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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 and chief medical officer are senior leaders within BCEHS. The chief operating officer chairs the Senior Leadership Committee, which provides strategic direction across the organization. This committee 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 PHSA 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 the BC Ambulance Service. She is a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Victoria. Leanne graduated from UBC as a clinical nurse specialist in the Masters in nursing program, and completed a Masters in Leadership from Royal Roads University in 2003. She is also an academic supervisor of leadership studies at Royal Roads University. 

Leanne is a values leader with a focus on putting patients and families first. Leanne completed a Doctorate of Business Administration in 2016.

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Mike Christian joined BCEHS in December 2021. He has over thirty years of experience as a health care leader in areas including critical care, infectious diseases, military, aviation and prehospital medicine. He started his career as a paramedic and understands the essential contributions paramedics, nurses and physicians make to the field of prehospital and transport medicine.

Mike has a strong background in academic medicine, and he has been recognized for his teaching and leadership roles at the department and international society levels and through his appointment to the Critical Care Medicine Examination Board of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. He was also recently one of the first three physicians in Canada to receive the Diplomate (DRCPSC) in Prehospital and Transport Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Mike completed an MSc in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and is currently completing an MBA.

Chief Systems & Strategy Officer

Kevin Smith comes to BCEHS 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 his organization through a transformation from a traditional emergency medical system (EMS) model of service delivery to a mobile integrated health model of service delivery.

Kevin is active in national and international organizations, serving as vice president of the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada and President of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI). He completed a Bachelor of Applied Business in Emergency Services degree in 2009.
SOURCE: BCEHS Executive Team ( )
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