Recognizing retiring members: NH board meeting highlights

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Northern Health’s Board of Directors recognized two retiring long-time members at its latest regular meeting held in Prince George this week.

Director, Ben Sander from Dawson Creek, and Director, Maurice Squires from the Nisga’a Valley, have been members of the NH Board since 2012, and their terms expire December 31. Both were recognized by board chair Colleen Nyce for service to health care in the North.

“Ben and Maurice have made valuable contributions to the strategic direction of Northern Health over the past six years,” said Nyce. “We thank them for sharing their individual expertise and points of view for the benefit of health care in the North, and wish them all the best as they retire from this service.”

Dr. Nadine Caron, Associate Professor, UBC Northern Medical Program, Co-Director, UBC Centre for Excellent in Indigenous Health presented an overview of the Northern Biobank initiative.  The purpose of the project is to collect biological samples and clinical data from northerners, for use in clinical research. The Northern Biobank Initiative is a partnership of Northern Health, First Nations Health Authority, BC Cancer, Provincial Health Services Authority, Genome BC, UNBC, and UBC. The project team has completed extensive consultations with First Nations communities in Northern B.C., and is now moving forward with creation of a retrospective Biobank that will include approximately 1500 clinical samples from breast cancer patients across the north between 2002 and 2012.

The board received an update on Northern Health staff recruitment and retention, including new multi-media and brand awareness strategies being employed to attract skilled staff to the region. A new mobile-friendly careers website has launched, with a focus on improving how Northern communities are profiled in photos, videos, and employee testimonials.

Other highlights from the December Board meeting:

  • Atlin Health Centre replacement: Planning for a new health centre in Atlin has been underway for some time and is now in the RFP stage; NH is optimistic an initial redevelopment of the AHC can be completed by winter 2019/20
  • LNG Canada engagement: Following a recent meeting with Northern Health, LNG Canada has committed to engaging and consulting with NH on various aspects of the Kitimat-based project, including management of the health service needs of its workforce during the expected 5-year construction period. Further meetings are planned for 2019.

The next regular meeting of the Northern Health Board of Directors will be held in February 2019, in Valemount.

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