Cheyenne Johnson and Perry Kendall assume Co-Executive Director roles at BC Centre on Substance Use

published on June 1, 2019

Vancouver – Coast Salish Territory – Cheyenne Johnson, current Director of Clinical Activities at the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU), will act as Co-Executive Director alongside former BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall, who newly joins the BCCSU. They will share co-leadership responsibilities while Dr. Evan Wood takes a one-year scheduled leave from his position as Executive Director to pursue research activities with UBC.

Johnson was originally appointed by government to help establish the BCCSU’s framework for implementation. Since the BCCSU’s establishment in 2017, Johnson has held the roles of Director of Clinical Activities and Development and Director of the Addiction Nursing Fellowship. Under her leadership, she has helped establish BC as a leader in substance use guidance and education. She has played the lead role in establishing the Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment and Support Program, as well as a host of other core addiction education and clinical care guidance programs in BC. Johnson, born in Salmon Arm, BC, is status member of the Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve in Manitoba. She is a registered nurse and an Adjunct Professor at the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

As the province’s former Provincial Health Officer — a position he held for nearly 20 years — Dr. Kendall was a leading voice in calling for public health approaches to substance use. He was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 2005 for his contributions. Dr. Kendall was also the author of a report on Indigenous health, which helped inform the creation of the First Nations Health Authority, still the only one of its kind in Canada. Dr. Kendall, who was born in the United Kingdom before coming to Canada, has held leadership positions in Ontario and BC, including serving as Toronto’s chief medical officer and the President of the Ontario Addiction Research Foundation.

Together, Johnson and Dr. Kendall will steward all areas of the organization, while Dr. Wood will continue to lead philanthropic activities at the BCCSU in addition to his research work during his leave.