PHS Management Team & Board of Directors
For more information about the PHS management team or board of directors, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interim Executive Director
Senior Director of Housing
Senior Director of Finance, Social Enterprise and Administration
Director of Programs
(Recruitment in Process)
Director of Human Resources
Dr. Christy Sutherland
Senior Manager of Programs
Senior Manager of Housing
Housing and Housing Support Services (Victoria)
Board of Directors
Allen Garr, ICD.D
Chair, Board of Directors
Allen has spent most of his career as a journalist working locally nationally and abroad. However, he has been involved with board work for the past 20 years. He was on the board of Vancouver Resource Society providing housing and support to seriously disabled persons for five years including three as President. He served on the Board of Vancity Credit Union for six years during which time he chaired the Governance committee, the Human Resources Committee and the Nominations and Election committee. As well he served on the board of Citizens Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of the credit union.
For the past two years he has been on the PHS Board during which time he served as vice-chair.
Allen earned his ICD.D designation in a program offered by the National Institute of Corporate Directors through Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business.
Maureen Collier - Chair of the Risk, Finance & Audit Committee
CPA, CMA (retired)
Maureen Collier is a retired financial management professional CPA CMA with thirty years’ experience in not for profits, cooperatives and social enterprises both in public practice and in industry. She has served on not for profit boards, including the REACH community health clinic and Modo the car coop. Maureen has worked in the inner city for several years as the Finance Manager for Tides Canada Initiatives Society, as an accountant for the Tradeworks Training Society and as the Finance Manager with BOB – Building Opportunities with Business Inner City Society. Prior to that, she was the Controller for Family Services of Greater Vancouver. She understands the challenges of operating within a government-funded charitable model, while trying to build successful enterprises that achieve multiple objectives.
Dr. Jan Christilaw
Dr. Jan Christilaw has recently retired as the President of BC Women’s Hospital in Vancouver, after having served for an eight-year period. In addition to her extensive experience in the British Columbia health environment, Jan brings broad leadership in British Columbia healthcare issues to the PHS. Jan received her Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from McMaster University, and continued her education at the University of British Columbia, receiving a Masters of Health Science Degree in 2002.
Dr. Christilaw brings a passion for women’s health issues to this position, and has been very generous in providing her time to important health initiatives. She is a willing presenter at health and leadership forums, providing her broad experience in a provincial and national context. Jan is also extremely supportive of grass roots community initiatives and is committed to contributing her time and talents to PHS.
Cheyenne was born in Salmon Arm and is a status member of the Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve in Manitoba. Cheyenne is a registered nurse who works in the area of addiction and substance use care in Vancouver. In her current role as the Director of Activities and Development with the BC Center on Substance Use (BCCSU) and the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse, she oversees development and dissemination of evidence-based clinical guidelines, practice tools and policy briefs. She is also the Director of the BCCSU’s Addiction Nursing Fellowship Program and is passionate about providing health care provider and public education to reduce stigma and improve the addiction system of care in BC. She is also and is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia and actively collaborates with interdisciplinary researchers across Canada.
Stephen has a long history working in the Downtown Eastside. He was first hired by DERA in 1984 where he advocated for low income resident’s and their concerns including conditions in SRO hotels. He went on to become Assistant Organizer to DERA Executive Director Jim Green and was part of the team who built hundreds of units of social housing, and turned the original Portland Hotel into supportive housing.
Stephen also worked for the Provincial Government working with community groups around the province. He was the Executive Director of the Urban Community Development Unit with the Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women Services.
During the time he worked for the provincial government he was involved in creating and funding innovative programs for low-income marginalized communities in urban areas throughout the province.
He left the province to become Executive Assistant to Mayor Larry Campbell and worked with him on driving the supervised injection site initiative. He currently is the Executive Director of the Strathcona Community Dental Clinic.
Jennifer Vornbrock brings 17 years of public service experience to PHS, with expertise in management of the impact of government policy on lawmakers at all levels. She brings an extensive knowledge of health and social policy issues, including healthcare, housing and homelessness issues, social and economic development, post-secondary education, and issues affecting children, youth and women’s services issues.
Jennifer is currently employed in Victoria with the University of Victoria, providing services to the University at the local, regional, provincial and national level. Jennifer had recently worked for the Mental Health Commission of Canada, as well as for Vancouver Coastal Health in a number of capacities over an eleven-year period, dealing with a broad range of issues in the ever-developing area of providing health services to the residents of the Downtown Eastside. Jennifer is a passionate advocate in the mission of improving the lives of those served by PHS.
