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Get involved in Alberta’s health advisory councils

Posted on May 23, 2024 by Vauxhall Advance

Southern Alberta Newspapers

Albertans across the province are encouraged to apply to join new advisory councils dedicated to improving health care in their communities.

In November, Alberta’s government announced plans to refocus the health care system to improve overall outcomes for Albertans, and to support health care workers who are the backbone of care in the province. Part of that commitment to a better health care system was to make sure local voices were heard and could contribute to better health care outcomes for their communities.

One of the guiding principles of refocusing the health system is to support local decision-making and regional advice. The creation of 12 regional advisory councils and one Indigenous advisory council will make sure regional voices and perspectives are a valued part of the health care system. Members of these councils will represent a wide range of lived and professional experiences, and include everyday Albertans receiving health care services, as well as health care workers, community leaders and municipal representatives.

“We need to do a better job of listening to local communities about their health care needs. As we continue to refocus Alberta’s health care system, we are taking steps to ensure the diverse perspectives of Albertans, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, are represented and that the unique challenges of each region and community are addressed. Improving local decision-making and listening to regional advice will help build a stronger, unified health care system that responds to the needs of the communities it serves,” said Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health.

Each of the councils will directly advise Alberta’s government and the new primary care, acute care, continuing care and mental health and addiction – Recovery Alberta – organizations on clinical, capital and workforce planning in their regions. The councils will explore potential solutions to local challenges and identify opportunities for the health system to better support local decision-making.

In addition to amplifying the voices of Indigenous communities and suggesting how to improve health care for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, the Indigenous advisory council will inform the design and delivery of culturally appropriate health care programs and service delivery. It will also explore opportunities to integrate and embed traditional Indigenous healing practices and teachings within Alberta’s health care delivery system.

Individuals interested in joining a regional advisory council or the Indigenous advisory council can apply online. Those who apply by April 30 will be considered for appointment this spring. Applications received by Aug. 30 will be considered for appointment by the end of 2024.

• Each regional advisory council will consist of a maximum of 16 members. Each member will be assigned to one of the 12 councils that represent the region where they reside.

• Indigenous advisory councils will consist of a maximum of 22 members. Members may also be dually appointed to a regional advisory council based on the region where they reside.

• Advisory council members will be reimbursed for travel to council meetings.

• There will be a mix of appointed and public members to both councils.

• Both councils have an advisory role and are subject to the Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act.

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