I am so honoured to be a part of the medical community, providing comprehensive and compassionate care to the population of BC.

What is your favourite moment from your time at UBC?
It is very difficult choosing just one moment from my time at UBC. I loved playing intramurals, our lunchtime workouts, going on a helicopter ride on my rural family medicine rotation and delivering my first baby. I will cherish all these memories and everyone who was a part of them – especially winning gold against the other SMP soccer team!

What is one piece of advice you have for students entering medical school?
I think it’s important to remember that medicine is a career with lifelong learning. It can get very overwhelming and stressful, so it is important to remember to take care of yourself and have a good support network. Take that evening off to watch your favourite movie or go to your favourite restaurant. As cliché as it is, medicine really is a marathon, so take it one step at a time.

What is one small pleasure that brings you joy?
I love spending time outside. Whether playing soccer, beach volleyball, camping or just sitting in the sun, this is my happy place and where I recharge the most.

What’s next for you?
I’m extremely excited to be moving to Vancouver to start my Orthopaedic Residency program at UBC. I’m so thankful for everyone who has supported me to this point and look forward to the incredible journey ahead!

Name: Parm Khakh
Hometown: Kelowna, B.C.

What attracted you to the field of medicine?
Medicine is a field that allows us to work alongside patients when they’re at their most vulnerable and to educate them and their families on disease pathology. We get to work in compassionate and cohesive team environments, with everyone having a unified goal. The opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life as you provide support, knowledge and care is what made me interested in becoming a physician.

What is your favorite moment from your time at UBC?
One of my favorite memories was getting to celebrate with the class of 2022 during their SMP visit. It was a great weekend to unwind and make some unforgettable memories with the SMP crew.

What is one piece of advice you have for students entering medical school?
Don’t forget to enjoy the little things and to make time for your loved ones! This journey never gets less daunting, but you will become an outstanding physician, so enjoy the process and make it a goal to have fun!

What is one small pleasure that brings you joy?
Listening to my favorite comedian’s podcasts while hiking and laughing-out-loud as I struggle up the mountain.

What’s next for you?
I am super stoked and grateful to be joining the Internal Medicine team at Queen’s University! I cannot wait to start this next chapter and I’m so fortunate to have had the opportunity to train at SMP. Thank you all for helping me become the person I am today!

Name: Lenina Howatt
Hometown: Manitou, MB

What attracted you to the field of medicine?
It’s cliché, but true: helping others. There are few things that people value over their own health and the health of their loved ones. It is an immense privilege to be a physician and I can’t think of a better field to be in the service of others.

What is your favourite moment from your time at UBC?
I’ll never forget taking the ferry from Horseshoe Bay across Howe Sound, ultimately destined for Sechelt where I completed my Rural Family Medicine rotation. I was absolutely stunned at the beauty of the fjord and overcome with gratitude at being able to live, work, and play in such an epic outdoor paradise.

What is one piece of advice you have for students entering medical school?
Throughout your medical training, you will come to know the importance of having compassion for your patients. This importance cannot be overstated. I would just like to remind you to also have compassion for yourself as you navigate the challenges of medical school. It won’t always be easy – be kind to yourself!

What is one small pleasure that brings you joy?
Watching my 6-month-old kitten, Nala, rip around the house during her evening “zoomies.” She is hilarious and it is such a joy to have her company.

What’s next for you?
I’m beyond excited to soon move to Victoria to complete residency training in Family Medicine!  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Interior, and I can’t wait to continue exploring this amazing province as an Islander. I hope to incorporate Enhanced Rural training into my residency, with a long-term plan of practicing family medicine and growing roots in a small community in BC.

Name:  Lebohang Kolisang
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa (Canadian hometown: Prince George!)

What attracted you to the field of medicine?
I was fortunate to grow up with a physician father who has been one of my biggest role models since I was a child. However, I wasn’t entirely sure I’d pursue medicine until I started my undergraduate degree at UNBC where I was blessed to be part of an incredibly supportive community that really encouraged us to achieve our dreams. During those years I realized medicine would be a wonderful way to combine my love for sciences with my love for people.  I also really enjoyed watching the TV show Scrubs!

What is your favourite moment from your time at UBC?
Oh my goodness, there are far too many. Every single weepers event and celebration after an exam are some of my most precious memories shared with classmates. I also extremely enjoyed our portfolio small group sessions during 3rd and 4th year. They were a wonderful reminder of how we’re all going through this together. Finally, there are countless memories of meaningful interactions with patients during some of the most vulnerable moments of their lives that will stay with me for the rest of mine.

What is one piece of advice you have for students entering medical school?
These next few years are going to fly by. Don’t focus solely on the destination, but be sure to find joy in the journey. Oh, and don’t underestimate the importance of self-care! Be aware of the things that energize and revitalize you and make time for them.

What is one small pleasure that brings you joy?
Playing guitar. I could play for hours and hours and never get bored!

What’s next for you?
Beyond ecstatic to be completing my next chapter of training in Anesthesiology at the University of Calgary.


Name: Kelsey Furk
Hometown: Revelstoke, grew up in Vancouver

What attracted you to the field of medicine? 
The opportunity to connect and contribute in a meaningful way.

