Role of Health Advisory Councils to be strengthened
December 2, 2010
EDMONTON – The Alberta Health Services Board today announced a proposal to expand and strengthen the role of Health Advisory Councils and provide greater engagement with Albertans.
“Health Advisory Councils are a critical link between AHS and the people we serve,” said Alberta Health Services Board Chair Ken Hughes. “We can only be genuinely responsive to Albertans if we understand their needs and listen to their concerns. This includes hearing directly from the Councils. It is part of our effort to ensure greater engagement with communities and direct communication with local health and community leaders and the Board.”
The 12 HAC chairs will be invited to meet within six weeks with Hughes, Board Health Advisory Committee Chair John Lehners, and Acting AHS President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Chris Eagle to discuss, develop and refine the proposal, which includes:
- HAC community-feedback reports to be discussed and released at public Board meetings;
- Direct Board involvement in HAC meetings;
- HAC meetings with the AHS Board, to provide direct community feedback;
- Opportunities for HACs to be part of public consultations on high priority plans and strategies;
- Support for the HACs on communicating with stakeholders;
- Faster response to questions or concerns forwarded to AHS through HAC members.
"It's important that the Councils have opportunity to convey the feedback they receive from the community to the Board directly," said Ken Sauer, Chair, Palliser Triangle Health Advisory Council. "The Councils are ready to work more closely with the Board to improve the health system."
The Board today also appointed 18 new HAC members to seven councils across the province.
The HAC mandate is to engage local community members to provide feedback on what is working well within the health care system, suggest areas for improvement, and identify local issues and concerns. Each council has 10 to 15 volunteer members.
The Board recognized the need to raise the profile of the HACs and hear community impact more directly and immediately, Lehners said. “We’ve had some good success since the HACs were created, but we can do more. We are committed to engaging communities in a respectful, open and accountable manner in order to improve the health of Albertans.”
Information about Health Advisory Councils, their locations and membership, agendas and meeting minutes, and more is available on the Alberta Health Services website www.albertahealthservices.ca under “Quick Links.”
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than 3.7 million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.