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Western Canada Addiction Forum

Coming Together.

Building Connections.

Challenging our Differences.

Registration is open for our 2024 Addiction Forum

May 31 to June 1 in Kelowna, BC.

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Delta Grand Okanagan

1310 Water St, Kelowna, BC

Immerse yourself in a lakeside ambiance at Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort. Set on Okanagan Lake and surrounded by picturesque mountains, their urban resort offers stylish hotel rooms and suites with deluxe amenities.

Experience the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort at our event, May 26-27, 2023.

Connecting with Us!

Keep an eye out for our exciting developments!

14

Sessions

20

Speakers

2024 Distinguished Speakers

Chris Anhorn

Peer Support Worker, Alberta Health Services

Chris Anhorn has been working in the mental health and addiction field since 2018. He has worked as a Housing First Coordinator, a Client Care Assistant and currently works as a Peer Support Worker for Alberta Health Services. These roles have included, advocating for clients needs, supporting complex case management, system navigation and building therapeutic rapport. Chris has experienced trauma, addictions, homelessness and recovery. He now utilizes his experiences as a tool to help people find hope on their journey. By openly talking about his struggles and successes, Chris has found his passion to help build up trusting relationships and assist individuals to face their fear and talk freely about themselves.

Dr. Pouya Azar

MD, FRCPC, DABAM

Dr. Pouya Azar is the Head of the Complex Pain and Addiction Service (CPAS), a consult service under the Department of Psychiatry at Vancouver Coastal Health, which provides management of pain, mental health disorders, and substance use disorders across all clinical services at Vancouver General Hospital, UBC Hospital, and GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. He is also the Addiction Lead at Foundry Vancouver Granville, a consulting physician for adolescent addiction medicine at BC Children’s Hospital, a consulting physician for psychiatry and addiction medicine at British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, a consulting physician for the VGH Transitional Pain Clinic and a clinical instructor at the UBC Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Azar’s clinical and translational research focuses on the development of novel opioid agonist therapy initiation protocols.

Dr. George Budd

Pharm.D., FBCCSU, B.Sc. (Pharm)., R.PEBC., R.Ph.

Addiction Medicine Fellowship (British Columbia Centre on Substance Use), Doctor of Pharmacy (Idaho State University), Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Cairo University) George P. Budd, a practicing pharmacist since 1992 from Cairo University, further obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2011 from Idaho State University. He has experience in many different practice settings within the profession such as hospital pharmacy residency, community pharmacy and as a pharmacist-manager in community settings. Former Senior Investigator for the College of Pharmacists of BC (CPBC), and formally a Professional Conduct Review Consultant/Policy Liaison with the BC College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP). Currently a Research Associate at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and a member of the Complex Pain and Addiction Services Team at Vancouver General Hospital. George is on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM), a public member on the Professional Practice Standards at BCCNP, a Past-President of the Western Canada Addiction Society, and a former public representative to the Methadone Panel and the Prescription Review Program at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.

Robert De Clark

MSW

Rob has been passionately working in the inpatient mental health and addiction field since 1999. Starting in Kamloops, BC at the Kiwanis House, Robert worked his way up the ranks as a support worker, admissions coordinator, and finally as a counsellor before leaving to complete his Masters in Social Work at Carleton University in Ottawa. In 2006, Robert came to Vancouver Island to embark on a successful career with Cedars at Cobble Hill, developing and leading the implementation of life changing programs at the centre. For the next 11 years, Robert would lead Cedars as the Clinical Director and eventually as the Vice President of Clinical Services. In 2017, Robert joined Homewood Health in the development and operation of Homewood Ravensview, where he spent his time focused on program and business development. Currently, Robert is Executive Director and founding partner with The Healing Institute At Forbidden Plateau, a new mental health and addiction facility located in the Comox Valley.

Dr. Lisa Graves

MD CCFP (AM) FCFP MClSc

Lisa Graves is a family physician and graduate of the University of Ottawa. She completed her residency in family medicine and enhanced skills training in maternal and child health at McGill University. She maintains an active practice including addictions with a special interest in women, substance use and pregnancy in Northern Ontario. She is an author of over 100 peer-reviewed papers including papers related to substance use and pregnancy/breastfeeding. Her clinical, teaching and research interests include medical education, maternal/child health and vulnerable populations. She is currently professor of Family and Community Medicine at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine in Kalamazoo Michigan.

