PNABC Peak of Excellence Conference presented by STERIS Canada and Stryker
June 9th-12th, 2022 - Kamloops, B.C.


Brian Franco

BC Transplant
Brian Franco

Brian was an operating room nurse at Vancouver General Hospital for 10 years before transitioning to a Surgical Recovery Specialist role for BC Transplant in 2016. Currently, in addition to being a Surgical Recovery Specialist, Brian also one of the Clinical Practice Leads for the Organ Donation and Hospital Development department at BC Transplant.

Topic: Deceased Organ Donation in BC and Organ Donation after MAiD

Dr. Candace Baranieski - FRCPC

Department Head of Anesthesia
Dr. Candace Baranieski

Dr. Candace Baranieski competed a Bachelor of Science in nursing from University of Victoria before finishing medical school and ultimately a residency training program in anesthesia from University of Calgary. She has been working at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook BC for the past 7 years and has been the head of the anesthesia department for the past 3. In her short medical career, she has had more hands-on experience treating malignant hyperthermia then many anesthesiologists will have in their entire career. She is a mother of two young boys, owner and sole practitioner of a cosmetic and therapeutic botox clinic, works their family’s hobby farm and when not at work, she enjoys horseback riding/roping, camping, and watching her sons learn to dirt bike and BMX.

Topic: Is it hot in here or is it just me!

Malignant hyperthermia is a rare, anesthesia specific occurrence. However, knowing what to look for and how to treat malignant hyperthermia will not only save a life but also decrease the end organ dysfunction that makes this pathologic process so life changing.

John Patton - CCAA

John Patton

I'm a Certified Clinical Anesthesia Assistant (CCAA) and work clinically in the operating room at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. I started my career as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) before moving into the operating room. I also work for Thompson Rivers University as an OLFM (open learning faculty member) for the Anesthesia Assistant Program through Open Learning. I’ve recently completed my Bachelor of Health Science degree and I sit on the board as the chair person for the CCAA National Exam committee. I’m an avid e-biker and golfer and enjoy the outdoors.

Topic: Pollution in the Operating Room


  1. To examine the NIOSH standards of anesthetic gas pollution levels
  2. To demonstrate safe practices when using anesthetic gases
  3. To determine what to do if you become exposed to anesthetic waste gases
  4. To explore the ways in which the anesthetic gases are tested for

How safe is your work environment? Do you ever wonder how anesthetic gases work? Every operating room has the potential of being unsafe when you are working in it.  Knowing about the anesthetic gases and how they can affect you is important. The gases that anesthesia use to keep patients asleep can affect you.  Do you know what the signs and symptoms are of being exposed to anesthetic gases?  The last time you were involved with an inhalation induction, did it go smoothly and the patient went right off to sleep, or did the parents come into the operating room and create one of those scenes with their child where you wanted both of the them to fall asleep?  Ever go home and just feel tired?

There are many situations where nursing can be affected by anesthetic gases.  Where these gases come from and ways in which to decrease exposure to them. It happens often, most of the time you are not aware of it. Whether you are scrubbed, circulation, or even doing break relief, anesthetic waste gases are polluting your operating room.

There are certain cases that have the potential to produce pollution more than others. Certain pieces of equipment can help or hinder this problem and there are processes, which can help, eliminate your exposure to these situations.  There are Work Safe standards which are meant to be followed, and it is time that the standards which were created 40 years ago to be updated and followed in today’s environments.  Come to this talk and be exposed to the information that will help protect you when doing your job!

