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FREE South Asian Health Forum

On March 4, 2018, iCON (the interCultural Online Health Network) will host a free South Asian Health forum entitled Healthy @ Home: Living Well with Chronic Conditions. This forum will expand on the theme of healthy aging to promote chronic disease management, healthy living, and community support services.Forum poster

Good Habits, Good Health

As the population ages, South Asians are at greater risk for developing chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, making them vulnerable to developing dementia, as well as other mental health issues in their senior years. Studies in Canada have shown that South Asians have higher rates of being diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension due to genetics and lifestyle factors. Living with these illnesses can be debilitating and significantly impact quality of life. However, by developing good habits, these conditions can be well-managed and good health can be achieved.

This free South Asian health forum will be delivered in Punjabi with simultaneous interpretation in English. Health experts from the community will educate on diabetes, hypertension, dementia, and mental wellness including anxiety and depression. The forum will highlight strategies and best practices for managing these chronic conditions at home through nutrition, medication management, stress reduction, exercise, and more. In addition, the forum will feature the opportunity to ask questions to the experts, health exhibitions, resources and community support programs.

WebcastClick here to view the webcast recording in English or Punjabi

Forum Logistics:

When: Sunday, March 4, 2018 from 11:00 am – 4:30 pm
  Open House Period: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm featuring health exhibition
  Health Forum: 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm featuring presentations from local health experts
Who: Seniors and their families, caregivers – everyone is welcome!
Where:  Grand Taj Banquet Hall, 8388 128 Street, Surrey, BC, V3W 4G2
Cost:  Free, light refreshments will be served
Language:  Punjabi, with simultaneous interpretation in English


Key Messages:


Our team of health experts will share the latest information on:

  • Managing hypertension for seniors
  • Mental wellness, anxiety and depression, and stress management
  • Key differences between healthy aging and dementia, and tips and services for people diagnosed with dementia and their families
  • Lifestyle management including nutrition, medication, exercise, and other self-care recommendations for individuals diagnosed with diabetes
  • Caregiver strategies to support aging family members while maintaining own health and wellness
  • How to access community supports and services, and digital resources for both seniors and loved ones

Social Media:
If you are posting on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms, please use the hashtags: #digEM, #iCONforum

Meet the Panel:

Dr. Kendall Ho

Dr. Kendall Ho – ER Physician

Dr. Kendall Ho is a practicing emergency medicine specialist and the lead at Digital Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He is also the Executive Director of the interCultural Online health Network (iCON), an initiative that supports multicultural populations in BC to optimize chronic disease management. His academic and research interests are in digital health, specifically the use of information technologies to improve healthcare for patients. Dr. Kendall Ho will be talking about digital health resources to support patients and families living Healthy @ Home.

Dr. Gulzar Cheema

Dr. Gulzar Cheema – Family Physician

Dr. Cheema, MBBS LMCC CCFP, was elected in B.C. in May 2001 to represent the riding of Surrey-Panorama Ridge. On June 05, 2001 Dr. Gulzar Cheema was appointed as a member of the Executive Council for the Government of B.C. as Minister of State for Mental Health. On January 26, 2004, he was appointed as a member of the Executive Council for the Government of B.C. as Minister of State for Immigration and Multicultural Services. He was also a member of the Legislative Assembly in Manitoba for five years and served as critic for health. He has also practised medicine in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba. He received his bachelor of medicine and surgery from India’s Punjab University, interned at the University of Newfoundland and was a resident at Saskatoon’s University Hospital. In 1992 he was awarded the Canada 125 Medal for community service. To promote the health and welfare of the community, Dr. Cheema participates weekly on local multicultural radio talk shows.

At present he is practicing family medicine in Surrey, BC and is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Family Practice. He is the first Indian born person to be elected as a MLA in Canada.

Jay Bains

Jay Bains – iCON South Asian Community Liaison Officer

Jay Bains has been involved with iCON’s South Asian division since 2009. Jay is a Ph.D. candidate, University Gold Medalist, and Paul Harris Fellow Rotarian undertaking research in the areas of cross-cultural health and wellness and seniors health. Jay is a Master Trainer in the Chronic Disease and Diabetes Self-Management programs with certification from Stanford University. Through involvement with University of Victoria Self-Management Program, Jay has gained invaluable experience coordinating projects pertaining to seniors health and wellness.

