Effective October 1, 2017, responsibility for health care services in BC correctional centres will be assumed by BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS), an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority.
Over the coming months, leaders from BCMHSUS, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, and the Ministry of Health will work collaboratively to plan for and implement this assumption of services.
The change will improve the continuity of care for clients as they move between correctional centres and the community. BCMHSUS provides forensic mental health services across BC and has a broad network of established external partnerships with regional health authorities, advocacy organizations and other health care agencies across the province.
The decision for BCMHSUS to assume responsibility for Correctional Health Services was announced in March 2017. Representatives from the lead organizations are working together to plan for this change. Planning is focused on:
• High quality clinical services for clients
• Minimizing disruption to staff and contractors
• Operational integration
• Change management
Lynn Pelletier, Vice President, BCMHSUS and Dr. Johann Brink, Vice President, Medical Affairs & Research, BCMHSUS recently announced appointments of two experienced health care professionals to the BCMHSUS leadership team. Dr. Nader Sharifi assumed his role as Medical Director, Correctional Health Services on May 8, and Andrew MacFarlane assumed his role as Executive Director, Correctional Health Services on May 29.
Andrew brings more than 20 years of health care experience, most recently as Operations Director, Inner City, Integrated Health Services, Vancouver Coastal Health, with responsibilities for strategic and operational management of primary health care, mental health and substance use, and home health in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Most recently known for his work as a part-time Family Practitioner in the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Nader Sharifi has extensive experience as a Family Practitioner and addiction specialist. He worked as a physician with Chiron Health Services, and has affiliations with Fraser Health Authority and Correctional Services Canada.
Kim Korf-Uzan, Project Director for BCMHSUS, is leading the planning and implementation process, with assistance from Diane Burton, Project Consultant, Isabella Piechota, Project Coordinator, and Michelle Perrault, Communications Lead.
Planning is progressing and the Project Team, together with representatives from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, have accomplished much over the past month, including tours of the ten provincial correctional centres to gain insight into existing operations to guide planning for the future. The team is working on a model of care and clinical services plan to ensure a smooth assumption of services by BCMHSUS.
Positions have been posted for two Regional Director positions, as well as Health Care Managers, the Director of Professional Practice, and the Director of Medical Administration. Announcements for these PHSA positions are expected within the next few weeks.