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BCEHS Executive Team

Reporting to the president and chief executive officer of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), the executive vice president and chief ambulance officer has executive responsibility for all BCEHS services.

Reporting to the executive vice president, the BCEHS chief operating officer, chief quality, planning and coordination officer, chief paramedic practice, chief medical officer, chief systems and strategy officer, and chief people, culture & diversity officer make up the Executive Leadership Team at BCEHS. This team ensures that all decisions around planning and operations align with the broader mandate of PHSA and BCEHS and with the strategic health sector mandate set by government.

Executive Vice President & Chief Ambulance Officer

Leanne Heppell joined BCEHS in July 2021 from her position with Providence Health Care as chief operating officer, acute care & chief of professional practice & nursing, which she held since 2015. Prior to this role, Leanne was the vice president, patient safety and innovation; and chief of professional practice and nursing. 

Leanne brings to her role over 20 years of senior leadership experience, including with Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health and has previously held an operational leadership role with the BC Ambulance Service. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Victoria and her Masters in Nursing degree from UBC.  She also has Masters in Leadership degree from Royal Roads University and a Doctorate of Business Administration.

Chief Operations Officer

Jennie Helmer began her journey at BCEHS in 1993 as a primary care paramedic and subsequently held various roles including unit chief, advanced care paramedic, paramedic specialist and paramedic practice leader. In 2021 Jennie took on the role of director, clinical operations where she worked to enhance staffing, forge new pathways of care, and establish strong partnerships with hospitals to improve overall emergency response capabilities. Jennie then moved to the role of senior executive director, emergency dispatch and clinical operations in 2022. Jennie has a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a Masters of Education degree, a Masters of Business Administration degree and is currently working on her PHD in Population and Public Health.

Chief Quality, Planning and Coordination Officer and Interim Chief Paramedic Practice

Paul Vallely has been with BC Emergency Health Services for 23 years, starting his career as a paramedic and working his way through the organization in progressively senior roles. He has worked as an emergency medical call-taker and emergency medical dispatcher, led quality improvement initiatives and led operations in rural BC before becoming the senior executive director for clinical operations across the province in 2015. In August 2023, he assumed interim responsibility for the Chief Operating Officer role. Paul has a Masters in Human Resource Management.

Chief Medical Officer

Currently vacant.

Chief Systems & Strategy Officer

Kevin Smith joined BCEHS in 2022 from Ontario, where he had been chief of the emergency services division for Niagara Emergency Medical Services for eight years. 

Kevin began his career as a paramedic after graduating from Niagara College in 1992 and has held progressively more responsible roles during his thirty-year career. Highlights of his work include leading the organization through a transformation from a traditional emergency medical system model of service delivery to a mobile integrated health model of service delivery.

Kevin is active in national and international organizations, serving as president of the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada. He completed a Bachelor of Applied Business in Emergency Services degree in 2009.

Chief People, Culture & Diversity Officer

Aggie Peel joined BCEHS after serving as executive director of talent development and attraction with BC Ferries, where she was instrumental in establishing a groundbreaking Talent Centre of Excellence. Leading a team of dedicated HR professionals, she worked to promote internal talent development, enhance the employee experience, champion a comprehensive Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging strategy and attract top-tier talent.

Previously, Aggie served as the executive director of corporate and strategic human resources at BC Ferries. Aggie has a Bachelors of Arts degree and a Masters in Industrial Relations degree. 

SOURCE: BCEHS Executive Team ( )
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