May 23, 2017

Meet the Speakers

Meet our esteemed speakers, who will be joining our stage in Vancouver! As speakers and presentations are subject to change, please check back frequently.
{More speakers will be announced shortly.  Please check back soon} 

Dr. Mohamed Ali Bedaiwy MD, PhD, FACOG, FRCSC

Dr. Mohamed Ali Bedaiwy is Professor and Division Head of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Dr Bedaiwy is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Dr Bedaiwy received his medical degree from Assiut University School of Medicine, Egypt where he graduated Valedictorian, summa cum laude.

Dr Bedaiwy completed:

  • Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Hospital Case Medical Center, CWRU, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  • Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University Hospital Case Medical Center, CWRU, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  • Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  • Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in the Division of Reproductive Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • PhD from the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands for his work on ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation

Dr Bedaiwy is a prolific author with over 200 publications, including 104 peer-reviewed publications. He is best known for his work in endometriosis, ovarian transplantation, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and minimally invasive surgery (MIS). His interests include IVF, MIS, robotic surgery, fertility preservation in cancer patients, and endometriosis.   He is also the Associate Editor of the Human Reproduction Journal which is the official journal of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). Dr. Bedaiwy has had a career-long interest in high quality medical care, research and education.

Visit Dr Bedaiwy’s Website

Dr. Carrie Bedient, MD FACOG

Prior to joining the established medical team at The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Dr. Carrie Bedient completed her residency at Case Western Reserve University & Cleveland Clinic Foundation Metrohealth Medical Center, followed by fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Emory University. She earned the Khalid Ataya Excellence in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Award and was invited into membership in the Gold Humanism Honor Society for exhibiting empathy, compassion, respect, altruism and integrity in medicine. She is dual board certified in both obstetrics and gynecology as well as reproductive endocrinology and infertility, with advanced training in minimally invasive robotic and laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Bedient feels honored to help men and women from all over the world to achieve their goal of parenthood. Outside of the office, she enjoys advocating for women’s health initiatives, traveling, baking, spending time with her husband and two young children and walks with her dog Gigi.


Visit Carrie’s Website


Shelley Brownell, BSW, RSW

Shelley has been involved in the adoption community for over 14 years, working with FSGV Adoption Agency. She comes to the agency with a Diploma of Marketing Management as well as a Bachelor of Social Work. Shelley is also an adoptive parent of a young adult. She has a wide variety of experience, ranging from working with children with special needs; the elderly and their caregivers; and birth parent and adoptive parents. Shelley has facilitated several groups for adoption including the Adoption Education Program, Waiting Parents Group, Birth Parent Support Group, Post Adoption Support Group and Information Sessions.



Visit Shelley’s Website


Dr. Sonya Kashyap, MD, MSc Epi, FRCSC, FACOG

Dr. Sonya Kashyap did her fellowship training in New York at Cornell University Medical College, one of the world premiere IVF clinics, under the mentorship of Dr. Zev Rosenwaks. With thousands of cases annually arriving from all over the world, she learned from the pioneers how to achieve the best outcomes even in the most difficult cases. Before arriving in Vancouver, she had been recruited onto faculty at the University of California at San Francisco, one of the top 3 ranked medical schools in the US and a National Institutes of Health recognized Center for Excellence in Women’s Health Care.

Board certified both in Canada and the US in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Dr. Kashyap was also the recipient of a CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research) New Investigators awards in women’s health for her work in assisted reproductive technology, fertility preservation, cancer outcomes and fertility and patient education/decision tools. Dr. Kashyap has been invited to speak internationally, and is an author and recipient of many research and teaching awards. She is most proud of how these experiences have translated into success for her patients.

Visit Dr Kashyap’s Website


Dr. Neeraj Mehra, MD, FRCSC

Dr. Neeraj Mehra completed his residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at Queen’s University in 2010. He then completed two fellowships at the University of Ottawa. First in advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) in Gynecology and a second fellowship in Simulation and Medical Education.

His current clinical practice is focused primarily on MIS cases in gynecology including advanced laparoscopy (endometriosis, fibroids, adnexal masses) as well as operative hysteroscopy. He is also actively engaged in surgical education in MIS for both residents and clinical faculty.

Dr. Mehra is a leader in obstetrical simulation at BC Women’s Hospital where he serves as the Medical Director for Simulation.  His academic interests included a wide range of educational and research activities in obstetrical simulation, surgical education, and patient safety.

