Staff / Contact UsRick Hansen Institute Blusson Spinal Cord Centre6400 - 818 West 10th AvenueVancouver, BC V5Z 1M9 CANADA Charitable Registration Number: 819755299RR0001
Senior Management Team
Bill Barrable – Chief Executive Officer
Bill Barrable has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Rick Hansen Institute since January 2010. Bill was the Chief Executive of BC Transplant from 1994 to 2009, during which time it was honoured with the Canada Award for Excellence from the National Quality Institute. In 2001 he became the founding Chair of the Board of Directors of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. In 2008 he co-founded Natalus Life Science Capital (VCC) Inc., an angel fund which invests in BC Biotechnology startup companies.
At BC Transplant he led the creation of the first online digital signature organ donor registry in partnership with a BC company, Recombo Incorporated. He also championed the passage of legislation which enshrined the rights of organ donors into the Human Tissue & Gift Act of BC.
He has been a member of numerous governing boards of various kinds and holds a BA from Queen’s University, and a Master of Health Science from the University of Toronto. In 2010, he received the alumni leadership award from the University of Toronto’s Society of Graduates in Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. He was previously named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40.
Catherine Ruby, CPA CA – Chief Financial Officer
Catherine is a results-oriented professional with expertise in not-for-profit, research and healthcare organizations. Catherine leads the finance teams at both the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Rick Hansen Institute. She provides strategic financial leadership and is responsible for overseeing all financial aspects of the organizations including financial planning, accounting, reporting and accountability.
Most recently Catherine was the Director of Finance for Rick Hansen Institute where she established a finance function in a start-up, fund-constrained organization. Prior to that, she was an Audit Manager with KPMG LLP, where her clients included not-for-profit organizations, health authorities and large private companies.
Phalgun Joshi, PhD – Managing Director, Program Operations & Support
As Managing Director of the Rick Hansen Institute’s Program Operations and Support, Phalgun Joshi is responsible for the overall planning, operations, reporting, performance evaluation and regulatory compliance of all translational research and best practice activities at RHI. Phalgun received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of British Columbia and has published in diverse areas including genomics, gene therapy, drug discovery and parasitology. Prior to joining RHI, Phalgun was Director of Western Operations for PharmEng Technology, an international consulting company providing regulatory compliance and strategic planning services to clients in the health care and life science industries. At PharmEng, Phalgun held primary responsibility for business development, operations and management of regulatory compliance projects in Canada, US, South America, Asia, Europe and Africa.
Vanessa K Noonan, MSc PhD PT – Director, Research & Best Practice Implementation
Dr. Vanessa Noonan is a physical therapist and the focus of her research and clinical practice has been in the area of spinal cord injury. Clinically, she has practiced in both the SCI acute and rehabilitation settings. Her research examines processes and outcomes of care following SCI rehabilitation, with the goal of moving research into practice and creating standards of care.
Vanessa obtained her PhD from the UBC School of Population and Public Health in 2009. Her doctoral thesis examined measures of participation in persons with SCI that are based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) model. She later received a post-doctoral fellowship award from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and had the opportunity to work with the NIH-sponsored project PROMIS (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System) at the University of Washington.
As Director of Research & Best Practice Implementation, Vanessa is responsible for leading translational research and best practice implementation projects at the Rick Hansen Institute. She has been actively involved with the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry since it started in 2002 and co-led the development of a new community follow-up questionnaire for the Registry. In addition, she is part of the International SCI Data Set Committee, which has overseen the development of 16 data sets that are used internationally. Vanessa is also currently a co-investigator on the Access to Care and Timing project, which is examining the provision of care for persons with SCI in 12 Canadian centres, spanning seven provinces.
Pamela Berg, PhD – Director, Resource & Policy Development
Pamela Berg has held a number of roles at the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) and Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF), since 2008. She has focused on Resource Development for RHI since 2010, specializing in Government Relations. Her current role emphasizes the development of partnerships with various organizations, including governments, health research foundations, universities, and private donors.
Pamela started her career in the spinal cord injury field as a Rehabilitation Counsellor at SCI-BC. At RHI and RHF, she has served as Director of Community Partnerships, Senior Manager of Provincial/Territorial Partnerships, and Manager of Government Relations.
In her first career as a chemist, Pamela held research and engineering positions in the petrochemical and laser manufacturing industries.
Pamela holds a PhD in Chemical Physics from the University of Waterloo, where she was awarded the Alumni Gold Medal for academic excellence. She also holds a Social Work degree from UBC.
Penny Clarke-Richardson, BA, MBA – Director, Strategic Implementation, BSCC Partnerships
Penny Clarke-Richardson is an operational leader with over 25 years’ experience in both private and public sectors, including healthcare education, delivery and research, and meeting management. Recent experience focusses on transformational change implementation, IT integration, and safety and quality assurance in the context of system redesign and network development. Expertise in developing goal-oriented, collaborative teams and building consensus in complex, multi-disciplinary environments.
Rob Hickling – Director, Information Technology
Rob Hickling leads the Information Technology team at the Rick Hansen Institute with initiatives in several areas — software development, network infrastructure, secure web server operations, and secure data management. He has over 25 years IT industry experience in many different environments, with a primary focus in software development. Previously Rob was with Thomson Reuters (Corporate Treasury), Aeroinfo Systems (a division of Boeing Canada), PricewaterhouseCoopers eBusiness Consulting, Rewardstream (Customer Loyalty Services), Microsoft, Canadian Airlines International, and self-employed with clients such as Unocal Oil Southeast Asia, Geographics, and the Canadian Reference Laboratory.
Marianne Lowe, CHRP – Director, Human Resources
Marianne Lowe currently serves as Director of Human Resources for both the Rick Hansen Institute and Rick Hansen Foundation and is responsible for designing and implementing all aspects of the Institute’s and Foundation's human resources and operational policies and procedures. Marianne has a Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Development, from the Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia, and more than 15 years of experience in human resources, communications, and event coordination. Prior to her current role, Marianne worked at the Rick Hansen Foundation as Manager of Special Projects and Contracts, where she oversaw the design and construction of a 14,000 square foot office space, and previously, was the Manager of Volunteer Relations, where she managed programs and staff to support annual fundraising events across Canada including strategy development and implementation of the Rick Hansen Ambassador Program.
Daniel Rogers – Associate Director, Clinical Research Operations
Daniel Rogers is responsible for managing RHI’s clinical research projects and supporting RHI’s Clinical Research Network – a collaboration of SCI researchers and clinicians based at acute and rehabilitation centres across Canada and Internationally who participate in the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry and other RHI-sponsored projects. The clinical research operations teams provide a wide range of project management and research support services to the projects within the various RHI programs.
Daniel, a Project Management Professional (PMP), has been managing research activities for the past 15 years in pre-clinical and clinical research environments across academic, public health and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to joining RHI in 2011, Daniel spent 10 years at the University of British Columbia within the Centre Molecular Medicine & Therapeutics and then with the Division of Nephrology.