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.

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CORE Purpose

We exist to provide informed options, clarity, and choice. Through leadership in molecular medicine, we drive health care innovation that improves patient outcomes.

CURRENT Mission

We provide timely and appropriate medical imaging services safely and effectively to support the achievement of optimal outcomes for patients, their physicians, and the health system.

Core Values

Integrity

Every aspect of our work is guided and informed by honesty, the highest ethical standards, and respect for every individual. In this, there can be no compromise.

Compassion

It is our goal that no person be without the best information available through medical investigation, upon which they, their family/caregivers, and their professional advisors can base the highest quality of decision-making and care. Our patients, their families, and our community are central to everything we do.

Innovation

Opportunity favours the bold. We know that every advance in medicine is rooted in change, growth, and a refusal to accept the status quo. That’s why we are devoting our resources to cutting-edge, clinically applied research and technology.

Empowerment

We’re committed to a culture of empowerment, for both our staff and our patients, recognizing that every individual has a right to make personal and informed choices that enhance their quality of life.

I joined INITIO for one overarching reason: it is the logical extension of a 48-year career in science and medical practice significantly impacted by a fundamental change in how we think about disease and how we approach it.

Dr Simon Sutcliffe
CEO, INITIO

Read Simon’s Letter

OUR ROLE IN PET/CT DEVELOPMENT IN B.C.

1982-1996

Dr. Sutcliffe serves as Staff Oncologist at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital, and as Staff Scientist at the Ontario Cancer Institute.

1994-1996

Dr. Sutcliffe is President and CEO at Princess Margaret Hospital/Ontario Cancer Institute.

1996-2000

Dr. Sutcliffe arrives in B.C., and serves as Vice President of the Vancouver Cancer Centre, BC Cancer Agency.

1998/1999

Dr. Sutcliffe enters into discussions to create a clinical PET capability in B.C., leading to the opening of the private IPET facility–the first clinical PET imaging centre in Canada.

1999-2004

BC Cancer Agency refers patients to IPET; BCCA and IPET co-host the first international meeting on PET in oncology in Vancouver (2001); Under Dr. Sutcliffe, BCCA and IPET develop clinical practice guidelines for the use of PET in oncology (2001-2004).

2000-2009

Dr Sutcliffe serves as the President of the BC Cancer Agency.

2005

Dr. Sutcliffe is part of establishing the PET functional imaging initiative at the BC Cancer Agency.

2009

IPET becomes Premier Diagnostic Health Services in Burnaby, B.C.

2014

Premier makes Dr. Sutcliffe Board Chair; rebuilds its clinical private sector practice in FDG PET/CT for cancer; and is validated and accepted as a clinical trial site.

2015

Premier Diagnostic Health Services proposes a public/private sector collaboration with the BC Cancer Agency to provide additional PET/CT capacity in B.C. for cancer and other imaging indications.

2019

Premier Diagnostic Health Services becomes INITIO.

1982-1996

Dr. Sutcliffe serves as Staff Oncologist at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital, and as Staff Scientist at the Ontario Cancer Institute.

1994-1996

Dr. Sutcliffe is President and CEO at Princess Margaret Hospital/Ontario Cancer Institute.

1996-2000

Dr. Sutcliffe arrives in B.C., and serves as Vice President of the Vancouver Cancer Centre, BC Cancer Agency.

1998/1999

Dr. Sutcliffe enters into discussions to create a clinical PET capability in B.C., leading to the opening of the private IPET facility–the first clinical PET imaging centre in Canada.

1999-2004

BC Cancer Agency refers patients to IPET; BCCA and IPET co-host the first international meeting on PET in oncology in Vancouver (2001); Under Dr. Sutcliffe, BCCA and IPET develop clinical practice guidelines for the use of PET in oncology (2001-2004).

2000-2009

Dr Sutcliffe serves as the President of the BC Cancer Agency.

2005

Dr. Sutcliffe is part of establishing the PET functional imaging initiative at the BC Cancer Agency.

2009

IPET becomes Premier Diagnostic Health Services in Burnaby, B.C.

2014

Premier makes Dr. Sutcliffe Board Chair; rebuilds its clinical private sector practice in FDG PET/CT for cancer; and is validated and accepted as a clinical trial site.

2015

Premier Diagnostic Health Services proposes a public/private sector collaboration with the BC Cancer Agency to provide additional PET/CT capacity in B.C. for cancer and other imaging indications.

2019

Premier Diagnostic Health Services becomes INITIO.

Our Leadership

Dr Simon Sutcliffe, MD, FRCP, FRCPC

Chief Executive Officer

Marta C Davidson, LLB, LLM

Director

Alnesh Mohan, CPA, CA

Director

Dr Robert Tarzwell, MD, FRCPC

Chief Medical Officer & Medical Director

Dr Simon Sutcliffe, MD, FRCP, FRCPC

Chief Executive Officer

Highly regarded as a leader in cancer control, Dr. Sutcliffe has 48 years of experience that includes internal medicine, scientific research, and medical and radiation oncology in Canada, the USA, the UK, and South Africa.

He has dedicated himself to medicine, particularly in the prevention and treatment of cancer, as exemplified by his work in establishing and leading the Canadian Cancer Control Strategy and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer; establishing the International Cancer Control Congress Association and holding five international conferences between 2005-2013 (Vancouver, Rio, Milan, Seoul, and Lima); and establishing and leading Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration (INCTR-Canada Branch) with palliative care programs and partnerships in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.

