Academic Rank:
Clinical Associate Professor, UBC
Head, Division of Hematopathology, BC Children’s Hospital
Short Bio:

Current Positions

  • Regional Medical Leader, Blood Transfusion Medicine
  • Vancouver Coastal Health

Academic background

  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Hematological Pathology. 2003
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Certificate of Special Competence in Hematology. 2001
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Internal Medicine. 2000
  • Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada. 1998
  • MD (with Great Distinction), University of Saskatchewan. 1992-1996
  • Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Saskatchewan. 1990-1992

Research Interest

Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion is a mainstay of treatment for individuals requiring surgery, with traumatic injury, undergoing chemotherapy and with anemia due to bone marrow failure or other medical conditions. Despite this, red cell transfusion has been associated with poorer outcome in many of these patient populations [Hebert, 1999, Villaneuva 2013]. As well, it is a costly treatment and the product is often in short supply due to demands in excess of donor availability. Utilization trends increase year over year on a provincial and national basis, and this is unlikely to change in light of our aging population.

For these reasons, there is interest at all levels of care to ensure that RBC transfusion is undertaken only when necessary; when no other reasonable treatment option is available. My current research focuses on assessing blood transfusion practices and adherence to current recommendations.

Current projects in my lab include:

I am currently supervising a project to audit RBC transfusions administered across various hospitals in Greater Vancouver. We will gauge whether the transfusion was appropriate or inappropriate based on most current guidelines. The cumulative results of the audit will provide information to hospital Transfusion Medicine (TM) leaders, ordering clinicians, hospital executive and the Ministry of Health (MoH), and form a baseline for future RBC Utilization Management (UM) endeavors. This information will have the potential to influence quality outcomes for patients.

Teaching Interest

  • Undergraduate Medical and Post-Graduate training in Transfusion Medicine, Hematology and Hematopathology. [See teaching statement below]
  • Creation, implementation and coordination of a recurring dedicated one-month Transfusion Medicine Rotation for General Pathology, Hematopathology and Hematology Residents, UBC, PATH 704 (0).


Teaching Statement
In my position as Medical Leader for Blood Transfusion Medicine, I have responsibility for all aspects of transfusion within VCH. A major part of achieving quality in transfusion medicine is ensuring that physicians and nurses understand indications for transfusion, correct administration of product, and recognition and management of adverse events. To this end, I teach not only medical students and residents in organized sessions, but practicing physicians and nurses by day to day interactions, and by developing systematic education.

I teach using a combination of didactic lecture and case scenarios. Such an approach allows the physician in-training to process necessary background knowledge around a topic and then apply it in a practical manner. In this way, key points critical for effective hematology or transfusion practices are reiterated. Within the rotations I coordinate or mentor, questions, discussions, and trainee-driven literature reviews and teaching are encouraged. Whenever possible, clinical cases or teaching points are illustrated using photomicrographs or related blood films, bone marrow films, or serologic methods and reactions.

At this time my major focus in undergraduate and post-graduate medical education is transfusion medicine. The majority of my teaching efforts are focused in the hematopathology, general pathology, clinical hematology, anaesthesia, intensive care, and surgery residency program. As a hematopathologist participating in sign-out duties at VGH, I teach residents and medical students around the microscope when I am on service.

I believe in guiding literature-based, and trainee-driven learning toward practical lessons applicable to everyday patient care scenarios.