NMT Community Reps

Valerie Nicholson

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.

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Kath Webster

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.