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Our Vision

Red Canoe Pediatrics is a consultative care clinic that seeks to streamline youth and family services for medical and mental health needs in Nanaimo and neighbouring communities.


Our ongoing focus is to improve collaboration between primary care, allied health providers, and community partners. We intend to minimize barriers and improve access to multidisciplinary care through coordination and by locating service providers in a shared space at an accessible location.


Through team-based family-centered care, we strive toward a unified, shared vision in order to build community support and resilience in families in need.

The Story Behind Our Name

[Red] Canoe: A canoe has symbolic meaning from diverse cultural backgrounds. It embodies our group pursuit toward a common goal with the aim of healing, reconciliation, and sharing of cultures. In Indigenous teachings, a canoe is an object that carries, holds and transmits memories, is a source of sustenance and function (permitting exploration and adventure), and enables prosperity in spirit, community strength, and sustainability. Red is also the colour for happiness, vitality, and good luck in the Chinese culture.

Meet Our Team Anchor

Meet Our Team

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Dr. Francine Ling

General Pediatrician


Dr. Ling is a general pediatrician providing consulting care for infants to adolescents. She has a special interest in Pediatric Eating Disorders and is involved with the Central Island Eating Disorder Clinic.


She completed her medical degree and pediatric residency at the University of British Columbia.


When her stethoscope is put away, she is a mother of two and enjoys expressing her creativity through gardening, sewing, knitting, and paddleboarding.

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Dr. Jennifer Kouwenberg

General Pediatrician


Dr. Kouwenberg is a general Pediatrician. She works with families with young infants, teens and all ages in between.

She completed her Pediatric Residency at Queen's University after completing her medical degree at UBC. She has special interest in neonatal care, anxiety, and eating disorders.


She also provides consultant pediatric care at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and the Snuneymuxw Community Health Centre.

When not at work, she enjoys outdoor adventures with her busy family and dogs. 

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Dr. Bani Falcon

General Pediatrician


Dr. Falcon is a clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of B.C. and is passionate about medical education. She has a broad range of interests, from neonatal medicine to care of adolescents.


Dr. Falcon completed her medical degree at the University of Ottawa following a Master of Science degree at Queen’s University. She recently joined the pediatric team in Nanaimo after completing her pediatric residency training at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.


When not caring for patients, Dr. Falcon enjoys hiking and exploring tide pools with her family. 

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Dr. Bhavika Patel

General Pediatrician


Dr. Patel completed her medical degree at the University of Ottawa and pediatrics residency at Winnipeg Children's Hospital through the University of Manitoba.


She enjoys all areas of general pediatrics including high risk newborn follow-up, ADHD, mental health, constipation and asthma.


In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, cuddling with her pets, and catching up on Netflix!

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Dr. Zaneta Lim

General Pediatrician


Dr. Lim joins us from Terrace, BC.  She completed her medical degree at Queen’s University and pediatric residency at the University of Ottawa and University of British Columbia.

She is grateful for her time in rural and remote BC as the experience has permanently shaped her practice, instilling a deep respect for those who continue to work in under-resourced areas. She is committed to equitable and accessible health care to all and firmly believes that children are healthiest when we invest in the collective well-being of their surrounding community. 

Her heart is full when she is sitting beside her two children and husband, eating pasta puttanesca, with their forever hungry chocolate lab, Monte, lying by their feet.

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Dr.  Sharon Choopa

General Pediatrician

Dr Choopa worked in rural northern BC before joining Red Canoe Pediatric Clinic.


She completed her medical degree at the University of Zambia in Zambia, her pediatric residency, and subspecialty training in pediatric nephrology at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

She enjoys general pediatrics and has a special interest in pediatric nephrology and asthma.

Outside of work, she looks forward to the great outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.

Allied Health
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Jen Campbell

Registered Nurse

Jennifer is working with Dr. Kouwenberg in a Team-Based Care model at Red Canoe Pediatrics. She was born on Vancouver Island and graduated from the University of Victoria with a BScN. S


She is passionate about creating a community of care that strives to advocate and assist pediatric patients and their families navigate the health care system feeling supported and confident.

When she is not working as a nurse she is helping out in her family owned dog care company. She enjoys adventuring around Vancouver Island with her two boys and her husband in their RV. 

Danica Molson

Registered Dietician

Danica is working with Dr. Kouwenberg in a Team-Based Care model at Red Canoe Pediatrics. 

Danica has dedicated her career to pediatric nutrition and is passionate about supporting children and their families to enjoy a healthy relationship with food. 

Danica has experience supporting the nutritional needs of babies recently discharged from the NICU all the way up to adolescents and everything in between. 