Dr. Martha Ignaszewski

MD, FRCPC

Dr. Ignaszewski is a Harvard and UCSF trained psychiatrist with board certification in Adult, Addiction, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Canada and the USA. She is the Senior Medical Director of Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders and the Clinical Lead of the Substance Use Response and Facilitation (SURF) Service at BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital, and works as the Education Lead and Consulting Psychiatrist with the Complex Pain and Addiction Service (CPAS) at Vancouver General Hospital. She is also an early career researcher and a Research Scientist Co-Lead of the Substance Use Disorder Clinical Research Unit at the Hope to Health Research & Innovation Complex with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. Dr. Ignaszewski is passionate about medical education and working with learners across the educational spectrum. Reducing the stigma of addiction and psychiatric conditions, and providing an understanding about the developmental perspective and impacts of social determinants of health on substance use disorders, and the intersection between addiction and concurrent disorders are areas of focus with learners and clinically. Dr. Ignaszewski possesses a background in clinical excellence and research and has held many leadership positions including past roles with the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). She has received many awards in recognition of her work including the inaugural WCAF Early Career Leadership Award in Opioid Use Disorder and is thrilled to be joining the WCAF Planning Committee, and previously has been awarded the ASAM Ruth Fox Scholarship Award, the AACAP Educational Outreach Program Award for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residents and the Stuart J. Goldman Psychiatry Education Award, among others. Dr. Ignaszewski has been a speaker at national conferences including the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, the California Society of Addiction Medicine, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Meeting, and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, and served on the Scientific Program Committee for the 2020 Virtual Annual Conference. She has authored 33 peer reviewed publications and abstracts in notable journals.​

Conor King

Law Enforcement Veteran

Inspector Conor King is a twenty-five-year veteran of law enforcement and is currently the officer-in-charge of the Victoria Police Department’s Investigative Services Division. He specializes in drug investigations, addiction issues and the intersection of Public Safety and Public Health. King has worked extensively in Major Crime policing and covert operations including criminal intelligence, surveillance and undercover operations. In 2013 King was one of the first officers to detect fentanyl in the illicit drug supply, in what became North America’s Overdose Crisis. Seeing the need for alternate solutions to stop overdose deaths he partnered his agency with experts in mental health and addiction medicine. King has been qualified as an expert witness in the Provincial and Supreme Court of British Columbia on the trafficking of heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, oxycodone, cannabis, MDMA, Psilocybin, methamphetamine, LSD and GHB. For 15 years King has been an educator in the police and medical community, teaching at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, Canadian Police College and for the Canada Border Services Agency and BC Coroner Service. He’s been a guest lecturer for the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, Faculty of Medicine, and Faculty of Psychiatry, as well as the British Columbia College of Pharmacists. In 2023 the Governor General of Canada inducted King as a member of the Order of Merit of Police Forces for exceptional service and performance of duty for his contribution to the police profession and community wellness.

Dr. Morris Markentin

M.D., CCFP (AM), FCFP

Dr. Markentin is a Family Physician graduated from the University of Saskatchewan. Practiced 15 years in rural Saskatchewan then transitioned to inner – city clinic and addictions. Currently working at the Westside Community Clinic and the Opiate Agonist Therapy Clinic on Saskatoon. Currently the medical manager for the Opiate Agonist Therapy Program for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Nick Mathew

MD, ABPN, FRCPC

Dr. Mathew completed an addiction psychiatry fellowship at Yale University and a forensic psychiatry fellowship at the University of British Columbia. He is board certified in addiction psychiatry, addiction medicine and forensic psychiatry. He is a clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia. All opinions expressed are his own and not affiliated to any organization.

Dr. Annabel Mead

MBBS, FAChAM, DABAM

Physician (Specialist in Addiction Medicine)

Practicing addiction medicine for over 20 years with expertise in women’s health, concurrent psychiatric disorders and pain management. She is a Fellow of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine, a diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine and Clinical Assistant Professor, UBC. Dr. Mead has worked in many community, inpatient and outpatient treatment settings in Vancouver. These include the Addiction Medicine Consult Service at St Paul’s Hospital and New Dawn Recovery House. She holds the positions of Senior Medical Director, Mental Health and Substance Use, BC Women’s Hospital; Medical Director for BC Correctional Health Services and is the medical lead for the BC Provincial Perinatal Substance Use program.

