What’s in a name?

At INITIO, we know that every great achievement requires the
simple action of beginning, and we’ve drawn our name from this.

The Latin word for “beginning”, initium reflects our commitment to demonstrating initiative, innovation, responsibility, and leadership in molecular medicine.

In its precision, molecular medicine has the potential to expand our understanding of disease and advance diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

We’re proud to be part of a new beginning in personalized patient care and population health, supporting the health and health care choices of every individual, both now and into the future.

As western Canada’s only private PET/CT scan facility, INITIO has nearly 20 years of diagnostic scanning experience.

2000INITIO attained the 1st PET machine in Canada and the 1st license to produce fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG).
2010INITIO began performing PET/CT oncology (cancer) FDG scans.
2018INITIO provides Alzheimer’s amyloid scans using Amyvid, Neuraceq, and Flutemetamol.

INITIO is also actively seeking to provide 68Ga-PSMA imaging for persons with prostate cancer.

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Our Leadership

Geoff Waters

Managing Director

Dr. Philip Cohen

Director

Dr Robert Tarzwell, MD, FRCPC

Chief Medical Officer & Medical Director

Geoff Waters

Managing Director

Geoff brings a unique repertoire of skills to Nuclear Medicine. His extensive and active research throughout Europe, Australia and North America combined with his successful career in business, marketing and collaboration, has positioned him locally, nationally and internationally as a well-recognized PET/CT and Theranostic pioneer in Canada. Geoff’s core values of honesty, compassion, and integrity are largely responsible for his success in the Canadian Nuclear Medicine space.

He is well respected by physicians, specialists, and experts in many medical and clinical fields as he shares their primary goals of advancing novel Nuclear Medicine Theranostics and imaging protocols while improving patient outcomes. He further showcased the Center as Vancouver’s cutting edge in PET/CT neurological and Theranostic research and development.

Geoff continued to develop Premier Diagnostic Centre’s community engagement and innovation toward its success since its inception in 2010.

Dr. Philip Cohen

Director

Dr Philip Cohen is Division Head, Nuclear Medicine, Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, and Section Head, Nuclear Medicine, Doctors of BC. He is a pioneer in Nuclear Medicine in Canada and in the usage of 3-D imaging techniques to improve diagnosis of bone disease and injury in collaboration with the Medical Imaging Research Group at University of British Columbia.

Dr Cohen has been involved in clinical research trials of new radiopharmaceuticals. To that effect, Cohen was the first recipient of a research grant from the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation, one of several peer-reviewed awards that would follow.

Dr Robert Tarzwell, MD, FRCPC

Chief Medical Officer & Medical Director

Dr. Robert Tarzwell is a dual-certified specialist in psychiatry and nuclear medicine. His main area of clinical and research interest is functional brain imaging in psychiatric disorders. He also has a strong interest in leadership of health and technology startups. He was on the medical advisory board of Medeo, a video telemedicine company, from its inception until its successful acquisition. He was a founding director of Electrameccanica Vehicles, a Vancouver-based electric car manufacturer, until it successfully completed its public uplist (NASDAQ:SOLO). He is also a cofounder of Viewers Like You Productions, a Vancouver-based film production company, and he was executive producer of VLY's first feature film, Focus. He is excited and honoured to begin his newest role as Chief Medical Officer and Medical Director of INITIO.

As a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, with a cross-appointment in the Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Tarzwell pursues his goals with vigour, as demonstrated by his co-authoring of the largest functional neuroimaging study ever published, which garnered recognition as the 19th of the top 100 Stories in Discover Magazine (2015).

Dr. Tarzwell holds an MD (Manitoba, 2001), Psychiatry (Dalhousie, 2006), and Nuclear Medicine (UBC, 2011).

The Clinic Team

Jeann Collin (Colleen) Alvarado, RT, BSc

Client Relations Manager

Dr Rajpaul Attariwala, M.D., PhD, FANM, FRCPC

Nuclear Medicine Radiologist & Biomedical Engineer

Sung Hwan (Sunny) Bang, RTNM, CTIC

Nuclear Medicine and CT Technologist

Wilson Lo, RTNM, CTIC, BSc

Nuclear Medicine and CT Technologist

The Clinic

Our clinic is welcoming and designed for patient comfort. We encourage accompaniment and support by family members and friends. Focused on individualized patient needs and care; we offer a private, comfortable room in which patients can receive their radiopharmaceutical injection and relax while preparing for their scan. 

INITIO is conveniently located near Highway 1 and easily accessible from Exit 29 Willingdon Ave.  There is plenty of parking; validation is available.

tour the clinic

Jeann Collin (Colleen) Alvarado, RT, BSc

Client Relations Manager

Collin (pronounced Colleen) handles patient scheduling and the communications between patients, our technologists, and our doctors. With a BSc in Radiologic Technology from De La Salle Health Sciences Institute (Philippines), Collin has six years of experience in PET/MR, PET/CT, NM, and two years of experience in general radiography.

Collin realizes the importance of the interaction between our patients and staff and positioning our patients within the practice of health care in Canada. Her work is guided by compassion and empathy, along with a drive to advance new technology in medicine, as demonstrated by her pioneering work as a molecular medicine technologist delivering PET/CT gallium and PET/MR scans.

Dr Rajpaul Attariwala, M.D., PhD, FANM, FRCPC

Nuclear Medicine Radiologist & Biomedical Engineer

A board-certified radiologist and molecular medicine physician certified in both Canada and the US. Dr Attariwala received his formal training at UBC, along with specialized medical training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre (New York), UCLA, and USC. He also holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL).

Dr. Attariwala brings expertise in INITIO’s diagnostic protocols and is committed to ensuring that molecular medicine is practiced to the highest standards of scientific and technical proficiency, efficacy, and safety.

Sung Hwan (Sunny) Bang, RTNM, CTIC

Nuclear Medicine and CT Technologist

Sunny has several years of experience, having worked in many imaging sites across BC since his graduation from BCIT in 2010. In addition to being trilingual (English, Japanese, Korean), he is passionate about the sciences, has received several academic scholarships over the course of his academic career, and has recently completed his studies in CT Imaging Theory with the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists.

While facilitating PET/CT scans and producing high quality images for our patients, Sunny also seeks to provide clear information, emotional support, and comfort to patients as they face an unfamiliar imaging procedure. He believes that information is empowering and fundamental to providing patients with “platinum-level” care. He is also enthusiastic about advancing technology in health sciences, especially in PET/CT molecular imaging.

Wilson Lo, RTNM, CTIC, BSc

Nuclear Medicine and CT Technologist

With a Bachelor of (Life and Mathematical) Sciences from UBC and Nuclear Medicine and Computed Tomography Technology Diploma from BCIT, Wilson has worked at INITIO since 2015; his duties include receiving and preparing patients for their procedure(s), calibrating and administering radiopharmaceuticals, as well as performing and processing PET/CT and CT scans.

Wilson appreciates the opportunity for learning that his position affords, is excited to see the development of medical technology and values helping people by discovering information that is critical to their health. To every aspect of his work, Wilson brings to bear his belief that the best outcomes for people are achieved by offering the best care that is at the forefront of medical science.