Research Team

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Led by Dr. Ellen Balka and Dr. Corinne Hohl, our interdisciplinary adverse drug event research team is based out of the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, at the Vancouver General Hospital.

We value our many research stakeholders and partners, who also work to contribute to this project to prevent ADEs.

Research Team Members

Ellen Balka, PhD [Project co-lead]

ellen_Balka_picture actionadeEllen Balka is a University Professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, and a Senior Research Scientist at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation Studies at Vancouver General Hospital. Her research is concerned with all aspects of health sector computerization, including the design and implementation of information technology in the health sector, assessment of health sector technology and governance of health sector technologies, including issues related to patient safety.

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Ellen’s research interests include the design and implementation of health sector information technology, technology assessment, end user studies of technology, field research methodology, end user participation in system design, women and technological change, and science, technology and society perspectives on artistic production.

Ellen has held numerous major funding awards including a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Senior Scholar’s research fellowship, and served as Principal Investigator of numerous research projects including ACTION for Health, a $3 million project undertaken between 2003-2008 which focussed on the role of technology in the production, consumption and use of health information. Other past funders have included Health Canada’s Applied Research and Analysis program, Genome BC, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, as well as the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. Click here to see her CV.

Corinne Hohl, FRCPC, CCFP, MHSc, MDCM [project co-lead]

corinne_hohl_picture actionadeCorinne Hohl is an Associate Professor in UBC’s Department of Emergency Medicine and a Scientist at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation. Her main research interests are in emergency medicine, drug safety and effectiveness and adverse drug event surveillance.

View her Google Scholar profile here.

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Together with her team, she has developed interventions to improve the recognition and treatment of patients affected by adverse drug events in Emergency Departments. She is presently working on validating and implementing improved adverse drug event case identification and reporting methods to improve clinical care, provide better data for research in drug safety and effectiveness, and for post-marketing surveillance of newly licensed medications.

For her work on adverse drug events, she was awarded a Best Paper Award from the American College of Emergency Physicians in 2011, and in 2012, a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. In 2013, Corinne was awarded the Teacher of the Year Award by the UBC FRCPC Emergency Medicine Residency Program. Corinne practices emergency medicine at Vancouver General Hospital, and is a member of the Canadian Drug Safety and Effectiveness Research Network and of the Canadian Network for Advanced Interdisciplinary Methods for Comparative Effectiveness Research. Corinne holds multiple operating grants including from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Click here to view her CV. 

Amber Cragg, MSc [research coordinator]

headshot_amber_craggAmber Cragg has a Master’s of Science in Community Health and Epidemiology from Dalhousie University and is involved in various projects aimed at improving patient safety through the detection, treatment, and reporting of adverse drug events. She is a trained secondary school teacher turned health researcher who conducted her thesis work on STI and HIV testing among higher risk Maritime University students. She has also worked as the research coordinator and statistical analyst on a multi-site project evaluating the effectiveness of the sexual health services available to students at eight universities across Maritime Canada. Her primary research interests include student health issues, harm reduction, and health policy and services research.

Serena Small, MA [research coordinator]

Sheadshot_serena_small actionadeerena Small has a Master’s of Art from the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. Serena’s research interests focus on the intersection of health technologies, public policy, and data privacy, with a particular emphasis on the experience of the patient at this juncture.



Jeffrey Hau, MSc [research coordinator]

Jeffrey Hau graduated in epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His research interest is in improving the health outcomes for vulnerable populations. Prior to joining the team, Jeff spent over a year working as a research assistant at the Medical Research Council/Uganda Viral Research Institute for HIV/AIDS in Entebbe, Uganda.



Maeve Wickham, MSc [PhD Student]

Maeve Wickham graduated from the University of Alberta with a MSc. in Epidemiology in 2012, and was supported by a CIHR Master’s award for her thesis research on early life factors contributing to substance use and delinquency in adolescence. Since moving to Vancouver, she has developed an interest in health services research, working first as a Research Assistant in the UBC Dept. of Family Practice prior to beginning her work at C2E2 through the UBC Dept. of Emergency Medicine in 2013. Maeve worked as research coordinator for Dr. Corinne Hohl, prior to beginning her PhD in September 2016, and has been involved in various projects aiming to improve patient safety through enhanced detection, treatment, and reporting of adverse drug events in the Emergency Department. Her PhD  research is supported by a CIHR Doctoral Award.

Erina Chan, BSc [Clinical Pharmacist]

Erina is a clinical pharmacist at Vancouver General Hospital. She graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Pharmacy and completed an one year residency program at VGH. Her clinical areas include Internal medicine, Community IV, and Emergency medicine.​ She looks forward to lending her clinical expertise to ActionADE and improving patient safety.



Johanna Trimble [Patient Partner]

Johanna Trimble is a passionate patient advocate and a member of several local, national and international patient groups. Her focus is working to prevent over-medication of older adults and helping to improve home-based, team-delivered, coordinated community care in order to prevent our present over-reliance on residential and acute care, which is neither optimal nor preferred by our elders and grows increasingly unsustainable.  She is the public member on the Polypharmacy Risk Reduction provincial initiative in British Columbia, Canada. She also serves as a public member on the Faculty of the Clear Project (Call for Less Antipsychotics in Residential Care) for the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council, where she has also been appointed as a member of the Council. She is the public member on the Geriatrics and Palliative Care Committee for Doctors of BC and is an honorary lecturer in the Department of Family Practice (Community Geriatrics) co-teaching first year medical students at the University of British Columbia.


Laurel Radley [Patient Partner]

Laurel is a patient / citizen volunteer on the team. She is a member of the Patient Voices Network, and the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority Community Engagement Advisory Network, a member of the BC SUPPORT Unit Patient Advisory Committee and is the patient member of the BC SUPPORT Unit Interim Governing Council.  Laurel has a keen interest in preserving and improving Canada’s publicly funded health care system.

Kevin Barry [Patient Partner]

I have been an active volunteer in the Patient Voices Network for a few years now. Working in the Nursing profession for forty years in Canada and England I have always been conscious of providing safe, ethical care to patients and their families. The ActionADE project when successfully concluded will provide BC citizens with a greater level of confidence in the drug prescribing methods of BC’s healthcare providers and improved communication between patients and their healthcare team members. I am excited to be providing a contribution on behalf of BC patients to the important work of this research team.