In addition to her work with Red Canoe Pediatrics, Danica also works at the Central Island Child and Youth Eating Disorder Clinic. 


When she is not working, Danica enjoys gardening, swimming, camping and spending time outside with her husband, two daughters and dog. 

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Lindsay Ross

Registered Clinical Counsellor

Lindsay is working with Dr. Kouwenberg in a Team-Based Care model at Red Canoe Pediatrics.


Lindsay is a Master of Counselling graduate from Athabasca University.  Lindsay also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with minors in Anthropology and Psychology from VIU.

Her passion for working with children, youth, and families has afforded her over 18 years’ experience supporting this demographic in a wide range of settings. 

Lindsay has trained in Early Childhood Education, Sociocultural and Systemic Influences on Counselling, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and DBT (Dialectical behavioural therapy).


In her 'non-work' time she loves being a mom of two boys and exploring the outdoors with their energetic dog Koda! 


Francine Gosselin

Group Facilitator

Francine is a Registered Social Worker and professional life coach with extensive experience supporting individuals and families who are facing significant health and/or personal challenges.


Francine is joining Dr. Kouwenberg to deliver a team-based care model to better support patients and their support people to navigate their health and wellness. She believes that we are all experts of our own situation and is a strong advocate for including the patient’s voice at the centre of all decision-making.


Francine lives in Nanaimo and is mother to two active children. When not working or engaged in family life, you can usually find her enjoying the outdoors, camping, gardening, or playing volleyball.

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Carrie Liske

Registered Clinical Counsellor

Carrie is an Art Therapist. She encourages the use of art in session to facilitate healing and make counselling fun! She specializes in parent support, trauma, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders and FASD. She also has experience working with neurodiverse individuals and their families.


Carrie lives in Nanaimo with her husband and three children. In her spare time, she can be found gardening, creating art and exploring the trails and beaches on this beautiful island.


Jodie Smith

Registered Clinical Counsellor

Jodie has a Masters in Counselling from UNBC and works from a person-centered approach, meaning that she will be present and work to discover counselling goals together.  She has a strong value for empathy and validating emotions. 

Jodie has experience working with women escaping domestic violence, children/youth (4-18), adults, couples and families. She has additional training in Narrative Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Indigenous Cultural Safety, Rainbows (children and grief), and Accelerated Resolution Therapy - Trauma.

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Leah Desnoyers

Registered Professional Counsellor

Leah has worked as a Registered Professional Counsellor (RPC) since 2007. She is trained in Family Therapy, Solution Focussed Therapy, Narrative Therapy, as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She practices therapeutic play when working with children and knows the importance of play and art to build trust and connections with young people. 

Leah specializes in children experiencing neurodiversity challenges, grief/loss due to separation/divorce or foster care, anxiety, depression, trauma, learning growth mindset strategies, and social skill building.  Whatever stage of journey your family is on, Leah is happy to support your collective wellness goals. 

She lives in Nanaimo with her husband, Colin, and their three energetic, loud and loveable children. 


Laurie Larkin-Boyle

Registered Clinical Counsellor

Certified Art Therapist

Laurie, an Art Therapist, School
Counsellor, and experienced BC
Certified Teacher, specializes in working with children ages 6-12 who require support with grief/loss, anxiety, ADHD,
trauma, and depression.
She uses a trauma informed approach that incorporates neurodevelopment and mind-body best practices. She recognizes that when we honor the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual parts of ourselves we can achieve balance and healing.
Formerly from the Yukon, Laurie now lives in Nanaimo with her husband and two children. In her spare time, she likes to be with her family, walk in nature, and create art.

Medical Office Staff

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Medical Office Assistant

Erin has several years of experience working as a medical assistant.


She is a dedicated mother of 2 boys. In her spare time, she enjoys camping with her family, cooking, reading and playing with her dog and cat. Hobbies include woodworking, painting and spending time with her family. 

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Medical Office Assistant

Jasmine joined the Red Canoe Pediatrics team in February 2024. She brings over 14 years of experience to her role as a Medical Office Assistant. 

Jasmine is a proud mother of 2 children and 2 furbabies (boston terrier and chihuahua). Jasmine grew up in the Nanaimo area. In her spare time you will find her hiking local trails, out on the golf course or cuddled up with a good book.

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Office Manager

Laura brings her love of organizing and efficiency, along with her experience in project management and leading teams, to the Red Canoe office. She is proud to help facilitate Red Canoe Pediatrics' vision of a team-based, family-centered approach to care.

She is happiest when exploring our beautiful coast by sailboat or embarking on her next overseas adventure with her family.

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