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Complex Care

The Complex Care program is part of the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at BC Children’s Hospital.

Vision & philosophy

The Complex Care program strives to ensure continuity and coordinated health care to children and youth with medical complexity (CYMC). The team aims to support families to access services and supports which improve health, well-being and quality of life.

Who is followed by the Complex Care Program?

  • The children and youth followed by Complex Care are those who demonstrate the most complex, chronic medical care needs.
  • Our expertise is caring for children with genetic syndromes and neurologic impairment who have multiple subspecialists involved in their care each year, frequent hospitalizations, multiple medications and high intensity care needs, often dependent on technology.
  • Our expertise is not caring for children with cancer, transplant, or psychiatric and behavioural challenges.

Members of the Complex Care Program 

We have 1 part-time pediatric nurse practitioner,  full-time pediatric nurse clinicians, and part-time Pediatricians who have expertise and interest in complex care, hospital medicine and/or palliative medicine. We provide inpatient consults and outpatient care during the weekdays. We also have booking clerks who provide appointment coordination.

Booking and clerical support 

Francesca Mastrandrea, appointment coordination
Anita Sidhu, appointment coordination (on leave)
Theresa Tran/Kristine Salva, admin support (non-clinical)

Clinical team

Kaitlin Avila, nurse clinician
Elizabeth Grant, pediatrician 
Beth Johnsen, nurse clinician
Rachel Koh, nurse practitioner 
Esther Lee, pediatrician
Amie Nowak, nurse  clinician 

We are part of the teaching facility for University of British Columbia and may have trainees working with us (e.g. medical students, pediatric residents and fellows).


You need a referral from a doctor or a nurse practitioner to use this clinic.  We would like the patient's community pediatrician to be part of the decision to refer a patient to us.


What does the Complex Care Team add?

  • Collaborative care: If the patient is not already connected to a local pediatrician and family physician, we will support them to find one. We will work collaboratively with the local pediatrician and/or primary care provider to ensure access to necessary care in a location that works for their family. We aim to build capacity within families and community providers with the goal of eventual discharge from the complex care program. 
  • Continuity: We provide consultative care if the patient is admitted to BCCH, with the goal of providing continuity of care, in addition to care on an outpatient basis. We will support the family across transitions from inpatient BCCH hospital to home and home to BCCH. Outside of BCCH, we aim to ensure seamless transitions by helping the family to navigate systems and supporting local health care providers to care for the patient.
  • Care plan: We provide routine comprehensive "big picture" reviews of the patient's medical and developmental needs in order to: update a written care plan; prevent errors at times of transition; provide access to services; provide preventative health and anticipatory guidance; provide family support.
  • Coordination of appointments: We will help to organize tests, procedures and follow up visits at BC children's hospital in order to minimize travel to and from BCCH.
  • Care coordination: We work to coordinate care between subspecialists and community providers. We aim to improve communication between providers.
  • Shared decision making: We can help families make informed decisions about plans of treatment or care for their child for both the short and long term.
  • Goal setting: We partner with families and caregivers to ensure that care is consistent with the child/youth and family needs, preferences and goals.

Discharge principles

  • Through collaborative care, we aim to build capacity within families and community providers with the goal of eventual discharge from the complex care program. 
  • The complex care team does not follow families indefinitely. As fragility/instability decreases or as family capacity increases, the team will explore discharge with the family.
  • Triggers to consider discharge: No major changes in 12 months and/or no major hospitalizations in 12 months.
Links & resources

Preparing for your appointment at BCCH

Available for siblings (brothers and sisters of the patient)  who are at the hospital while their brother or sister is receiving care. 

First-come, first served. Booking is required. 

Visit Sibling Support Centre webpage more details.

Support for families with children with health complexity

Non profit organization that has families with relatives with health needs supporting other families in similar situations.

Webinars summaries (partnership between FSI BC and BCCH CC)

Living without a Diagnosis - great book for families

A network for families

Non profit organization for families with children who are part of the At Home Program

Clinical Resources

Accompanying You on Your Journey: This tool will help orient and support you as you navigate the ever-evolving needs of your child and the complex decisions that lie ahead. Here you will find both practical and medical information, and insights from parents and clinicians about social and emotional experiences common to having a child with Severe Neurological Impairment (SNI).

Quality Improvement project to improve education on GJ tube care. For handouts and resources

Future programming

BC Children's Hospital is building a new centre to serve children with the most complex health care needs and their families. Learn more about the Slocan project.

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External Links: This webpage may provide links to other Internet sites or resources. BCCH has no control over such sites and resources and is not responsible for any damage or loss resulting from your access or use of such site.

SOURCE: Complex Care ( )
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