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About Us

Who we are

We are a community of health professionals, caregivers, and youth devoted to cultivating mindfulness and compassion in all aspects of hospital culture and care at BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH).

family practicing meditating

What we do

Together, we are creating a culture and environment where mindfulness and compassion may be experienced by everyone at our hospital, including children, youth, families, caregivers, and health professionals.

Our Values


Compassion is an inherent dimension of mindfulness and mindful ethics, providing a way of meeting pain and suffering with love.


We are cultivating mindful communities so that we can nurture and support our practice and healing together.


We recognize and build upon the inherent strengths of individuals, families, and organizations.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI)

We aspire to remain respectful and open to learning about the harm caused by systemic racism and discrimination. We support mindful and compassionate action for individual transformation and systemic change to promote justice, reconciliation, and collective healing.

Our Story

The Centre for Mindfulness (the Centre) began with a vision to share mindfulness and compassion with the hospital community as a way of enhancing the well-being of staff, patients, and caregivers. Through initiatives such as partnerships, programs, and space transformations, the Centre has evolved into a hub for mindfulness activities, opportunities for connection, and innovative research.

2000 - 2019

  • Work done by the pioneers in mindfulness at BC Children's Hospital & Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre
  • MARS-A (Mindful Awareness & Resilience Skills for Adolescents)
  • MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy)
  • Mindful Healing
  • Breathr app release
  • Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre mindfulness web resources


  • Opening of BC Children's Hospital Centre for Mindfulness
  • Community Building - Mindfulness Council
  • Established the Centre for Mindfulness Research Team
  • Research award Varela grant from the Mind and Life Institute received


  • Mindful Awareness & Resilience Skills for Parents & Caregivers (MARS-PC) Pilot Project
  • Thankful Thursdays Program Launch
  • Wake up Wednesday Program Launch
  • Research study launch:  Mindfulness for both parents in postpartum families (online pandemic-era stage)


  • Breathr App 2.0 release
  • Health Care Summit 2021
  • Established provincial and national partners
  • The Centre's Research Team joined Interpersonal Mindfulness Research group



  • Mindful Healing for Health Care Professionals Program Launch
  • Breathr App 3.0 release



mindfulness opportunities




mindfulness programs




Join the Centre for Mindfulness community as we cultivate a more mindful hospital.

Meet the Core Team

Dr. Joanna McDermid
Dr. Joanna McDermid
Associate Director
Jeanette Fong
Project Coordinator
Char Black
Program Manager

Centre for Mindfulness Council

The Council is a community of diverse professionals, including administrators, clinicians, researchers, and specialists across different departments of BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH).  The Council works like a “mindful potluck”, with Council members bringing their talents and vision to the table. Our Council members support the mission of the Centre by building and cultivating a mindful culture throughout BCCH and beyond.

  • Lori Brotto, Executive Director, Women's Health Research Institute
  • Ashley Biggerstaff, Manager, Research Education, BCCH Research Institute 
  • Philip Crowell, Spiritual Care Leader at BCCH
  • Royce Dueck, Clinical Counsellor, Reproductive Mental Health Program
  • Halima Elmi, Program Coordinator, PHSA Health Promotion
  • Sabrina Gill, Practice Leader, Psychological Health & Safety
  • Helen Kennett-Bacon, Nurse Clinician, Outpatient Child, Youth & Reproductive Mental Health Programs
  • Jake Locke, Psychiatrist, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Michelle Man, Communications & Engagement Coordinator, Department of Pediatrics, UBC & BCCH
  • Theresa Newlove, Executive Director, People Experience & Workplace Wellness, Human Resources
  • Carina Perel-Panar, Psychiatrist, BC Mental Health and Addiction Services
  • Susan Poitras, Project Manager, ChildKind, BC Children's Hospital
  • Leslie Louie, Counsellor/Social Worker, Patient Support
  • Barbara Shulman, Psychiatrist, Reproductive Mental Health Program
  • Fulroop Sidhu, Psychiatrist, Infant Psychiatry Clinic & Reproductive Mental Health Clinic
  • Tatiana Sotindjo, Clinical Instructor, Department of Pediatrics, UBC & BCCH, Co-Lead, Equity, Diversity and Education, Department of Pediatrics, UBC & BCCH
  • Caron Strahlendorf, Head, Division of Hematology and Oncology & BMT, BC Children’s Hospital Deputy, Department of Pediatrics, UBC & BCCH
  • Sandy Tatla, Director, Learning and Development 
  • Veronika Spencer, Strategic Partnership Officer, BCCH Foundation

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee facilitates organizational commitment and sustainability and advises on strategy. The Committee supports the Centre’s vision to integrate mindfulness and compassion into the hospital's culture for a “more mindful hospital.”​​

  • Andrew Tugwell, Executive Director, Health Promotion & Health Literacy
  • Sharlynne Burke, Provincial Executive Director, Children’s & Women’s Mental Health Program, Mental Health
  • Dr. Theresa Newlove, Executive Director, People Experience & Workplace Wellness, Human Resources
  • Dr. Evelyn Stewart,  Research Director for the BCCH Child, Youth & Reproductive Mental Health program