Alberta Health Services (AHS) has appointed nine volunteer members to its David Thompson Health Advisory Council, which provides input into health care services in central Alberta and across the province.
The new members, who join four incumbents on the council, were chosen as part of a larger recruitment campaign aimed at adding new voices to 12 Health Advisory Councils (HACs), two Provincial Advisory Councils (PACs) and the Indigenous Wisdom Council.
“These councils are important to the future of health care in Alberta,” says AHS Board Chair Linda Hughes. “We looked for people who are passionate about health care and eager to learn what’s working, and where improvements can be made, in how we deliver health care services in their communities. The addition of new members and renewal of experienced members will rejuvenate and refresh these councils while ensuring continuity.”
Council members represent Alberta’s Indigenous, urban, rural and remote communities, and come from all walks of life, including include teachers, seniors, community leaders and former patients. Provincial Advisory Councils also include members with personal or professional experience related to cancer care, addiction and mental health.
“AHS aims to be a person-centred health care system and, as such, we’ll continue to evolve if we listen to Albertans and understand their needs and the needs of their communities,” says Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of AHS. “Their voices are crucial to helping AHS find creative solutions to address the unique health needs of communities across the province.”
The councils convene four to six times per year in communities across the province. Meetings of all councils include a mix of public members and expert resource personnel.
“Health Advisory Councils are an important link and sharing mechanism between community members and Alberta Health Services’ zone and provincial leadership,” says Westerose resident Sandra Doze, Chair of the David Thompson Health Advisory Council. “As part of our role, we listen to community members as well as share information, successes and concerns related to health service delivery.”
Advisory council members engage with Albertans to understand their diverse perspectives and provide input into health care planning and decision-making. They meet with AHS zone and provincial leaders to help further AHS’ ability to provide more targeted, accessible and sustainable patient- and family-centred health care.
“I am excited to bring the practical and management skills I’ve obtained over the years to work with the David Thompson Health Advisory Council,” says new recruit Carole Tkach, who lives in the Coronation area. “I look forward to working with our communities and with AHS to build upon our health system.”
While recruitment efforts in urban and rural areas succeeded in increasing council memberships, AHS is continuing recruitment efforts until all councils reach full membership. Wildfires in northern Alberta last spring caused AHS to defer recruitment efforts for the Wood Buffalo Health Advisory Council. That work is now underway.
People interested in joining one of AHS’ councils can submit an expression of interest form, which is available online at http://www.ahs.ca/shapehealthcare. For further inquiries, please call 1-877-275-8830Call: 1-877-275-8830, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.