Board Members & Operations

Kim Duffus

Kim has had the pleasure of directing the delivery of health care services in the community since relocating from Saskatchewan in 1984. She has a Masters in Nursing (UVic) and a certificate in Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (UVic)). She has been fortunate to have positions where she could lead the delivery of community health care services through several non-profit organizations. A majority of her work has been with community services to seniors (home care and residential),community programs, and residential programs for individuals impacted by mental health challenges. Personal experience has reinforced the value of mindfulness, meditation and self care in maintaining physical and mental health. She wishes to contribute to BCALM to share this with others. Kim and her husband have two grown sons and two wonderful grandsons whom they are fortunate to have living in Victoria. Kim enjoys gardening and cooking.

Claudia Fabbri PhD

Claudia is passionate about helping others and making a difference in the community.  She is an advocate for mindfulness and meditation and joined the BCALM Board in 2017.  Claudia holds numerous University degrees including a Ph.D. in Politics and International Studies.  Upon completion of her studies, she embarked on a career in the public sector and gained extensive experience in the workings of government, international and intergovernmental relations, business improvement and performance.  She has also gained extensive experience in the not-for-profit world. She is a certified Lean/Six Sigma Green Belt and committed to continuous improvement.  She speaks four languages and enjoys all things international (her love of learning and appreciation for other cultures have taken her to over 45 countries).  

Jane Gair PhD

Jane is a tenured Teaching Professor at UVIC in the Island Medical Program, a distributed site of the University of British Columbia’s medical school. She is a trained medical geneticist and has a strong interest in medical education research, mindfulness and medication practices in education, and improving the learner experience in medicine. She has a daily meditation practice and spends her time doing yoga, rock climbing, and hiking.

Kathryn Le Gros

Kathryn brings 30 years of experience leading strategic planning, board development, policy development, change, projects, communications, marketing and business development in not-for-profit, business and institutional settings. Her inclusive style leads to sustainable success beyond her involvement.

Alison Mackenzie

Alison is a recent arrival to Vancouver Island, after working overseas for five years.  She has an undergraduate degree in Business and a Master’s degree in Comparative Social Policy.  She brings to the Board over 12 years of experience in strategic HR in the Canadian Federal Government, the UK Civil Service and currently the BC Provincial Government. Her interest in employee well-being is one of the reasons that BCALM appealed to her.  She is also a promoter of meditation and mindfulness, as practicing it has positively impacted her own life.  When she is not working, you can find Alison exploring Victoria’s many beaches and local restaurants, or spending time with her cat.  

Eslam (Essie) Mehina

Essie is a PhD candidate in the Division of Medical Sciences at the University of Victoria. Essie joined the BCALM team as a board member in 2020 and is thrilled to support BCALM’s mission to embed mindfulness in schools and to enhance accessibility of crucial mindfulness resources for students. In addition to having served as an elected representative at all levels of university governance, she also holds an M.Sc. and B.Sc. from the University of Calgary. Essie enjoys cycling, woodworking, and gardening in her backyard in Victoria, BC.

Tegan Neal

Tegan is a passionate HR professional and Certified Executive Coach focused on helping leaders realize their potential, and understand the impact they have on the world around them. She believes in the importance of sharing and integrating mindfulness principles in her work with others to encourage greater self-awareness and personal effectiveness.  Through health challenges, Tegan discovered the profound difference mindfulness and meditation can have on healing the body, mind and spirit. Her daily practice allows her to maintain a calm, grounded and positive presence.  Tegan is dedicated to making a positive difference in the community and helping individuals and organizations succeed. Tegan is an avid reader and life-long learner, and enjoys an active lifestyle in Victoria, BC. 

Facilitators & Staff

Fraser Black MD CCFP (PC), FCFP

Fraser is a Family Physician and Clinical Professor with the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia. He is currently the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs with the undergraduate medical program in Victoria and continues to practice Family Medicine primarily in the areas of inner-city medicine and hospice/palliative care. He has practiced palliative care over the last 18 years providing care to both adults and children including Canuck Place in Vancouver, which at the time was the first children’s hospice in North America. He is the Associate Director of the PAX (Palliative Access Program) of the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) and has been involved with palliative care initiatives in many countries including Nepal, India, Tanzania and Brazil. He has authored many journal articles and been an editor and contributing author to multiple palliative care textbooks. He also underwent training through Duke University and since 2012 is a certified Integrative Health Coach. He helps to move people towards satisfying and healthy lifestyles by using innovative and practical strategies to help people clarify what they want, explore options, enhance personal accountability and take action for optimal health. He was first introduced to meditation by a nurse working on a palliative care unit soon after finishing residency and believes it to be an integral part of his ability to continue to work in the area of hospice and palliative care as well as inner-city medicine. He is excited to be a member of the BCALM team and to share and further explore meditation and mindfulness as a facilitator with the Art of Living Mindfully courses offered through BCALM.