Jean-Paul Michael

Addiction Case Manager Emergency Room, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto

Jean-Paul Michael serves as an Addiction Case Manager in the Emergency Department at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, applying a harm reduction philosophy to his practice. Before dedicating himself to addiction medicine, Jean-Paul experienced two decades in the depths of his own addiction, primarily as an intravenous drug user. These experiences deeply inform both his professional role and advocacy efforts today. As a Policy Consultant, he advises various national organizations on healthcare reform and social welfare. He also co-hosts 'Captain Hooked: The Addiction Project,' a podcast aimed at dismantling the stigma associated with addiction. With a unique combination of professional expertise and personal history, Jean-Paul passionately advocates for reducing stigma and empowering individuals on their paths to recovery. He is also proud to serve on the Board of Directors for Fife House, actively contributing to the creation of more inclusive and supportive communities.

Dr. Julio S. G. Montaner

OC, OBC, MD, DSc (Hon), FRCPC, FCCP, FACP, FCAHS, FRCP,
FRSC

A Killam Professor, of Medicine, at the University of British Columbia, the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS’ Executive Director and Physician-in-Chief, and the Head of HIV/AIDS, at St. Paul's Hospital, Providence Health Care. Julio is widely recognized as one of the fathers of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which has proven to be exquisitely effective to prevent AIDS and premature death. For his work in this area, The Lancet named him the “King of HAART”. In 2006, he went on to pioneer the notion that HAART also stops HIV transmission. He coined the term “Treatment as Prevention” (TasP), to convey the triple benefit of HAART to stop; 1) progression to AIDS, 2) AIDS deaths, and 3) HIV transmission. In 2015, his TasP-inspired 90-90-90 by 2020 Target was formally endorsed by the UN in 2015, and subsequently his 95-95-95 by 2025 Target was endorsed by the UN in 2021 as the global strategy to “End AIDS as a Pandemic”. Currently, Julio has expanded his efforts to adapt TasP to optimize and accelerate the control of other impactful contagious diseases (including infectious diseases [i.e.: HCV], as well as socially contagious diseases [i.e.: type II Diabetes, COPD, opioid use]), with the ultimate goal to enhance Health Care Sustainability.

Chris Primeau

CEO of Impact Society

Christopher Primeau, CEO of Impact Society, is a distinguished leader in program development and organizational leadership, specializing in the charity and education sectors. With extensive domestic and international experience, Christopher excels in creating and implementing evidence-based youth programs. His work, significantly contributing to the field of resilience, mental health, and well-being education, has been published in renowned academic journals. Currently, Christopher is working with Dr David Nordstokke at the Werklund School of Education on a longitudinal study investigating the long-term increase in resilience among youth participating in the Impact Society's Heroes program. This pivotal research is anticipated to be published soon. And the results of the 4th data point are discussed in this presentation. As a renowned public speaker and thought leader, Christopher offers valuable insights drawn from his extensive research and expertise in youth development and long-term mental health. His profound understanding of addiction and long-term recovery outcomes uniquely positions him to address the challenges faced by our medical professionals and addiction support programs.

Reza Rafizadeh

BSc Pharm, ACPR, BCPP, PhDCan, RPh

A Clinical Pharmacy Specialist for BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services. He performs translational research and offers clinical pharmacy services, training, and consultation at Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, and BC Psychosis Program. He co-chairs the Annual BC Pacific Psychopharmacology Conference and is an organizing committee member at the monthly BC Psychosis Program Educational Rounds.Reza received his pharmacy degree at UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2012. In 2013, he finished his residency in clinical pharmacy practice with Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services and completed a Psychiatry Pharmacy Specialty Certification in 2016. He is currently a PhD candidate in the UBC Department of Experimental Medicine, Faculty of medicine. The use of clozapine in people with co-occurring substance use disorders and schizophrenia spectrum disorders is the topic of his thesis.

