Our Team

Karen Schafer – Manager: Coastal Simulation Program & VCH Regional Simulation Program, Clinical Education
Karen leads the Vancouver Coastal Health simulation program team in developing simulation strategy, resources and services.  Her efforts go towards expanding the use of quality simulation based education throughout the health authority.  Karen has extensive experience in developing simulation programs; prior to her role at VCH, she was instrumental in the development of the British Columbia Children’s and Women’s Hospital simulation program.  She has a nursing background with 18 years experience in leadership/educator roles.  She is a strong advocate for collaboration and open sharing of simulation resources province-wide; Karen strives to potentiate the development of evidence based healthcare simulation.  Karen also leads a development project in Haiti through Rose Charities which seeks to develop educators to provide neonatal resuscitation training at their hospitals.  When not dreaming about simulation, Karen can usually be found taking care of her family or out in the forest re-energizing with her dog Kali.

Shannon Chestnut – Medical Director: Coastal Simulation Program
Shannon is an emergency physician who has been involved in education and simulation training throughout her career.  She is a big believer in interdisciplinary simulations and the importance of involving all members of the team.  She got her start in simulation as an Advanced Pediatric Life Support instructor at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital.  The Coastal Simulation Program has taken her from weekly on-site simulations in the emergency room at Lion’s Gate Hospital up to Bella Bella for rural outreach education.  Shannon is also running the Coastal Family Residency simulation curriculum and is developing an on-mountain simulation program for the Whistler/Blackcomb Ski Patrol.  In her down time, Shannon loves to play in the mountains with her family.  She can be found skiing, biking, or simply getting lost outside.

Richard Pinto – Simulation Operations Specialist
Richard oversees and coordinates the day-to-day activities of the Coastal Simulation Program.  In partnership with educators, he ensures scenarios are run in accordance with learning objectives. He is also instrumental in enhancing a scenario’s level of fidelity and realism.  Prior to his career in simulation, Richard worked in audio-visual where he serviced both the hotel and entertainment industries.  He began his first stint in healthcare as a simulation technologist at the British Columbia Children’s and Women’s Hospital.  Richard studied at the University of Victoria where he received his BA in English Literature and Music.  He still works part-time as a singer and musician around the Greater Vancouver area.  Richard’s all-time favourite television show is Mad Men.  His dog, Riley, enjoys ruining anything he leaves out on the kitchen counter.

Michelle Connell – Simulation Educator
Michelle has been part of the Vancouver Coastal Health team since 2000. She started her nursing career in Neurosciences at Lions Gate Hospital and transferred to Emergency Nursing in 2003. Michelle has enjoyed a diverse career in Emergency with opportunities to work in education, project management, and in-situ simulation. Her most recent Trauma Coordinator role at Coastal health was an exciting part of her nursing career, providing her with the opportunity to specialize in the care of the trauma patient under the umbrella of Trauma Services BC. The Coastal Simulation Program has supported Michelle through in-situ emergency simulations to facilitating the Mock Code Blue Program to co-facilitating simulation events across the Coastal Rural sites. When not at work, Michelle spends time with her beautiful (big) family, climbing mountains either on her downhill mountain bike, hiking, or snowshoeing. Michelle can be found spending her Friday nights with her husband playing co-ed ice hockey.

Christina Choung – Regional Clinical Educator: Simulation
As a part of the Vancouver Coastal Health simulation program team, Christina helps support and develop VCH staff through 1:1 and group consultation, just in time teaching, peer coaching and delivery & development of simulation workshop and events.  As a registered nurse, Christina has worked in a variety of roles including Clinical Nurse Educator for the Vancouver General Hospital Acute & General Medical Units, Clinical instructor for the British Columbia Institute of Technology Critical Care Nursing Program and Point-of-Care Nurse in the VGH Intensive Care Unit.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of British Columbia in 2005 and is currently working towards a Master’s in Education Technology and Learning Design from Simon Fraser University.  Christina is a nerd whose brain-crushes include Atul Gawande and Daniel Kahneman.  Her favourite animal is the Octopus and her favourite colour is green.  She and her husband disagree on whether or not she can be classified as a hipster.

Glenn James – Clinical Simulation Technician
Glenn has worked in healthcare simulation for four years, working as both a simulation technician and lab supervisor at Douglas College’s Faculty of Health Sciences. He continues to work as a contract standardized patient in both teaching and examination settings. In addition to his work in healthcare education, Glenn is a songwriter, composer, and pianist. When he’s not writing songs, performing, or recording, he is usually building things out of wood. Glenn and his wife are the owners of two very adorable beagles that will eat your lunch if you leave it unattended for any length of time.