PAN Affiliated Researchers


PAN works with researchers from academic institutions, health authorities, and other agencies from across British Columbia and is grateful for their engagement in community-based research principles, mutual support for PAN studies and commitment to genuine partnerships.

Dr. Catherine Worthington

Professor, School of Public Health and Social Policy, University of Victoria

Principal Investigator: CBR Collaborative, REACH, Positive Living, Positive Homes

Co-Investigator: Making It Work, BC People Living with HIV Stigma Index

Catherine Worthington, Ph.D., is a faculty member and Director of the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. Cathy has a long history of collaboration with HIV communities in conducting community-based and participatory research. As a key partner in PAN’s Community-Based Research Program, Cathy is the co-lead (with PAN’s executive director Evin Jones) for the BC Core Team of the CIHR CBR Collaborative and CIHR Centre for REACH and is the academic lead of the Positive Living, Positive Homes community-based research study on HIV and housing in BC. To learn more about Cathy, view this Faces of UVic Research video and her presentation titled: Working Together: A Dialogue for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Research Partners.

To learn more about Cathy’s approach to research please read her “5 questions with…” blog post.


Sherri Pooyak

Community-Based Research Manager, Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research Collaborative (AHA Centre), Communities, Alliances and Networks (CAAN)

Co-Principal Investigator: Making It Work Study

Sherri Pooyak is of Cree ancestry from Sweetgrass First Nation, Saskatchewan and currently resides in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Sherri graduated with a Masters’ of Social Work in 2009, her work focusing on Indigenous women involved in sex work, and focused on the positive aspects of familial relationships and the resilience of Indigenous women who are involved in the sex trade. She has been engaged in Indigenous health research for over ten years and now, as the Community-Based Research Manager with the Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research Collaborative (AHA Centre) with Communities, Alliances and Networks (CAAN), Sherri is focused on the area of Indigenous research involving HIV and AIDS. As the Community-Based Research Manager, Sherri assists Indigenous communities in developing their research capacities, managing Community-Research Associates and mentoring Indigenous students who are interested in Indigenous health research.

To learn more about Sherri and her approach to research please see her “5 questions with…” blog post.

Anita David 

Anita’s work weaves into the Research and Evaluation programs and PAN in various ways. She works as a Peer Research Associate / Community Based Research Consultant for various community organizations, universities and health authorities in British Columbia. Her favourite part of research is engaging marginalized communities through meaningful connections. She has created programs and taught skills in community based research, storytelling and public speaking to people with lived experience of mental health and/or substance use. Anita is also a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Wellness Facilitator and has participated on over thirty healthcare committees/projects as a patient partner. She is also member of the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Hallway Group – a lived experience committee that advises on strategic initiatives to improve the lives of Canadians with lived (or living) experience of mental illness. In 2019, she had the opportunity to write and perform a dramatic piece about her mental health journey entitled, “Champagne and a Soaker Tub”.



PAN is also pleased to be able to support the next generation of researchers and public health professionals by hosting trainees through practicums and other learning opportunities. These individuals have contributed to research work at PAN.


Courtney Tizya (2023)

Research Trainee, Making it Work Project, 2022-2023

Courtney Tizya is a descendant of Vuntut Gwich’in First Nation and a citizen of Carcross/ Tagish First Nation. She resides in unceded Snuneymuxw territory where she is currently completing her final semester of her BA in Criminology. Courtney has previous experience working with Indigenous populations through advocacy and case management within the criminal justice system and she has also worked as a research assistant in Whitehorse, Yukon where she began her degree. Courtney is fairly new to community-based research, and she is inspired by the strengths-based approach of the Making It Work project. She is grateful for the learning opportunities and looks forward to knowledge translation and exchange with case study sites, service providers, service users, and the Making It Work team.

To learn more about Courtney and her approach to research and evaluation “5 questions with …” blog post.


Samara Mascarenhas (2023)

MPH Practicum Student, University of Waterloo

Samara is currently in her second year of the Master of Public Health program at University of Waterloo, and is completing her practicum with PAN during the winter term from January to March 2023. Samara has previously completed an Honours Bachelor of Science in Health Science and Mental Health from University of Toronto.

Samara is working closely with the Research and Evaluation team for her practicum.

To learn more about Samara’s approach to research and evaluation and what she is currently working on please read her “5 questions with …” blog post.


Katsistohkwí:io Jacco (2020 – 2021)

MA in Political Science and Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Nationhood Student, UVic

Graduate Research Trainee, Making it Work Project, 2020- 2021

Katsistohkwí:io is a Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) from Kahnawà:ke, QC and is currently studying for her MA at the University of Victoria. She is grateful to be a guest living on Lekwungen and WSANEC territories, also known as Victoria. Her research interests are concentrated on the improvement of the quality of health for Indigenous peoples in Canada, which is what sparked her interest to work for PAN. Her proposed MA is titled Strengthening Community Relations Through the Reclamation and Consumption of Indigenous Foods. This project seeks to promote the return to knowledge and consumption of traditional Kanien’kehá:ka foods in the community of Kahnawà:ke as a tool to improve the health and well-being in terms of physical, mental, emotional and familial aspects of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Katsistohkwí:io is also working with the Making it Work Research team as a Graduate Research Trainee. To read more about Katsistohkwí:io’s approach to research please read her “5 questions with…” blog post.


Joanna Tulloch (2019)

MPH Practicum Student, UVic – 2019

Joanna has been a nurse since 2009 and has spent the majority of her career living and working in Whitehorse, Yukon. Joanna is currently working on her second year of the Master of Public Health program at the University of Victoria and will be completing a practicum with the Pacific AIDS Network as part of that program from January to April 2019.

To learn more about Joanna’s approach to research please read her “5 questions with…” blog post.