Dr. Leena Jain

Dr. Leena Jain – Geriatrician

Dr. Leena Jain grew up in Chandigarh, India. She obtained a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from Lady Hardinge Medical College, in Delhi. She then went on to complete her M.D. in Ophthalmology from Rajendra Hospital,Patiala. After moving to North America Dr. Jain completed another M.D. in Internal Medicine in Chicago, USA. Follow her MD in Internal Medicine, she completed a Geriatrics fellowship at Loyola University, in Chicago, USA. Dr. Jain moved to Canada around 14 years ago and since then has been practicing as an Internal Medicine specialist and Geriatrician in the Fraser Health Region. Dr. Jain also holds the Fellowship of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as well as of the American College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Priti Suri

Priti Suri – Dietitian

Registered with College of Dietitians of BC, currently Priti is the Chief Consulting Dietitian at Diet Group Registered Dietitians. Priti spends the majority of her time consulting for organizations, government, conducting educational workshops, individual nutrition counseling, public speaking and writing. She completed undergraduate studies in Clinical Dietetics and has worked on wide array of projects with BC Children’s, Abbotsford Regional, Toronto East General, Mount Sinai Hospital and Hospital for Sick Children.

Priti is a trusted food & nutrition expert and has been actively involved in various community initiatives bearing positions as well as membership of key committees. She has delivered nutrition lectures at corporate organizations, hospitals, schools, non‐profits and has given several Nutrition Programs / Interviews / Expert Views on Radio, Television and in the Print Media. As a nutrition columnist, she covers health, nutrition and diet related information about chronic disease prevention and management.

Dr. Sajal Jain

Dr. Sajal Jain – Internist


Dr. Hetesh Ranchod

Dr. Hetesh Ranchod – Geriatrician

Dr. Hetesh Ranchod is a Specialist in Internal and Geriatric Medicine at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital in Vancouver and a Physician at The Cambie Older Mental Health Team in Vancouver. He is a Clinical Instructor with the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He is also on the Steering Group for the Guidelines and Protocol Advisory Committee of British Columbia. His passion is for the care of the seniors in our community.

Harmeet Mundra

Harmeet Mundra – Diabetes Educator


Dr. Kuldip Rai Jassal

Dr. Kuldip Rai Jassal - Psychiatrist

Dr. Kuldip Jassal is a practicing Adult and Geriatric Psychiatrist in Surrey and White Rock. He obtained a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from Government Medical College in Amritsar, Punjab, India. He completed his residency in Adult Psychiatry from the University of Buffalo, New York, USA. This was followed by a few months of residency in Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, and he subsequently completed a fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry from the University of Buffalo in New York, USA.

Aaron Sihota

Aaron Sihota - Primary Care Pharmacist

Aaron Sihota is a Primary Care Pharmacist and Clinical Instructor at the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. As part of BioPro Biologics, a specialized collaborative pharmacy environment that focuses on outcome based immunotherapy and dermatology services, Aaron works in collaboration with a group of specialist physicians and nurses to educate, monitor, and optimize patient medication therapy leveraging emerging digital health technology.

He co-created an advanced Dermatology, Cosmeceuticals and Topical Compounding course at the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, a first of its kind offering at a pharmacy school in North America. Aaron also co-Founded Pharmacy Leaders of Tomorrow (PLoT), a platform dedicated towards fostering digital health adoption, business practice innovation and entrepreneurship in millennial pharmacists and the first of its kind in Canada. Aaron has served as a strategic consultant with the College of Pharmacists of BC as well as the BC Pharmacy Association and Ministry of Health and is a regular columnist for Pharmacy Practice + Business Magazine. He was one of the only pharmacists in the province invited to present a health innovation proposal to the BC Select Standing Committee on Health, a bipartisan legislative committee tasked with identifying strategies for building a sustainable healthcare system.

Aaron is regularly called on to share his expertise at digital health forums across North America to explore trends and innovation in healthcare delivery.