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As a nationally accredited essential healthcare service, Cedars remains open and accepting patients meeting our COVID-19 admissions criteria. Please contact us for more information about our programs.

The team at Cedars at Cobble Hill is a diverse group of knowledgeable, highly-trained and compassionate individuals from varying professional and educational backgrounds. Many members of  Cedars staff have had first hand-experience with addiction and are not afraid to share their  personal experiences with honesty, empathy and humility.

At Cedars, our approach is invitational, instead of confrontational. We foster connections and establish trust with our patients by being transparent and involving them in their own individualized treatment process. By courageously sharing our stories, we can create the authentic connection that is essential to healing from addiction.

We believe that it truly “takes a village” to create an environment for individuals to grow and thrive. Regardless of their particular area of expertise, each team member is united in their goal of helping each individual find success in long-term recovery.  Each staff member has their own unique skillset and our team is proud of our collaborative approach to treating addiction. Our entire complement of multi-disciplinary staff form an integral part of what makes Cedars one of the premier recovery centres across the country.

Below, we invite you to learn more about our incredible team members at Cedars.

Leadership
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Dr. Carson McPherson

Managing Director

As Managing Director, Carson is responsible for all operations at Cedars Cobble Hill and Acorn Recovery ensuring all patients receive high quality, evidence based, patient-centred care. Carson holds a Doctor…

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Elizabeth Loudon, MA

Clinical Director

With 17 years of experience in the addiction and recovery field, Elizabeth has had a lengthy clinical career working in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Prior to joining the team…

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Lisa Shields, BA, MC

Director of Operations

As the Director of Operations, Lisa is responsible for ensuring quality, safety and efficiency at all operational levels of the organization. Lisa is excited about the possibilities of a center…

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Ethan McCandless

Director of Admissions

Ethan showcases his enthusiasm for recovery and provides genuine compassion for individuals and families suffering from addiction disorders. Ethan is grateful for the opportunity to support patients taking their first steps on…

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Bill Caldwell, BA, CCAC

Director of Community Care

Bill is the Director of Community Care at Cedars and has been working in residential treatment for more than 14 years. This experience has included being a counsellor and supervisor…

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Medical

Dr. Pouya Azar

Addiction Psychiatrist

Dr. Azar, is a physician specializing in psychiatry and addiction medicine. He attended medical school at University of British Columbia where he also completed his psychiatry residency. He subsequently completed…

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Dr. Crosbie Watler

Dr. Crosbie Watler, MD, FRCPC

Addiction Psychiatrist

Dr. Crosbie Watler completed his MA in Psychology at Lakehead University, before going to Medical School at McMaster in 1988. Following medical school, Dr. Watler completed his residency in psychiatry…

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Dr. Ian Forster

Addiction Physician

Dr. Ian Forster, is a key member of the Cedars team as well is a consultant for Addiction Medicine at Edmonton’s Life Mark Health Institute. Currently a member of the…

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Dr. Gerrit Prinsloo, MD, MbChB, CCFP, DABAM

Addiction Physician

In addition to his prominent role at Cedars, Gerrit is an Addiction Medicine Research Fellow with the BC Centre on Substance Use and a UBC Clinical Instructor on the Addiction…

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Jackie Muth, FNP, NP, MN, BScN, OAT certified

Medical Manager

Jackie Muth is a Family Nurse Practitioner who has dedicated her career to providing an integrated health care with a holistic approach. She dedicated 10 years to academia: from earning…

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Meghan Weir

Nurse

In addition to being a nurse and certified life coach, Meghan is a Kundalini Yoga and meditation instructor. She has always been extremely passionate about mental health and addiction recovery…

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Marnee Wilson

Nurse

Marnee is a lifelong resident of the Cowichan Valley. She obtained her Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) diploma at Discovery College in Nanaimo and continues to pursue training in mental health…

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Clinical
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Jo Dumont, MA, RCC

Counsellor

Jo comes to Cedars with three generations of recovery in her family, including her own. She worked as an adult educator, paramedic, and first aid trainer for 25 years until…

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Leah Saari

Counsellor

Leah grew up in Bamfield, a small remote community on the west coast of Vancouver Island. She spent time living in both Northern Alberta and Yukon as a heavy duty…

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Asheleigh Narey

Clinical Coordinator

Asheleigh comes to Cedars with a diverse background in nursing, has a Diploma in Counseling, and Certification in Addiction. She plays an instrumental role in helping individuals during their recovery…

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Bruce Dumont

Indigenous Program

Bruce grew up in central Alberta in a small rural town. He completed his Red Seal Apprenticeship in Electronics at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton. He has…

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Mohammed Elewonibi

Mohammed Elewonibi

Counsellor

Nigerian born and Vancouver Island raised, Mohammed brings a breadth of skills and compassion to his work at Cedars. Mohammed’s varied career began in professional sports including time in both…

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Jeff Saunders

Jeff Saunders

Counsellor

Jeff grew up in the Cowichan valley on Vancouver Island and now lives in Nanaimo with his partner and two beautiful children. Jeff attended Vancouver Island University where he studied…

