Vickie Kaminski resigns as CEO of Alberta Health Services

Alberta Health Services president and CEO Vickie Kaminski is leaving her position effective Jan. 1.

Departure comes after new AHS board was appointed

Vickie Kaminski said her decision to resign as CEO and president of Alberta Health Service was for personal reasons. (The Canadian Press)

Alberta Health Services president and CEO Vickie Kaminski is leaving her position effective Jan. 1.

Kasminski said in a news release her decision to resign was a personal decision.

Her departure comes shortly after a new AHS board was appointed.

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman thanked Kaminski.

"I appreciate the range of experience Vickie brought to the table, from her work as a front line nurse, to hospital administrator, and then as CEO," she said in statement.

During Kaminiski's tenure, AHS awarded an Australian company a $3-billion contract to run lab services in central and northern Alberta, a decision heavily criticized by the NDP.

The NDP reversed the decision shortly after winning the provincial election last spring.

Friends of Medicare called Kaminski's departure a "welcomed step."

"We have a new government but AHS had not changed," said Sandra Azocar, executive director, in a release Friday. 

"There are many challenges ahead for AHS, and we urge the minister to take the time to seek a replacement who will share in the priorities that this government was elected on," she said. 

"We hope Kaminski's replacement means a move away from an often distant and confusing bureaucracy."

Kaminski, a registered nurse with two MBAs and 35 years of experience in health care and administration, joined AHS in May 2014.

Her contract was for a three-year term and an annual salary of $540,000.

Kaminski is not the first senior health official to leave office since the NDP won the spring election. Dr. James Talbot, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, left in June after the government declined to renew his contract.

In September, the province said it would not renew the contract of Dr. Michael Trew, Alberta's chief addiction and mental health officer.