May 13, 2016
Ruth Martin-Williams is the kind of advisory council volunteer Alberta Health Services (AHS) hopes to attract in its provincewide recruitment campaign.
She naturally and easily engages with a wide variety of people — and it helps that she has her Master’s degree in Adult and Community Education.
Most importantly, she’s deeply committed to her community.
Martin-Williams, a resident of Yellowhead County, serves as Chair of the Tamarack Health Advisory Council (HAC), a role where she focuses on listening to people and sharing information between them and AHS.
“With my day job of a seasonal Fire Guardian with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, I can visit up to a dozen people in a day,” she says. “I see how people who live in rural and remote areas have very different health services concerns from those in urban centres.”
Like Martin-Williams, councils play an essential role in sharing information with AHS on topics ranging from health care planning to physician recruitment and health service access for those who cannot drive.
Across Alberta, AHS has 12 Health Advisory Councils representing specific regions, two Provincial Advisory Councils (Cancer and Addiction & Mental Health) and a Wisdom Council (indigenous).
All are currently recruiting new volunteer members.
“The Health Advisory Councils have existed since 2009. We have always made it a priority to engage with citizens in our various communities whenever there is an opportunity,” says Martin-Williams.
Some of the events the Tamarack HAC has attended include the Edson Craft Sale, Westlock Healthcare Centre 10th Anniversary and Blue Ridge Logging Days.
The Health Advisory Councils accept applications from members of the public who are passionate about health, over the age of 18 and connected into their communities.
The Provincial Advisory Councils accept members of the public who have been touched personally or through family members by cancer or addiction and mental health.
The Wisdom Council is looking for new youth members.
For more information, please see www.ahs.ca/shapehealthcare.