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Stephanie Clark

Stephanie Clark

Counsellor

Stephanie grew up in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and was overjoyed to move to Vancouver Island to further her career here at Cedars. Stephanie holds a Baccalaureate in…

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Rebecca Denham, MPCC

Clinical Counsellor

Rebecca was drawn to Cedars after seeing many of her personal and professional values reflected in Cedar’s work and philosophies. Rebecca brings 20 plus years of experience in the field…

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Karen Hayde

Spiritual Health Advisor and Counsellor

Karen was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. She moved to the island 12 years ago in order to be closer to friends and family. Karen’s passion for spirituality drove…

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Devon Silver, BSW

Counsellor

Devon grew up on Vancouver Island and lived as far afield as Alert Bay (home of the world’s tallest totem pole) and Dawson Creek before returning to the Island recently.…

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Charis Santiago

Charis Santiago

Charis was born and originally from BC, but spent her childhood growing up in Central Asia. She returned to Canada to continue schooling and eventually moved to the island in…

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Wellness Team

Amanda Graham, BA

Yoga Instructor

Amanda joined Cedars in the first year of operation as a Support Staff team member. In February 2007, she became an integral member of the Cedars Discovery Family Practice and…

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Greg

Greg Darjes

Spiritual Advisor

As one of Cedars' spiritual advisors, workshop facilitators, and lecturers, Greg creates a safe container for our patients to explore their spirituality. He is an ordained minister in the United…

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Tim

Tim Kearney

Personal Trainer & Group Fitness

Tim is Cedars' one and only personal trainer and group fitness instructor. With over 20 years of involvement in the fitness industry, he teaches patients about the importance of physical…

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Rev. Pierre Leroux, CACII

Spiritual Advisor

Rev. Pierre Leroux is an Ordained Minister with the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada and holds a certification of Addiction Counseling (CACII) with the Canadian Council of Professional Certification. For…

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Robert George

Indigenous Program

Robert grew up in the Duncan area where he mentors youth in his community and participates in cross cultural workshops. He joined the Cedars team after assisting his brother who…

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Facilities
Brandon Elderton

Brandon Elderton

Executive Chef

Brandon is our Executive Chef and Food Services Manager. Brandon has 15 years of professional experience with his most recent role as a Culinary Director for Amica Mature Lifestyles, which…

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Glenn Sheather

Sous Chef

Glenn was born in Ontario and grew up in sunny Tsawwassen before moving to Victoria. Glenn attended the University of Victoria and Camosun college before completing his Culinary Red Seal…

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Patrick Beaulieu

Second Cook

With nearly 20 years of experience in the culinary field, Patrick says that Cedars is by far the job he has enjoyed the most. He brings creativity, humour, responsibility, and…

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Chrissy Wilson

Second Cook

Chrissy may be new to the staff at Cedars but she quickly became a treasured member of the team with her compassionate and humanistic nature. With ten years of experience…

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Gracie Knock

Housekeeper

Gracie grew up in the Cowichan Valley and currently lives right by Cedars Campus here in Cobble Hill. Kelsey graduated from Frances Kelsey Secondary School in 2019 and is planning…

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Lucie Thibault

Housekeeper

Lucie grew up right here on Vancouver Island in Victoria, BC. Lucie graduated from Victor Brodeur Secondary School the Capital Regional District’s all french language school.  Lucie began her career…

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MacKenna Posey

Housekeeper

MacKenna was born and raised right here in the Cowichan Valley, originally hailing from Duncan. MacKenna is currently working towards completing a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Calgary,…

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Jeanine Rovas

Kitchen Staff

Jeanine was born in Ottawa, Ontario attending Rideau Secondary School through Grade 13. Jeanine’s diverse career started in bartending, before working as a Teacher’s Aide, in Carnival Exhibitions, owning her…

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Administration
Patrick McNary

Patrick McNary, B.comm, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Patrick grew up in Edmonton, followed a girl to Vancouver in 2009, married her in 2011, and settled with her and his two wonderful kids in Chemainus in 2017.  He…

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Aidan Hughes-Toal

Admissions Lead

After the overdose-related loss of his twin brother, Aidan decided to attend Cedars as a patient in 2014 and has since applied his personal experiences to connect with patients. As…

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Aaron McCluskey

Special Projects Lead

Aaron began his own recovery from addiction through our programs at Cedars. Before joining the staff, he was a very active member of the Cedars Alumni network and volunteered on…

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Jonelle Andrew

Finance and HR

Terrace born and Nanaimo raised, Jonelle’s family immigrated from South Africa prior to her birth. Jonelle holds a BHM degree from VIU and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from…

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Maria Clancy

Administrative Support

Born and raised in Ireland, Maria moved to Canada in 2012 and currently resides in Cobble Hill. She attended school in Ireland in the healthcare and special needs fields. Before…

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Meaghan Roberge

Administrative Support

Meaghan was born and raised in Calgary, AB and moved to Victoria to pursue her undergrad in psychology, where she graduated in 2016, then moved up island, to Duncan. Meaghan’s…

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Chelse Upton

Chelse Upton

Accounting Assistant

Hailing from Southern Vancouver Island, Chelse was born in Victoria, and spent most of her life in Deep Cove before settling into the Cowichan Valley. Chelse spent time attending Camosun…

