Maria joined Pain BC in June 2010 as the inaugural Executive Director. With two decades of experience in community development and systems change, Maria has worked to bring Pain BC from concept to reality. Her work has involved mobilizing communities, engaging patients in organizational decision making, and advancing progressive agendas through policy change and program development. She is one of 15 Principal Investigators in the CIHR-funded Chronic Pain Network, the first national pain research network in Canada, and is the co-lead for patient engagement in the Network.
Maria co-chaired Health Canada's Canadian Pain Task Force, which was formed in March of 2019 to assess the current state of pain in Canada and to recommend an improved approach to addressing pain in our country. Its final report, An Action Plan for Pain in Canada, lays out specific and targeted actions necessary to improve outcomes for people living with chronic pain and to reduce its impact on families, communities, and society. Her leadership drove the creation of Pain Canada in 2022, a multi-stakeholder, national initiative made up of the leading pain organizations across Canada.