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Centre for Mindfulness

What is mindfulness? Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as "Paying attention in a particular way: On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally."

The Centre for Mindfulness provides:

The Centre for Mindfulness is committed to creating a mindful healthcare environment, offering events and resources for healthcare professionals, youth, parents, and caregivers. Explore our blog posts and programs to learn more.  Join our community and help foster a more compassionate and mindful approach to healthcare.


The BC Children's Hospital Centre for Mindfulness are a community of health professionals, caregivers, and youth devoted to cultivating mindfulness and compassion in all aspects of hospital culture and care at BC Children's.

The Centre for Mindfulness began with a vision to share mindfulness and compassion with the hospital community as a way of enhancing the well-being of staff, patients, and caregivers. Through initiatives such as partnerships, programs, and space transformations, the Centre has evolved into a hub for mindfulness activities, opportunities for connection, and innovative research.

Together, we are creating a culture and environment where mindfulness and compassion may be experienced by everyone at our hospital, including children, youth, families, caregivers, and health professionals.


A More Mindful Hospital

Core Team

Char Black

Program Manager, BC Children's Hospital, Centre for Mindfulness

Char obtained her Master of Public Health from the University of Alberta, specializing in Health Promotion, and from there, went on to become a Senior Project Manager in Health Promotion & Health Literacy at BC Children's Hospital (BCCH). She is currently leading a team of Project Managers in Health Promotion and Projects across BCCH. As part of this leadership role, Charlene was a founding team member for the Centre for Mindfulness and currently serves as the Program Manager for the Centre. She is passionate about being a continuous learner in mindfulness and wants to support the vision of a more mindful hospital for patients, parents/caregivers, and staff.

Jeanette Fong

Project Coordinator, BC Children's Hospital, Centre for Mindfulness

Jeanette has worked within the healthcare sector for over 15 years in various progressive frontline and administrative roles.  She is currently a Project Coordinator at BC Children's Hospital (BCCH) with the Health Promotion & Health Literacy Department for the Centre for Mindfulness, coordinating mindfulness programs and supporting mindfulness projects across BCCH.  Jeanette has a beginner's mind about mindfulness. Since joining the Centre she has been able to grow her personal practice. She continues to be curious and eager to learn more and better understand how mindfulness can be applied across BCCH to support healthcare professionals, parents/caregivers, and patients.

Dr. Joanna McDermid

Associate Director, BC Children's Hospital Centre for Mindfulness

Joanna McDermid, MD (pronouns: she/her) is a psychiatrist with a subspecialty in child and adolescent psychiatry, and she is a clinical instructor with the Department of Psychiatry at BC Children's Hospital and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to psychiatry training, Dr. McDermid has done advanced teacher training in Mindful Practice in Medicine program through the University of Rochester. She completed a Contemplative Medicine Fellowship through the New York Zen Centre in 2023. Dr. McDermid has trained in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindful Self Compassion (MSC). Dr. McDermid developed PAUSE (Present Awareness Using Skills Effectively), a flexible modules-based mindfulness program designed to supplement standard care for youth in residential treatment for eating disorders. Dr. McDermid created MARS-PC (Mindful Awareness and Resilience Skills for Parents and Caregivers), a mindfulness program for caregivers whose children are accessing care and support through BC Children's Hospital.

Dr. Dzung Vo

Director, BC Children's Centre for Mindfulness Head, Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, Department of Pediatrics

Dzung X. Vo, MD (pronouns: he/him; how to pronounce) is a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine, founding Director of the BC Children's Hospital Centre for Mindfulness, and a Clinical Associate Professor and Division Head for the Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, at BC Children's Hospital and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Dr. Vo is a student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and practices with the Plum Village international community. In partnership with Dr. Jake Locke, Dr. Vo co-developed MARS-A (Mindful Awareness and Resilience Skills for Adolescents), an eight-week mindfulness training program for adolescents with depressive symptoms, with or without other co-occurring chronic illness or chronic pain.  Dr. Vo also developed a Mindful Healing course for health care providers, adapted from Mindful Practice (Ron Epstein and Michael Krasner) and other sources.

Research Team

Maya McGregor

Research Coordinator, BC Children's Centre for Mindfulness and the BC Reproductive Mental Health Program; Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia

Maya graduated from Queen's University with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Throughout her academic career, she gained research experience as a research assistant in two labs, focusing on clinical research in mental health and psychology. Maya's interest in mental health led her to conduct an honour's thesis project that examined subjective perspectives of distress in people with early psychosis.

Maya's personal experiences with mindfulness as a way of bringing kindness and non-judgmental presence to her life sparked a research interest in the field.  She is interested in studying how mindfulness interventions can support mental health and well-being across diverse populations, including young people and families.

Dr. Katarina Tabi

Research Fellow, BC Children's Centre for Mindfulness and the BC Reproductive Mental Health Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.

Katarina Tabi, Ph.D. (she/her), is a researcher and mindfulness practitioner. She has published in mindfulness, mental health, and digital health. Some of her research interests include interpersonal mindfulness, mindfulness for parents and children, perinatal mental health, and early child development. Dr. Tabi trained at the Centre for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is a qualified MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) teacher. She teaches mindfulness internationally to students, healthcare providers, and working professionals. She is interested in various practices that lead to the cultivation of awareness and seeks to understand them through Eastern traditions and neuroscience lenses.


Dr. Evelyn Stewart

Dr. S. Evelyn Stewart is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and a clinical and neuroscience researcher. She is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She is the founding director of the BC Children's Hospital (BCCH) Provincial Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Clinic and Research Program. She is also the Research Director for the BCCH Child, Youth and Reproductive Mental Health program and a BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services member. She leads the Brain, Behaviour & Development theme at the BCCH Research Institute.

She has authored over 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 12 chapters, and a book on family, genetic, cognition, and treatment aspects of OCD and related illnesses throughout their lifespan. She sits on the Scientific Advisory Boards for the International OCD Foundation and Anxiety Canada, and on the editorial boards for the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, and the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 

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