Libby Davies has a long standing relationship, stretching back to the 1970s, with the Downtown Eastside, where she was a community organizer, before becoming an elected member of Vancouver City Council for five terms (1982-1993). She served six terms as the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East (1997-2015), including as Deputy Leader of the NDP from 2007-2015, and House Leader for the NDP from 2003-2011. Her strong advocacy on critical issues affecting the Downtown Eastside and vulnerable populations across the country helped develop her key leadership role in Parliament on drug policy reform, harm reduction, safe consumption sites, sex worker rights and safety, housing and homelessness, healthcare and human rights. Libby maintained a close relationship with her riding and worked with many frontline organizations, including the PHS. She was a tireless advocate for Insite, and for human rights and services for people who use drugs. She is a strong proponent of community based accessible services that respect the dignity and rights of people. She has extensive knowledge and experience with governance, public policy development, and working for transformative change. In 2016, Libby was awarded the Order Of Canada for her longstanding community contributions.
Nathan Edelson - Chair of Social Enterprise Committee
Nathan Edelson is a Senior Partner with 42 Street Consulting – a company that focuses on planning for inclusive communities. He is also an adjunct professor at the School of Community and Regional Planning where he teaches the Social Learning Studio and is on the Advisory Committee for the Indigenous Planning Program.
He worked for the City of Vancouver Planning Department for 25 years. For much of that time he was the Senior City Planner for the Downtown East Side, where he managed many issues related to housing, social services, health care facilities, community arts, community economic development, food security and public safety – within the context of the Four Pillar Drug Strategy. Here he also chaired the Vancouver Agreement’s Economic Revitalization Task Team and had opportunities to work on many initiatives with senior government and communities, including PHS.
Jeff brings extensive experience as the former City of Vancouver Director of Social Planning, having been responsible during this 11-year tenure for developing and implementing and evaluating Vancouver’s comprehensive program of social development within the City. This position provides to the City Council information, advice and policy recommendations respecting social issues, as well as providing advice and recommendations to Council on the provision of financial support to community organizations. Major areas of focus include neighbourhood initiatives, childcare programs, children, youth and family issues, alcohol and drug and mental health matters, as well as grants programs, including community services, childcare support, and capital grants considerations. Earlier professional experience includes over 20 additional years of employment in Vancouver and the broader British Columbia provincial environment, again focusing on public service oriented initiatives.
In addition to an extensive working knowledge of the pressing Downtown East Side issues, Jeff brings considerable public service involvement in British Columbia provincial, and neighbourhood associations throughout Greater Vancouver, serving on a large number of advisory committees which have helped to guide the development of the City of Vancouver.
Flavio Caron is the son of an Ojibway mother and Italian-Canadian father. He started Flavio Caron consulting in 1997 which provides custom-designed and delivered training, facilitation and consulting services. Over 19 years his business has provided economic and employment development for over 25 Aboriginal First Nations and communities. Additional programs designed have focused on inner-city and youth, new Canadians and transitioning professionals.
Flavio has given back to communities through volunteerism in many capacities. He has served on numerous Boards dedicated to serving the interests of human potential in justice, sports, economics and housing.
Through his work he has partnered with many organizations both government and private – and it is philosophy of interdependence that guides his professional and volunteer activities. Most recently he has acted as the lead consultant for Aboriginal Housing Management Association’s 2015 strategic plan renewal. He understands the key role housing plays in creating stability and assisting individuals to begin, or enhance, their growth. He brings expertise, passion, personal skills and knowledge with Aboriginal issues, social enterprise and mental health.
Bio to come.
Ruth Herman is retired lawyer who focussed on workers’ health and safety issues during her career with different unions. She was an elected Vancouver School Board trustee, a long-serving executive member of COPE and is now active in One City, whose focus is on housing and better opportunities for low income people. Ruth has also been on the board of REACH Community Health Clinic for the past 14 years, eight years as Chair, and is committed to improving health care for the most needy in our community. She also founded and continues as co-chair of the Vancouver South African Film Festival that raises money for impoverished school children in South Africa and Canada. Ruth believes in strong and effective advocacy as a way to empower people to improve their living conditions, both at home and at work.