Health Advisory Councils play important role, says longtime member
Becoming a new volunteer member of one of the province’s 12 health advisory councils (HAC) would be a good way to have input and make a difference in the province’s health- care system, says Sundre’s Gerald Ingeveld.
A member of the David Thompson HAC since its inception three years ago, Ingeveld says the councils and their members continue to serve a valuable role. He is encouraging interested residents in West Central Alberta to apply to sit on one of the councils.
“I think it is important to have someone on the ground representing your community,” said Ingeveld. “The health-care system is so big, being provincewide, that it’s important to bring in aspects of what the common man sees. That’s really important.”
Ingeveld says important issues and projects going on in the health system and involving the councils right now, include physician and other health-care professional recruitment in Sundre and the hospice society’s work in Olds.
“Those are important things that I am able to work on as a council member,” he said.
Operating under the auspices of Alberta Health Services, the 12-15 member councils gather public input into all types of health-care issues, providing Alberta Health with grassroots suggestions and proposals for improvements.
Since its formation in 2009, the David Thompson HAC has held many open houses to gather input into issues such as physician, nurse and other health-care professional recruitment and retention, and seniors’ care and services.
Alberta Health Services has launched its latest recruitment campaign aimed at getting residents to come forward to serve three-year terms on one of the councils.
“Being genuinely responsive to the needs of Albertans is an important focus for Alberta Health Services,” says AHS Board Chair Cathy Roozen. “Health Advisory Council members play a crucial role in connecting us to the people of this province, helping us to better understand the health needs and concerns of local communities.
“This recruitment drive will fill vacant positions on councils throughout Alberta. We are seeking people who have an interest in health issues and volunteering their time to benefit the community, and reflect Alberta’s broad diversity.”
The council members meet six times per year, as well as hosting open houses and doing other work across their respective regions.
For his part, Ingeveld says he is undecided whether he will be seeking another term on the David Thompson council.
To become a member of a council, a person must be at least 18 years of age.
The deadline for current applications is September 5. Application information is available at www.albertahealthservices.ca/hac.asp, by calling 1-877-275-8830, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.