People Category: Staff

Our dedicated, experienced staff focuses on organizational operations, supports the Leadership Council and is vital in assisting applicants and grant recipients.

Emily Wagner – She/Her

Interim Executive Director

Emily’s current portfolio includes coordination of two mid-sized projects: a province-wide training bursary program and community of practice for the supportive recovery home sector and a harm reduction granting stream for BC municipalities. She holds a Master of Science degree from SFU and has over 15 years experience working in various health research, education, and advocacy roles in the academic and non-profit sectors. She is passionate about information equity as a path to transformative individual, family, and community health and wellness and grateful to be a part of the CAI team.

Janine Stevenson – She/Her

Director of Strategic Initiatives & Special Projects

Janine’s heritage is of Orkney and English descent. She has raised her daughter, worked and played in the unceded and occupied territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) people for the past 29 years.

Janine was with the BCCDC as a street nurse for 16 years throughout BC and in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside during which she worked with street youth, sex workers and people who struggle with addiction. She has been involved in creating and teaching workshops for public health nurses and healthcare professionals and peers regarding sexual health, harm reduction and addiction throughout BC including First Nation communities for over 2 decades. Most recently, Janine was at the First Nations Health Authority in the role of the STBBI and Harm Reduction CDC Nurse Specialist, manager of the Indigenous Wellness Team and Lead for the Compassion, Inclusion and Engagement Team (CIE), a FNHA & BCCDC initiative. The teams were part of the FNHA response to the overdose crisis throughout the province.

These days when not at work, during Covid times she and her partner enjoy biking, gardening and spoiling their cat, Tom.

Mira Abou Farrage – (she/her)

Program Manager - Grants & Community Funding

Mira is responsible for supporting the coordination, management and implementation of CAI’s grant funding, training, and capacity building initiatives to ensure quality and efficiency in the granting process. Mira holds a Bachelor of Science and is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health degree at Simon Fraser University. She is keen on better understanding and reporting on the needs of individuals and families experiencing mental health and substance use challenges and is inspired by the innovative work happening in local communities across the province that address them. She believes continued support for community leadership is essential to building an equitable, community informed health system of care.

Andrea Derban – She/Her

Clinical Lead, Episodic Overdose Prevention Sites (e-OPS)

Andrea Derban is a seasoned Public Health Nurse with over 30 years of experience in 3 of BC’s 5 Regional Health Authorities, BCCDC, FNHA and the Ministry of Health. Driven by a passion for social justice, Andrea is a dedicated team member striving for systemic changes required to better serve people who use substances. Andrea is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with a baccalaureate degree in nursing and has been working towards a Masters degree in Theology at Regent College. When not at home in Coal Harbour, Andrea is walking the seawall with her partner or hiking with her puppy in the mountains.

Zavi Swain – He/Him

Manager, Community Grants

Zavi is responsible for a province-wide capacity-building grant program and a provincial community of practice for the supportive recovery sector. He is a queer and trans community educator and a white settler living and working on the traditional, unceded and occupied lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Zavi holds a Master of Arts degree from UBC in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. He has worked in community development for over 12 years in the non-profit and public sector and his own lived experience with mental health and disability informs his work in the community. In addition he loves connecting with people about gardening, pets, video games, cooking shows and other passions.

Prairie Chiu – She/Her He/Him

Manager, Provincial Peer Partnerships and Community Development

Prairie is responsible for the management and support of special CAI granting initiatives activating community-based organizations across BC to tackle mental health/substance use issues through collaborative and innovative projects. Prairie earned her Masters of Social Work degree from Smith College in Northampton, MA, and spent 7 plus years providing psychotherapy to diverse clients in community mental health settings. Most recently, Prairie worked in Seattle, WA as Equity and Inclusion Project Manager for a non-profit mental health agency. Prairie is excited to be back in her native Vancouver, and to contribute to local change efforts.

Morgan Reedy – She/Her

Project Coordinator - OPEN

Prior to this role, Morgan was working as a Lab manager in an Adolescent Mental Health and Wellbeing Lab at a University in Aotearoa (New Zealand) – helping on a wave of a longitudinal study about young people and their experiences with mental health. She completed her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s in Science (in Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience) at Victoria University of Wellington in Aotearoa. She has a background and strong interest in mental health, developmental disorder research, and LGBTQIA2S + advocacy/research. She was born in Aotearoa and was raised in B.C. 

Noah Chalifoux – He/Him

Project Coordinator - Municipal Harm Reduction

Noah recently graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in Human Geography. He is passionate about community health and has been involved in a number of community-focused research projects and organizations. He is particularly motivated by work in queer health, harm reduction and food sovereignty.

He believes that change is a collective process and that it should be led by communities themselves. Grounded in queer ethics of solidarity, Noah is committed to supporting community-led harm reduction across BC. Outside of work, Noah loves hiking, camping and gardening.

Peter Hoong – He/Him

Project Manager - Community Action Teams

Peter has a Master of Public Health from Simon Fraser University. His background in public health research has given him the opportunity to work with diverse stakeholders living with HIV, mental health issues, and/or substance use issues. He is especially passionate about LGBTQ/2S health and capacity building. Equity is the guiding principle behind his work, and he hopes to aid and facilitate communities in driving change.

Debbie Li – She/Her

Accountant

Debbie is responsible for ensuring effective and efficient working of accounting functions in CAI.  She holds the Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified General Accountant (CPA, CGA) designation and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Adelaide, Australia.  She has experience in auditing and corporate accounting.   When not at work, she enjoys gardening and is a volunteer gardener of the green streets program in Vancouver.