The Government of British Columbia has appointed four new board chairs and 11 new members to health authorities’ boards of directors.
Dr. Doug Cochrane, Leah Hollins, Colleen Nyce and Jim Sinclair have been appointed as new board chairs for Interior Health, Island Health, Northern Health and Fraser Health respectively. They are joining Tim Manning of Provincial Health Services Authority and Kip Woodward of Vancouver Coastal Health as board chairs of British Columbia’s six health authorities.
“The new and existing board chairs share a long history of public service, community work, and experience in the private sector, labour, health care and research,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “Our goal as a government is to provide leadership for a strong, innovative and responsive public health-care system, and we are confident that these appointments will support this goal.”
In addition to the new board chairs, Willie Charlie and Opreet Kang have been named as board members for Fraser Health; Selena Lawrie and Cindy Stewart have been named board members for Interior Health; Ron Mattson has been named as a board member for Island Health; Frank Everitt has been named as a board member for Northern Health; Sherry Ogasawara and Gary Pooni have been named as board members for Provincial Health Services Authority; and Wendy Au, Dr. Margaret McGregor and Vi Nguyen have been named as board members for Vancouver Coastal Health.
Health Minister Adrian Dix thanks previous Fraser Health board chair Karen Matty and members Barinder Rasode and Michael Hillman; previous Interior Health board chair John O’Fee and member Renee Wasylyk; previous Island Health board chair Don Hubbard and member Matthew Watson; previous Northern Health board member Pat Bell; previous Provincial Health Services Authority board members Ida Chong and George Peary; and previous Vancouver Coastal board members Dr. Kenneth Fung and Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid for their service.
A health authority board of directors helps ensure that British Columbians receive the best possible care in an efficient, well-managed public health-care system. Boards are responsible for the governance and management of health services in the province. They work with health authority leadership to establish the organization’s overall vision and ensure there is appropriate community consultation. Boards also regularly review the organization's long-term plans, look at significant issues affecting the organization and evaluate results.
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Health Communications250 952-1887 (media line)
Jim Sinclair is the chair of Simon Fraser University's labour studies advisory committee, and has also served on the BC Hydro board and the Richmond health board. Sinclair was the president of the BC Federation of Labour from 1999 to 2015 and vice-president of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers' Union from 1982 to 1999. Sinclair holds an honorary doctor of laws from Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Opreet Kang is the director of industry innovation at Forestry Innovation Investment Inc. Previously, Kang was the manager of Global Connections at the Immigrant Council of B.C. and project manager for project services and infrastructure development at the University of British Columbia. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia.
Chief Willie Charlie was elected to Sts'ailes Council for 12 years and elected as chief for six years. He has worked as a recreation worker, family support worker, prevention worker, high school teacher, University of the Fraser Valley instructor, labourer at Cedar Mill, native-liaison worker for federal corrections, correctional services officer, and cultural worker. Charlie has negotiated numerous Impact Benefit Agreements with industry partners doing work in Sts'ailes Traditional Territory.
Dr. Doug Cochrane is the chair and provincial patient safety and quality officer of the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council. Cochrane is professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia in neurosurgery. Previously, he chaired the BC Patient Safety Taskforce and has served as a member of the board of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.
Dr. Selena Lawrie is a family physician and site director for the University of British Columbia Family Practice Residency Program in Kamloops. Lawrie is also the president of Supporting Team Excellence with Patients Society and a steering committee member representative for the Ministry of Health in the Physicians Health Program.
Cindy Stewart is the retired president of the Health Sciences Association of B.C. She was vice-president of the BC Federation of Labour and a member of the executive board of the National Union of Public and General Employees. Stewart served as one of two labour representatives appointed to the joint advisory committee to the arbitration bureau, and was a member of an adjudication committee for one of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council's three 1999 strategic programs: Society, Culture and the Health of Canadians. She holds a bachelor of science in rehabilitation medicine from the University of British Columbia and has worked as physiotherapist.
Leah Hollins served as deputy minister of health for the Government of British Columbia. Hollins has been the chair of the Canadian Blood Services board of directors for eight years, chair of the board of directors of Maximus Inc. and was a member of the Departmental Audit Committee for Veterans' Affairs Canada. Hollins has been awarded the Order of Canada for her work in organ and tissue donation and transplantation, and was awarded a doctor of laws from the University of Manitoba for distinguished public service.
Ron Mattson served as a senior manager within the Ministry of Health for the Government of British Columbia managing research initiatives, policy and administration. Mattson is currently a councillor for the town of View Royal, having recently been re-elected for his seventh term. As a member of View Royal council's Committee of the Whole, Mattson chairs the public works and transportation divisions of the committee. Previously, he has served as chair for the Planning and Zoning Committee and as a trustee on the Greater Victoria Public Library board.
Colleen Nyce has been serving as interim chair of Northern Health and recently retired as corporate affairs and community relations manager at Rio Tinto Alcan, where she worked for 14 years. Prior to that, Nyce was a personal investment manager at Scotiabank. Nyce was president of the 2004 Northern BC Winter Games, and is involved with the Terrace Figure Skating Club and the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce. She holds a bachelor of arts in political science and public administration from the University of Windsor.
Frank Everitt is serving his second term as a city councillor in Prince George and is a member of the city's finance and audit committee. Everitt is president of the Union of Steel Workers Local 1-424 and he volunteered for the 2015 Canada Winter Games. He has been a community member on the Select Committee on Homelessness and Affordable Housing, board member and vice chair of Employment Action, board member and vice chair on the College of New Caledonia, president of Prince George and District Labour Council, board member of Spruce Credit Union, board member of the Canadian Institute of the Blind and was a member on the Forestry Roundtable.
Provincial Health Services Authority
Sherry Ogasawara is a population health dietician, the lead on internal food policy with Northern Health and owner operator of SO Fit Company in Prince George.
Gary Pooni is the president of Brook Pooni Associates and has held planning roles with the Vancouver Port Authority, Brown and Associates Planning Group and the City of Calgary. He chairs the Urban Development Institute liaison and membership committees in New Westminster. Pooni served on the boards of the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, the Indo Canadian Friendship Society and the Urban Development Institute. Pooni holds a master's degree in planning from the University of Calgary.
Vancouver Coastal Health
Dr. Margaret McGregor is a family physician and health policy researcher with a focus on health care for seniors. McGregor is the director of community geriatrics in the University of British Columbia's department of family practice. She is a research associate with the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute's Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, and with the University of British Columbia's Centre for Health Services and Policy Research.
Vi Nguyen is the director of grants and community initiatives at the Vancouver Foundation. Nguyen has served on the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. She is experienced in the community development and non-profit sector, worked as a youth development worker, and holds a master's degree from the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria.
Wendy Au is the assistant city manager with the City of Vancouver working on the City of Reconciliation initiative, and Downtown Eastside and Chinatown community projects. Au has worked with the Olympic Inner City Inclusivity Commitments, the Vancouver Agreement and the Shanghai Expo Vancouver Exhibition. She received the 2012 YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Non-Profit and Public Service and the Connecting the Community Award. In 2017, Au received the city manager's City Service Award.