Dr. Judy Duchscher - RN, BScN, MN, PHD

Associate Professor, School of Nursing TRU
Dr. Judy Duchscher

After graduating with a diploma in nursing in 1989, Dr. Duchscher’s early career was focused on developing expertise as a direct care nurse, researcher, leader and educator in cardiothoracic and high acuity (critical care) contexts.  Instrumental to her early development was a 10-year tenure developing and coordinating heart, lung and multi-organ donor transplant teams across Canada and the United States. Judy’s commitment to advanced education can be seen in her acquisition of a Post-Graduate Diploma in Intensive Care Nursing from the University of Manitoba, a Diploma in Cardiovascular Nursing from Stanford University in California, a Clinical Transplant Coordinator Diploma from John’s Hopkins in Baltimore, Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certification through the American Association of Critical Care Nursing, a Post-RN Baccalaureate and Master’s degree in nursing from the University of Saskatchewan and a PhD from the University of Alberta. For the past 23 years Dr. Duchscher has been an active researcher and consultant in the area of new graduate professional role transition – work for which she has received 32 national and international grants, awards and scholarships. The findings of her research generated a theory of Transition Shock and a model of the Stages of Transition resulting in the publication of more than 18 peer-reviewed articles, 2 books, 10 book chapters and the delivery of over 400 keynotes and workshops throughout Canada, the United States, Australia and Asia on the topic of new nurse integration. In 2003, Dr. Duchscher founded and then served as the Executive Director of a federally registered non-profit nursing organization entitled Nursing The Future (NTF). For 10 years this provincially funded (Saskatchewan Ministry of Health) organization served as a bridge between the ideals taught in undergraduate nursing education and the realities of the ‘real’ world of professional practice, offering grassroots support to graduates struggling with their entry into the workplace, leadership opportunities to students and new graduates who led transition support networks across Canada, and an international conference that supported knowledge translation and dissemination on the topic of professional role transition. After taking a momentary break in 2014 to return to acute-care where she managed a 41-bed telemetry unit, Dr. Duchscher returned to academia in 2018 as an Associate Professor at Thompson Rivers University and re-engaged in her work with new nurses.  In 2020 she was seconded by the Canadian Nurses Foundation to re-establish Nursing The Future as the national platform of support for new nurses in this country. Dr. Duchscher maintains that “it is the vision, creativity and passionate commitment of these young professionals, supported by the expert knowledge and practice experience of their senior mentors that will drive nursing and healthcare forward”.

Topic: KNOW the way, GO the way, SHOW the way: Leadership in a Chaotic World

Maggie Shamro - RN, BSN, MSN

Assistant Teaching Professor
Maggie Shamro

Maggie has a passion for mental health nursing and has been working in this field since 2006. She has held various nursing positions throughout BC (Prince George, Vancouver and Chilliwack) including inpatient psychiatry, emergency psychiatry, community mental health, crisis intervention and group therapy. Maggie has clinical expertise working with individuals in crisis and individuals living with mood and anxiety disorders. She has a special interest in student mental health and wellness and is an advocate for mental health awareness in university settings. Always striving to share her enthusiasm for mental health, Maggie has instructed nursing students at UBC, UFV and now TRU. Maggie also enjoys spending time outdoors and exploring the creeks, fields and forests on her property in Logan Lake.

Topic: Strategies to Build Resilience and Promote Wellness in the Face of Uncertainty

Join Maggie Shamro, Assistant Teaching Professor from TRU’s School of Nursing as she introduces participants to strategies that will build resilience and promote wellness in the face of uncertainty. Maggie will define resilience, explore the current uncertainties in our healthcare environment that can put a strain on our ability to be resilient, and discuss the importance of responding to uncertainty with awareness rather than avoidance. Specific strategies for building self-awareness, self-compassion, mindfulness, and managing heightened or complex emotions will be introduced. Maggie clarifies that resilience does not mean that difficult or uncertain times don’t affect you; true resilience means having the ability to recognize and respond to these times in a way that honours how you are truly feeling.

Natasha Olson

Natasha Olson

Natasha has been an Licenced Practical Nurse since 2012. Most of her career has been in post operative surgical care but Natasha made the change to advance her career in 2021 to become a Perioperative LPN.

Natasha was born and raised on Vancouver Island girl who currently resides in Victoria. Outside of work you can find her outside hiking, camping, and exploring what the West Coast has to offer.

Topic: A Reflection on the Experience of LPN Integration to the OR

Dr. Peter Stefanuto - Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Royal Inland Hospital, Queen Victoria Hospital, Clinical Instructor of Surgery UBC
Dr. Peter Stefanuto

Dr. Stefanuto became an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon because he was always intrigued by the combination of medicine and dentistry. He instills his core values of honesty and integrity into his practice and works with his team to ensure every patient receives the best possible care.

As both a medical doctor and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Stefanuto brings a high level of care and expertise to his patients. Special interests include orthognathic surgery, facial trauma, OSA surgery, facial reconstructive surgery, wisdom tooth and dental implant surgery.

