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Board names Dr. Verna Yiu as AHS President and CEO

May 31, 2016

EDMONTON – The Alberta Health Services Board has named Dr. Verna Yiu the organization’s new President and CEO, effective June 3.

Dr. Yiu has been the Interim President and CEO of AHS since Jan. 11, 2016.

“Over the past five months, Dr. Yiu’s experience, leadership and personal skills have helped AHS move ahead with critical work, while she has strengthened relationships with government, our external partners and our own workforce. Dr. Yiu has very quickly earned the respect and trust of the Board, and is an outstanding leader and ambassador for the organization,” said Board Chair Linda Hughes.

Media availability today with Ms. Hughes and Dr. Yiu:

TIME: 11 a.m.

LOCATION: Boardroom C, Seventh Street Plaza, 10030 107 St., Edmonton Media are asked to meet in the lobby to be escorted to the room.

DIAL-IN: 1-866-233-4585. Inform the operator you are calling into the AHS teleconference and identify your media outlet. To ask a question, press *1 on your phone to enter the queue. You will hear a chime indicating you are in queue.

ONLINE: Media availability will be aired live on Periscope via @AHS_Media

Dr. Yiu’s appointment concludes a four-month recruitment process that attracted more than 70 highly qualified applicants from across the country and around the world.

“Dr. Yiu was chosen because she is the best person for the job,” said Hughes. “It’s an added bonus that she is known and respected within AHS and across the province. Her appointment provides the organization with stability and continuity, and also demonstrates the talent pool within the organization’s leadership.”

Prior to taking on the role of Interim President and CEO, Dr. Yiu was the Vice President, Quality, and Chief Medical Officer at AHS. She is a pediatric nephrologist, and maintains an active practice.

“I am honoured to lead this organization,” said Dr. Yiu. “I am proud of the compassionate care provided to Albertans each and every day by members of the AHS team. The staff, physicians and volunteers are incredibly dedicated to this province, and it is humbling to lead AHS as we continue to evolve and demonstrate that we are among the best health care organizations in the country.

“My focus now is following through on the commitments we’ve made to Albertans to improve patient outcomes, patient safety and patient experiences, and the commitments we’ve made to our staff, physicians and volunteers to create a safe, healthy work environment where they can do their very best for the people we serve.”

Dr. Yiu’s tenure as Interim President and CEO included the AHS response to the Fort McMurray wildfire, internal and external consultations about the organization’s vision and values, and preparations for the forthcoming release of the 2016-17 Health Plan and Business Plan, which outlines strategies and goals for AHS over the coming year, as well as the budget allocations to support AHS priorities and ongoing operations.

“I’ve always believed that if you focus on quality, savings will follow because you can avoid the significant costs associated with return emergency department visits and hospital admissions,” said Dr. Yiu. “Albertans expect outstanding care from AHS, and they expect us to get good value from every health dollar. We will deliver on both counts.”

Dr. Yiu’s appointment is for five years, with an option to extend. Her annual salary is $573,841. Dr. Yiu’s contract will be posted publicly early in June.

Dr. Yiu biography

Dr. Verna Yiu joined Alberta Health Services (AHS) in August 2012 as Vice President, Quality and Chief Medical Officer. In this role, she oversaw the integration and co-ordination of a health delivery model for the province and was accountable for Quality & Healthcare Improvement, Strategic Clinical Networks, Clinical Informatics and Clinical Information Systems, Medical Affairs, and partnerships with academic institutions and other physician-led organizations.

The principal focus of her initial role within AHS was quality and patient safety, engagement, leadership development and fostering relationships between medical staff and the health care system.

Prior to joining AHS, Dr. Yiu served as interim Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta preceded by senior positions in the dean’s office from 2000. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta (U of A) and Harvard University, and is currently a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta. She has also led various areas of health administration for more than 18 years, both within the health care delivery system and in academic settings.

Since returning to the U of A in 1994 as a pediatric nephrologist, a clinical role she continues to have today, her leadership roles have spanned heading clinical operations, leading medical education reforms and developing strong partnerships with academic institutions, government bodies and other clinician-led organizations.

Dr. Yiu is committed to maintaining her own personal health and well-being. She attends fitness boot camp twice a week and runs as often as her schedule permits. She is married and has two adult children.

A high-resolution photo and video B-roll of Dr. Yiu can be downloaded at

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four 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.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Don Stewart
AHS Communications