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Leadership

Our Staff

We have a dedicated group of professionals who contribute their diverse experience and expertise towards building a well-rounded team that is committed to improving outcomes for pregnant women, newborns, and their families. We work in partnership with the Ministry of Health, health authorities, other PHSA agencies, professional associations, and researchers.

Our Leadership Team

Tamil Kendall, PhD

Interim Provincial Executive Director

Tamil has a strong track record in perinatal and women’s health, with over 20 years of provincial, national, and international experience in strategic planning, program/policy development, research, knowledge translation, and health care provider education. In her previous role as Director, Women’s and Maternal Health, Population and Public Health Division at the Ministry of Health, Tamil was responsible for the development of evidence-based policy, guidelines, and educational material for health care providers and perinatal women and families. She has led and co-chaired a number of cross-ministry and provincial working groups, engaging stakeholders across the system of care in BC to advance improvements in safe vaginal birth, breastfeeding, perinatal mental health and substance use, gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health. 

Before coming home to BC in 2015, Tamil worked as a researcher, policymaker and educator of health care providers and administrators in the area of sexual and reproductive health for more than a decade in Latin America and the Caribbean, with organizations such as the United Nations Population Fund, the National Institute of Public Health, and the Population Council. After completing her PhD at the University of British Columbia, Tamil spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow  with the Harvard School of Public Health’s Women and Health Initiative/Maternal Health Task Force, where she was also a Takemi Fellow in International Health.

Tamil is passionate about promoting maternal and newborn health by improving quality because this critical period lays the foundation for individual and population health and well-being across the lifespan.
 

Lucy Barney, Statlimx Nation, RN, BSN, MSN
Provincial Lead, Aboriginal Health
Lucy is at the forefront of developing innovative and successful programming for Aboriginal people. She works on strategies to assist existing programs and to develop new programs for maternal/child health that will enable Aboriginal 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 Aboriginal 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.

 

Kenny Der, BSc, CHIM, CPHIMS-CA

Manager, Clinical Data Integrity, Privacy, and Access

Kenny is a past president of the Health Records Association of BC and a certified professional in health informatics by the Canadian College of Health Information Management, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and, COACH. He has specialized in the management of health data and led many system enhancement initiatives by leveraging technology to improve processes and functionality. At Perinatal Services BC, Kenny has management responsibility for the BC Perinatal Data Registry and other data holdings at PSBC. This role encompasses data management, privacy, security, and systems development, including the advancement of a robust business intelligence environment. His focus is on providing high quality data to provincial stakeholders and directly supporting evidence-based decision making.

 

Amy Hobbs headshot.pngAmy Hobbs, RN, MSc.

Director, Provincial Surveillance, Registry and Research

Amy is a Registered Nurse who has extensive experience working in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of maternal and newborn health (MNH) programs in Canada, Uganda, Switzerland, and Tanzania. She has expertise in epidemiology and clinical and non-clinical research methods, including the development and coordination of research studies and the collection, compilation, maintenance, and analysis of complex data sets. Amy holds a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology and Bachelor degrees in Nursing and Sociology from the University of Calgary. 

In her most recent role as an Epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, USA, Amy worked closely with Global Affairs Canada and partner non-governmental organizations, such as CARE, Plan, Aga Khan, Amref Health Africa, and World Vision, to plan and develop monitoring and evaluation frameworks for MNH programs in low-to-middle-income countries (LMICs). Amy has also worked for the WHO and UNICEF, managing large global databases across several key MNH indicators. Before joining the WHO, Amy worked as a Public Health Nurse and maternity nurse in rural and urban settings within Alberta. As a Clinical Research Nurse for the Alberta Cancer Board, Amy gained familiarity with using registry data for research, which led to her master’s thesis investigating treatment outcomes for a provincial cohort of oropharyngeal cancer patients in Alberta.

Christina Kay, MD, MSc, CCFP, FRCPC
Primary Maternity Care Lead – Family Physician
Christina is a family physician and a specialist in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and has a Master of Science in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research. She has practiced medicine in urban and rural BC and the Northwest Territories. She is a clinical instructor at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia and provides maternity care at BC Women's Hospital. In her role at PSBC as Primary Maternity Care Lead – Family Physician, Christina works closely with PSBC’s Primary Maternity Care Lead – Midwifery to support primary maternity care and promote interdisciplinary collaborative practice. They provide ongoing clinical consultation on initiatives that impact primary maternity care, including data collection and analysis, guideline development, knowledge translation, and system planning. Christina is also the clinical link between PSBC and family physicians across BC.

 
 

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.

 
Christina Tpnella.JPGChristina Tonella, MAdEd, RD
Provincial Director, Prevention and Primary Care
Christina started her career with the Healthiest Babies Possible Program at Vancouver Coastal Health working as a dietitian, and has over 20 years of experience planning, implementing, and evaluating health promotion and prevention initiatives, developing strategic plans, and collaborating with various levels of government, health care sectors, and external stakeholders. Over the past 14 years she has played an important operational leadership role in Tobacco Control, establishing organization-wide policy and pursuing a bold set of goals that includes reducing Vancouver Coastal Health’s (VCH) tobacco prevalence rates to the lowest in Canada. 

Christina is excited to be returning to maternal-infant health, a field she is passionate about, and bringing her expertise and strong relationships with healthcare 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. Christina holds a Master’s of Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University and is a Registered Dietitian.
Hilary 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.
 
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