health council 

Health council members appointed three more positions to be filled By Chris Woodall Members to the new Sea to Sky Community Health Council have been appointed on the eve of a new regime in health care administration called "Better Care." The new world order takes effect April 1 when four health care societies in the corridor that administered their own hospital, health care centre or extended care facility combine administrative functions into one body. The B.C. government says the "Better Care" health scene will run a lot more efficiently with 11 regional health boards and 34 community health councils, than was the case under the "New Directions" scheme when there were 20 regional boards and 82 councils. "Our mandate is to take a look at all aspects of health care," says Jim Miller, inaugural chairman of the health council. That mandate includes: o Planning, co-ordinating and managing local health services; o Distributing funds to local health programs to deliver specific health services; o Be the employer; and o Advise the health minister about building, equipment and staffing needs. Having one administrative body to oversee all health care facilities in the Sea to Sky Corridor should not open an inter-community fight for attention, Miller says. "There might be some rivalry, but I think we’ve worked a lot of those problems out." Each of the health care centres has an active fund-raising foundation. Miller says they will remain as they are, although their relationship with the central health council will have to be worked out. Challenges over the next year will be to set up a committee system, draw up relevant bylaws and get the district running smoothly, Miller says. Membership on the health council was chosen by the B.C. health minister. Miller would like to see an election process decide who sits on future councils. Councillor elections would be staggered so that veterans can keep the bandages rolling as new members join the council. "We were scheduled to have an election" to decide the first health council, Miller says, but issues concerning the cost for individual campaigns — and a desire by the minister to get the initiative in place — prompted the appointment process. Sitting on the inaugural health council are Ele Clarke, Lee Parsons and Kris Shoup Kleinman from Whistler; Fran Cuthbert, Bruce McFayden and Sylvia Passmore from Pemberton; and Nina Biln, Don Ross and Miller representing Squamish. Three more positions are to be filled to represent First Nations, health care unions and physicians. Brian Kines will be the CEO. Encouraging the public to take an interest in the council is important to Miller. "Our meetings are open to the press and public and will travel to Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton on rotation."

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