Centre for Hip Health and Mobility

The Centre for Hip Health and Mobility (CHHM) is a University of British Columbia senate approved Centre. Located on the Vancouver General Hospital campus it falls under the auspices of Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. CHHM represents a culture of collaboration and integration among scientists and clinicians from across institutes (e.g Simon Fraser University) and disciplines. Together they seek to enhance the social and physical health of Canadians across the lifespan through innovative translational research (read more about CHHM: http://www.hiphealth.ca/).

Shape the Path is a CHHM-based program of research that brings together a team of epidemiologists, physiologists, nurses, social scientists, and planners from CHHM, SFU and affiliate organizations). Shape the Path will investigate and develop novel approaches that will enable us to better understand older men’s experiences of mobility, especially its relationship to their health.  

Our People

Principle Investigators

Heather McKay, PhD

Principle Investigator, Shape the Path

Heather McKay’s research evaluates the positive role of physical activity on child, youth and older adult health across settings – schools, community and the built environment. As Director, and a driving force behind the Centre for Hip Health & Mobility, she is well known for convening highly effective teams to “move research into action” (knowledge mobilization) for immediate impact. She played a lead role to develop and implement a whole school physical activity and healthy eating model (Action Schools! BC) that engages almost half a million children in British Columbia. She also leads interdisciplinary teams that: i) engage local government to assess whether positive changes to the built environment enhance the mobility and health of children and older adults (Active Streets. Active People); ii) will roll out falls and injury prevention and physical activity strategies for older adults across BC (Active Ageing BC), and iii) evaluate factors that support or inhibit physical activity habits of older men (Shape the Path). Heather’s contributions have been acknowledged through a Knowledge Translation Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and a BC Woman of Distinction Award for Health & Active Living.

Joanie Sims-Gould, PhD

Principle Investigator, Shape the Path, Project Lead, Mobile @ Home

Joanie Sims-Gould’s research is captured in three broad themes: 1. Experiences of marginalized frail older adults within the Canadian health care system, their families and those health care practitioners who work with them; 2. Delivery of home/community based health care and the experiences of unregulated workers who provide the bulk of this care; 3. The intersection between older adult health, socio-economic status and the built environment. Joanie has a strong commitment to knowledge mobilization. She works with diverse stakeholders to ensure that her research reflects real needs (and questions) and that the findings are ‘brought back’ in a usable format. Joanie is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Practice at UBC. She is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar.

Project Leads

Alison Phinney, PhD, RN

Project Lead, Seek to Understand

Alison Phinney is an experienced qualitative researcher who has received funding from SSHRC, CIHR, and the Alzheimer Society of Canada to study the lived experiences and meaningful activities of older people, especially those living with dementia. She is interested in issues of family, gender and activity, and is currently exploring group walking as a means of supporting social citizenship for people with dementia. Alison is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia.

Dawn Mackey, PhD

Project Lead, Men on the Move

Dawn Mackey is an epidemiologist investigating novel approaches to enhance mobility among older adults. Her research group tests new ways to promote physical activity, prevent debilitating fall-related injuries, and reduce fatigue during daily activities. Her studies involve community-dwelling older adults, recipients of home health care, and residents of long-term care. Dawn is an Assistant Professor in SFU’s Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology and has been recognized as an emerging scholar in aging by a 2011 CIHR Age+ Prize and a 2014 Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award.

Stephen Robinovitch, PhD

Project Lead, Safe Mobility

Stephen Robinovitch’s research focuses on the cause and prevention of falls and fall-related injuries in older adults. Recent efforts focus on the collection and analysis of "real-life" falls in residential care facilities, and the design and evaluation of wearable hip protectors and compliant flooring. His role under Shape the Path is to lead collaborative efforts to understand and improve the safe mobility of men in residential care. Stephen is a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, and the School of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University and Canada Research Chair. He is past recipient of a New Investigator Award from CIHR and a Scholar Award from MSFHR.

