Skip to main content

Executive Leadership Team

Learn about the passionate executive leaders at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services. They are dedicated to providing patient-centred care for people with some of the most complex mental health and substance use needs in the province.

Dr. Vijay Seethapathy

Chief Medical Officer, BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services

Dr. Vijay Seethapathy is the chief medical officer at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) as part of the dyad leadership team with chief operating officer, Jennifer Duff. He provides strategic and operational oversight for medical services across BCMHSUS programs and services including the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, Red Fish Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, Heartwood Centre for Women, Correctional Health Services, Forensic Regional Clinics and provincial specialized mental-health and substance-use programs. He is also a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, where he oversees the psychiatry residents’ addiction program.

He is one of very few psychiatrists in B.C. who specializes in treating patients with a combination of complex mental health and substance use disorders, known in the mental health community as concurrent disorders. He has a special interest in clinical systems redesign.

Vijay has bachelor’s degrees in medicine and surgery from India, and an executive master’s degree in business administration from Keele University in the UK. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Addiction Medicine, a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK, and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada.

Assistant: Rajika Prabhakar

Jennifer Duff

Chief Operating Officer, BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services

Jennifer Duff is the chief operating officer at BCMHSUS.

Jennifer holds an executive MBA and an Americas MBA for Executives certificate from Simon Fraser University, as well as a Master’s degree in health administration and a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, both from the University of British Columbia. She also currently serves as adjunct professor in UBC’s School of Population and Public Health.

Jennifer has over 20 years of experience in progressively senior health care leadership roles spanning clinical, operational, regional and provincial/ministerial levels. These include roles in mental health and/or substance use at Providence Health Care, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and the Ministry of Health.

Notable projects including the development of the ‘HUB’ and Vancouver Police Foundation Transitional Care Centre at St. Paul’s Hospital, the opening of the Granville Youth Clinic and the multiple joint efforts to open new addiction treatment spaces regionally, Assertive Community Teams, and new acute-hospital based services such as the St. Paul’s Hospital Acute Behavioral & Stabilization Unit. She also led the planning for the implementation of the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions’ injectable opioid agonist treatment (iOAT) program across BC health authorities.

Assistant: Eleni Papavasiliou

Angela joined British Columbia Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services  as the Provincial Executive Director of Forensic Psychiatric Services in September, 2015.  She is responsible for the clinical operations of the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital and six Regional outpatient clinics. With experience as a registered nurse and in federal corrections, she is excited to join an already diverse group of leaders and dedicated professionals providing patient care in Forensic Services. 

 

Angela began her career as a nurse, where she found her passion in correctional, then forensic nursing. After spending many years as a frontline nurse, she began her career in health care administration within the federal correction system. Since her career transition from nursing, Angela has served as a Warden to a federal penitentiary in Saskatchewan, served as a Regional Director of Operations overseeing security and intelligence oversight for 12 federal prisons in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba.  She was appointed Warden of Edmonton Institution for Women from 2012-2014, and prior to her relocation to British Columbia, resumed the role of Executive Director at the Regional psychiatric Center in Saskatoon. Angela holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and has completed numerous training and certificate course in both nursing and corrections milieus.

Dr. Sophie Anhoury

Medical Director, Forensic Psychiatric Hospital

Dr. Sophie Anhoury.jpgDr. Sophie Anhoury is the medical director at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, with responsibility for providing medical leadership and expertise to clinical service delivery and programming.

Dr. Anhoury completed her training in general psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital in South London and has worked in a variety of forensic settings, including corrections, women’s services and medium and high-risk security units. Prior to her current role, Dr. Anhoury was a consultant forensic psychiatrist in an acute male medium secure service and supported the development of regional forensic mental health services as a deputy lead for men’s forensic services across South London. In addition, she acted as training program director for specialist trainees pursuing forensic psychiatry on the South London training program.  

She has a master’s degree in forensic psychology and psychiatry from King’s College London, U.K and bachelor’s degrees in medicine and neuroscience from the University of London, along with Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Assistant: Carly Bath

Blaine Bray

Provincial Executive Director for Forensic Psychiatric Services

Blaine Bray is the provincial executive director for Forensic Psychiatric Services. He leads Forensic Psychiatric Services in its mission to balance service to the courts with ensuring public safety, in addition to providing excellent care for clients who receive treatment at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital and/or the Regional Clinics. Blaine is also leading improvements and the development of enhanced quality metrics and outcome measures, in partnership with the respective medical leadership and teams across Forensic Services provincially.

