The Northern Health board of directors expressed thanks to staff and others for their work supporting evacuees from this summer’s wildfire emergency.
Northern Health staff and physicians provided care for inpatients, long term care and assisted living residents, renal, maternity, and palliative care patients. Together with its physician partners, NH also provided primary care and community services for the evacuees who came to Quesnel and Prince George over the course of the summer.
“We are very grateful to our staff, physicians and community partners in Prince George and Quesnel for their support in this unprecedented response,” said Colleen Nyce, Northern Health board chair, in a press release. “Over the coming weeks, Northern Health will be reviewing the response to identify what went well, and where we might improve our emergency response plans and processes for the future.”
The October meeting was the first for Nyce as chairperson since her appointment to the role in September, after serving as interim chair since the retirement of Dr. Charles Jago at the end of June. The board also welcomed its newest member, Frank Everitt, who was also appointed in September 2017.
“I am excited to participate on the board for an organization that is important to the health and well-being of all Northerners,” said Everitt. “I look forward to the learning and the work that is ahead for me and my fellow board members.”
Other highlights from the October 2017 meeting:
The latest human resources update to the board shows that mental health continues to be one of the top reason for long term disability claims, along with musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders. Awareness of mental health and proactive self-care continues to be a focus for the organization as Northern Health Workplace Health and Safety continues to develop resources for staff and physicians aimed at removing stigma around mental health within the organization and fostering a psychological healthy and safe workplace.
The board welcomed Northern Health’s newest Medical Health Officer, Dr. Jong Kim. Dr. Kim studied medicine at Queen’s University, and completed his Masters of Science in Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. He started in the role of MHO for the Northeast health service delivery area in August 2017, joining Dr. Raina Fumerton in the Northwest, and Dr. Andrew Gray in the Northern Interior.
“Northern Health is very happy and fortunate to have this team of highly-skilled Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialists,” said Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Sandra Allison. “Our regional Medical Health Officers are very engaged with NH senior leadership and community leaders to effect change in local communities, and improve the overall health of Northerners.”
The meeting concluded with a presentation from the United Way of Northern BC that shared the impact they have across the region as well as exploring ways for the United Way and Northern Health to partner on community services and initiatives in the future.
The next Northern Health board meeting will be held December 3-4 in Prince George.