Simon has served as INITIO’s chief executive officer since 2014, developing our strategic vision and overseeing our clinical, scientific, and clinical business development to ensure that INITIO maintains its vision to make Canada a leader in theranostic medicine by advancing molecular medicine in order to tangibly improve treatment options and health outcomes for every individual.

Simon’s career is rooted in honesty, trust, integrity, and imagination: values essential to the creation of a medical future that is consistent with the medicine, science, and goals that support cancer control and enhanced population health.

Education:
Medical school: St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, University of London, UK
Post-graduate positions: London, Oxford, New York, New Orleans, Toronto
Degrees and fellowships: B.Sc. M.D. FRCP, FRCR, FRCPC

Select positions:
President and CEO of the Princess Margaret Hospital/Ontario Cancer Institute (1994-1996)
President and CEO of the BC Cancer Agency (2000-2009)
Chair of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (2006-2007)
Board Member, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (2001-2008)
Board Member, Genome BC (2001-2008)
Board Member and Co-Chair, InspireHealth (2018-2019)
Adjunct Clinical Professor, University of British Columbia (2007-the present)
President of the International Cancer Control Congress Association (2007-the present)
Associate Scientist with the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at the BC Cancer Agency (2008-the present)
Chair of the Board of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (2009-2012)
Vice-Chair, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (2007-2009)
Chair of Governing Council, Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control (2003-2006)
Senior Advisor to the Terry Fox Research Institute (2009-2015)
Chair of the Board of the Institute for Health Systems Transformation and Sustainability (2010-2016)
President of the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research, Canada Branch (Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration) (2010-the present)
Board Member and Chief Medical Officer for Qu Biologics Inc. (2011-the present) and Omnitura Inc. (2010-the present)

Recognition:
The Queen Elizabeth 50th Jubilee Gold Medal (2003)
Terry Fox Award from the BC Medical Association for lifetime services to cancer control (2009)

Marta C Davidson, LLB, LLM

Director

Marta brings 15+ years of experience in law to INITIO’s Board of Directors. She works with the other directors and INITIO management to provide strategic direction and corporate governance oversight. Marta is involved with the development of INITIO’s medical-legal services.

Marta believes strongly that Canadian patients should have the freedom of choice of how, when, and where to pursue their health care, to advocate for themselves, and to make informed decisions about their diagnoses and treatment options.

Marta holds a Bachelor of Laws from Bond University, Australia, and a Master of Laws from the University of British Columbia. She is the founder of Curo Law Corporation.

Alnesh Mohan, CPA, CA

Director

Alnesh Mohan is the managing partner of Quantum Advisory Partners LLP with over 20 years of accounting, auditing, and tax experience, providing advisory services to a wide array of companies across multiple industries.

Acting on behalf of several public companies, Mr. Mohan has acquired considerable experience in financial reporting, corporate governance and regulatory compliance. Mr. Mohan is currently CFO of Highbury Projects Inc., Premier Diversified Holdings Inc., and Twyford Ventures Inc., all listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.

He is also a Director of Premier Diversified Holdings Inc., a TSX Venture Exchange listed company, American Pacific Mining Corp., HealthSpace Data Systems Ltd. and VSBLTY Groupe Technologies Corp., all listed on the CSE.

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

Kayla Wagner, RTNM, BSc

Lead Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Sung Hwan (Sunny) Bang, RTNM

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Wilson Lo, RT(NM/CT), BSc

Nuclear Medicine/Computed Tomography Technologist

Dr Cynthia Hamilton, MSc, PhD

Research Development, Project Facilitator

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.

Kayla Wagner, RTNM, BSc

Lead Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Kayla is passionate about the imaging techniques, tracers, trends, and therapies in molecular medicine. Her responsibilities at INITIO include the daily handling of our radioactive tracers, basic patient care, and acquisition and processing of precise images.

In her pursuit of the best patient care, Kayla is innovative and energetic, treating our patients like family and supporting them by addressing any questions they may have with empathy and clarity. In keeping with her core values of professionalism, inclusion, equity, and accessibility, Kayla believes everyone should receive cutting-edge imaging and the best medical care available, and her career goals reflect this. Kayla has completed additional education on clinical trials and research in cancer. Currently, she is continuing her educational development in Computed Tomography.

Kayla received her Nuclear Medicine Technology Diploma from BCIT to accompany her Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology (minor in Organic Chemistry) from the University of Alberta (Augustana).

Sung Hwan (Sunny) Bang, RTNM

Nuclear Medicine 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, RT(NM/CT), BSc

Nuclear Medicine/Computed Tomography 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.

Dr Cynthia Hamilton, MSc, PhD

Research Development, Project Facilitator

Cynthia combines 20+ years of research experience with an MSc. in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology and a PhD in Applied Science. In her position as a research consultant, she has contributed to the early adoption of diagnostic imaging and continues to do the groundwork in evaluating new therapies that can positively impact our patients’ health and wellbeing.

Her commitment to advancing technology and medicine is reflected by her management of the 2002-2003 clinical trial that led to the first Health Canada approval of 18F-FDG, an isotope used extensively in PET/CT scans.