Get the Scoop: What is the Health and Wellness Committee?

By Amarpreet Grewal

The Centre for Blood Research has formed its Health and Wellness Committee! They envision the creation of an inclusive, supportive and connected community by engaging in social and physical activities. Based on interviews with some CBR members, it was noted that the biggest challenges in working in a laboratory setting were high levels of isolation, stress and lack of opportunities to connect with CBR members outside of one’s lab.

Maintaining a work/life balance is difficult, especially if one plays many roles.  Taking that into consideration, the Health and Wellness Committee is planning events that are family-friendly and will target various interests and commitment levels. The group is hoping to improve psychological and physical well-being, as the events expose CBR members to new skills, new ideas, and physical activities to help elevate stress and expand social networks.

So far, the Health and Wellness Committee was behind the awesome events, such as Bubble Soccer event, Lynn Valley Hike, and Hawaiian Staycation party. At their next event on October 6th at 5pm, come out and learn about the Canadian Aboriginal culture at the MOA and discuss your impressions at Koerner’s Pub afterwards! Register at

Here’s what some of the members have to say about the committee:

Linnette Mae Ocariza, Research Technician in Dr. Ed Conway’s Lab (President)

linnetteQ: How does the Health and Wellness Committee benefit you?

A: Not only has it been a lot of fun planning and bouncing off ideas with others, it has given me an opportunity to grow my organizational, communication, and leadership skills. Not to mention it has made it easier to connect with other CBR members.


jennyhuangJenny Huang, Technician in Dr. Ed Conway’s Lab (Admin Officer)

Q: What events are you looking forward to?

A: We have an upcoming CBR MOA tour – I am really excited about it. I have only been to the MOA once! It’ll be even better with a guided tour. I am also looking forward to some of our future events (in the making) – such as cooking classes, yoga etc.


DianaCanalsDiana Canals Hernaez, MSc Student in Dr. Kelly McNagny’s Lab (Committee Member)

Q: Why did you join the Health and Wellness Committee?

A: Since I started grad school, I have been interested in improving the wellbeing of graduate students. Science research is a highly competitive environment. Graduate students are often under a lot of pressure: expectation to produce good results, publish in high impact journals, and meet grant deadlines. Together this can affect, both physically and mentally, the health of graduate students. I joined the Health and Wellness committee to try to improve and alleviate part of this stress. Also, it has given me the opportunity to work alongside other CBR members.


The Health and Wellness Committee is currently recruiting new members. If you’re interested in joining, email Amarpreet: