"I experienced homelessness at a very young age, I lived in poverty, experienced the stigma, the judgement and shame that comes with such circumstances," says Nancy.
This difficult experience was part of what helped her discover a true passion for the work she does with people living with mental health and substance use issues.
"In return I have this passion to give back to the vulnerable, marginalized patient population that we serve in correctional health and forensic clinics. I am living proof that anything is possible if you put your mind to action and how if given the right guidance, environment, care and support, your life can be turned around and be meaningful again."
Not only does Nancy bring the passion and drive to exceed at the job, she also brings 17 years of senior leadership experience in clinical and non-clinical settings, most recently at Vancouver Coastal Health where she was the director of the Vancouver Community City Centre, Robert Lily Lee, Adult Mental Health and End-of-Life Care. In this role, she oversaw close to 600 clinical and support staff working across integrated primary care, mental health, addictions, public health, infectious disease, dental services and transgender speciality program.
"Nancy's combination of skills and experience has prepared her well to step into the senior leadership position responsible for CHS and Forensic Regional Clinics. I am confident that she will be a good fit with the BCMHSUS senior team and a good partner to the BC Corrections team," says Lynn Pelletier, vice president of BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services.
Nancy is also confident that she can merge the clinical and business aspects of client needs in a complex system for future growth and sustainability.
"I think I bring a diverse lens to the role, having recently completed an executive master's degree in business administration at the Ottawa University Telfer School of Management along with being a nurse by trade for the past 20 years."
Like all of us in B.C., Nancy's life has been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"I was recently deployed back to work with frontline staff to leverage both my nursing and infection prevention and control skills and help long term care facilities stop the spread of COVID positive cases," Nancy said.
This experience meant she had to take some significant and disruptive measures to keep her family and others safe.
"I was isolated in a camping trailer in my driveway from my family for six weeks, followed by another two weeks in self-isolation which happened to be my first 2 weeks in my new role here at PHSA."
This experience shows that Nancy isn't afraid to jump into the deep end and tackle new experiences head on.
"I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to help and support all nursing, allied health, housekeeping and leaders on this difficult journey together."