What is your favourite moment from your time at UBC?
I really enjoyed the first two years in Kelowna with the great teaching and support staff and a close group of students.

What is one piece of advice you have for students entering medical school? 
Maintain your social connections and the activities that bring you joy. Be prepared to move a lot!

What is one small pleasure that brings you joy?
Spending time in the rainforest with friends.

What’s next for you?
I’m off to Rossland for family medicine residency and hope to return back home to Revelstoke when I am finished.


Compassion can be taught, but the comprehensiveness of such teaching is currently limited.

That’s one of the key findings of Dr. Shane Sinclair, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing and director of the Compassion Research Lab at the University of Calgary, and co-investigator Dr. Amanda Roze des Ordons, Clinical Associate Professor with the Southern Medical Program based at UBC Okanagan.

“Compassion is such an important part of health care, and how best to integrate this teaching into health-professions education has been approached in many different ways,” says Roze des Ordons. “By mapping previous approaches to the compassion model framework, we were able to identify several key gaps.”

The research team used an empirical model of compassion to create a benchmark for what encompasses compassion and assess the comprehensiveness of the teaching content of the training programs reviewed. They found considerable limitations related to how existing programs assessed and reported the impact of training, as most of the programs relied on learner assessments and their perceived improvements in providing compassion to patients.

“We need to mature in our training programs to move beyond simply nurturing feelings of compassion to actually providing health-care practitioners with the tangible, evidence-based clinical skills and behaviours to provide compassion to patients in a more meaningful, robust and sustainable way,” says Sinclair.

The study results suggest that the effectiveness of compassion training needs to primarily be evaluated through patient assessment or patient-reported measures, as they are the ultimate target of compassion training in health care.

“We hope this will help provide evidence-based guidance to educators and practitioners who are seeking ways of advancing how compassion is integrated into the curriculum and patient care,” adds Roze des Ordons.

While Sinclair is encouraged by the emergence of compassion training in universities, he stresses the importance of integrating the training within the health-care system and supporting ongoing education to ensure a lasting impact on health care learners.

The review was recently published in Academic Medicine. An original version of this story is posted on the University of Calgary website.

Congratulations to the Southern Medical Program Class of 2021 who recently celebrated their CaRMS Match Day! Hear from some our soon-to-be MD graduates on where they’re headed next for residency training.

Name: Taiysa Rouault
Residency program: Family Medicine, UBC (Kamloops)

Why did you choose this field of medicine?
I chose family medicine because I love caring for all age groups and the broad scope of medicine you get to encounter in a day. I love the diversity of the field and the lifelong learning you embark on as a family doctor. I look forward to learning and growing with my patients as I support them throughout their lives.

What are you most excited about for the future?
I am excited that I get to continue practicing a broad scope of medicine and the opportunity to train with the amazing doctors in Kamloops again! I am also grateful for the privilege to give back to the community that supported and helped me achieve this milestone.

Name: Derek Dionne
Residency program: Anesthesiology, Queen’s University

Why did you choose this field of medicine?
For me anesthesia is the perfect split of high skill hands-on procedures and applied medicine. The real time data interpreting in the OR definitely satiates my nerdy side and having grown up playing soccer the team approach anesthesiologists take to perioperative care really resonates with me. The cherry on top that we get to take patients’ pain away and that always feels awesome!

What are you most excited about for the future?
I’m definitely excited for the adventure of moving across Canada with my partner for my next step in training. Exploring the East coast, making new friends, surviving a true Canadian winter and buying a house!

Name:  Bhavan Panghali
Residency program: Pediatrics, University of Toronto

Why did you choose this field of medicine?
I was in Mr. Finch’s grade 7 class and he asked everyone to pass around a paper with a classmates’ name at the top and write down one career we think that person would be well suited for. I got my list back and it unanimously said, ‘baby doctor,’ ‘kid doctor’ and ‘doctor that works with kids and babies.’ Over time, I kept finding myself gravitate back to pediatrics. I love the patient population, the people in the field, the medicine and the sense of gratitude.

What are you most excited about for the future?
It’s going to be an adventure to jump into a new medical community and new city and I look forward to the new friends and experiences I’ll experience. More importantly, I’m excited I get to embark on my career of spending days with chubby babies and awkward teenagers.

Name: Blake Birnie
Residency program: Anesthesiology, UBC

Why did you choose this field of medicine?
Anesthesiology provides the perfect combination of acute, cognitively demanding medicine requiring a broad knowledge of physiology, with a strong procedural component that I had been seeking! (may or may not have pasted this from my personal letter)

What are you most excited about for the future?
Moving to Vancouver with my partner after four years of long distance!

Name: Daria Hutchinson
Residency program: Emergency Medicine, UBC (Interior)

Why did you choose this field of medicine?
I love the excitement and variability in EM, and never knowing what you are going to see next! You get to be part of a team and work with so many fantastic healthcare workers, from nurses to paramedics to ED staff and consulting physicians.

What are you most excited about for the future?
Moving back to Kelowna (most of my electives were in Van), starting residency in an area of medicine I love, and getting to know my fellow PGY1s!

