With support from the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), I am pleased to confirm that Leanne Heppell has accepted the position of chief ambulance officer for BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS). In this role, she reports directly to the BCEHS board, through me as board chair.
Leanne joined BCEHS in July 2021 on an interim basis in this role, from her position with Providence Health Care (PHC) as chief operating officer, acute care & chief of professional practice & nursing. Leanne is recognized as a compassionate, action-oriented and values-driven leader with a reputation for putting patients and families first.
She is a trained clinical nurse specialist, with over 20 years’ experience in senior leadership gained with Providence Health Care, Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health, and previous experience with BC Ambulance Service. She holds numerous degrees in nursing, leadership and business administration.
In recent months, Leanne has taken a hands-on role to help expedite hiring into more than 85 new full-time paramedic and 30 new full-time dispatcher positions, along with hundreds of other full-time and part time positions created by staffing model conversions. She has also overseen the launch of an ambitious, national recruitment campaign.
In accepting this appointment, Leanne confirmed with me that her focus now is on continuing to work collaboratively with the BCEHS Board, PHSA, Ministry of Health and Ambulance Paramedics of BC (APBC), to take concrete actions that position BCEHS to best meet rapidly changing demands and ensure our provincial ambulance system is delivering high quality, responsive care to British Columbians who need us most. I look forward to supporting her in this work.
In addition to her CAO role, Leanne will continue to hold the position of executive vice president, accountable to Dr. David Byres, president & CEO, Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA).