Fraser Representative | Helen Rex
Helen has been with the Healthy Babies program since 2014. Previously she had worked as an Early Childhood Educator for over 20 years, starting her career in England before moving to Canada in 1992. Helen enjoys supporting women through their pregnancies and is a great believer in informed choice. Helen enjoys the variety that her work provides, particularly learning about child rearing from other cultures. Helen runs groups in Maple Ridge and the Tri-Cities area. She has served on the board since 2017. Helen is a mom to two teenagers and a Cocker Spaniel dog, she enjoys family walks and kayaks.
Professional/At-Large Representative | Melissa Shankar
Melissa is a Registered Nurse working in the lower mainland of BC. Since graduating from nursing school in 2009 she has had the opportunity to work with children and families in a variety of settings including pediatrics, neonatal ICU, pediatric emergency and public health. Most recently Melissa teaches nursing within local RN programs and has had the honour of working in Mission at SARA for women as the pregnancy outreach nurse. Working within a pregnancy outreach role has been fulfilling and inspiring. Melissa holds strong values personally and professionally of relational practice and social equity. Melissa is currently pursuing her Masters of Nursing Science degree with a passion for adverse childhood experiences (ACES) research and women’s health. This is her first year on the BCAPOP board of directors and she is looking forward to learning and helping the organization to move forward in helping the women and families served.
Vancouver Island Representative | Shonna Bell
Hello, my name is Shonna Bell. I am the Family Program Coordinator at the Fernwood Community Centre (Fernwood NRG) in Victoria, BC. I have been with the organization since 2009. At the time I was hired on as an ECEA and my first role outside of Child Care was the CAPC drop-in. Since then I have completed my ECE, done the Family Resource Program certification, completed a post degree certificate in volunteer and Non-Profit Management, become the coordinator of our Best Babies program and had my own baby. My three year old is my greatest joy, she is fire (a red head and a Gemini). As a single mother I am passionate about supporting and advocating for how hard it can be pregnant and parenting people. I believe in connecting people to community and helping them navigate systems. I also find that everyone that I work with has something to teach me.
Aboriginal Funded Agency Representative | Adrienne Johnny
Wéytk Adrienne Johnny ren skwekwst. Hello my name is Adrienne Johnny, I am from the Secwepemc’ulecw Sxwetsmèllp IR #6. I am of Shuswap decent born and raised from Salmon Arm, BC. I have been working with Merritt Moms and Families since 2012 as a frontline worker and now I am the Prenatal Coordinator here at Conayt Friendship Society. I currently sit on the Board of Directors for BCAPOP as the Aboriginal Funded Agency Representative and I look forward to be a part of this wonderful opportunity.
Northern Representative | Erin Johnson
Interior Representative | Michelle Querin
Michelle Querin is from Baby’s Head Start in Kamloops. Working in a pregnancy outreach program allows her to support women to be their best selves. Her particular passion is the post natal period. Having suffered and survived two bouts of post partum depression helps her empathize with and support new moms. When she is not at work she is running around after her two children and trying to find a wee bit of time for herself outside on her skis or her bike.
Vancouver Coastal Representative | Meaghan Brister
Meaghan has a degree in Psychology from Trinity Western University and an MA in Devising Theatre from London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, followed by a career in social services. Most of her work has involved supporting women along various stages of transition and recovery using many tools, including theatre workshops aimed at empowering oppressed or marginalized communities to advocate for themselves, as well as her qualifications as a yoga therapist and a full spectrum Doula. She has always been passionate about pregnancy and childbirth as a hugely transformational time for women to heal and realize their own strength, something they can take into, and beyond, their role as a mother. Having the blessing of being invited into this journey has inspired her every day as to the resilience and power women have. She considers it the highest honour to come alongside and hold space for these incredible women in their own healing, their families, and within the lives that they are courageously creating. Meaghan is currently on maternity leave from her role as the Support and Education Worker with Burnaby Family Life’s Pregnancy Outreach Program, where she runs educational programs to support informed consent in the birth space and beyond. She works with women facing various barriers and life challenges during pregnancy and with their babes up until six months old, and the majority of this population is made up of new immigrant and refugee women. Meaghan and her family are grateful to live, work, and play on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.