Board members appointed to new Saskatchewan Health Authority

The new board members include three people with experience in the finance sector, two business people, a lawyer, an educator and three people from the health field.

Single health board will replace 12 regional boards likely by fall

Health Minister Jim Reiter announced new board members for the new Saskatchewan Health Authority Wednesday morning. (CBC)

The Saskatchewan government has announced the board of directors for the new Saskatchewan Health Authority, anticipated to launch this fall.

At that point, the province's 12 regional health boards will dissolve and be replaced by a single board.

The government says the aim of moving to a single health board is to improve patient care, increase efficiencies and reduce duplication across the health system. Unions have voiced concerns about job losses and patient care.

Health minister Jim Reiter announced the appointments at the Wascana Rehab Centre in Regina on Wednesday morning.

Ten members have been appointed for three-year terms:

  • R.W. (Dick) Carter, chairperson, Regina
  • Grant Kook, vice-chairperson, Saskatoon
  • Judy Davis, Regina
  • Robert Pletch, Regina
  • Tom Zurowski, Saskatoon
  • Brenda Abrametz, Prince Albert
  • Dr. Janet Tootoosis, North Battleford​
  • Marilyn Charlton, Weyburn
  • Donald Rae, Yorkton
  • Rosalena Smith, Pinehouse Lake

The members include three people with experience in the finance sector, two business people, a lawyer, an educator and three people from the health field. 

Reiter said he was pleased with the board members' varied backgrounds and experience in governance.

"It's a 10-person board and I wanted to have five people with experience on regional health boards, so you have some corporate background, corporate knowledge there, and also five people who aren't, so you have new sets of eyes and ideas."

The board will be able to legally begin governing operations once the Provincial Health Authority Act is proclaimed. Reiter said he estimates the transition will happen in October or November.

The government says the board will act in an advisory capacity in the meantime to help guide the transition.

The newly appointed chairperson, Dick Carter, said he had spoken to all the new board members over the weekend. "They're all very eager," he said.

Carter said the board's first priority is helping review and recommend potential candidates for chief executive officer, and they'll be looking for someone with experience and a good track record of HR relations who would be "enthused about his new role" and make patients a priority.

Reiter has previously said he hoped to fill that position by the end of August.

The new health authority's policy arm will be based in Regina while the operations division will be in Saskatoon.