Jennifer Cortez MD

Jennifer is a family physician in Comox BC, where she has been practicing for twenty years.  She discovered mindfulness meditation early in her career, and continues to enjoy profound personal healing and growth as a result of the practice.  After wishing for many years to share this practice with her patients, she was fortunate to train with BCALM in 2018; since then she has been offering Art of Living Mindfully classes in the Comox Valley.  Prior to entering medicine, Jennifer studied International Relations at UBC and Oxford, and she maintains an interest in international affairs and social justice. In her spare time Jennifer enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, especially hiking and sailing. 

Jane Dawe

Jane’s medical career spans 35+ years and has seen her in many rewarding positions of health services delivery. After providing administrative expertise for many years, she began working with Dr Mark Sherman in 2010, and has assisted in redesigning and creating The Art of Living Mindfully. Jane has welcomed meditation and mindfulness into her life and continues to see positive changes on a daily basis. Family connections mean a lot and her daughter and granddaughter are a continual source of pride, joy and love.

Ocean Lum BSc MA RCC

Ocean is passionate about the Body-Mind-Spirit continuum.  She holds a BSc in Nutrition and Biochemistry and a  Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology. Ocean is a Registered clinical Counsellor in private practice. She specializes in a holistic approach to  anxiety, depression and trauma by integrating talk therapy, somatic practices and yogic principles. She is ardent about helping  distressed couples with  Emotionally Focused Therapy. In addition, Ocean is a Yoga teacher and a Yoga therapist.  While she loves all aspects of Yoga, she is particularly drawn to the psycho-spiritual aspects of Yoga. She has been teaching Yoga since 2002. Out of curiosity, Ocean began meditating in 1990. She  became earnest in her practice while going through a painful divorce. She has been practicing  and studying Buddhist mediation since 2001.  She has studied and practiced with the Dalai Lama, Jack Kornfield, the 17th Karmapa, Rick Hanson, Will Kabat-Zinn and Howard Cohn. Ocean is profoundly  grateful for the practice of meditation. The practice  continues to afford greater degrees of freedom, joy and peace amidst the frantic pace of 21st century living.  Consequently she is passionate about sharing the gifts of meditation and has been facilitating meditation since 2002. Ocean is excited to be a part of the BCALM team. Given Ocean’s love of science and mysticism, her clinical interests are eclectic. She is fascinated with the confluence of neuroscience  and mindfulness practice;  the deep healing of Nature-based therapies; the power of ritual and rites of passages ceremonies and quantum physics. When not on retreat, Ocean loves to dance, swim, hike and sing. She has a love /hate relationship with Ikebana. Ocean is grateful to be living and working on unceded Coast Salish territory.

Janice McLaughlin MD

Janice is a Family Physician working in Courtenay, BC. After graduating from the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine in 1990, she practiced in communities across the country including Greater Vancouver, Halifax, Northwest Territories and Vancouver Island. She enjoys the diversity and range of experience that comes with family medicine. Over the years her practice has included working in emergency medicine, pre-natal/maternal care and child medicine. For the past several years, Janice has broadened her scope of practice and has been a key leader in the area of child/youth mental health and addictions. She has served on the leadership team of a community-based youth mental health initiative that brings together medical and community professionals to make a difference for children and youth in the Comox Valley. While Janice began the pursuit of a contemplative practice in her mid twenties, her focus has become more centered in this area over the past 8 years. During this time she has expanded her outlook and has incorporated the practice of mindfulness meditation into her daily work and life; she has seen first hand the benefit of mindful self compassion and care. Janice took her first workshop with BCALM in 2016 and has been motivated to share the gift of mindfulness and self compassion with others. She completed training as an ALM facilitator in 2017 and has been facilitating mindfulness workshops in the Comox Valley since January 2018.  She lends her time to causes that support the needs of children, youth, and mental health awareness. Since 1995, she has called Vancouver Island home with her husband and family. An avid cyclist and outdoor enthusiast, Janice has found that mindfulness allows her to be fully present in all experiences of life.

