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Home > News & Events > News Releases > News Release Archive > 2009 News Releases > Team named to guide Alberta Hospital Edmonton implementation plan

Team named to guide Alberta Hospital Edmonton implementation plan

October 6, 2009

EDMONTON, AB - Health and Wellness Minister Ron Liepert has named the team that will work with Alberta Health Services on plans to expand community care options for Alberta Hospital Edmonton (AHE) patients, in addition to acute care and ongoing forensic care at AHE.

"This is an important next step as we move toward providing the right care in the right place for people with mental illness," said Liepert. "Alberta Health Services has put together a plan to provide more community-based care, including Villa Caritas, where patients will receive care more appropriate to their specific needs. This team will engage physicians, clinical staff, community stakeholders and most importantly those who are directly affected by mental illness including patients and their families to ensure they are informed on how the transition of services will unfold over the next three years."

The team, which involves major stakeholders with knowledge and understanding of mental health issues and has a direct interest in the transition, will make recommendations to AHS to help guide the implementation.

The team will be co-chaired by Don Sieben, board member with Alberta Health Services and Dennis Anderson, founder of the Alberta Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. Other team members include Fred Horne, MLA for Edmonton-Rutherford; Sandra Harrison, Alberta's Mental Health Patient Advocate; AUPE President Doug Knight; Sharon Sutherland, a long-time mental health advocate; Dr. Alberto Choy from Alberta Hospital Edmonton and June Clark, a registered nurse and Director of Adult and Seniors Services for Addictions and Mental Health, Alberta Health Services. An emergency room doctor will also be invited to join the team.

"The issues surrounding the transfer of some services from Alberta Hospital Edmonton to the community have been emotionally charged," added Minister Liepert. "I want to assure Albertans that individuals who can be cared for in the community will have the necessary support. Individuals with severe and persistent mental illness who require hospital-based care will receive it. And those individuals who require the highest level of care will still be treated at the forensic unit at Alberta Hospital. Let me re-iterate, the forensic unit will remain open."

"Patient care is and will remain the major driver of these decisions, but it is important to have a clear, transparent process in the months and years ahead," said Alberta Health Services CEO Dr. Stephen Duckett.

The team will begin work immediately.


Media inquiries may be directed to:

Andy Weiler
Alberta Health and Wellness Communications
Phone: 780-427-5344
Cell: 780-719-9325
To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

Mark Kastner
Alberta Health Services
Cell: 403-816-3762

The following document has been posted to the Government of Alberta website to view this document online and/or additional information/backgrounder http://www.alberta.ca//acn/200910/270582BB282A3-0CA9-497A-4A7A4C6F0A019FD6.html

Visit the Government of Alberta newsroom newsroom.alberta.ca.