Comox Valley Nursing Centre Team Biographies

Nanaimo Site Team Biographies

Victoria Site Team Biographies 


Clerical Staff:  Crystal Liimatta, Angie Kurtz, and Margaret Ng

Dr. William John Davis, MD, FRCPC 

Co-director Regional Pain Program, Victoria site

Dr. Davis is a qualified Anesthesiologist and Board Certified Specialist (USA) in Pain Management.

He graduated from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa with a M.B.B.Ch in 1975 and received his specialty training in Anesthesiology and Pain Management at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. 

He obtained his Fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1992, Diploma from the American Board of Anesthesiology in 1993, Certification in the Subspecialty of Pain Medicine from the American Board of Anesthesiology in 1996 and recertification in January 2007. 

He is also an appointed Clinical Instructor for the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine, Department of Anaesthesia.

Dr. Davis has privileges at both Victoria General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia.  He has worked since 1993 in a dual capacity as an anesthesiologist and specialist in pain management at Island Health.

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Dr. Nelson Svorkdal, BSP, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Svorkdal is on staff with the Department of Anesthesia at the Royal Jubilee Hospital as well as with the Pain Program at the Victoria Site. Prior to moving to BC, he practiced for nine years as an interventional pain specialist at the Health Sciences Center in Winnipeg, MB.

His training includes Interventional Pain Fellowship, Sahlgren’s Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden; FRCPC Anesthesia, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB; Rotating Internship, Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria, BC; MD and BSP, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK.

Dr. Svorkdal was one of the first practitioners in North America to develop programs and publish articles on the treatment of refractory angina using spinal cord stimulation. This is one of several areas of ongoing academic and clinical interest.

He is an active member of numerous organizations including: American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP), Canadian Neuromodulation Society, Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society, BC Anesthesiologists’ Society, College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.

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Dr. Larry Kahn MBChB, B.Sc(Med), FRCPC, FFPMANZCA

Dr. Kahn is a Certified Independent Medical Examiner, American Board of Independent Medical Examiners and a Fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.  Currently, he is a Staff Anesthesiologist at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, a Staff Pain Specialist with the Pain Program at RJH, and an Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Anesthesia, UBC.

Past appointments include:

  • Medical Inspector, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
  • Director, Hamilton Pain Management Centre, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Director, Pain Service, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Anesthesia, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Consultant Anesthesiologist, Department of Anaesthesia, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Clinical and Research Fellow at the Royal North Shore Pain Management and Research Centre, University of Sydney, Australia.

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Dr. Laurence Bosley, MD, FRCPC 

Psychiatrist, Regional Pain Program, Victoria site

Dr. Bosley graduated from the University of Alberta, Faculty of Medicine in June 1992. 

He completed his Psychiatry residency in June 2004 and his Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship in June 2005 at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. 

Since that time, he has held several professional positions in his field: Staff Psychiatrist at Riverview Psychiatric Hospital, Private Practice Addiction Medicine and Methadone Treatment in Vancouver, Native Health Clinic Physician, Staff Psychiatrist for Urgent and Short Term Assessment and Treatment (Island Health) and Staff Psychiatrist Victoria Mental Health Center (Island Health). 

He is currently the Director of Addiction Services for Island Health and will be working closely with Regional Pain Clinic teams.

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Dr. Michael Ross, MD

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Dr. Edward J (Ted) Atkins MD FRCPC CSCN (EMG)


Dr. Atkins grew up on Vancouver Island and is glad to be back after several years away.  He is participating in Pain Clinic neurology consultations at RJH as part of the interdisciplinary team approach.  He received his first degree from Vancouver Island University in 1999, and a Medical Degree from McMaster University in 2002.  He received his EMG certification and has been an active member of the Canadian Society of Clinical Neurophysiologists since 2008.  He completed Neurology residency at the Univ. of Sask. in 2008, and went on to complete a Neuro-Ophthalmology fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta in 2009.  He is a full member of the N. American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society. 

Dr. Atkins was Assistant Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology at the Univ. of Sask. for 3 years, and Residency Training Program Director for Neurology prior to returning to Victoria, where he now offers Neuro-Ophthalmology services at RJH.

