30-Jan-2015 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
900 Canada Place Way
Fairmont Waterfront Hotel
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3L5


BC Lower Mainland Chapter
Communities in Crisis: Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Panel:  Dr. Bill MacEwan , MD; Dr.Vijay Seethapathy, MD; Howard Tran; Dr. Penny Ballem, MD 

Date: Friday, January 30, 2015
(Pacific Time)
7:00 a.m. - Registration and hot breakfast buffet
7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. - Panel session
Place: Fairmont Waterfront Hotel,
900 Canada Place Way, Vancouver, BC

This panel session will:

  1. Explore the complexity of the multi-faceted issues that surround people with mental illness.
  2. Describe the approach and effectiveness of strategies and innovative models (i.e. Assertive Community Treatment, At Home/Chez Soi Project) being deployed in Vancouver to address chronic homelessness among people with mental illness and better manage interactions with police.
  3. Discuss approaches, keys to success and barriers to collaboration among health authorities and the city in addressing mental health issues.

Panel members include:

    • Dr. Bill MacEwan, MD, Head - Department of Psychiatry St. Paul's Hospital
    • Dr. Vijay Seethapathy, MD, Medical Manager Vancouver ACT Teams & Burnaby Centre for Mental Health & Addiction (BCMHA), Vancouver BC
    • Howard Tran, Acting Inspector, Vancouver Police Department, Mental Health Team
    • Dr. Penny Ballem, MD, FRCP, City Manager, City of Vancouver

Event Fees:
Registration fee
includes hot buffet

Member Rate
Non-Member Rate
Season Pass

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Bill MacEwan graduated from UBC in medicine and completed his specialty training in psychiatry at UBC in 1987. His clinical and research interest has always focused on Schizophrenia.  Academically Dr. MacEwan is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UBC and Associated Head for Clinical Affairs at the Department of Psychiatry. His research interests have been in the study of novel antipsychotics in the treatment of Schizophrenia; he has also been looking at clinical correlates of both Schizophrenia and Early Psychosis.  His present work with the Downtown Community Court in Vancouver, BC allows Dr. MacEwan the opportunity to use the court as a health point of contact for individuals with extreme mental health issues. The DCC Mental Health program helps patients with their illness and prevents them from entering into further problems with criminal behavior.  Currently, Dr. MacEwan is Head of Psychiatry at St. Paul’s Hospital, Providence Health Care and is the clinical lead in a Hotel Study for the health and mental status of residents of the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver.

Dr. Vijay Seethapathy is Medical Manager for Burnaby Centre for Mental Health & Addiction, Physician Lead for Assertive Outreach team (AOT) & Vancouver Assertive Community Treatment Teams (ACT), Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, UBC and Oversight Director for Addiction Program for Psychiatry Residents in UBC.

Dr Vijay Seethapathy is a graduate in medicine and received postgraduate diploma in Health Management from the Keele University in UK. He is a member of Royal College of Psychiatrists of UK and Fellow of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has special interest in the field of addiction and concurrent disorders.

Dr. Vijay Seethapathy has particular interest in clinical services & system design and is actively engaged in ongoing projects, addressing the needs for individuals with co occurring disorders.

Howard Tran, Acting Inspector is an 18 year member of the VPD – worked in a variety of assignments such as patrol, surveillance, recruiting, major crime section (robber squad), professional standards section (internal investigation), mental health unit. Current role is the Acting Inspector of the Youth Services Section which has oversight of the School Liaison Units, Youth Squad, Police Community Response Teams such as Car 87, Car 86, Yankee 10 and Yankee 20 and the Mental Health Unit which encompasses ACT and AOT. Also hold the mental health portfolio for the VPD.

Dr. Penny Ballem, Dr. Ballem joined the City of Vancouver in December 2008 as the City Manager. Dr Ballem is a physician who came to the City from a long and diverse career in the health sector as a senior administrator, practitioner, educator and researcher.  After serving in a leadership role in a number of health institutions in British Columbia,  Dr Ballem was appointed Deputy Minister of Health for the Province of BC in 2001  and over the next five years went on to lead two health Ministries (Health Services and Health Planning) and serve a total of eight ministers.  She is one of the longest serving Deputy Ministers of Health in BC and Canada.  During her tenure as Deputy Minister, Dr. Ballem also served as the co-chair of the Federal Provincial Territorial Conference of Deputy Ministers of Health.  Over the years of service in the health portfolio, Dr Ballem was responsible for renewal of many provincial statutes regulating public works and services at the municipal level.


Since joining the City 6 years ago, Dr Ballem has been responsible for implementing an ambitious Council agenda focused on addressing homelessness, affordable housing, a multipronged sustainability agenda with the goal of making Vancouver the Greenest City in the World by 2020, leveraging local economic development through the Economic Action Strategy and the Digital Strategy, with Vancouver a global leader in a number of key areas in the innovation and high tech economy, and a broad array of other strategic public policy goals, including the Healthy City strategy, the Transportation 2014 plan and broad based Cultural and Recreation Plans.  The City has significantly enhanced its approach to public engagement given the complexity of public policy goals and the land use changes which are currently in play. Over the last 6 years, Vancouver has witnessed an unprecedented amount of job space development as well as significant densification initiatives along key transit corridors.  Currently the City is engaged with other regional municipalities in building public support for a public referendum to approve funding to expand the regional transportation system.


Dr Ballem serves on a wide array of Boards in her role as City Manager including as a past Director of the Canada Line Board and as the Host City director on the VANOC Board (responsible for the organization of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games); she currently serves as a director of the Vancouver Board of Trade, on the E-Comm Board which is the agency responsible for emergency response dispatch for all first responders across much of the Province of BC, and as a member of the Immigrant Employment Council. She is President of the JustAid Foundation, a charitable Foundation which raises funds and awareness about the ongoing humanitarian issues of displaced peoples in Burma.


Full Details

Attendance at this program entitles certified Canadian College of Health Leaders members (CHE / Fellow) to 1.5 Category I  credits toward their maintenance of certification requirement.

  Due to catering commitments, cancellations will be billed the full amount if not received before January 28, 2014 . As this event is expected to be well attended – plan to register early.

Due to space limitations we cannot guarantee admission to on site walk-ins.  No-shows will be billed for the full registration fee.