Anne Nguyen MD

Anne graduated from McMaster University Medical School in 2008 and obtained her Canadian College of Family Physicians certification through the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in 2011. She then worked as a rural family physician in Sioux Lookout, Ontario between 2011-2015. Since 2015, Anne has worked in Inner City and Addictions Medicine in Victoria, BC.  She is the founder of Victoria Inner City COVID Response (VICCR) and supports policy and program development for Inner City COVID Response in Victoria and across Vancouver Island through her work with the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

Mark Sherman MDCM CCFP
Executive Director and Facilitator

Mark is a family physician in Victoria, British Columbia, and is the founder and Executive Director of the BC Association for Living Mindfully (BCALM). Mark attended McGill University for his medical training and then UBC for his postgraduate Family Medicine residency. Mark has formal postgraduate training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Clinical Hypnosis, Yoga, Medical Acupuncture and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Mark’s passion and principle clinical interests lie in mind-body medicine and in the use and potential of mindfulness and meditation helping people navigate the negative effects of stress in their lives. Grounded in his personal practice and his formal clinical trainings, Mark has been offering and facilitating courses, workshops and presentations in Mindfulness Based Stress Management (MBSM) for over 14 years to patients, physicians, students and educators throughout BC. He has facilitated over 100 MBSM courses to over 1700 referred patients, and is a frequent speaker on mindfulness at conferences and professional development events throughout BC. Given the significant impact of stress on physicians and other health care providers, Mark has turned his attention to assisting his physician colleagues in bringing greater mindfulness into their personal and professional lives through the offering of Mindfulness in Medicine workshops and courses. Mark lives in Saanichton, BC with his wife and two young children who are his constant inspiration and teachers in mindfulness.

Trish Snozyk MD CCFP

Trish is a Family Physician, with an interest in the mind body connection as it relates to restoring health and revitalizing well-being. She believes that what makes people optimally healthy is not found in a pill or in a procedure (although these may be necessary!) but ultimately comes from their attitudes and their emotional resilience. She absolutely believes that wellness can be learned! Her practice is an eclectic one including technical surgical work as an assist on the Open Heart Surgical Team at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, as well as an office practice devoted to the exploration and treatment of metabolic issues such as obesity, diabetes and PCOS. In addition, she teaches people mindfulness skills and mental health tools that revitalize their emotional fitness and improve their lives. Trish graduated from the University of Calgary in 1991 and worked in Alberta, British Columbia, and the Middle East before settling in Victoria in 2010. She has had a contemplative practice since her teens and has used hypnosis and CBT interventions with her patients for years but only began teaching Mindfulness to patients in a formal way in 2013. Having spent years in the one on one space of a family practice office, she is now delighted to facilitate and learn from the richness of the group process.

Krista Stogryn MD

Krista is a family physician based in Saanich, BC. She completed her Family Medicine training with a specialized focus in Indigenous Health at the University of British Columbia in 2007. Since that time she has primarily practiced as a family physician in First Nations communities on the west coast of BC. Krista sat her first Vipassana meditation retreat in 2004, after a particularly trying time in her training opened the door to her healing journey. Inspired by an early teacher, she learned to bring this lens of mindfulness into her work with patients. Later, living and learning in First Nations communities, Krista’s worldview and helping approach was further transformed by land base healing practices founded in ‘All My Relations’. Her personal practice continues to embrace these influences bringing inspiration, growth, and resilience to her life, and all that she shares with patients. Krista currently works as part of a team providing primary care with the W̱’SÁNEĆ First Nations, and the New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community with Our Place Society, where she maintains a strong focus in the treatment of mental health issues, addictions, and chronic illness complicated by complex trauma. She holds a Clinical Instructor position at the University of British Columbia and enjoys sharing her approach and experiences with young learners.

Caren Zilber-Shlensky MD

Caren is a US-trained Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) whose professional specialization is in Family Medicine. After receiving her medical degree at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, she completed the University of California, San Francisco-affiliated three-year allopathic (MD) Family Medicine residency in Santa Rosa, California. In 2009 she became the first Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine to receive full licensure for general practice from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia. Caren was attracted initially to Osteopathic Medicine’s emphasis on the interconnection between all parts of the body, the mind and the spirit, which comprise an integral whole with inherent self-healing properties. This concept of a mind-body continuum appeals to Caren, a dancer throughout her life who was introduced to meditation in the 1980s. As a very young woman, she learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) and then received individual instruction from Narayan Liebenson, one of the guiding teachers of the Insight Meditation Society and Cambridge Insight Meditation Center in Massachusetts. Caren’s undergraduate concentration in Anthropology at Brown University lead her to study abroad in Indonesia and Thailand where she had further exposure to meditative practices. She also came to appreciate the lens of culture on people’s perception and experience of health and illness. As a physician, she embraces this whole-person orientation in her family medicine and is delighted now to be facilitating the Art of Living Mindfully course. In addition to her daily meditation practice, Caren cultivates mindfulness in balancing her work as a physician with mothering her two young children. She continues to love dancing as well as hiking, cooking, speaking a variety of languages and enjoying the gifts of art and literature with her English professor spouse