Health advisory council gets name

Central Alberta’s health advisory council now has a familiar name. Council members voted to rename Health Advisory Council 9 and call it David Thompson Health Advisory Council.

Central Alberta’s health advisory council now has a familiar name.

Council members voted to rename Health Advisory Council 9 and call it David Thompson Health Advisory Council.

David Thompson Regional Health Authority was the name of the former local health region before Alberta Health Services was created in 2008 as the single health authority for the province.

“We finally have a name,” said council chair Diana Rowe at Wednesday’s council meeting held at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Members joked they didn’t like being known as HAC 9.

Rowe said the advisory council covers almost the same boundaries as the former health region, with a few more communities added from the east central area.

Twelve advisory health councils to represent different regions of the province were announced last year to advise Alberta Health Services Board and give the public the opportunity to provide input.

Councils replace 59 community health councils that operated under the nine former health authorities.

Councils will provide feedback about what is working well within the health-care system and suggest areas for improvement and service delivery.

Councils have until September to determine how they will operate and gather input.

So far, David Thompson Health Advisory Council has decided that people must make formal written requests for information or to make presentations to council.

“We’re really in our infancy stage and are trying to work the bugs out,” Rowe said.

Only two members of the public attended Wednesday’s council meeting, which was the first council meeting advertised as open to the public.

Since January, members have met twice to work on determining council’s priorities and operational procedures.

Rowe said members will meet again during the summer to complete a work plan before the next public meeting on Sept. 23. The community and location of the public meeting has yet to be determined.

Next month, council will host a community workshop on July 15 to gather input from Central Albertans on what should be included in Alberta’s new health legislation.

Some spaces have been reserved for the public at the workshop, to be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Capri Centre, 3310-50th Ave.

To register for the workshop e-mail yourheathact@buksa.com or call 1-888-436-0986.

Alberta Health Services is also recruiting three new members for the local council after three members stepped down for various reasons. Central Albertans interested in becoming members are asked to submit an expression of interest form by July 9.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com