Risk Management Committee



The purpose of the Health Care Protection Program (HCPP) Risk Management Committee is to:

  • Provide input into the planning and management of HCPP;
  • Promote the delivery of education, communication and consultation/advisory service of HCPP;
  • Provide a forum for discussion and promote awareness of health care risk management issues; and
  • Consult on the settlement of claims.



Vancouver Island Health Authority
Karlena Lewis
Corporate Director & Senior Legal Counsel



Northern Health Authority
Ms. Kirsten Thomson, BSc (Pharm), MBA
Regional Director, Risk Management

Kirsten Thomson is the Regional Manager, Risk Management for Northern Health. Kirsten is new to Risk Management, having started in this role in October 2011; in this role, Kirsten acts as a resource for the Patient Safety and Learning System, policy, practice and operational improvement initiatives, quality reviews, and application of legislation to healthcare situations. Kirsten graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of British Columbia in 2002, and worked as a pharmacist at the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia until moving into the Risk Management position. In 2006, she took on the role of Pharmacy Manager, and completed a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Northern British Columbia in 2008. Kirsten is currently completing the Canadian Risk Manager (CRM) certificate program through the University of Toronto distance learning program.

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
Mr. Darren Kopetsky, MHA
Regional Director, Client Relations and Risk Management

Darren Kopetsky is the Regional Director, Client Relations and Risk Management at the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. As well as acting as a resource and system leader in clinical and personal injury risk management, he has coordinated policy and practice/system improvement initiatives on various issues including informed consent for blood products, adult guardianship and consent legislation, and the critical incident review program. Darren is a graduate in the University of Alberta Master of Health Services Administration Program, and has worked at Foothills Hospital in Calgary, Juan de Fuca Hospitals in Victoria, the British Columbia Health Association, and came to the Vancouver Coastal health Authority by way of Vancouver Hospital and Health Science Centre. He has taught courses in Health Policy for the Open University and the University College of the Fraser Valley, and has published articles in Dimensions in Health Service, the Canadian Journal of Nursing Administration, the Canadian Journal of Public Health, and the Journal of Ambulatory Care Management.

Fraser Health Authority
Ms. J. Alexis Kerr
General Counsel, Director of Legal Services and Integrated Risk Management

Alexis Kerr is the General Counsel and the Director of Legal Services and, effective September 2013, Integrated Risk Management (IRM) at the Fraser Health Authority. On the IRM side of the equation, Alexis provides leadership to the organization in respect of its risk management framework and programs, as well as claims management, coroner investigations and Fraser Health’s role as a “designated agency” under the Adult Guardianship Act.

Alexis joined Fraser Health in 2007 as Legal Counsel, and was appointed General Counsel in 2012. Prior to joining Fraser Health, she maintained a litigation and privacy law practice in a large, multi-national law firm in both its Toronto and Vancouver offices. She was a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and is a current member of the Law Society of British Columbia. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University (1997), a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toronto (2001) and a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Canada designation from the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Interior Health Authority
Ms. Patty Garrett, BScN, MScA
Director Risk Management/PCQO

Patty graduated with a BScN in Nursing from Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario in 1981 and MScA (Health) from the University of Central Michigan in 1997.  Patty worked as a staff nurse Med-Surg and Med-Surg Intensive Care from 1981-1986 and as Unit Manager Cardiac/Vascular Surgery Health Science Centre Winnipeg, Mb 1986-1998.  She was Director Patient Services Surgery (Acting) HSC Winnipeg, MB in 1996 and Director of Client Services/Risk Manager VON Winnipeg Branch from 1998-2000.  Patty was also Chief Nursing Officer VAES Health Services/former North Okanagan Health Region from 2000-2002 and Director Medical Services/Risk Manager Vernon Jubilee Hospital, VAES Health Services, Interior Health Authority from 2002-2005.

Provincial Health Services Authority
Ms. Catherine Syms, MA, MHSA, LLB
Corporate Director, Risk Management

Catherine Syms is the Corporate Director of Risk Management at the Provincial Health Services Authority. She graduated with a Masters of Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University (1998) as well as a Masters of Health Services Administration and Bachelor of Law Degree from Dalhousie University (2002). She was a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society and is currently a member of the Law Society of British Columbia. Before moving to British Columbia, Catherine has worked as legal counsel/ risk management advisor for a large health authority in Nova Scotia as well as the Director of Quality and Legal Services. Catherine is currently responsible for the implementation of Risk Management initiatives and strategies across PHSA as well as overseeing the Patient Care Quality Office. She works closely with senior leadership among the PHSA Agencies, Ministry of Health Services, and Health Care Protection Program and other health care organizations.


Information about the Ministry of Health Representative will be posted soon.

Updated: December, 2013