Barry Lam

BMLSc ’98

As a network manager for safety and wellness, Barry oversees the occupational health and safety of healthcare workers.  He shares the key parts of the program that have helped him in his career.

What is your current career or current educational program?

I am currently working at Unity Health Toronto as a network Manager for Safety and Wellness.

Describe what you do, in a few sentences.

I am responsible for overseeing a team of occupational hygienists, safety specialists, ergonomists, and wellness coordinators across 3 Toronto hospitals.  We implement policies, programs, and education as it relates to occupational health and safety for our healthcare workers.  More important than ever now is the work around building strategies for resiliency to cope with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What has been your journey, since graduating from the BMLSc Program?

After graduating from the BMLSc Program, I ended up completing my Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental Health at UBC.  This led to a completely different career path.  I ended up writing my Certified Industrial Hygiene certification exam shortly after.  Most of my career has been in healthcare as an occupational hygienist.  At the hospital, I helped develop a business model for fit-testing on different respirators for our HCWs and external partners.  Through this work and the knowledge gained from it, I now sit on the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Z94.4 Standard – Use and Care of Respirators Technical Committee.

How did your BMLSc degree help you to get where you are now?

In my current and previous roles held at a hospital, I have been able to draw on my laboratory experience to better understand the needs of laboratory and research workers – in particular the health and safety hazards they face.  A part of my role as an occupational hygienist at a large teaching hospital was to also act as their biosafety officer.

What is the most valuable experience you gained from the BMLSc Program?

I am clearly biased – I cannot stress enough the value of the safety orientation I received through the BMLSc laboratory training.  This has been invaluable and  I strongly believe all lab workers should get, at minimum, this level of training.

What is your favorite memory from your time in the BMLSc Program?

One of my fondest memories is having such a small and intimate group.  We were really able to bond.  Not to mention learning in such a small group made it more valuable.  It made access to our instructors and professors much easier.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to BMLSc students and recent graduates?

At risk of sounding cliché, the BMLSc program for me was truly moment of “learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”

Name one thing on your bucket list.

To travel and eat my way through the world.