Michele Arnesen passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, in her Vancouver home on April 16, 2021, following a year-long struggle with lung cancer. She is survived by her husband John, sons Ty and Marc Lacroix, parents Frank and Sally Perry, brother Greg, and relatives across B.C.
Born on April 6, 1968, Michele was raised in Osoyoos, B.C., and graduated from high school there in 1986. She then trained as a psychiatric and registered nurse and worked primarily in the emergency department at Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) until 2001. She had a passion for medical research, and between 1998 and 2006 worked as a manager of cardiology clinical trials at SMH.
Between 2006 and 2017, Michele worked for Vancouver Coastal Health, initially as the Regional Planning leader and later as the director of Planning and Strategic Development of the Regional Cardiac Program. She secured her Bachelor of Nursing degree from UVic and her Master of Health Administration from UBC in 2012. She was working toward a doctorate degree in health informatics at the time of her passing. From 2006 onward, she continued in cardiac research with a team of UBC professors and cardiologists, resulting in several published articles.
2017 saw Michele at the BC College of Nurses and Midwives as a regulatory practice consultant. From 2018, she was the manager of Clinical Operations of the intensive care and telemetry units, diagnostic cardiology, and cardiac rehabilitation at Burnaby Hospital. In May 2020, Michele became an adjunct professor at the School of Population and Public Health at UBC.
Michele's remarkable career and success in healthcare was born out of deep care and concern for the people around her. She delivered this compassion and interest tenfold in her personal life to her family, friends, and community. She sought out and focussed on the best in people, which brought out the best in her: good humour, smiling eyes, and a calm, graceful consideration. A strong and vibrant woman, Michele infused possibility and positive energy into every occasion. Michele will be deeply missed and forever honoured.