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.
Vice President, BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services
Lynn Pelletier is the vice president with executive responsibility for provincial specialized mental health and substance use services at the Provincial Health Services Authority. Her portfolio includes the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, Forensic Regional Clinics, Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, Heartwood Centre for Women, Correctional Health Services and provincial contracted services across the province.
Lynn has several years’ experience as a health care executive and management consultant. Prior to coming to PHSA, she held senior leadership positions at Vancouver Coastal Health, Simon Fraser University and Women's College Hospital in Toronto. She has a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Toronto and undergraduate degrees from University of Waterloo and Queens University. Lynn sits on several provincial planning and advisory boards and is often invited to speak at events about mental health and substance use care systems.
Assistant – Katherine Scrimshaw
DDrDr. Connie Coniglio
Chief Operating Officer, Complex Mental Health and Substance Use Services
Dr. Connie Coniglio is the chief operating officer responsible for inpatient services at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction and the Heartwood Centre for Women.
Connie is a registered psychologist with a doctoral degree in counselling psychology from the University of Toronto. She also has a master’s degree in counselling and undergraduate degrees from Western University and Brock University.
She has several years’ experience in mental health and has worked across the health sector. Her previous roles include clinical director for eating disorders, director of health literacy, provincial executive director of adult mental health and substance use, and provincial executive director of children and women's mental health and substance use.
Assistant – Jana Rockwood
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.
Executive Director, Corporate and Clinical Support Services, Mental Health & Substance Use Services
Rebecca Hahn is the executive director of corporate and clinical support services for BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, where she is responsible for 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 – Áine Moran
Executive Director, BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Research Institute
Dr. Jehannine Austin is the executive director of BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Research Institute, where she is responsible for leading the research strategy, overseeing principal investigators, and raising the profile of the research institute and its work.
Her research focuses on using clinical genetics to improve outcomes for people with psychiatric illnesses. Based on her research data, she founded the world's first specialist psychiatric genetic counseling service, the Adapt Clinic, which has won an award for its impact on patient outcomes.
In addition to publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals, she has written a book called
How to Talk with Families About Genetics and Psychiatric Illness. She has also won awards for teaching, leadership, and research, and has served on a number of academic and mental health societies.
Jehannine is also a professor of psychiatry and medical genetics at the University of British Columbia, where she holds the Canada Research Chair in Translational Psychiatric Genomics. She has a doctoral degree in neuropsychiatric genetics from the University of Wales' College of Medicine, a master's degree in genetic counselling from the University of British Columbia, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Bath.
Assistant – Glory Mogas
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. He provides strategic and operational oversight for medical services across BCMHSUS programs and services including the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addictions, 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 diplomate 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 – Jeanette Fong
Interim Medical Director, Forensic Psychiatric Hospital
Dr. Barinder Singh is an interim medical director at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital (FPH), having previously worked at FPH and youth forensics as a forensic psychiatrist and reproductive mental health. Dr. Singh is a psychiatry fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and has completed the forensic psychiatry fellowship at the University of British Columbia. She also has a master’s in public health (MPH) from Harvard University. She holds a clinical faculty position with the Department of Psychiatry at UBC.
Dr. Singh’s past leadership roles include Forensic Representative for the B.C. Psychiatric Association, and Chair for the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group at Doctors of BC and Members in Training Section of the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA). Barinder has additionally served as a board member of the CPA.
Dr. Singh is passionate about mental health, public health, medical education and innovation.
Assistant – Carly Bath
Provincial Executive Director, Correctional Health and Regional Forensic Clinics
Nancy Desrosiers is the provincial executive director for Correctional Health Services and the Forensic Regional Community Clinics in B.C. An accomplished leader in health care, Nancy previously worked with Vancouver Coastal Health in various clinical operation roles for the past six years at VGH and with their community services as well as being their executive director for quality and patient safety and infection control.
Nancy has over 19 years of leadership experience in acute and community health care services in Quebec, Ontario and B.C. She is a registered nurse, actively practicing in B.C. and licenced in Ontario. Nancy also has an Executive Master of Business Administration as well as training in leadership, project management and business case analysis from the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto.
She's an active surveyor with Accreditation Canada for the last six years for acute, community, mental health and addictions, and correctional health service locally and internationally. Nancy is well-versed in best practice guidelines and assessing health and social services against standards of excellence.
Assistant – Simi Girn
Medical Director, Forensic Regional Clinics and Correctional Psychiatry
Dr. Rakesh Lamba is the medical director of forensic and correctional psychiatry 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 and psychiatry in Correctional Health Services.
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
Medical Director, Complex Mental Health and Substance Use Services
Dr. 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 Burnaby 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 – Maria Sanda
Interim Medical Director, Correctional Health Services
Dr. Margaret (Peg) Robertson is the interim medical director for Correctional Health Services at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services.
With almost four decades of experience as a physician, Peg has worked in family practice, addiction medicine and prison health. She initially studied marine biology at UBC but after getting first-hand experience of the power of medicine while working as a researcher in a hospital, Peg was inspired to become a doctor.
Peg has dedicated her career to working with marginalized populations, both children, as the medical director of the Children’s Aid Society for Toronto, and adults, working in provincial and federal corrections in Kingston, Ontario, for 11 years. Passionate about medical education, she also taught clinical skills at Queens University while living in Ontario.
Peg is an avid gardener and moved to Vancouver Island to be with family and exercise her “green thumb” on British Columbian soil, while continuing to help marginalized populations. She has worked at Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre for over four years and also provides after hours on-call service to the provincial jails.
Peg believes in rehabilitation within corrections and using gardening and other healing tools for therapy and is involved with the gardening project for clients at VIRCC. She also believes that until we take care of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in our communities, we cannot be a truly healthy society. These beliefs drive her advocacy and commitment to her work.
Assistant – Maria Sanda
Executive Director, Knowledge, Innovation and Partnerships
Justine Patterson is the executive director of knowledge, innovation and partnerships for BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services where she oversees professional practice, learning and development, patient experience and strategic initiatives.
Justine has several years’ experience in mental health and substance use as both a clinician and senior leader. Prior to joining BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, Justine was executive director of the Overdose Emergency Response Centre (OERC) at the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, where she led the province’s overdose-related activities for two years. She has also worked as the regional lead of Vancouver Coastal Health’s regional addiction program.
Justine has a bachelor of psychological science and a master of clinical psychology from the University of Queensland, Australia as well as a postgraduate diploma in organizational psychology from the University of London, U.K. Justine started her career as a registered psychologist in Australia where she worked as a clinician, owning and operating her own inter-disciplinary practice. Since being in Canada she has led clinical operations and strategy in regional health authorities, government and not-for-profit organizations.
Throughout the course of her career, Justine has been instrumental in the development and implementation of new clinical programs, business operations, large scale projects, policy and strategic initiatives.
Assistant – Haydee Tolentino