Meet our READI Committee

Meet our UBC Department of Orthopaedics READI Committee members and learn more about what READI means to them!

READI Leadership

Dr. Bonita Sawatzky

Associate Professor & Director, READI

Why I’m involved

I got involved because of the support and leadership I experienced from some members of this department who were champions of READI over 25 years ago.

I was a graduate student in biomechanics working in the Paediatrics Orthopaedics Division under Dr. Stephen Tredwell as a research assistant. Dr. Tredwell was instrumental in me continuing to pursue my PhD following my master’s degree. The year I was to begin my PhD, I was involved a terrible car accident that led me to needing wheelchair for daily living.

Dr. Tredwell adapted. He made it possible for me to successfully continue my studies, and he arranged a faculty position once I finished. Being a woman faculty member in all-male department was one thing—but also beginning a woman with a significant disability was something else.

His support—and the support of many others within the department, such as Drs. Richard Beauchamp, Bassam Masri, and Thomas Oxland, who have encouraged me throughout my career—has demonstrated already that inclusion is possible.

The support I received by READI champions during the past 25 years, propels me to want to be a champion for others. Sure, we have some ways to go in our department; however, some roads have already been paved. I want to help elevate our READI game within the UBC Department of Orthopaedics. And, I encourage others to do the same.

READI Committee Members

Andrea Velijkovic

Clinical Associate Professor

Babak Shadgan

Assistant Professor

Why I’m involved

As a physician-scientist with diverse set of life and academic experiences, I am an advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion, and embedding this concept in my practice, research, and teaching. Having led the medical commission of the International Wrestling Federation, I drafted and legislated the first Transgender Policy for athletes practicing wrestling around the world. As a member of the Olympic Movement with a passion for uniting and empowering athletes from different origins, nations, beliefs and gender, I am proud to be part of this Committee.

Brad Ashman

Clinical Assistant Professor

Why I’m involved

To me, EDI means the creation of a setting that encourages, embraces and values the inclusion, participation and contribution of everyone. I believe that within a safe, respectful and diverse environment, we encourage dialogue, stimulate innovation, and together achieve our maximum potential. 

Jeffrey Potter

Clinical Assistant Professor

Why I’m involved

To me, READI represents giving every person the opportunity to perform their best in an environment safe from prejudice and intolerance. In the field of orthopaedic surgical education specifically, any individual who has demonstrated the level of academic excellence required to become a surgical trainee should be recognized for that achievement. They should be able to proceed through their training free from bias, and should be given every opportunity to succeed based on their individual abilities as appraised without discrimination. 

Jessica Kupper

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Why I’m involved

I have seen what it means to be underrepresented (as a female in Engineering). I have people in my life who have faced the challenges of being members of groups that face stereotypes and have to strive for equal footing. For these reasons I am passionate about READI and being a part of the DoO READI committee.

Lane Dielwart

Clinical Assistant Professor

Why I’m involved

To me, READI is about acknowledging that people with different backgrounds are going to have different experiences. It’s also about sharing those stories and having people understand the experiences. As patients, physicians, or any other role in the world of orthopedics, READI is important regardless of age, race, or any other identifying characteristics. I would love to be a voice for someone wondering how I got through life the way that I did.

Olatioluwase Olatona

Graduate Student

Why I’m involved

To me, the biggest part of READI is the respect piece – without respect for each and every person, it is hard to uphold principles such as equity, accessibility, diversity and inclusion.  As a visible minority, I have witnessed firsthand the impact that is felt when working and living in an environment that does not respect the individuals that operate within it. I believe that in order for everyone to have an opportunity to thrive, we need to promote environments that are free of bias and discrimination – one that is respectful and inclusive of the needs of anyone that chooses to willingly participate. 

Raphaele Charest Morin

Clinical Assistant Professor

Why I’m involved

Faculty members and medical trainees from underrepresented groups disproportionately experience stress due to discrimination and feel must work harder than their peers to be perceived as legitimate academicians/ clinicians. Workplace discrimination and harassment can create a hostile environment, and negatively impact opportunities and future careers. I am part of this committee as I believe in fostering a respectful environment for all trainees and staff members where sharing diverse perspectives is encouraged. 

Sophia Khan

Administrative Manager

Taylor Crown


Why I’m involved

I have chosen to be a part of the READI committee to be the voice for residents going through the program. To me, EDI in Orthopaedics means anyone who is interested in pursuing it as a career, regardless of their background, has every opportunity to join our wonderful community. 

Anthony Cooper

Clinical Associate Professor

Bas Masri


Why I’m involved

As someone who has seen society transition from being very Eurocentric to more diverse, I am heartened by the openness of society in general and our Department in particular, to embrace diversity in all its forms. I am pleased to play a small part in this transformational journey will be impactful for generations to come, and which will change our department to the better.

Fay Leung

Clinical Associate Professor & Associate Head, Education

Why I’m involved

I think that we all have different backgrounds – READI to me means being interested and curious about different backgrounds and histories, and what different individuals bring to the table. This also includes having an openness to explore how we can help each other improve and become more inclusive. Within orthopedics, it really means that we learn all of the practical aspects of orthopedics while bringing individual touches to what we do.

Karen Du Plessis

Education Manager

Why I’m involved

For me, READI means fostering a space where everyone is respected and no one is excluded. READI is also about embracing and appreciating difference, which is what makes the world interesting!

Lisa Howard

Assistant Professor & Fellowship Director, Adult Reconstruction Hip and Knee

Why I’m involved

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion mark the cornerstones of what we in Orthopaedics, and medicine in general, need to build upon. As the first female member of my division and fellowship director, I know first hand the importance of promoting these entities and ensuring success. I am proud to be part of a group that will help to achieve a well-rounded and modern diverse department that will no doubt leave an important footprint and will lead by example. 

Patryk Krolikowski

Administrative Coordinator

Why I’m involved

As a straight white male, I’ve experienced a lot of unearned privilege in my life. But having moved from Poland to the Quebec school system as a teenager and initially speaking very little French, I have some understanding of what it’s like to be treated as an outsider. I find meaning in the idea that we should all try to leave the planet better than we found it; be it in terms protecting the environment for our future generations, shaping our society for everyone to live with dignity and optimism, and celebrating a coexistence in peace and harmony with people of all  cultures and beliefs.

Sonja Mathes

Clinical Instructor

Stephen Tredwell

Professor Emeritus

Why I’m involved

The culture of any organization is a major factor in defining its identity and when this is healthy, is a major factor in its strength and resiliency. The philosophy of respect, equity, diversity, and inclusion when expressed can become a major facet of that culture. In a high tension environment such as health care, strong READI principles becomes a factor in rising to challenges, resisting negative change and promoting positivity.

Increasing the capacity for READI facilitates positive growth.

Tym Frank

Clinical Assistant Professor

Why I’m involved

I became interested in READI while working with our residents and being exposed to some obstacles they were facing. I wanted to be part of the process of helping to make UBC Orthopaedics would become a leader of EDI culture as it should be moving into the future.

Get Involved!

Do you have questions or want to get involved? Contact our READI Lead, Bonnie Sawatzky.


Learn more about how the UBC Department of Orthopaedics is working to create respectful, diverse, and inclusive learning and working environments.


Check out our READI Spotlight series featuring different perspectives on READI within the Department. Learn more about our Department members and how themes of equity, diversity, and inclusion appear in their lives.


Do you have a question or suggestion for our READI Committee? We would love to hear from you. Visit our contact page to learn more about how to reach us.