An audience of over 120 students, adjudicators, volunteers, and participants attended the virtual 2021 UBC Okanagan Interdisciplinary Student Health Conference on March 9, 2021.

The event was kicked off by an inspiring keynote presentation from Dr. Daryl Wile, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management followed by a full evening of engaging posters and presentations from UBC Okanagan students.

Congratulations to all student presenters, and to the following students on their award-winning posters:

Category: Biomedicine, Drugs and Computational Research
Alexis Genereaux-Guidi, Applied Science
Development of an algorithm to process device-based physical activity and location data to characterize physical activity behaviours

Category: Child and Public Heatlh
Aashka Jani and Larissa Steidle, Medicine
Patient Factors that Influence Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Participation 

Category: Community Health
Rachel Shim, Science
Mediterranean Diet compliance in patients with ulcerative colitis

Category: Rural, Clinical, and Emergency Care
Carley Paterson, Arts and Social Sciences
Being there: Understanding the support systems of adults 50 years and older with mental health concerns who live in a rural community in BC

Category: Student and Social Health
Rebekah Underhill, Health and Social Development; Lucas Standing, Arts and Social Sciences; Thomas Pool, Health and Social Development
Okanagan Overdose Response Project

Category: Virtual and Digital Health
Sarah Park, Medicine
TeleRehabilitation with Aims to Improve Lower extremity recovery post-stroke (TRAIL): Study Protocol

For full posters details, view the 2021 conference program.


On March 11, 2021, Canadian Women in Medicine, a non-profit organization that connects and supports women physicians, invites everyone to celebrate the first ever Canadian Women Physicians’ Day. March 11th was chosen to honour Dr. Jennie Trout, the first woman licensed to practice medicine in Canada.

Meet Dr. Hilary Baikie, an obstetrician-gynecologist based at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.

Tell us a bit about your practice:

I am a general OB-GYN in Kamloops, BC. Native Labradorian lured to BC by progressive moves across the country to enjoy the outdoors! A busy practice keeps me motivated and moving—working closely with a small group of medical students keeps me on my toes!

Words of advice for future women physicians:

Love what you do!


On March 11, 2021, Canadian Women in Medicine, a non-profit organization that connects and supports women physicians, invites everyone to celebrate the first ever Canadian Women Physicians’ Day. March 11th was chosen to honour Dr. Jennie Trout, the first woman licensed to practice medicine in Canada.

Meet Dr. Carmen Larsen, a family physician and Site Director for the Southern Medical Program’s Integrated Community Clerkship in Vernon.

Tell us a bit about your practice:

I am a family doctor with a varied practice of locums, OR assist, corrections medicine, virtual medicine and end-of-life care. As the Site Director in Vernon, I try to not only foster the medical skills and education of the Year 3 students, but also offer an example of creating your own path in medicine that is sustainable and impactful for individuals and families.

Words of advice for future women physicians:

It took me too long to recognize the irreplaceable delight of female mentors and colleagues for laughter, collaboration and even promotion. Do not undervalue the importance of social networks of women to make change and push for equity. Finally, be gentle to yourself for the ups and downs of life, in work and at home. None of us gets it perfect: if you see someone you think is making it look easy, ask her to go for tea or coffee and then get the real story.

Name:  Dr. Travis Thompson, SMP Class of 2016

Tell us about your current practice:

I’m currently working in Oliver and Penticton and spending the majority of my time working in the General Practitioner in Oncology (GPO) role at the Penticton oncology clinic. The rest of my time is spent doing family practice locums in Oliver. I also spend some time providing surgical assistance in the operating room in Penticton.

Fondest memory with the SMP:

All of the people involved with the SMP made the whole experience fantastic. I especially had a great time with the rest of my group from the class of 2016. There are too many good memories to share.

Best words of advice you received during your training:

Spend time actively listening to your patient as this will enhance their overall care.

Dr. Tara Gill has been appointed the new Site Director for the Trail Integrated Community Clerkship (ICC) for the Southern Medical Program (SMP). As part of the leadership transition, Dr. Gill will work alongside the current Site Director Dr. Libby McCoid for the next six months. Dr. Gill is an emergency physician at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) and a Clinical Instructor with the UBC Faculty of Medicine.

Dr. Gill completed her medical degree at the University of Toronto and residency training at UBC and Queen’s University. Since the launch of the Trail ICC in 2011, Dr. Gill has taught extensively with students training at KBRH. She has also served as the Emergency Medicine Rotation Lead for the ICC program and a past Medical Director for the Interior Health Rural Mobile Simulation program. In her new leadership role, Dr. Gill will oversee the education and training of ICC students training at KBRH and within the Greater Trail region. She will also work collaboratively with ICC Site Directors in Vernon and across the province to support the delivery of the ICC program.

The SMP would like to acknowledge Dr. McCoid for her contributions to the SMP over the past ten years. Dr. McCoid served as a key faculty lead in the creation of the Trail ICC and the Site Director for the past four and a half years. In 2019, Dr. McCoid was awarded the UBC Clinical Faculty Award for Excellence in Community Practice Teaching.