Blaine has worked exclusively in mental health and substance use for more than 30 years. He is a registered psychiatric nurse and has a Masters of Arts Degree in Leadership from Royal Roads University.

Early in his career, Blaine spent nine years working clinically as a registered psychiatric nurse at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, followed by more clinical work in the Vancouver Jail. Most recently, Blaine worked with Providence Health Care, where he was the program director of Acute and Tertiary Mental Health/Inner City Youth-Foundry Vancouver Granville.

Assistant: Miranda Kidd

Justine Dodds

Executive Director, Professional Practice and Learning

Justine provides inter-professional practice leadership at BCMHSUS, strengthen the focus on evidence-based practice, improving models of care, clinical practice standards, and collaboration across practice and operations.

A registered psychiatric nurse for over 25 years, Justine has worked in the field of complex mental health and substance use both in the UK and Channel Islands before moving to B.C. in 2009. During her time with BCMHSUS, Justine has held a number of leadership positions including program director, Adult Mental Health and Substance Use Services and senior director, Inter-professional Practice.

In addition to her registered psychiatric nursing credentials, Justine has earned an Honours Bachelor Degree in Forensic Mental Health Care from University of Sheffield, a Post Graduate Diploma in Addiction from University of Leeds, and a Master of Science in Nursing Leadership from Oxford Brookes University.

Assistant: Laura Accili 

Kathryn Embacher 

Provincial Executive Director, Adult Mental Health and Substance Use (AMHSU)  

Kathryn Embacher is the executive director responsible for Adult Mental Health and Substance Use (AMHSU) at BCMHSUS. This includes Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, Heartwood Centre for Women, Provincial Assessment Centre, and Provincial Specialized Substance Use Treatment Program for Adults.

Kathryn is a registered nurse and chartered professional in human resources, with a Master's Degree in Human Resource Management from Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University. Kathryn has 20 years of direct care and leadership experience in acute and tertiary mental health and substance use services.

Kathryn is dedicated to high quality, patient-centred, and innovative mental health and substance use care. She has significant experience leading her clinical teams through change and transformation with the successful roll out of electronic health records and model of care redesigns to best meet changing patient needs. Kathryn was a leader in the development of the Joseph and Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre during her time as patient services manager for acute psychiatry at Vancouver General Hospital, and she led the operational planning for the new BCMHSUS Red Fish Healing Centre that opened October 12, 2021. 

Kathryn has dedicated her career to the development of accessible, innovative, and patient-centred programs that meet the needs of complex clients with concurrent mental health and substance use challenges.

Assistant: Franca Pitassi

Rebecca Hahn

Executive Director, Patient and Staff Experience and Measurement 

Rebecca Hahn is the executive director of Patient and Staff Experience and Measurement for BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, where she is responsible for patient experience and community engagement, quality and safety, clinical informatics, virtual mental health and substance use care, facilities management, decision support, and contracted clinical programs. She is also the executive lead for Clinical and Systems Transformation (CST) implementation across BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services.

Rebecca has held various senior leadership positions at Vancouver Coastal Health, PHSA and the University Health Network in Toronto. Prior to her current role, she was the chief transformation officer for CST implementation at PHSA, Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care. She has a unique combination of IT, clinical, and project management knowledge and over a decade of experience leading large clinical information system implementations.

She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo.

Assistant: Allanah Bayliss 

Dr. Rakesh Lamba

Medical Director, Forensic Regional Clinics 

Dr. Rakesh Lamba is the medical director of Forensic Regional Clinics at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, with responsibility for providing senior medical leadership and operational oversight to medical services at the Forensic Regional Clinics. 

Dr. Lamba has almost 25 years’ experience providing assessment and treatment services in a variety of community and custodial settings. He completed his bachelor's degree in medicine and surgery in India and his psychiatry training at Dalhousie University before becoming a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. 

Since completing further training in forensic psychiatry at Queens University, Dr. Lamba has been actively involved in post-graduate training in forensic psychiatry. He is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia.  

Assistant: Carly Bath

Dr. Nickie Mathew

Medical Director, Complex Mental Health and Substance Use Services

Portrait of Dr. Nickie MathewDr. Nickie Mathew is the medical director for complex mental health and substance use services with BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services. His portfolio includes the Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, the Heartwood Centre for Women, Ashnola at the Crossing, and Coast Rehabilitation and Recovery.

A psychiatry fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Dr. Mathew completed an addiction psychiatry fellowship at Yale University and a forensic psychiatry fellowship at the University of British Columbia. He is board certified in addiction psychiatry, addiction medicine and forensic psychiatry. He is also a clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia and has won awards for teaching and research.