Dr. Atkins has developed a strong approach to the treatment of chronic pain since seeing many patients with atypical migraine, facial pain, and retrobulbar pain.  In addition, his EMG certification and neuromuscular training complement the approach to diagnosis and medical management of chronic limb and back pain.  Dr. Atkins also had a background in meditation, yoga, spirituality, comparative religion, and theology prior to ging into medicine, and hopes to reinforce a holistic approach in helping patients who are living in chronic pain.

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Dr. Donna Buna, B Sc (Pharm), PharmD

Clinical Pharmacist

Dr. Buna graduated with her pharmacy degree in 1980 and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 1995. She has practiced in the areas of geriatrics, palliative care, neurology, general medicine, and psychiatry. Presently she is Coordinator of Pharmacy Education and Practice Residency, which involves organizing and executing the Pharmacy Residency program and pharmacy staff development. Her main clinical interest areas are geriatrics and pain management.

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Dr. May D. Caprio, Ph.D., R.Psych.


Dr. Caprio is a registrant of the College of Psychologists of B.C. providing psychological services for the Pain Program as a member of the interdisciplinary team.  She has practiced in the area of pain management, neuropsychology, and brain injury.  She has been a consultant in private industry, providing psychological assessments, individual psychotherapy, and marriage counselling, and has given presentations on trauma, sleep, memory enhancement, stress management, and optimal performance.

Prior to joining the Pain Program at RJH, Dr. Caprio was the staff psychologist at a metropolitan police service for many years, where she provided clinical care of sworn and civilian members and their families. She conducted assessments and recommendations for police recruitment, psychological assessments for fitness for duty, and health checks for sworn members in high risk areas.  She conducted critical incident stress debriefing/defusing, and worked extensively with complex trauma.  Currently, she also provides psychological services to Veterans Affairs Canada and the RCMP. 

Dr. Caprio is listed on the Canadian Register of Health Service Psychologists.

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Katalin Piller, MOT, BSc


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Jessica Marie Dulong, MPT, BSc.(Kin)



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Sandra Atkins, MSW



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Linda McCune, RN, BSN, MA, ONC(C)



Meika Johnson, RN


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Amelita Kelm, RN 


Amelita completed her nurse's training in 1989 at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George, B.C.  She has worked in Washington, Hawaii, Texas, and Arizona in Medical Units, Labour and Delivery, Cardiac Telemetry, Intensive Care and Post Anesthetic Recovery Room. She completed her training and certification in Intensive Care in Yuma, Arizona. 

Amelita has most recently been working in Arizona as a contract nurse and now resides in Victoria.  She joined the Island Health staff in March 2006 and the Regional Pain Clinic in March 2007.

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Carla Service, BScN, MPA, CHE

Program Manager, RJH Site

Carla Service is manager of Island Health Surgical Ambulatory Clinics and Regional Pain Program as well as Project Leader of Surgical Programs.

She completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, a Masters Degree in Public Administration at the University of Victoria, and a Certified Health Executive certificate program.  

She developed the Island Health Regional Pain Program model and program in September 2006 with Medical Director Dr. Svorkdal, Co-Director Dr. Alan Berkman, and key stakeholders.

She is a member of the Provincial Pain Management Strategy Steering Committee and the chair of the Provincial Pain Management Strategy Website Working Group.

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Clerical Staff:  Heather Wilson, Jennifer Legrand and Lindsay Sachdev

Dr. Karl Muendel, MD, DC Diplomate ABA, Diplomate Pain Medicine, University of Michigan

Dr. Karl Muendel is co-Chief of Pain Medicine for Island Health and has been working with chronic pain patients for more than ten years. He has a special interest in preventative health, interventional spine procedures, cancer pain, spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal pain management. He holds a diplomate in Anesthesiology from Wayne State University with a subspecialty and board certification in Interventional Pain Management from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Muendel also maintains an active role in the academic realm as an associate clinical instructor at UBC department of Anesthesia, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, a pain fellowship instructor for UBC, an affiliate instructor at UVIC, and an associate clinical professor at Michigan State University. Previously, Dr. Muendel taught at the Wayne State University department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and served as the associate director for Pain at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Michigan. Driven by his interest in the spine and chronic pain early on, Dr. Muendel was a practicing chiropractor prior to beginning his career in medicine.