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Support Staff
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Annelies Briggs

Community Support Supervisor

Annelies has been caring for Cedars since it opened, over 10 years ago. Her role has evolved from housekeeping to managing Cedars’ ongoing maintenance operations. Annelies can often be found…

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Louise Gibson

Community Support Supervisor

Louise has an educational background in Criminology and has worked as an outreach worker with high-risk teenagers for many years. Louise brings empathy and compassion to Cedars and truly believes…

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Sheila Humber

Community Support Supervisor

Sheila has been a lead housekeeping with Cedars since early 2013. She enjoys seeing the positive transformation of patients as they gain ground in their personal recovery. Sheila is grateful…

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Colin Reid, B.Sc.

Community Support Supervisor

Colin obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology-Psychology in 2018 from the University of Victoria. Originally from Edmonton, Colin considers working at Cedars the perfect fit for his future career goals.…

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Maia McPherson

Community Support Worker

Maia started her journey at Cedars as a volunteer driving female patients to meeting. After teaching in the community for 35 years, she applied for the Support Staff position with…

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Joanna Blaszczyk

Community Support Worker

She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Victoria in the Faculty of Social Sciences. Born in North Vancouver, Joanna has lived in Haida Gwaii, Kitimat, Vancouver, and Victoria…

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John Blaszczyk

Community Support Worker

As a current student at the University of Victoria, John is continuing his undergraduate studies in visual arts and is a member of the Cowichan Valley Arts Council. John is…

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Don MacLeod

Community Support Worker

Don began working at Cedars in the fall of 2006 and has since become a chief member of the Support Staff team. For a short period of time, he was…

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Barb McWhirter

Community Support Worker

Before becoming a part of the Cedars team, Barb was employed by BC Ferries and has been in the housekeeping industry for over 24 years. With her easygoing and zany…

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Deanna Robinson

Community Support Worker

 Born and raised in Ditidaht, BC, Deanna has always been passionate about her culture and the different aspects of First Nations. In her role as Support Staff, Deanna brings with…

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Emma Larose

Community Support Worker

Emma has always had a passion for working with people, and in 2014, after completing the Community Mental Health and Addiction Worker Certificate Program at Vancouver Island University, she began…

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Jamie-kemp

Jamie Kemp

Community Support Worker

Jamie was born in Comox, raised in Nanaimo, and currently resides in Victoria, BC. Throughout his time at the University of Victoria, he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and…

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Courtney Johnson

Community Support Worker

Courtney grew up in Cowichan Lake and now resides in Duncan. She received her BA in Psychology and Certificate in Addiction Studies at Vancouver Island University. She joined Cedars after…

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Glen Crichton

Community Support Worker

Glen comes to Cedars with an extensive working knowledge of recovery and addiction, bringing over 5 years experience working with marginalized populations, addiction and the homeless. Glen is passionate about…

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Brittany Kiertucki

Community Support Worker

Brittany was born and raised in Ontario and recently moved to Vancouver Island. She attended college and studied support work that focused on nursing homes and the educational system and…

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Michael Whitehead

Community Support Worker

Michael was born in California but has called British Columbia home since the age of 6. With education in a variety of sciences, Michael joins the Cedars team with versatility,…

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Amber Rabey

Community Support Worker

Amber divides her time at Cedars working as Support Staff and as Administrative Support. Her career at Cedars began through a practicum offered by Camosun College in the Mental Health…

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Peter Permack

Community Support Worker

Peter was born in Calgary but moved to Victoria to get his degree in sports management which he has since completed. Peter is a Cedars alumni who is passionate in…

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Aleesha Norton

Community Support Worker

Aleesha was born and raised on Vancouver island and grew up locally in the Cowichan Valley. She recently graduated from Camosun College’s Mental Health and Addiction program and hopes to…

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Jenner Teufel

Community Support Worker

Jenner is as local as it gets! He grew up in Duncan BC, but spent most of his teenage years in Shawnigan Lake; and is currently living downtown Victoria, where…

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Teresa Stebbing

Teresa Stebbing

Community Support Worker

Teresa came to Cedars from Nelson BC where she worked as a somatic massage therapist. She began her own recovery journey in 1991 and enjoys seeing the miracle happen as…

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Amanda Larsen

Community Support Worker

Amanda was born and raised in the Cowichan Valley, and currently resides in Shawnigan Lake. Amanda has travelled extensively but always returns to her home on Vancouver Island. Amanda is…

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Kara Pare

Kara Pare

Kara originally hails from the Cariboo/Chilcotin region of British Columbia and is currently a resident of the Cowichan Valley. She holds a certificate in Community Mental Health & Addictions From…

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Community Care

Bronwen Thorburn

Community Care Coach

Bronwen grew up in the Cowichan Valley and recently returned home after 25 years abroad. Along with a loving and calm demeanor, Bronwen brings her own endeavours in recovery into…

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Annette Richardson

Community Care Coach

Annette grew up on the North Island in Gold River and currently resides in Nanaimo. Annette brings a diversity of training and lived experience to her role as a Continuing…

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