Fraser Health Board Chair Message

Dear Fraser Health Staff, Physicians and Volunteers:

As you know, I was appointed the interim Chair of the Fraser Health Board of Directors in April of this year. This appointment followed the Ministerial Review of Fraser Health, which resulted in recommendations addressed in the three year Fraser Health Strategic and Operational Plan.

Many opportunities were identified in the Review of Fraser Health and I’ve been very pleased with how the organization has rallied to ensure improvement opportunities are considered and acted upon in ways that make the most sense for our patients and our care providers. The review showed the health authority needed to improve care, and shift its reliance on hospital care by investing more in community health services.   I am very pleased to see evidence of this happening and I look forward to watching the progress of this vision and how it aligns with the Ministry of Health’s vision to provide more community based services so people can stay well and avoid unnecessary use of hospitals.

I’ve had the great pleasure of connecting directly with many individuals in my time here. People from all areas of health care have reached out to express thanks and appreciation for the focussed attention on improving quality and safety for our patients. I’m very proud of our health care providers and I want to thank everyone who takes the time to make a difference to our patients, no matter what your role. For everyone I have personally communicated with there are many others I hear about every day.

I know of staff members who work hard to translate what the Fraser Health values of respect, caring and trust mean from their  own point of view. I know of health care providers who regularly go the extra mile to ensure our patients feel heard. I know many Fraser Health leaders who are working hard towards a future vision where hospitals are just one part of a broader community of health care services.

I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the CEO search as this has been a key focus for the Board over the last few months. I am very pleased with the number of interested candidates. As this is a big decision, we need to ensure we get the right fit.  This is an important time for the health authority and it is important that we do not rush to make a decision based on timing. Fraser Health has been moving forward since the Review and it is important we have the right leadership in place. Karen Matty will now be completing the CEO search in her new role as Chair of the Board of Directors and I am pleased that she may be in a position to announce the new CEO in the coming weeks as we finalize the details.

In addition to my term coming to an end, we also say farewell to Dr. David Ostrow at the end of this week. Dr. Ostrow came out of his retirement this summer to act as interim CEO and I want to express my appreciation to him. While the CEO search continues, Colleen Hart will continue to lead the organization as Chief Operating Officer (interim), reporting directly to the Chair of the Board of Directors. My thanks to Colleen for her ongoing commitment to Fraser Health.   

Today’s board meeting in Pitt Meadows marked my final meeting as Chair and tomorrow will be my last day. Next week, Karen Matty begins a new chapter with you as your new Board Chair. I believe Karen is a strong leader, ready to face challenges with you and also ready to ensure your successes are known and celebrated.

Thank you again for your commitment and dedication to health care in British Columbia.

Sincerely, Wynne

G.W. (Wynne) Powell, CPA, FCGA, D.Tech (Hon.)

Interim Board Chair