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NEWS RELEASE · 20th April 2010
Northern Health
Tour of Fort St. John Hospital and Residential Care Project

Northern Health’s Board held its regular meeting in Fort Sts John on Monday April 19, 2010. Among highlights was a presentation updating the status of the Fort St. John Hospital and Residential Care project. The project is on time and on budget, and is being viewed by the international community as a model of success in public private partnership initiatives.

“Northern Health has a history of working well with our partners; locally, regionally and provincially,” pointed out Cathy Ulrich, CEO of Northern Health. “This project is no exception and it is rewarding to see the international community has taken notice of our management of it.”

Another highlight was a series of reports focusing on quality and safety. The board heard about a patient satisfaction survey on hospital care, an update on the Auditor General’s report on information systems, work being done in research and evaluation, and an overview from the Northeast Aboriginal Health Improvement Committee (NEAHIC).

The NEAHIC was formed in 2006 and has approximately 40 members. They hosted a recent conference in Fort St John, attracting more than 100 delegates. The committee meets four times a year and focuses on health issues affecting aboriginal people.

“We have a strong foundation of safe and quality care throughout the region,” said Dr. Charles Jago, Chair of the Northern Health Board. “We are committed to building our programs on a quality framework, using a consultative process with the communities we serve.”

Additional reports were received by the Board during its public meeting, including:
· An update from the Northern Cancer Control Strategy provided on construction of the new Centre for the North in Prince George, and on initiatives under development to support a network of cancer control services across the region. They include tele-oncology, aboriginal needs assessment, the recruitment of staff for the Northern Cancer Control Strategy, cancer screening, and prevention work.
· The Board approved the community consultation report, “Let’s Talk About Primary Health Care”. This consultation process went to 16 communities and included more than 1,000 participants. Northern Health will use the information gained, to guide planning throughout 2010/11.

Northern Health’s 2010/2011 budget is under development with the expectation that a balanced budget will be achieved at year-end.

The next Board meeting is scheduled for June 14th and 15th, 2010, in Smithers.