Meghan Winters, PhD

Project Lead, Characterizing mobility trends in Canadian men, across life stages

Meghan Winters is a population health researcher interested in the link between health, transportation, and city design. Her research focuses on ways that cities and their infrastructure can play a role in promoting healthy and safe travel, for people of all ages and abilities. Current projects include natural experiments and cross-sectional studies looking at the role of the social and the built environment on the health and mobility of older adults and youth; studies on the impact and equity of public bike share initiatives, locally and internationally; and an assessment of data needs related to the integration of health and transportation in practice.  Meghan is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, at Simon Fraser University.


Christiane Hoppmann, PhD

Christiane Hoppmann’s research examines how key psychological factors such as social relationships and goals contribute to the successful mastery of challenges and foster healthy aging. Her projects involve in-depth investigations of everyday processes using novel daily life assessments ('time-sampling') and track how such everyday life processes accumulate over time to manifest in long-term health outcomes. Christiane is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Psychology Department at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. She is also a core member of the UBC Center for Hip Health and Mobility.

Karim Khan, MD, PhD

Karim Khan has achieved international recognition for studies promoting greater mobility among vulnerable seniors. In a medical community that often focuses on pharmaceutical therapies, Karim has consistently reported the large benefit of physical activity for public health. He has published extensively, including those in high impact journals such as the British Medical Journal, where he also serves on the international editorial board. Karim is also the Editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, a leading international journal that focuses on the role of physical activity for health. Reflecting his contribution to knowledge translation, he is coauthor of the leading medical monograph for clinicians, Brukner and Khan's Clinical Sports Medicine (4th Edition, McGraw-Hill). Karim Khan is a Professor and clinician-scientist, Department of Family Practice, UBC.

Ariella Lang, PhD

Ariella Lang’s pan-Canadian research program on home care safety focuses on chronically ill seniors receiving home care as well as on their family / caregiver(s), with an emphasis on medication management and palliative/end-of-life care. Her primary interest is to understand the impacts of health situations within a broader context of relationships between clients / families, professionals, and a range of health system players. Ariella is a Nurse Researcher embedded within VON Canada, a national not-for-profit home and community care organization, with joint appointments in Nursing at McGill University and Université de Montréal.

Shape the Path Staff

Callista Haggis, MAP

Manager, Knowledge Translation and Exchange

Callista Haggis facilitates cross-disciplinary relationships between academic, community and government collaborators. Multimedia and participatory tools drive her practice. She is an award winning documentary video maker who specializes in developing material that stimulates discussions with community-based partners, related to policy and program development. She integrstes strategic messaging with on-the ground outreach events, policy reports, and web-based dissemination. Her central goal is improving end-user uptake of evidence-based knowledge related to social and physical health and neighbourhood environments. Callista is also the Social Media Executive Editor for the British Journal of Sports Medicine, ranked 4th globally out of the top 100 Sports Medicine Social Media Channels.

Sarah Lusina

Sarah Lusina-Furst, MSc

Managing Director, CIHR Walk-the-Talk Team, Centre for Hip Health & Mobility

Sarah Lusina-Furst is passionate about bridging the gap between knowledge and action. She works closely with investigators at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility to facilitate cross sector and cross-disciplinary interactions that strengthen research programs and enhance the application of their findings. Sarah excels at creating spaces for idea sharing and knowledge exchange among diverse groups. She is keenly interested in exploring the process of bringing physical activity, mobility and built environment research evidence into the policy arena and identifying the key elements that enable their uptake and application.

Suzanne Therrien, MPH

Project Manager, Shape the Path, Centre for Hip Health & Mobility

Suzanne Therrien coordinates and manages Centre for Hip Health and Mobility projects’ Shape the Path and Active Streets, Active People-Sr. Both, investigate the health and mobility of older adults. Her Master’s in Public Health thesis investigated Vancouver residents’ readiness to participate in a public bike share program. Her ultimate aim is to support long-term population health through promoting active transportation and positive urban design and help individuals and communities sustain healthy, purposeful and fulfilling lives.

Our partners

We will call upon a vast network of community partners, including international and community-based advisory boards with whom we will move our research findings into action over the next five years (2014-2019). Together we are committed to take action that will make a difference to the mobility and health of men in BC, Canada and elsewhere. We are grateful for the team grant awarded to us by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) that will enable us to achieve our goals.