Dr. Paul Sobey

MD CCFP(AM), Chief Program Officer

My background is in Family Practice. I completed fellowship training in Addiction Medicine at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University in 1999. Since this time, I have focused my practice on the treatment of patients with addictions. I have had the honour and opportunity to work extensively in educational, residential treatment, hospital and correctional facility settings, as well as medical-legal, occupational, hospital and administrative roles. I am a past President of the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine, the nationally representative organization for physicians and allied healthcare professionals providing healthcare services for people with addictions. Given I am a person in long term recovery, my practice has always had a recovery medicine focus, assisting people in finding pathways of recovery. In December 2022, two colleagues and I formed ROSC Solutions Group. After a competitive bid process, we were awarded several healthcare contracts by the Government of Alberta. The contract’s scope of work is focused on supporting Alberta’s Recovery Oriented System of Care in addressing addiction and mental health challenges.

Dr. Rob Tanguay

BSc (Hons), MD, FRCPC, CISAM, CCSAM 

A psychiatrist who completed two fellowships, one in Addiction Medicine and Pain Medicine. He is a clinical assistant professor with the departments of Psychiatry and Surgery at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Dr. Tanguay is the co-founder, developer, and Chief Medical Officer, at The Newly Institute, a rehabilitation and return to work program dedicated to providing medical and psychological intervention for people living with mental health disorders such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction, and chronic pain with evidence-based psychotherapy and trauma-focused therapy. He is the co-chair of the internationally recognized Alberta Pain Strategy and helps lead the Alberta Virtual Pain Program implementation. He is the founder of the Opioid Deprescribing Program with AHS, the Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Community Clinic with AHS, and the Transitional Outpatient Pain Program for Spine (TOPPS) clinics with the University of Calgary and is renowned for his innovation in creating clinical programs for complex chronic medical and psychiatric illnesses. He was also the Provincial Medical Lead for Addiction Education for Alberta Health Services (AHS) where he helped develop award winning CME programs for physicians and health care practitioners. Dr. Tanguay has been recognized for his work and is the 2021 Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada recipient of the Early Career Leadership Award, was inducted into the University of Lethbridge Alumni Honour Society, and is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal. Dr. Tanguay is member of the Calgary Police Commission, recently appointed for a 3-year term. He is the Co-Chair of the Western Canadian Addiction Forum and director of the Canadian Addiction Counsel. Dr. Tanguay has been heavily involved in health policy including helping to lead the Alberta Psychedelic Legislative Committee and the Alberta Safe Supply Legislative Committee. He is a member of the Alberta Recovery Expert Advisory Panel leading the implementation of the Recovery Orientated System of Care. He is a member of the Public Health Emergencies Governance Review Panel for the Government of Alberta and was a member of the Supervised Consumption Review Committee. He also sits on the Policy Committee for the Canadian Society of Addiction medicine (CSAM). Academically, he is involved in research in trauma, addiction, chronic pain, opioids, cannabis, and psychedelics and is a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education at the University of Calgary.

Amanda Staller

TLU Counsellor

Amanda Staller recently joined ROSC as a TLU counselor. Ms. Staller is Certified by the Canadian Addiction Counselors Certification (CACCF) as an Addiction Counselor. She received her Addictions and Community Support Worker diploma from Vancouver Career College. Ms Staller is also a two -timed published author of Mothers Mothering and Sex Trade and Releasing Hope. Amanda has over a decade of experience working with men and women in addiction from the frontlines to facilitating groups and in community events through a trauma informed lens. Amanda Staller was the recipient of the Courage to Come Back Award 2020 in the addiction category. She is a passionate advocate that recovery is possible for anyone and should be the expected outcome.

Dr. Wiplove Lamba

MD, FRCPC, ISAM (C)

Wiplove Lamba is a US board certified Addiction Medicine Physician and Psychiatrist. He has worked in several organizations to help build, develop and maintain inpatient and outpatient concurrent disorders care. He can provide the following psychotherapies to patients including motivational interviewing, dialectical behaviour therapy, cognitive processing therapy, Community reinforcement approach (and family training), pain reprocessing therapy and emotional awareness and expression therapy. His primary career goal for the past decade has been trying to make addiction medicine a general medical skills, and he has done that through the leading the development and delivery or ECHO AMPI as well as leading over 100 workshops at the local, provincial and national level. Now, his biggest concern is the divide between addiction medicine and psychiatry as is reflected by the divergence in clinical care and treatment guidelines. He hopes to help bridge that gap through dialogue with colleagues and involvement with organizations like the Canadian Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

Speaker Presentation Resources

Resources are submitted at the discretion of the speaker.  If you find a presentation particularly fascinating, ask your conference team and we will request resources and update this section.

