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RHI welcomes four new members to the board of directors

July 14, 2016 – Dr. Bernie Bressler, Board Chair, is delighted to announce that four new members were elected to the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) Board of Directors (BoD) at its June 30 Annual General Meeting: Ms. Shari Hughson and Drs. Kristine Cowley, Ian Rigby and Christine Sang.

These experts bring with them a collective of medical, entrepreneurial and research knowledge, accompanied by real-life experience with the realities of spinal cord injury (SCI). These qualities will serve the board well, and will enable them to extend the successes of their predecessors, and move RHI closer toward our vision of a world without paralysis after spinal cord injury.


Kristine Cowley 120x150Kristine Cowley
Assistant Professor, Physiology & Pathophysiology, Spinal Cord Research Centre

  • PhD, University of Manitoba; Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba
  • Her research program investigates the neural control of movement to improve function after neurological injury; and also seeks to identify strategies to reduce or treat common co-morbidities after SCI, such as osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease
  • Former Paralympic athlete in wheelchair track; set 2 world records and received 2 gold and one silver medal at the Barcelona Paralympics, 1992
  • Served as Executive Director, Canadian Paraplegic Association (MB) Inc, 1995–1998

Shari Hughson 120x150Shari Hughson
Director, Master of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Smith School of Business, Queens University

  • Registered Nurse with a Master’s in Business Administration
  • Award-winning serial entrepreneur within the Canadian health care industry, including two companies which she helped build to national status and dominance in their market place
  • Community builder and social innovator in the non-profit sector, she worked with a remote community to develop infrastructure, economic growth, and social and health programs which received national recognition
  • Mentor and Director investing in the future by helping to develop the innovators and entrepreneurs of tomorrow from all fields of study and industries

Ian Rigby 120x150Ian Rigby
Emergency Physician, University of Calgary

  • Emergency physician practicing at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary
  • Medical educator and the medical director of education for STARS Air Ambulance. Prior to this he was the emergency medicine residency program director at the University of Calgary; he developed the department’s interdisciplinary simulation program and co-developed the procedural skills program in undergraduate medicine
  • Member of RHI’s Consumer Program Advisory Committee, which provides a representative voice for SCI consumers and their supporters
  • Dr. Rigby has an SCI

Christine Sang 120x150Christine Sang
Director, Translational Pain Research, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

  • Internationally recognized pain specialist, anesthesiologist, and clinical researcher
  • The Translational Pain Research program that she directs conducts clinical trials of novel analgesics to target specific mechanisms of pain
  • MD from Johns Hopkins University, Master of Public Health, Harvard University
  • At the National Institutes of Health, she was the Associate Medical Director of the Pain Research Clinic. Prior to heading the Translational Pain Research program at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, she served as the Director of the Clinical Trials Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Pain Center
  • Founding chair of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, National Spinal Cord Injury Association/United Spinal Association (US)
  • Her father had an SCI

It is with great pleasure that we welcome these four new members to the RHI Board of Directors.

- Dr. Bernie Bressler, Chair, Board of Directors, Rick Hansen Institute