Dr. Muendel emphasizes the importance of pain education and preventative health practices, especially an active lifestyle. With that end in mind, he co-founded Paiwen Stand Up Paddleboards in an effort to reach a greater population outside the clinical setting.

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Dr. Trevor VanOostrom MD,BSc (Pharm),FRCPC, Diplomat ABA (anaesthesiology, Pain Medicine)

Dr. Van Oostrom joined the Nanaimo Pain Program after graduating from the Cleveland Clinic Pain Medicine Fellowship program, the largest and one of the most prestigious accredited programs in the United States. He is familiar with some of the most advanced interventional pain treatments but is also an advocate for integrative and preventative medicine. He completed Pharmacy School at the University of Toronto, Medical School at the University of Ottawa, and Residency Training at the University of Toronto and the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. VanOostrom is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology with a Subspecialty Certificate in Pain Medicine as well as the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He works as a dual capacity interventional pain physician and anesthesiologist. He continues to have an interest in academic medicine and holds an academic appointment at the University of British Columbia as a Clinical Instructor with a cross appointment at the University of Victoria.

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Haley Vandel, BScPharm, ACPR


Haley graduated from University of Alberta, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2010, and went on to complete a post-baccalaureate hospital pharmacy residency program through the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2011.  She joined Island Health and the Pain Program at NRGH in the fall of 2012.  As a member of the Pain Program Team, she facilitates group education sessions on medication management in pain, sleep, and Pharmacare, as well as consults patients on a one-by-one basis.

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Ceri Jakobsen


Ceri is a 2005 graduate of UBC with a BSc in Physiotherapy.  She continues to be involved in post graduate courses, with manual therapy and Pilates exercise as the main areas of focus. 

Ceri worked in private physiotherapy for seven years, treating a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries, both acute and chronic.  Her work in the Pain Program is an addition to her private work.  She sees patients both one-on-one and in group gym and pool classes at NRGH to help gradually develop safe exercise programs.  Pilates movement principles, imagery, core stability, and posture are key components of the movement programs.


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Susan Schellinck, BSc.OT


Susan is a graduate from UVic with a BSc in Biology, and from UBC with a BSc in Occupational Therapy. Prior to joining the Pain Program, she worked at NRGH for 10 years in both the acute and occupational rehabilitation settings. Susan also has extensive experience in the sporting world – as an athlete, coach and administrator. Combining these two passions, Susan now brings her functional skills to Island Health's Pain Program in Nanaimo.

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Karen Morrissette, MSW RSW


Karen graduated from the University of Victoria with a BSW in 2009 and with a Master's degree in 2012.  She has worked at NRGH since 2009, and prior to that she worked in Saskatoon in the Addictions field.  She joined the Pain Program in 2013 and enjoys facilitating the Mindfulness Meditation and Money Matters groups.  She is pleased to be part of the team and to work with a client group that has so much to teach us.

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Janet James, RN, MA, PgDip (Addictions), DMS



Joan Mackinnon, RN

Clinical Nurse Leader, Nanaimo

Joan graduated from the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing in 1986. She worked full time in paediatrics for 2 years, followed by 4 years in the float pool at NRGH.

In 1993, she obtained a postgraduate diploma in Post Anaesthesia Nursing and worked in that specialty until 1998 when she joined the “intervention only” pain clinic in Nanaimo.

Following 2 years of working with the intervention only clinic, which operated  2 days a week, Joan returned to PAR full-time where she worked until joining the new “Interventional/Interdisciplinary” Pain Clinic in May 2007.

Stephanie Layfield, RN, BScN

Clinical Nurse Educator/Interim Clinical Nurse Leader


Gary Kirk, RN


Michele Gammie, LPN


Sacha Heppell, RN


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Comox Valley Nursing Centre

Dr. Barb Fehlau, Physician Consultant

Dr. Barb Fehlau is a Family Physician with extra training in various aspects of pain management. She went to Medical School at the University of Calgary and completed her Residency training at UBC. While in Residency she developed an interest in Palliative Care management, Addiction Medicine (including Methadone Maintenance Programs), and chronic pain management. She expanded her expertise to include various forms of acupuncture (TCM, Dynamic Active Acupuncture, GTT) and energy medicine approaches to complement her other knowledge of Pain management.  In addition to running a full time Family Practice she is currently a GP Pain consultant with the Comox Valley Nursing Centre Team and continues consultations in her other areas of expertise.

