Brownlie to represent corridor on new health authority 

Whistler will have a voice in the future of regional health care after Dave Brownlie was hand-picked to sit on the board of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

"Clearly as a member of this community and an active participant, I want to make sure that our needs are also considered as we go forward," he said.

Brownlie, who is the senior vice-president of finance for Whistler-Blackcomb, was recently asked to be a part of the eight-member board which is chaired by Keith Purchase.

As a 14-year Whistler resident, Brownlie said he can provide a smaller community perspective within the greater region.

"Whistler is very, very unique in the health authority and in many other ways within British Columbia," he said.

"Clearly at the end of the day the Sea to Sky corridor and (its) interests will have an opportunity to be voiced."

When the province amalgamated the health care system in December, scrapping the previous system of 52 regional health authorities and making five larger authorities, many were worried that the Sea to Sky's voice would not be heard.

The Sea to Sky Community Health Council and the Coast Garibaldi Community Health Services Society, which previously oversaw medical services in the corridor, were folded into a new authority, which included Vancouver, Richmond and the North Shore.

But Brownlie is confident he can be the voice for Whistler's concerns.

Currently Brownlie is president of the Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation. He is a past director of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Whistler Healthy Communities committee.

He said this new appointment came out of the blue.

"This was an opportunity to participate and give back at a provincial level and I guess try and do something about it instead of just being critical of why things aren't working," he said.

Now that the boards have been picked, the authorities have the final structures in place to move ahead with changes within their region.

"The biggest challenge is to put a health care system in place that is both effective and sustainable for the future for all British Columbians," Brownlie said.

"Hopefully we can set a foundation in place where our health care system can be successful for the next 20 years."

There is no set term for the board members but Brownlie said he might be looking at a three-year commitment.

The board will be meeting every second month for a couple of days and there will be committee work in between those meetings.

The first meeting is April 3.

"That will be the start of the process," he said.

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