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Faculty Mentors

Helen Ward

School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine

Name: Helen Ward
Title: Associate Professor and Executive Committee Member of Bridge Program
Degrees: Ph.D. (1991) Interdisciplinary Studies, UBC M.Sc. (1984) Kinesiology, SFU B.Sc. Honours (1981) Kinesiology, SFU
Office: VHHSC 390-828 West 10th Avenue
Phone: (604) 875-4813
Fax: (604) 875-4206
Email: hward@interchange.ubc.ca

Research Interests

  • Occupation and environmental lung disease
  • Impact of the working environment on different groups of health care workers.
  • Long-term intervention study of infants at risk for asthma
  • Farm residence and its effects on asthma and allergies
  • WRCA

Current Research

  • Cohort study of cancer risks in nurses
  • Long term follow up of WRCA patients
  • Growing up on the farm- a protective effect?
  • Gender effects in occupational respiratory health
  • Respiratory effects of grain dust exposure: endotoxin or dust induced?
  • Survey on antineoplastic, anaesthetic gases and ionizing radiation among nurses.

Courses Taught

  • OCCH 511- Occupational health and illness processes


Selected Publications


Teschke K, Ostry A, Hertzman C, Demers PA, Barroetavena MC, Davies HW, Dimich-Ward H, Heacock H, Marion SA. Opportunities for a broader understanding of work and health: multiple uses of an occupational cohort database. Canadian J Public Health 1998; 89:132-136.

Noertjojo K, Obata H, Dimich-Ward H, Chan-Yeung M. Exposure and sensitization to cat, asthma and asthma-like symptoms among adults in Vancouver. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1999; 103:60-65.

Schenker MB, Christiani D, Cormier Y, Dimich-Ward H, Doekes G, et al. Respiratory Health Hazards in Agriculture Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med, 1998, 158: S1-S76.

Chan-Yeung, Dimich-Ward H. Natural history of occupational lung diseases. Eur Respir J Mon. 1999, I1:46-93.

Voaklander DC, Hartling L, Pickett W, Brison RJ, Dimich-Ward H. Work-related mortality among older farmers in Canada. Family Physician, 1999; 45:2903-2910.

Becker AB, Manfreda J, Ferguson AC, Watson WTA, Dimich-Ward H, Chan-Yeung M. Breastfeeding and environmental tobacco smoke exposure. Arch Pediatrics & Adolescent Med, 1999;153:689-91.

Chan-Yeung M, Ferguson A, Chan H, Dimich-Ward H, Watson W, Manfreda J. Umbilical cord blood mononuclear cell prolifterative response to house dust mite does not predict the development of allergic rhinitis and asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1999; 104:317-21.

Kaan A, Dimich-Ward H, Manfreda J, Becker A, Watson W, Ferguson A, Chan H, Chan-Yeung M. Cord blood IgE: its determinants and prediction of development of asthma and allergic disorders at 12 months. Allergy Asthma Immunol, 2000;84:37-42.

Chan-Yeung M, Manfreda J, Dimich-Ward H, Ferguson A, Watson W, Becker A. A randomized control study of the effectiveness of a multifactorial intervention program in the primary prevention of asthma and other high risk infants. Arch Pediatrics & Adolescent Med 2000; 154:657-663.

Horne K, Dimich-Ward H, Quintana J, Chan-Yeung M. Distribution of DRB1 and DQB1 HLA class Ii alleles in patients with occupational asthma due to Western red cedar. Eur Respir J, 2000; 15:911-914.

Zhu S, Chan-Yeung M, Becker A, Dimich-Ward H, Ferguson A, Ferguson S, Manfreda J, Watson We, Pare PD, Sandford AJ. Polymorphisms of the IL4, TNFa and FceRiB genes and the risk of allergic disorders in at-risk infants. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2000; 161:1655-9.

Heacock H, Hertzman C, Demers PA, Gallagher R, Hogg RS, Teschke K, Hershler R, Bajdik CD, Dimich-Ward, H, Marion SA, Ostry A, Kelly S. Childhood cancer in the offspring of male sawmill workers occupationally exposed to chlorophenate fungicides. Environ Health Perspect 2000: 108:499-503.

Johnson, A, Dimich-Ward H, J. Manfreda, P. Ernst, M. Becklake, M. Chan-Yeung. Prevalence of Occupational Asthma in a Community Based Population. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 2000; 162:2058-62.

Hegele RG, Ahmad HY, Becker AB, Manfreda J, Dimich-Ward H, Ferguson AC, Manfreda J, Watson WTA, Chan-Yeung M.. Prevalence of “asthma-associated” viruses in high risk neonates. J Pediatrics 2001; 138:831-7.

Pickett W, Hartling L, Dimich-Ward H, Guernsey JR, Hagel L, Voaklander DC, Brison RJ. Surveillance of hospitalized farm injuries in Canada. Injury Prevention 2001; 7:123-8.

Teschke K, Chow Y, Brauer M, Chessor E, Hirtle B, Kennedy SM, Chan-Yeung M, Dimich-Ward H. Exposures and their determinants in radiographic film processing. Am Indust Hyg Assoc J 2002; 63:11-21.

Chan-Yeung M, Ferguson A, Dimich-Ward H, Watson W, Manfreda J, Becker A. Effectiveness of and compliance to intervention measures in reducing house dust and cat allergen levels. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology 2002; 88:52-58.

Dimich-Ward H, Wymer M, Kennedy S, Teschke K, Rousseau R, Chan-Yeung M. Excess of symptoms among radiographers. Am J Indust Med 2003: 43:132-141.