Visit Dr. Mehra’s Website / Facebook / Twitter

Krista A. Parr, R.H.N., B.F.A.

Krista A. Parr became interested in the concept of food as medicine while searching for ways to heal her body from injury and chronic pain associated with her work as a contemporary dancer. She wholeheartedly believes that a nourishing diet is one of the foundations of a vibrant, fruitful life.

In 2009 Krista serendipitously began working in administration at a Vancouver fertility clinic and was deeply inspired by the work of the staff and the grace of the patients. Fertility became the focus of Krista’s studies at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, and she gained her Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.) designation in 2013. Root to Fruit Nutrition was born shortly thereafter with the mission of supporting women on their fertility journeys.

Now a mother herself, Krista is passionate about guiding women onto a nourishing diet that is all at once transformative, realistic, and individualized. With over a decade of experience as an instructor and coach, Krista approaches her work with compassion, patience, and eternal optimism.

Visit Krista’s Website / Facebook / Twitter

Dr. Erin Flynn, TCM

Erin Flynn is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Dr.TCM©) and a Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. She is a member of the IVF Acupuncture Group – a team of doctors providing Evidence based acupuncture services on site for patients undergoing IVF in Greater Vancouver. She has been practicing professionally since 2006, and has focused her practice on women’s health, fertility pain, stress management, and preventative medicine.

Dr.Flynn completed the five year DTCM Diploma program at the International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Vancouver. During that time she traveled to China (Hefei, Anhui) and studied acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine at a local TCM hospital. Since graduating from school Erin has continued to take advanced courses from respected leaders in the field such as Jane Lyttleton, Bob Flaws, Debra Betts, Miki Shima, Kiiko Matsumoto, Richard Tan, and Daoshing Ni. In May of 2012, Erin returned to China (Nanjing, Jiangsu) and completed a fellowship in Traditional Chinese Medicine which focused exclusively on the treatment of women’s health and fertility using a combined eastern and western medical approach.

Visit Dr. Pentland’s Website / Facebook

Robin Pike, MA, RSW

Robin oversees CHOICES Adoption & Pregnancy Counselling, one of four BC agencies licensed to facilitate intercountry and domestic adoptions, and birth parent counselling, for citizens across the province. Robin has worked in various aspects of the child welfare field during her career, including child protection, child migrant services, adoption, policy development, and teaching. Robin has represented BC and Canada at international conferences and forums on the topics of child refugees and combating human trafficking. Robin currently represents BC on the Board of International Social Services Canada, and volunteers on several boards in her community of Victoria BC.


Visit Robin’s Website / Facebook

 Sarah Reid, 

Sarah Reid is an Adoption Key Worker with the Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC). She supports applicants and adoptive families in Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast and the Sea-to-Sky corridor. Her areas of specialty include openness and transracial adoption. Sarah and her husband welcomed both their children through adoption – a 10 year old son from foster care, and a 4 year old daughter through a family adoption. Sarah has spent 8 years with AFABC, including time as Education Coordinator. She has presented on various adoption topics to the BC Reproductive Endocrinology rounds, Douglas College Social Work program, UBC International Studies program, A Child’s Song Adoption Conferences and various workshops offered through AFABC.

Visit Sarah’s Website / Facebook

 Leia Swanberg

Leia’s passion for alternative family building began at age sixteen, when she was a birth mother to a daughter placed in an open adoption. Since then, she has had three children of her own – ages 19,11, and a new baby. She has been a gestational surrogate twice and an egg donor several times. Leia’s approach to surrogacy is simple – taking a holistic approach to ensure that all parties are supported, encouraged and protected. She has made great industry connections and working partnerships with professionals worldwide to ensure that she can help to develop the fertility plan that best suits your needs.

Having owned Canadian Fertility Consulting since 2007, she has had the opportunity to help hundreds of couples become parents. Leia’s previous experience as a small business owner and background in management and small business development has helped her grow CFC into Canada’s foremost surrogacy consulting service. Leia and CFC have been featured many times in Canadian media, including Canada AM and The National Post, helping to depict third-party reproduction as a tangible and approachable subject in the country. She also has accumulated a large volume of experience speaking at large events, most recently at Birth Without Fear Vancouver, SurroFair in Madrid Spain and TedX Parksville.

Visit Leia’s: Website / Facebook