Dr. Mathew endeavours to bring evidence-based, cutting-edge treatments to the concurrent disorder population in B.C. He is a strong advocate for health care improvements for this often-marginalized population through his clinical and committee work.

Assistant: Monique van Oord

Dr. Annabel Mead

Medical Director, Correctional Health Services, Lower Mainland sites

Portrait of Annabel MeadDr. Annabel Mead provides medical leadership to the Lower Mainland Correctional Health Services sites.

Dr. Mead has been practicing addiction medicine for over 20 years, with expertise in women’s health, concurrent psychiatric disorders and pain management. Originally trained in Australia, she has lived and worked in Vancouver, Canada for over 20 years, providing care to patients in many community, inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. Dr. Mead is a Fellow of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine, a diplomat of the American Board of Addiction Medicine and Clinical Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Dr. Mead consults on the addiction medicine consult service at St Paul’s Hospital, and is the Senior Medical Director for the BC Provincial Perinatal Substance Use program. Dr. Mead is an established teacher, mentor and educator. She is past director of the BCCSU Addiction Medicine Fellowship training program, speaks widely at conferences and continues as an Education Committee member of the International Society of Addiction Medicine.

Assistant: Thara Nair

Rose Melnyk

Executive Director, Indigenous Health & Cultural Safety

Rose is responsible for providing leadership and support BCMHSUS in its work to eradicate Indigenous-specific racism, advance cultural safety and support a collective commitment to reconciliation, leading a team of Indigenous Health leaders to expand Indigenous thought leadership and focused, impactful Indigenous specific anti-racism work. 

With Sťuxtéwsemc (Secwépemc) and mixed white settler ancestry, Rose is informed by Secwépemc ways of knowing and being and holds a Bachelor of Nursing from Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and a master's degree in nursing with a focus on Indigenous nursing leadership and research. Rose brings 15 years of health care experience, with eight years of progressive Indigenous leadership experience working with health systems, First Nations, Métis and Urban Indigenous organizations.

Assistant: Rohayda Tolentino 

Kimberley Korf-Uzan

Senior Director, Digital Innovation and Capital Planning

Kim Profile Pic.jpgKim Korf-Uzan is the senior director, Digital Innovation and Capital Planning. Kim's portfolio includes all virtual and digital health initiatives, special projects, capital planning and capital projects, as well as clinical informatics.

Kim has been working in the field of mental health and substance use since 2010. Through her background in public health, Kim brings a collaborative, system-level lens to her work, and enjoys engaging in projects which enable large-scale, meaningful, and innovative change across the system of care. 

Kim started with BCMHSUS in March 2016 in the position of manager, Provincial Programs & Health Literacy. She provided leadership as project director for the Correctional Health Services (CHS) transition in October 2017. During her time with BCMHSUS, Kim has held responsibility for a number of other initiatives, including the Crisis Line Enhancement Project, the CHS PHN project, the CHS Pharmacy Review, and the implementation of the first five Correctional Health Services Community Transition Teams, among others.

Kim is passionate about driving excellence in health care and ensuring that service delivery is culturally safe, inclusive, accessible, and responsive to the needs of the communities and populations we serve. Some of Kim's core competencies include project management, clinical program development, strategic planning, communication and engagement, and operational leadership.

Aazadeh Madani

Senior Director, Medical Administration and Project Management Office

Aazadeh Madani is the senior director, Medical Administration and Project Management Office at BCMHSUS. She provides strategic and operational oversight for these two portfolios, which includes working closely with medical and operational leadership, medical staff, and key PHSA partners, including PHSA Medical Affairs, Physician Compensation, as well as other Ministries and Regional Health Authorities.

She has extensive project management, research, and leadership experience through her work at BCMHSUS, BC Children's Hospital, BC Cancer and the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (now Centre for Advancing Health Outcomes). She has led and supported a wide range of projects both large and small, in areas of strategic planning, provincial mental health and substance use literacy and knowledge exchange, patient experience and engagement, and mental health system improvement.

Aazadeh has an BA in Criminology from Carleton University, a MA in Sociology from Simon Fraser University, and 15 years experience in diverse settings within the B.C. health-care system. 

SOURCE: Executive Leadership Team ( )
Page printed: . Unofficial document if printed. Please refer to SOURCE for latest information.

Copyright © BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services. All Rights Reserved.

    Copyright © 2024 Provincial Health Services Authority.