Recognizing Trauma and Meaningful Conversations

Methamphetamine-induced Psychosis

Dr. Julius Elefante

Click here for Presentation

Vaping: Curse or Cure?

Dr. Milan Khara

Click here for Presentation

Complex Pain and Substance Use

Launette Rieb

Click here for Presentation

Approach to Trauma History in Primary Care

A Balanced Approach: How Harm Reduction and Recovery Services Work Together to Provide a Person-Centered Mental Health and Substance Use system

Keir Macdonald

Click here for Presentation

Trauma

Dr. Rob Tanguay

Click here for Presentation

Addiction Care in Corrections

Dr. Annabel Mead

Click here for Presentation

Getting to the Forum

The Delta Grand Okanagan

Immerse yourself at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort  surrounded by picturesque mountains, offering hotel rooms and suites with deluxe amenities*.  Hotel booking closes on April 30th, 2024.

​* Please be advised, accommodation is subject to a $30 resort fee per day plus associated taxes.  This fee will cover several amenities which at this time include: Wifi, Resort Equipment (including bikes, kayaks, peddle boats, and paddle boards), Wine Tastings, Restaurant vouchers, and more. Covered amenities are subject to change without notice.

The Agenda

Our event describes current treatment approaches to co-occurring mental health conditions in a range of substance use disorders.
Attendees will employ new skills for addressing co-morbidities in the setting of addiction and compare innovative, best-practice treatments for substance use in special populations.

See who is helping us make a difference.

2024 Exhibitors

Our Planning Committee

Dr. Rob Tanguay

Conference Co-Chair
BSc (Hons), MD, FRCPC, CISAM, CCSAM
Calgary, Alberta

Dr. Annabel Mead

Conference Co-Chair
MBBS, FAChAM, DABAM
Vancouver, British Columbia

Dr. George Budd

PharmD, FBCCSU, B.Sc.(Pharm), RPEBC, R.Ph
Vancouver, British Columbia

Robert De Clark

MSW
Victoria, British Columbia

Joan Hollihan

B.Comm
Calgary, Alberta

Dr. Martha Ignaszewski

MD, FRCPC

Vancouver, British Columbia

Dr. Morris Markentin

MD, CCFP (AM), FCFP
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Platinum

Bronze

Bronze

Bronze

Bronze

Platinum

Not for Profit

Bronze

Not for Profit

Bronze

Reconciliation Comes First

The Western Canada Addiction Forum would like to acknowledge the land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Syilx (Okanagan) Peoples. The Syilx Okanagan Nation and their peoples have taken care of their homelands for thousands of years.

 

WCAF is respectful of the Syilx Okanagan Nation and their peoples, their knowledge, language, and history, as well as their ongoing relationship to the land and natural world.

In 2023, WCAF has made a donation to The Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society to support them in achieving their mission to provide for the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of all peoples through the development of community-based services.

Speaker Presentation Resources

Resources are submitted at the discretion of the speaker.  If you find a presentation particularly fascinating, ask your conference team and we will request resources and update this section.

Recognizing Trauma and Meaningful Conversations

Methamphetamine-induced Psychosis

Dr. Julius Elefante

Click here for Presentation

Vaping: Curse or Cure?

Complex Pain and Substance Use

Dr. Launette Rieb

Click here for Presentation

Trauma

A Balanced Approach: How Harm Reduction and Recovery Services Work Together to Provide a Person-Centered Mental Health and Substance Use System

Approach to taking a Trauma History in Primary Care

2

conference days

25

speakers

14

hours of education

Contact Us

We'll be in contact soon!

Recovery Redefined

Where

Delta Grand Okanagan

Kelowna, BC

When

May 31 - June 1 2024

PAUL BRANDT, Our 2023 Keynote.

Paul Brandt is the Founder of #NotInMyCity, one of Canada’s leading initiatives combatting Human Trafficking, as well as the former Premier appointed Chair of the Alberta Human Trafficking Task Force.

​Country Music Hall of Fame Member Paul Brandt weaves in storytelling along with his hit songs to lead audiences to a deeper understanding of one of Canada’s fasted growing crimes.  He will speak about the Progressive Nature of Vulnerability and how Human Trafficking, Mental Health & Addictions, and Housing Insecurity among other influencing factors, can lead to an increased risk to individuals of being trafficked.

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