Education and Residency

Dr. Stefanuto began his post-secondary education at the University of Waterloo, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree and played varsity hockey. He then earned a DDS degree from The University of Western Ontario. After graduating, he completed a 1-year General Practice Residency (GPR) with the teaching hospitals of the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and London Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Stefanuto joined a family dental practice in St. Thomas, Ontario, where he practiced general dentistry for 3 years.

He was then accepted into a 6-year oral and maxillofacial surgery programme at Dalhousie University and trained under internationally renowned surgeons. During this time, he completed the requirements for a Medical Degree and a Masters in Science. Dr. Stefanuto performs a broad range of surgical procedures.

Certifications and Memberships

Dr. Stefanuto is board-certified, having successfully challenged the National Dental Specialty Examination (NDSE) administered by the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC). He is a member of the AOCMF, having completed the AO-Craniomaxillofacial Surgery courses in trauma including advanced courses in orbital approaches and reconstruction.

Dr. Stefanuto is also a member of the Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (CAOMS), the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), the Kamloops & District Dental Society, and the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (IAOMS). He has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented his original research at the 2013 American Association of Oral Surgery (AAOMS) meeting.

Dr. Stefanuto is attending staff at Royal Inland Hospital and Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke for inpatient procedures and emergency facial trauma services. He is also a consultant for Northern Health in Prince George and a Clinical Instructor for the Department of Surgery at the University of British Columbia.

Hobbies & Interests

When he’s not at work, Dr. Stefanuto enjoys being outdoors, alpine and nordic skiing, and wine tasting. He is an enthusiastic cyclist and can be found racing his road bike at events across the province or on the beautiful local mountain bike trails. His wife is an orthodontist at Vivid Orthodontics, and they have two busy children.

Topic: OMFS Show and Tell

Scott Blessin

Scott Blessin

Scott is a fire and emergency management professional who has worked with the BC lower mainland health authorities for over fifteen years. His work experience has spanned the range of health services from large tertiary to remote community hospitals, long term care facilities, community programs and public health. Presently Scott serves as the Health Emergency Management BC (HEMBC) Manager for the Fraser Health Authority. HEMBC is responsible for providing emergency management leadership and support to the British Columbia Health Authorities including the development of health emergency management plans, education and training exercises, supporting responses, and facilitating the after-action process.  Since 2020 the rate of responses impacting Fraser Health have increased significantly and Scott has been one of the primary HEMBC leads for many events including the COVID-19 Pandemic response, Burnaby Hospital fire, Extreme Heat events, Wildfire response and Atmospheric River flooding and land movements. Scott is also one of the co-chairs for the Fraser Health Seasonal Readiness Steering Committee that was established in 2021. This committee develops preparedness and response plans for seasonal hazards from a site, program and regional perspective with a specific focus on events that are projected to increase in severity and frequency due to climate change.

Topic: 23 Days of Atmospheric River Response and What we Learned

Trevor Jarvis

Fraser Health Surgical Information Systems
Trevor Jarvis

Trevor Jarvis is an RN with a Perioperative background currently employed with Surgery Information Systems in Fraser Health, and during the Atmospheric events in November 2021, he was the Manager of Clinical Operations at Chilliwack General Hospital, responsible for Surgical Services and logistics as the events unfolded and Chilliwack found itself cut off from the remainder of the lower mainland. Presently Trevor is working with The Fraser Health Surgical Information Systems as a Waitlist Coordinator.

Trevor began his medical career over 35 years ago with the Canadian Armed forces where he served as a Medical Assistant. He served all three branches providing care in Air Evac Missions to the former Yugoslavia as well as Rwanda and aboard frigates in the Navy in the Persian Gulf as well as many tours cooperating with other navies. His Nursing career has included working in a community hospital in Chilliwack BC as a surgical RN, then a Perioperative RN, Simulation Coordinator at UCFV, CNE and Manager of GI and Endoscopy at Foothills Medical Center in Calgary. Most recently, Trevor returned to CGH to take on the role of Manager of Clinical Operations for Surgical Services and now calls Surgery Information Systems in FHA his new work home.

No stranger to disaster relief, Trevor has been an active participant in military conflicts, forward Air Evac Operations in Italy and Africa, mass casualty accidents, train derailment in Ontario, the flooding in Southern AB in 2013 and the recent floods in BC in 2021. All of this background in disaster management and relief helped prepare for the Atmospheric events in the lower mainland in 2021.

