Meet The Team
Dr. Michelle C Francis, MSc, FRCP(C)
Dr. Francis is a Royal College Certified Paediatrician who provides consultation and ongoing care for children and youth with neurodevelopmental conditions including ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, FASD, Intellectual and Learning Disorders, Tic and Tourette Disorders, and Developmental Coordination Disorder.
She is also the Consultant Paediatrician on the Nanaimo Vancouver Island Child Assessment Network (VICAN) team and a Qualified Specialist for diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder in British Columbia.
Sandy has 16 years of Medical Office Assistant experience, with 9 of them in Paediatrics.
She has lived in Nanaimo most of her life and has two grown daughters. She welcomed her first grandson in 2020.
In her free time, Sandy enjoys spending time with family and friends and playing pickle ball.
Elizabeth Martin, MACP, RCC
Elizabeth is a clinical counsellor and psychometrist who works with children, youth, and families. She holds a master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and is close to completing a master’s degree in Special Education. Elizabeth is a member of The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPC) and the BC Association for Behaviour Analysis (BC-ABA).
When not engaged in her private practice, Elizabeth works at the Nanaimo Child Development Centre as a Department Leader for the Vancouver Island Children’s Assessment Network (VICAN) where she case manages and coordinates Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Complex Child and Youth assessments.
Elizabeth believes it is important to engage with children at a pace that feels comfortable to them and in an environment that is emotionally and physically safe. She engages proactively in the support of caregivers to avoid exhaustion and burnout, and reactively when crises emerge.
Elizabeth’s professional practice is greatly informed by her personal experiences as a parent raising children with complex needs.
Areas of specialization include:
Supporting healthy family functioning
Supporting children, youth, and families living with disabilities
Supporting children and caregivers with anxiety
Challenges associated with grief and loss
Supporting families with adoption
Managing screen addiction
Behaviour analysis and intervention
Supporting children and youth with Autism and mental health challenges
Supporting youth transitioning to adulthood
Barb Foston, MACP, RCC
Barb is a Registered Clinical Counsellor in good standing with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. She holds a master’s degree in Counselling Psychology, a bachelor’s degree in Child and Youth Care, and certification in Special Education and Early Childhood Education and Care. She is currently studying to become an ADHD Certified Clinical Services Provider (ADHD-CCSP).
Barb has worked in a variety of supportive roles with individuals with diverse abilities and their family members. Barb uses a humanistic approach that allows the unique perspectives and strengths of the individuals and families she meets guide the direction of the work. Her personal style is calm, compassionate, accepting, and collaborative. She practices Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and Somatic techniques, and while her formal education and training guide her practice, she believes the most valuable lessons come from personal experience and being with and learning from others.
Barb has supported in areas such as stress-management, anxiety reduction, mood management, life transitions, school planning, social emotional development, social justice, marginalization, interpersonal conflict, and self-actualization. Barb is dedicated to upholding a practice that nurtures curiosity, values intersectionality, respects differences, and empowers advocacy. She feels honoured when invited to work alongside individuals and families and hopes that with her, they will find a safe, trusting person, who will help them to deepen their understanding of themselves and the challenges they face, alter unhelpful thoughts, access their inner strength, and activate change in their relationship with their circumstances.