Meet our Steering Committee

The Physician Health Program is governed by a six-member committee composed of Ministry of Health and Doctors of BC representatives with two co-chairs.

The members are:

Dr. Mandy Manak – Doctors of BC Co-Chair
Specializing in Addiction Medicine, Dr. Mandy Manak is based in Kamloops, where she provides consultative services for patients with substance use disorders at Royal Inland Hospital and Phoenix Detox Centre. She is the founding principle and Medical Director of the Interior Chemical Dependency Office and Interior Medical Monitoring. As a certified MRO, she provides Occupational Addiction Independent Medical Evaluations for safety-sensitive individuals. She is a partner in and Chief Medical Officer for A New Tomorrow, an inpatient addiction treatment center.

In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Manak has previously been a member of the Opiate Agonist Therapy Panel and the Prescription Review Committee at the CPSBC, a Board member with CSAM, and the founding Chairperson of the Western Canada Addiction Forum.

Mr. Jess Bossert – Ministry of Health Co-Chair
Jess is the Director of Physician Partnerships at the Ministry of Health and has nearly two decades of federal and provincial public sector management experience in immigration, labour market programs, and health care. In his current role, Jess leads the Medical Education and Partnerships team and is involved in a number of programs, committees, and working groups with the Doctors of BC, HEABC, and health authorities. Jess returned to the Ministry of Health in fall 2023 following two years with the Medical Affairs leadership team at Island Health. Prior to that, he was responsible for the provincial health human resource planning program and had the privilege of working on many high-profile and impactful initiatives focused on recruiting, retaining, and engaging health care workers to meet the needs of people and communities across the province.

Dr. Melanie Altas – Doctors of BC Representative
Originally a Maritimer, Dr. Melanie Altas settled in beautiful Vancouver in 2002.  After completing specialty training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University of British Columbia, she opened a community practice at Royal Columbian Hospital. Recently, deciding to leave long sleepless call shifts behind, she has transitioned into ambulatory gynecology practice at Vancouver General Hospital.  Dr. Altas has long been interested in advocating for personal wellness and professional fulfillment for physicians. She has been deeply involved in the Fraser Northwest MDs4Wellness group, as well as the Fraser Health Authority Physician Wellness Advisory Committee.

Dr. Marie-Claude Grégoire – Doctors of BC Representative
Dr. Grégoire is a pediatrician and medical journalist living in Victoria. After completing her medical training in Quebec, her fellowship and early career in pediatric pain and palliative medicine in Nova Scotia, she is now enjoying the West Coast lifestyle with her family. She has a personal passion for physician health. When not working, Marie-Claude can be found running, cycling, officiating at a triathlon or playing with dinosaurs.

Leah Fernando – Ministry of Health Representative
Leah Fernando is the Director of Health Sector Health and Safety at the Ministry of Health, where she leads the development and implementation of strategies to support workplace health, safety, and wellness in support of BC’s health human resources plan. Her team is responsible for provincial initiatives on workplace violence prevention, psychological health and safety, and medical staff occupational health and safety. Leah previously co-chaired the Provincial Physician Health and Safety Working Group with Doctors of BC and contributed to the establishment of provincial governance for medical staff occupational health and safety. She has a passion for health and wellbeing at work and advancing psychological health and safety in healthcare. Leah lives in Victoria BC with her partner and two kids and enjoys an active lifestyle and spending time outdoors with her family.

Dr. Dorothy (Sam) Williams – Ministry of Health Representative
Specializing in geriatric medicine at West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni, Dr. Williams has served as Chair of the Health Authority Medical Advisory Committee 2009-2019. She has also held several medical leadership positions including Vice-Chief and Head of the Department of Geriatric Medicine, Chief of Staff and Chair of the South Island Medical Advisory Committee. She is Chief of Staff and Chair of the Local Medical Advisory Committee at West Coast General Hospital and Division Head of Internal Medicine for geo 2 and 3 and Dept Head of Medicine at Island Health.

In addition to her health authority medical leadership roles, Dr. Williams is also the past president of the South Island Medical Staff Association, a clinical instructor at the University of British Columbia and Island Medical Program and a member of Provincial Committees including the Steering Committee of the Physician Health Program of BC and Steering Committee of BCMQI.

To share your feedback on the Physician Health Program, contact the committee directly by sending an email.