NMT Community Reps
Valerie Nicholson is known as Ma Bear in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She is a grandmother, a Peer Research Associate, a nutritional outreach worker, a volunteer with the SPCA Charlie’s Foodbank, and a student at Simon Fraser University. She has a real passion for her community and representing them anywhere and everywhere she can. Her first experience in peer-based research was with the Food Security Study. Joining the CHIWOS research team has given her the opportunity to learn and develop her skills further. Not only is she a PRA on this project, she is also a member of several advisory boards, is involved in survey development, and is contributing on the core research team at the decision-making level. She is an integral part of an evolving research design that listens to our communities.
Kath Webster has been actively engaged in the HIV community since her diagnosis in 1995. She spent ten years volunteering as a Treatment Information educator with Positive Living Society of BC and has presented at conferences locally, provincially and nationally. Kath has been the co-chair of the Positive Women’s Network and a community rep for the BC STOP HIV Pilot Project. Previous peer research involvement includes the National Food Security study; COPD Awareness in HIV Positive People; and CTAC’s PASS (Post-Approval Surveillance System) Study. She currently volunteers as a trainer for the Positive Leadership Development Institute and is a Peer Research Associate with CHIWOS. Kath believes strongly in the empowerment of people living with HIV and the great value of peer-based approaches within the HIV community.