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We have a dedicated team of professionals who contribute their diverse experience and expertise to improving outcomes for pregnant women, newborns, and their families. We work in partnership with the Ministry of Health, health authorities, other PHSA programs and services, professional associations, and researchers.

Our Leadership Team

Robert Finch, RRT, BHSc, MHS Executive Director

Robert began his career in 2003 at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Alberta with a clinical background as a NICU/high risk neonatal transport trained Respiratory Therapist.
Robert has a demonstrated track record of progressive leadership experience including manager of Respiratory Services, Assistant Patient Care Manager and Manager of the Foothills NICU, Manager of the Southern Alberta Neonatal Transport Services and most recently as the Director of Maternal, Newborn, Child & Youth Network for Interior Health. His experience in Interior Health has made him a strong advocate for rural/remote communities and equitable access to resources. Robert’s education includes a Bachelor of Health Sciences and a Master of Health Studies, with a focus on the impact of colonization on the birthing practices of Indigenous populations.
Robert is based in Kamloops, situated in the beautiful ancestral, traditional and unceded territory of the Secwepemc First Nation Peoples. 


Lucy Barney, Statlimx Nation, RN, BSN, MSN

Provincial Lead, Indigenous Health

Lucy is at the forefront of developing innovative and successful programming for Indigenous people. She works on strategies to assist existing programs and to develop new programs for maternal/child health that will enable Indigenous people to access culturally appropriate services. Lucy’s own life experience as a First Nation woman, mother, and traditional dancer brings enormous commitment, dedication, and creativity to her work. Her voice as a leader is crucial. She is a model of strong, innovative leadership in the Indigenous community. She was awarded an ACCOLAIDS Award for Innovative Programming and a Langara College Outstanding Alumni Award for Community Service. Lucy completed her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of British Columbia. She was program manager of Chee Mamuk, an Aboriginal HIV/AIDS education program at the BC Centre for Disease Control, for nine years and is currently a member of the First Nations Health Authority Maternal and Child Health Committee.


Provincial Director, Informatics and Privacy

Kenny provides strategic and operational leadership for the BC Perinatal Data Registry.  With over two decades of health informatics specialization, Kenny is passionate about technology innovation to improve the collection and usage of high quality data to directly support evidence-based planning towards improving patient care. Kenny holds a Management of Technology MBA from Simon Fraser University and professional designations from the Canadian College of Health Information Management, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and Digital Health Canada.  He is a former president of the Health Record Association of BC and previously held leadership roles in data management at BC Women’s Hospital, BC Perinatal Health Program and Perinatal Services BC.

Jana Encinger, RN, MSN

Provincial Director, Clinical Quality and Systems Improvement

Jana is excited to bring her 17 years of perinatal nursing experience to the role of Director, Quality and Systems Improvement with PSBC.  Jana began her career as an RN at B.C. Women’s Hospital, working as a postpartum nurse, following her graduation from the University of British Columbia (UBC) with her BSN in 2001. Subsequently, she held positions as a High Risk Antepartum/Postpartum Clinical Educator, High Risk Antepartum/Postpartum Program Coordinator, and Interim Operations Lead for the Birthing Program at BC Women’s Hospital. She completed her MSN at UBC, with focus in Leadership and Administration, in 2013.

During Jana’s time with PHSA, she has been involved in agency and provincial committees and initiatives, such as the Induction Committee and AR wait times reduction plan. These opportunities have allowed Jana to mobilize her passion for maternal-infant healthcare, leadership and the promotion of quality and safety to support improved patient services and promote advancements of perinatal care. She looks forward to working with partners across the province to improve maternal and infant health in her new role. 

Sylvie Langlois, MD, FRCPC, FCCMG

Medical Director, BC Prenatal Genetic Screening Program

Sylvie obtained her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec. She went on to do specialty training in Pediatrics at McGill University and Fellowship training in Clinical and Molecular Genetics at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She has been a clinical geneticist at BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre since 1989 and is Professor in the UBC Department of Medical Genetics. She has been the medical director of the BC Prenatal Genetic Screening Program since its implementation. Her research contributions have been in the area of prenatal diagnosis and molecular genetics.

Julie MacFarlane, MSc, CCGC
Provincial Lead, Screening Programs 
Julie joined Perinatal Services BC in May 2009 as the Program Manager for the BC Prenatal Genetic Screening Program, where she is responsible for establishing and maintaining the infrastructure for centralized and coordinated prenatal screening around the province. Since then, the BC Newborn Screening Program and the Biliary Atresia Home Screening Program have been added to her portfolio. Julie has had extensive experience managing large-scale clinical genetic and pharmaceutical programs from her previous years at Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Burnaby, BC. She is also a Canadian certified genetic counsellor, with a Master of Science from the University of British Columbia. She is the author of two book chapters and numerous research publications in clinical and molecular genetics.‎

Lisa Sutherland Headshot.jpgLisa Sutherland, RM

Primary Maternity Care Lead, 


Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria and a degree in Midwifery from the University of British Columbia. She has been a Registered Midwife since 2007 when she founded Bloom Community Midwives in Vancouver. She has been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 2010 and has a special interest in supporting the integration of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. In addition to leading her own practice, she has been the Site Lead for Midwifery at St. Paul’s Hospital (SPH) and the Assistant Department Head of Midwifery at BCWH and SPH for the last two years. She planned and implemented successful QI projects at SPH to increase collaboration, promote normal birth, optimize the caesarean section rate, and improve breastfeeding care.  Lisa has previous experience as a board member and Treasurer of the Midwives Association of BC where she was involved in integrating birth centres, supporting Indigenous Midwifery and breastfeeding promotion.


Christina Tonella, MAdEd, RD

Provincial Director, Prevention and Primary Care
Christina brings over 25 years of experience in public health, operations, and leadership to the Director, Prevention and Primary Care role. A registered dietitian by profession with a Master’s degree in Adult Education, she has been serving British Columbians for over two decades, first as a clinical dietitian for the Healthiest Babies Possible program, then as a Leader, Tobacco Reduction, and later as the Regional Manager of Tobacco Reduction for Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). 
Christina was recognized by the VCH Board and Senior Executive Team with a People First Award in 2013 and by the Health Employers Association of BC with an Excellence in BC Health Care Award for Workplace Health Innovation in 2014. Christina enjoys bringing her experience leading complex change initiatives to maternal-infant health, a field she is passionate about, and using her expertise and collaborative relationships with health care providers, administrators and policy makers across the province and nationally to advance PSBC’s vision of “healthy mothers having healthy pregnancies and infants” for British Columbia. 

hilary vallance.PNGHilary Vallance, MD, FRCPC, FCCMG

Medical Director, BC Newborn Screening Program
Hilary obtained her Doctor of Medicine from the University of British Columbia (UBC). She went on to do specialty training in Laboratory Medicine and fellowship training in Biochemical Genetics at UBC. She directs the Biochemical Geneticist Laboratory at BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre and is a Clinical Professor in the UBC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. She has been the Medical Director of the BC Newborn Screening Program since 1996. Her research contributions have been in the area of inborn errors of metabolism and newborn screening.

SOURCE: Leadership ( )
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