Cancer Health Equity Collaborative (CHEC) is a newly formed team of academic and health system partners who are focusing on developing strategies to improve equity within the cancer care sector.

Relationships among team investigators were catalyzed during the Michael Smith Health Research BC-funded C2 project led by Drs. Leah Lambert, Sally Thorne and Michael McKenzie, which resulted in the formation of CHEC. The CHEC team includes researchers, clinicians, trainees, and health system leaders with deep expertise in health equity, oncology care, and health services research.

In establishing CHEC, Dr. Leah Lambert has partnered with Drs. Annette Browne and Kelli Stajduhar who are globally recognized health equity experts with longstanding programs of research that foreground the experiences of people with lived experience of health and social inequities (PWLE-HSI), and have significant experience working alongside marginalized populations using community-engaged methodologies.

Dr. Lambert holds a senior leadership and scientific appointment as the Executive Director and Senior Scientist of Nursing and Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation at BC Cancer. Her program of research takes an equity-first approach to study the health service needs of people diagnosed with cancer. Her long-term goal is to foster a more equitable, responsive, and respectful CC system in BC.

Dr. Browne has led research that focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of innovative strategies for enhancing equity-oriented health care in primary care and emergency departments; the application of critical theoretical perspectives and decolonizing methodologies; and the policy implications of health equity interventions. She is co-founder of the health equity research and implementation program known as EQUIP Health Care.

Dr. Stajduhar’s research focuses on examining equity-oriented approaches to palliative care for people diagnosed with cancer and their chosen supporters (e.g., outreach, housing and harm reduction workers), many of whom are living on or near the street. She launched the world’s first research program on equity-oriented palliative approaches to care.

If you are interested in learning more about the work of CHEC or if you are interested in getting involved please contact the team at

CHEC Members:

  • Dr. Leah Lambert, Executive Director and Senior Scientist, Nursing and Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation, BC Cancer; Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Annette Browne, Professor and Distinguished University Scholar; Associate Director, Graduate Programs, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Kelli Stajduhar, Professor, School of Nursing, University of Victoria; Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Palliative Approaches to Care in Aging and Community Health, Institute on Aging & Lifelong Health
  • Dr. Sally Thorne, Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Michael McKenzie, Radiation Oncologist, BC Cancer; Clinical Professor, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Fuchsia Howard, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia
  • Scott Beck, Clinical Nurse Specialist, BC Cancer
  • Jagbir Kaur, Clinical Nurse Specialist, BC Cancer; PhD Candidate, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia
  • Amber Bourgeois, Nurse Practitioner, BC Cancer; PhD Student, University of Victoria
  • Bonnie Leung, CIHR Health System Impact Fellow, BC Cancer and School of Nursing, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Stuart Peacock, Distinguished Scientist and Co-Director of the Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control, BC Cancer; Professor and Leslie Diamond Chair, Health Science, Simon Fraser University
  • Dr. Helen McTaggart-Cowan, Scientist, BC Cancer
  • Dr. Tara Horrill, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Manitoba



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