He JQ, Chan-Yeung M, Becker AB, Dimich-Ward H, Ferguson AC, Manfreda J, Watson WTA, Sandford AJ. Genetic variants of the IL13 and IL4 genes and atopic diseases in at-risk children. Genes and Immunology, 2003; 4:385-9.

Chan-Yeung M, Dimich-Ward H. Respiratory health effects of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (Invited Review Series: Tobacco and Lung Health). Respirology 2003; 8:131-9.

Manfreda J, Sears MR, Becklake MR, Chan-Yeung M, Dimich-Ward H, Siersted HC, Ernst P, Sweet L, Van Til L, Bowie DM, Anthonisen NR. Geographic and gender variability in the prevalence of bronchial responsiveness in Canada. Accepted, Chest, November 2003

Dimich-Ward H, Guernsey JR, Pickett W, Rennie D, Hartling L, Brison RJ. Gender differences in the occurrence of farm related injuries. Occup Environ Med, 2004; 61:52-6.

Becker A,Watson WT, Ferguson S, Dimich-Ward H, Chan-Yeung M. Canadian asthma primary prevention study: Outcomes at 2 years of age. J Allergy Clin Immunol Accepted, January 2004.

Book Chapters

Dimich-Ward H, Brauer M. Chapter 14. Environmental Tobacco Smoke in Restaurants: Exposures and Health Effects. In: Watson RR, Whitten M, (Eds), Environmental Tobacco Smoke, September 2000.

Conference Proceedings

Dimich-Ward H, J. Lawson, M. Chan-Yeung. Workshift changes in lung function in bar workers exposed to Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1998;157:A505. Presented at the ALA/ATS Annual Meeting, Chicago, 1998.

Dimich-Ward H, Manfreda J, DyBuncio A, Rousseau R, Dittrick M, Chan-Yeung M. Influences of ETS and gender on the prevalence of respiratory symptoms of young adults in Vancouver, Canada. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1998;157:A430. Presented at the ALA/ATS Annual Meeting, 1998.

Johnson AR, Dimich-Ward H, Manfreda J, Sears M, Becklake M, Ernst P, Bowie D, Sweet L, Chan-Yeung M. The prevalence of suspected occupational asthma in a population based survey.Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1998;157:A882.

Becker A, Manfreda J, Watson W, Dimich-Ward H, Ferguson A, Chan-Yeung M. Risk factors in the development of asthma and other allergic disorders in high risk infants. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1998;157:A159.

Chan-Yeung M, Fergusson A, Dimich-Ward H, Watson A, Becker A, Manfreda J. Primary prevention of asthma and other allergic disorders: a multifaceted intervention in high risk infants. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1998;157:A12.

Dimich-Ward H, Rousseau R, Chan-Yeung M. Sex differences in work and respiratory health of owners of small farms. 4th International Symposium: Rural Health and Safety in a Changing World, Saskatoon, October 18-22, 1998.

Dimich-Ward H, Lawson J, Rousseau R, Chan-Yeung M. Respiratory symptoms and perception of exposure among never smokers working in the hospitality industry. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 1999; 159(3):A236. Presented at the ALA/ATS Annual Meeting, San Diego 1999.

Chan-Yeung M, Ferguson A, Dimich-Ward H, Watson W, Becker A, Manfreda J. Primary prevention of asthma in the first year of line in high risk infants: results at 24 months. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 1999; 159(3):A502.

Becker A, Dimich-Ward H, Watson W, Ferguson A, Manfreda J, Chan-Yeung M. Compliance and effectiveness of intervention measures in a primary prevention of asthma study. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 1999; 159(3):A546.

Dimich-Ward H, Lawson J. Respiratory effects related to exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Presented at the Canadian Society of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Annual meeting, Vancouver, May 1999.

Teschke K, Brauer M, Dimich-Ward H, Kennedy SM, Chan-Yeung M, Chow Y, Chessor E. The presence and effectiveness of exposure controls in radiographic film processing facilities. Hazard Control Technologies in Healthcare, Colorado, August 1999.

Wymer ML, Chan-Yeung M, Kennedy SM, Lawson J, Dimich-Ward H. A comparison of respiratory symptoms between physiotherapists and radiographers. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2000;161(3): A167.

Dimich-Ward H, Doefling P, Hagel L, Harling L, Pickett W, Rolland E, Brison R. Who is at risk of dying on Canadian farms? Rural Health Symposium, Saskatoon October 2001.

Dimich-Ward, H, Wymer ML, Chan-Yeung M. Association of respiratory symptoms with the work environment of respiratory therapists. CARWH Meeting, Nov, 2001.

Chan-Yeung M, Hegele R, Dimich-Ward H, Manfreda J, Ferguson A, Watson W, Becker A. Origin of early life: the role of smoking, viruses and allergens. Submitted to ATS Meeting, Atlanta May 2002.

Rideout K, H. Dimich-Ward, K. Teschke, S. Kennedy. Implementation of glutaraldehyde substitutes for high-level disinfection in hospitals. Am Industrial Hygiene Association conference, June 2002.

Rideout K. H. Dimich-Ward, K.Teschke, S. Kennedy. Risks associated with implementation of glutaraldehyde substitutes for high level disinfection in hospitals. Society for Risk Analysis, New Orleans December 2002.

Dimich-Ward H, Trask CM. Growing up on a farm: a protective effect for allergic and respiratory symptoms? Oral presentation for the 99th Meeting of the ATS/ALA, Seattle WA, May 2003.

Dimich-Ward H, Trask C, Chung J, Chow Y. Atopy among Fraser Valley 4-H Youth. IAERH, Saskatoon, October 2003.

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