Sana Shahram

40 under 40: Sana Shahram

The Kelowna Chamber partners with BDO on the Top 40 Under 40

The Kelowna Chamber is proud to partner with BDO on the Top 40 Under 40 program for 2022. Top 40 Under 40 recognizes young professionals in our community and their many accomplishments. This year we will be recognizing the young, local difference-makers, leaders and entrepreneurs who are making an impact in the Central Okanagan.

As a postdoc in 2016, with leaders from the University of Victoria and Interior Health, Sana Shahram spearheaded the creation of a novel role to help bridge the gap between research knowledge and implementation within the health system.

As the embedded health equity scholar with Interior Health, Sana has been integral in moving health equity action forward across the organization. Her role helps IH consider how to implement equity from senior leadership to the frontline.

She also collaborated with the City of Kelowna on its award-winning healthy housing strategy and is also currently supporting them (with her colleague) to develop an equity framework for city planning, along with other consulting roles in the city.

Sana joined the School of Nursing at UBCO as a tenure-track assistant professor in July 2019 as their first non-nurse faculty hire where she led her own research program, the PHAIRNESS Lab. Sana is also a collaborating scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research and a co-owner of Pivot Rx pharmacy in Vernon which is redefining the role of pharmacy in delivering luxury care at a value price.

Sana leads (co-leads) various projects/initiatives to advance equitable health outcomes at a systems-level, including: The xa¢qanaǂ ʔitkiniǂ (Many Ways of Working on the Same Thing) project in partnership with Ktunaxa Nation and Interior Health to decolonize health research relationships; The CLARITY Project in partnership with KGH Foundation and Interior Health and many community partners to redefine youth suicide prevention to include vibrant and resilient communities in the Central Okanagan.

She has designed and delivered over 80+ tailored workshops, talks and presentations for her own faculty, Interior Health, and outside organizations over the last few years to help the overall community confront and redress our roles in upholding racist, colonial, and harmful systems.

Through Sana’s board role on Lake Country Health Society, she was instrumental to securing a Community Health Centre for the community. As a business owner, Sana and her team are leading the way on what socially minded entrepreneurship embedded in community care can look like.

She is the vice-president of the Lake Country Health Board and an advisory board member to the National Collaborating Centre of Determinants of Health. Sana previously served on the board for West Coast Leaf to increase representation from the Interior region for this impressive organization. Her entire research program is based on the model of scholarly activism to help transform systems to work better for all of us.

Sana has an extensive education history including:

BSc- Cell Biology and Genetics (UBC Vancouver) BA- English Literature (UBC Vancouver) Masters of Public Health (MPH) in Health Communications and Behaviour Change (Tufts School of Medicine, Boston, MA) PhD- Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (UBC Okanagan) PostDoctoral Fellow (CISUR, UVIC)

Sana has also received recognition for her work through various awards including:

– 2021 BC Reconciliation Award from the BC Achievement Foundation

– 2021-2026: Michael Smith Health Research Scholar Award (competitive research award, $450K)

– 2021-2026: $1 Million grant awarded from Canadian Institutes for Health Research

– 2021-2022: $75,000 grant from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

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