Emergency Consultation Service - HSC and SBH
Program Overview

The Adult Mental Health Emergency Psychiatry Program operates at the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) and St. Boniface General Hospital (SBH).  This service offers psychiatric consultations to Emergency Physicians and works collaboratively with Psychiatric Emergency Nurses (PENs). These two sites are also the location for emergent, medically complex or involuntary psychiatric assessments that are required for patients who are in Emergency departments at the community hospitals (Concordia, Grace, Seven Oaks and Victoria Hospitals).

The service offers a rich learning environment for many mental health care providers.  Trainees develop expertise in interviewing skills, crisis intervention and management.  Medical students, Residents, Physician Assistants, Clinical Assistants and International Medical Graduates are all potential members of the team, working under the direction and supervision of a psychiatrist experienced in emergency psychiatry.

Complex cases involving mental and physical illness are prevalent, leading to collaboration between the Emergency and Psychiatry teams.  PENs, social workers and police are frequently involved, making the work interdisciplinary, as well as collaborative.  Patients on Mental Health Act forms often present to the Emergency departments with police or RCMP, which adds a further layer of complexity to patient care.

The psychiatric emergency service links patients to the appropriate resources in Winnipeg that best meet their needs, be it community or hospital based.  Should a patient require hospital admission, a regional bed manager is involved, facilitating admission to any of the 5 hospitals in the city that have psychiatric inpatient units.

Residents in psychiatry are involved in the Emergency departments on a rotational basis during the day, as well as overnight.  This opens up opportunities to learn about systemic process, interdepartmental relationships and management skills.

For more information, please contact Dr. James Bolton at 204.787.7078 (Medical Director, ER Psychiatric Services, HSC site) or Dr. Lisa Karvelas at 204.237.2919 (Medical Director, ER Psychiatric Services, SBH site)




Dr. James Bolton
Medical Program Director
Health Sciences Centre
Phone:(204) 787-7078

 Dr. Ahmed Jwely
Assistant Medical Program Director
Health Sciences Centre
Phone: (204) 787-5005

 Dr. Lisa Karvelas
Medical Program Director
St. Boniface Hospital
Phone:(204) 237-2919


Dr. Niki Boyko
Staff Psychiatrist (HSC)

Dr. Michael Harrington
Staff Psychiatrist (HSC)

Dr. Jennifer Hensel
Staff Psychiatrist (HSC)

Dr. Ike Nwankwor
Staff Psychiatrist (HSC) 

Dr. Joe Polimeni
Staff Psychiatrist (HSC)

Dr. Tagreed Hassan
Staff Psychiatrist (HSC)

Dr. Ikenna Okorafor
Staff Psychiatry (SBH)

Dr. Ben Prasad
Staff Psychiatrist (SBH)