Our Team

FOUNDERS

disney hallIsabel Chen
Isabel Chen, in her 2nd year at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Medicine, is a leading student activist for women’s health and women’s rights. She serves as the incoming President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada at UBC and is the former President of the Women’s Leadership Initiative at Yale University, where she completed her BA and MPH degrees. Read more

308177_10150294501884051_742806568_nVanessa Forro
Vanessa A. Forro is an advocate, writer, film and art curator, and educator by, for, and about sex worker’s and the sex industry. She has provided outreach and one-on-one counseling to sex workers on an as-needed basis and consultation to other agencies, organizations, and projects targeted for sex worker communities in an effort to enhance capacity building and best practices with sex workers. Read more

imageKyle Ragins
Kyle Ragins, in his 5th year as an MD/MBA student at Yale University, is a student leader in health improvement of underserved populations. He has broad work experience in policy, education, health care, and research, with over a decade of work experience with community-based organizations in the United States and internationally.

Kyle is the current Director of the American Medical Student Association’s Sexual Health Scholar Program, Connecticut State Field Director for Enroll America and Doctors for America, and has served a course director for both the Global Health Seminar and the Tropical Medicine courses at Yale University. Kyle’s background has been heavily involved with the Latino population, working in healthcare in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Peru, Honduras, and Cuba, as well as teaching English as a second language and directing Spanish interpretive services for a student-run free clinic in the United States. His work with racial minority groups intersects with his interest in sexual health with the Keep Safe Initiative.

While conducting epidemiological research with Isabel Chen on intimate partner violence in racial/ethnic minority groups in Massachusetts, Kyle became acutely aware of the dangers posed by sex work. He began brainstorming ways to tackle the issue and presented his idea for the Keep Safe Initiative as a pitch at the Unite for Sight Global Health and Innovation conference in 2012. Vanessa Forro saw his pitch and offered to work with him to create the Keep Safe Initiative. The rest is history!

VANCOUVER DTES PILOT TEAM

bio-bhanjiSaara Bhanji 
Saara Bhanji is a passionate leader and tireless advocate for change in the lives of girls and young women. In 2006, Saara started the Association of Women’s Action, Research and Empowerment (AWARE), a feminist organization in Vancouver that works with young women to overcome barriers based on race, class, poverty, ethnic background, sexual orientation and gender inequality. Read more

casualTimothy Jen 
Tim Jen, in his second year at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Medicine, is passionate about social responsibility. He served as the UBC Medical Undergraduate Society (MUS) Vice-President of Administration followed by a year of serving as MUS Vice-President of Finance. Tim is excited to bring his energy and administrative expertise to the group. Tim served as a youth mentor in YWCA, and he volunteer experiences range from service at Vancouver General Hospital, Berkeley Peace Corps Club, and World Vision Taiwan. In his spare time, Tim enjoys sleeping, working out, basketball, and singing. Read more



IMG_9626Conrad Wang 
Conrad Wang, in his 4th year studies of Electronics Engineering at Simon Fraser University (SFU), is an enthusiastic sports geek and a karaoke master. Conrad joined the team to share his electronics and technical expertise and is eager to find a sustainable contribution to harm reduction efforts! Read more

 


Anita Chang is in her 1st year of her MA in Criminology at Simon Fraser University (SFU), is a passionate researcher in the areas of sex work, the law, human rights, and forensics. For her undergraduate Honours’ thesis, she focused on the issue of prostitution and the law from the perspectives of front line workers in the Calgary area. Anita’s Master’s thesis constitutes conducting a discourse analysis of the affidavits and factums summited to the Bedford challenge in Ontario, on the prostitution related laws in Canada. She hopes to defend this thesis before the end of September 2014.

Back in Calgary, Anita has worked for Mount Royal University as a research assistant on two projects. Additionally, she has worked with Children’s Legal and Educational Resources Centre (CLERC), a non-profit organization that provides legal advice, education, and representation to children and youth in civil matters. She has also volunteered at Wood’s Homes, a multi-service non-profit organization focusing on children’s mental health, conducting art therapy with the children and youth involved in their program. Anita was also an instructor at an after school program for children in low-income areas, providing them with a free after school activity in hopes of deterring them from engaging in deviant lifestyles.

Anita hopes Keep Safe will not only be successful in Vancouver but to expand and be implemented in other cities nationally and internationally in the future.


 

Cai Long is currently a Biomedical Engineer working in Providence Health Care in Vancouver, Canada. His daily job including health technology policy making for metro Vancouver area, equipment budget planning and special projects management. His interest lies in health technology management and innovations for low resource settings. Cai interned at the World Health Organization’s Diagnostic Imaging and Medical Devices Department in Geneva from September to December 2012. He is a big fan of travelling and live music.