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Dr. Carl Graves, Physician Consultant

Dr. Graves began his medical career in 1989 working in Family Practice for over 10 years. He developed an interest in chronic pain, mental health and HIV management in a primary care, solo practice setting in Vancouver. Since arriving in the Comox Valley in 2000 he has worked mainly in a mental health and hospital setting as a GP consultant in Psychiatry. He has continued to develop an interest in chronic pain issues as they relate to individuals suffering from mental health issues. This interest builds on prior skills of investigation and medication management of chronic pain syndromes.

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Saskia de la Houssaye, Physiotherapist (Rehab in Motion)

Saskia was born in Zeist, a beautiful community just southeast of Amsterdam. She graduated with a degree in physical therapy from Utrecht University in 1990. After practicing in the Netherlands for 2 years she re-located to British Columbia where she has provided services for the past 16 years. Saskia is well known in the community for her compassionate and skilled approach to treatment. She has a special interest in the study of pain and pain control and has completed several post-graduate courses in pain management.

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Vicki Alwyn-Smith, Kinesiologist

Vicki Alwyn-Smith graduated with a Sports Science degree from the University of Brighton in the UK.  She returned to Canada in 1997 and has been practicing as a Kinesiologist since that time. Vicki has been working at Rehabilitation in Motion in the Comox Valley since 2001, and currently works in a Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation Program as well as performing Functional Capacity Evaluations, providing disability management services and ergonomic assessments for local businesses in the community.  She has been involved with educating and supporting individuals afflicted with chronic pain through the Super 7 program at the Comox Valley Nursing Centre since 2011. Vicki has been involved with instructing skiing to individuals with physical and learning disabilities at Mount Washington and has been involved with the local cycling club.

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Linda Hammel, Dietitian

Linda graduated from the University of Alberta with a BSc in Foods and Nutrition in 1979.  In 1980 she completed a 1-year dietetic internship at Vancouver General Hospital. Linda has 19 years experience as the Dietitian/Manager of Foodservices at Yucalta Lodge in Campbell River.  In 2007 she became the Clinical Dietitian at Yucalta Lodge, Sunshine Lodge, and Cumberland Lodge, as well as joining the Chronic Pain Management Team based at the Comox Valley Nursing Centre. Linda is committed to helping people maintain their health through knowledge about nutritious eating.

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Dave Corman, Pharmacist

Dave graduated from the University of British Columbia and completed a pharmacy residency program at Shaughnessy Hospital.  After providing pharmaceutical care to the veterans of Shaughnessy Hospital, he accepted a position as pharmacist manager of the Cumberland Health Centre Pharmacy. Dave has an interest in geriatric pharmaceutical care and has worked with Home Support services to develop a medication program for seniors at home.  More recently he has been an active member of a Chronic Pain Management team sponsored by the Comox Valley Nursing Centre.  As a team member he organizes public and professional educational events and provides instruction to the public and professionals as well as individual consultation services.

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Brenda Bouttell, RN

Brenda graduated from John Abbott Community College, St Anne De Belleview, Quebec, with a diploma in Nursing in 1974 and in 1999 completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Victoria.  She is a caring and dedicated nurse with over 33 years of experience in a variety of settings.  In the last 14 years she has had the opportunity to work at the Comox Valley Nursing Center and has been actively involved in the development of services providing care to people living with chronic pain.

Coreen Cherry, MSW

Coreen has worked in a wide variety of social work positions around B.C. since graduating from the University of Victoria in 1986 with a degree in psychology and 1989 with a Masters of Social Work. She has worked as a mental health therapist with adults in the Comox Valley since 2004 when she received her graduate degree in clinical social work from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Coreen's role on the Chronic Pain Management team will be to provide mental health assessments, consultations, and education.

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