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Executive Director, Drug Toxicity Prevention and Response - BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services

Executive Director, Drug Toxicity Prevention and Response

BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services




You are an impassioned and dynamic executive leader who wants a hands-on role in tackling drug toxicity. Never one to step back from tough situations, you are known for your ability to gather support, collaborate across systems, address process issues, and work within resources to achieve the end goals. You’re looking to make a significant impact, and this new role, working collaboratively across multiple services, will deliver the opportunity to make a difference. This is a time for transformation, and this is an incredible role allowing for innovation, partnerships, inclusivity, and serving with purpose.


“PHSA holds the commitment and accountability to act collaboratively in support of a safer drug supply, a coordinated, goal-driven provincial strategy and a comprehensive continuum of substance use care in British Columbia. This new role and leader, working in partnership with other leaders throughout PHSA and our programs, will serve as a tremendous asset in facilitating a collective response and providing meaningful impacts to addressing the toxic drug crisis in this province.” – Susan Wannamaker, Executive Vice President, Clinical Service Delivery


What you’ll do



The Executive Director (ED), Drug Toxicity Prevention and Response reports to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) and has functional relationships with the Executive Vice President, Clinical Service Delivery, Vice President, Public Health & Wellness, and other COO roles across PHSA clinical service delivery areas. This position will work in partnership with Chief Medical Officers to set the strategic direction and vision of PHSA’s escalated drug toxicity prevention and response. Working in collaboration with leaders from across clinical and operational programs, the ED will lead the development of a clear strategic vision and roadmap for a PHSA wide escalated response in alignment with provincial priorities and leads the development and coordination of an implementation, monitoring, quality improvement and evaluation strategy. High-level accountabilities include:


  • Works in a dyad relationship with medical leadership to achieve a shared understanding of PHSA’s mandate and service plan; translates into actionable objectives for drug toxicity prevention and response by supporting the integration and adoption of drug toxicity priorities across clinical program areas, including direct care delivery programs, health improvement and provincial care networks.
  • Works with Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions and Ministry of Health senior leaders to develop and execute an overarching drug toxicity prevention and response strategy across PHSA.
  • Develops collaborative and complementary approaches to advance drug toxicity prevention, response and integrated mental health and substance use care for individuals with complex mental health and substance use and other priority populations at risk of drug toxicity death.
  • Provides oversight and leadership in efforts to build a comprehensive approach to urgently prevent and reduce drug toxicity deaths and harms, including new and innovative approaches and services.
  • Provides strategic consultation in partnership with Chief Medical Officers to the senior leaders across PHSA clinical service delivery areas, and makes recommendations for future strategic directions; develops, coordinates, integrates and directs PHSA’s drug toxicity policies and processes to develop the future vision, direction and goals for the PHSA.
  • Provides leadership and supervision including assessment of performance, financial management, and operations; recruits, coaches, and leads team members to achieve objectives within an environment of continual learning and excellence, allowing staff to realize their maximum potential.


What you bring


  • 10-15 years of related experience including 7+ years at a senior leadership level, working with diverse interested parties and navigating in a complex, multi-site environment.
  • Post-graduate degree in a relevant discipline, or an equivalent level of combined education, training, and experience


Skills & Knowledge

  • Practical significant leadership experience in drug toxicity prevention and response and an ability to lead and inspire a large and diverse team through significant change while maintaining group cohesiveness, motivation, commitment and effectiveness.
  • Develops, articulates and leads strategic vision and transformation; including system planning, change management, and quality improvement; demonstrating excellent comprehension of challenges, trends and opportunities in complex mental health and substance use.
  • Defines, directs and implements complex projects and strategically manage risk, including managing budgets and staff, with commitment to self and team professional growth.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with an ability to tactfully and confidently interact internally with executives and staff, and externally with senior health care and government officials, and other groups often on short notice, and on strategic and important operational issues.
  • Understanding of various reports including Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action (2015), In Plain Sight Report (2020), BC's Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (2019), In Plain Sight, Reclaiming Power and Place Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls calls for justice, and how they intersect across the health care system.
  • Models and supports full team commitment to Indigenous Cultural Safety and anti-racism.
  • Demonstrates humility and heart-led leadership.
  • Commitment to upholding the shared responsibility of creating lasting and meaningful reconciliation in Canada as per TRC (2015) and BC's Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (2019).
  • As a strong asset for consideration, we are looking for our successful candidate to have: Knowledge of social, economic, political and historical realities impacting indigenous communities and familiarity with Indigenous Cultural Safety and anti-racism and accompanying reports (BC DRIPA, TRC, etc.).


What we bring


Every PHSA employee enables the best possible patient care for our patients and their families. Whether you are providing direct care, conducting research, or making it possible for others to do their work, you impact the lives of British Columbians today and in the future. That’s why we’re focused on your care too – offering health, wellness, development programs to support you – at work and at home.

  • Join one of BC’s largest employers with province-wide programs, services and operations – offering vast opportunities for growth, development, and recognition programs that honour the commitment and contribution of all employees.
  • Access to professional development opportunities through our in-house training programs, including +2,000 courses, such as our San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training course, or Core Linx for Leadership roles.
  • Enjoy a comprehensive benefits package, including municipal pension plan, and psychological health & safety programs and holistic wellness resources.
  • Annual statutory holidays (13) with generous vacation entitlement and accruement.
  • PHSA is a remote work friendly employer, welcoming flexible work options to support our people (eligibility may vary, depending on position).
  • Access to WorkPerks, a premium discount program offering a wide range of local and national discounts on electronics, entertainment, dining, travel, wellness, apparel, and more.


Job Type: Regular, Full-Time

Location: Vancouver / Flexible
Applications will be accepted until position is filled.
Hours of Work:
Monday to Friday; 0900-1700
Requisition Number: EDDTPRFeb9 


If you need more information or have any enquiries, please contact Linda Hand, Manager, Talent Acquisition (



As per the current Public Health Order, full vaccination against COVID-19 is a condition of employment with PHSA as of October 26, 2021.



What we do



BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) cares for people with complex mental health and substance use challenges. BCMHSUS is part of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA).


PHSA plans, manages and evaluates specialized health services with the BC health authorities to provide equitable and cost-effective health care for people throughout the province. Our values reflect our commitment to excellence and include: Respect people – Be compassionate – Dare to innovate – Cultivate partnerships – Serve with purpose.


Learn more about PHSA and our programs:


BCMHSUS and PHSA are committed to employment equity, encouraging all qualified individuals to apply. We recognize that our ability to provide the best care for our diverse patient populations relies on a rich diversity of skills, knowledge, background and experience, and value a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment.



Reconciliation is an ongoing process and a shared responsibility for all of us. The BC Governments’ unanimous passage of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act was a significant step forward in this journey—one that all health authorities are expected to support as we work in cooperation with Indigenous Peoples to establish a clear and sustainable path to lasting reconciliation. True reconciliation will take time and ongoing commitment to work with Indigenous Peoples as they move toward self-determination. Guiding these efforts Crown agencies must remain focused on creating opportunities that implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Mandate.