Topic: 23 Days of Atmospheric River Response and What we Learned

Rupinder Khotar - RN, BScN, MGSC, CPN(C)

Rupinder Khotar

Rupinder Khotar completed her psychiatric and general nursing diplomas at Douglas College before getting her perioperative nursing certificate at St. Paul’s. She completed her BScN from the University of Victoria prior to becoming the Nurse Educator for the Providence Health Care Perioperative Nursing Program. She taught in clinical and the classroom for nearly a decade before assuming the OR Nursing Supervisor role at St. Paul’s hospital. During her career, she has served on several nursing and allied associations. She was a member of the executive team when the British Columbia Operating Room Nurses Group (BCORNG) transitioned to the Perioperative Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia (PRNABC). Rupinder also served as President of the Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada (ORNAC) and as the Secretary of the International Federation of Perioperative Nurses (IFPN). She has lead the Canadian Standards Association Technical Committee for Perioperative Safety and she has been a member of the Medical Device Reprocessing committee. Last year, Rupinder completed a Master in Global Surgical Care (MGSC) from the University of British Columbia becoming the first nurse to graduate from the program.

Rupinder’s interest in global surgical care was ignited during her first surgical care mission with the Third World Eye Care Society (TWECS). She has been on several short term surgical care projects in India, Guatemala and Uganda.

Topic: Master in Global Surgical Care: A Nursing Perspective

The Master in Global Surgical Care (MGSC) at the University of British Columbia is a relatively new program in the Faculty of Medicine. It provides an opportunity to learn about the needs and impact of surgical care in low and middle income countries, as well as the surgical access challenges in Canadian communities. The MGSC broadens the perspective of these issues beyond short term surgical missions to collaborative processes that explore health policies, care trends and opportunities for long term improvement. It encourages students and graduates to discover avenues to advance surgical care in underserved populations nationally and internationally.

Shaunna Downey - RN, BScN, CPN(C)

Clinical Nurse Educator, Operating Room Victoria General Hospital
Shaunna Downey

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Vancouver Island University in 2014. My story is that I was originally turned down as “not the right fit” for the OR as a final clinical placement in fourth year. So, I did what any person with dreams and goals should do: I found a way to keep going in the direction that I felt called. I pursued medical-surgical and long-term care nursing while being open to opportunities. I reached my goal in 2016, relocating to another city for an in-house perioperative specialty training opportunity.   

Since then, I’ve found myself relocating further south for the excitement of trauma and higher complexity surgeries. My other passion is education and learning. A little over a year ago, I landed my dream job as a Clinical Nurse Educator for the Operating Room. I am currently working on a Provincial Instructor Diploma through Vancouver Community College as well as the Mastery Leadership series with Excellence Seminars. When I am not in pursuit of advancing my education and personal growth, I like to spend my time enjoying craft beer, hiking the many trails on Vancouver Island, or playing board games and trivia with friends.  My greatest joy comes from connecting with people and being able to demystify or engage with all kinds of processes and problems so that we can deliver safe patient care, to every patient, every time.

Topic: Curiously Connected: The Art of Responsible Relationships in the OR

Dr. Steven Johnson

Vascular Surgeon Royal Inland Hospital

Topic: Intraoperative Vascular Situations

Stay tuned for more exciting information!

The Peak of Excellence in Perioperative Care
Nek'usemkt - We are one community

Thank you to our Sponsors and Exhibitors who committed to the 2022 Peak of Excellence in Perioperative Care Conference presented by STERIS Canada and Stryker

Presenting Sponsors

  • STERIS Canada
  • Stryker

Gold Sponsors

  • Interior Health

Silver Sponsors

  • Cardinal Health
  • Medline

Bronze Sponsors

  • 3M Medical Health Solutions
  • Associated Health Systems
  • BD
  • Boston Scientific
  • Gore
  • Karl Storz Endoscopy Canada
  • Keir Surgical
  • LeMaitre
  • Olympus Canada
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • Zimmer Biomet Canada Ltd.
  • Hologic

Exhibitors Sponsors

  • Acart Equipment Ltd.
  • Clarion Medical Technologies
  • Fibertech Canada
  • Galen Medical Ltd.
  • Getinge Canada Ltd.
  • Integra Canada
  • Medtronic
  • Nurses and Nurse Practioners of BC

Raffle Sponsors

  • Steven's
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