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NEWS RELEASE · 30th June 2010
Northern Health
Northern Health continues towards strategic objectives; update on Northern Cancer Control Strategy successes

The Northern Health Board held its latest regular meeting in Smithers on June 14th and 15th. Board members reviewed the actions under way to address Northern Health’s strategic goal emphasizing “a focus on our people.” One or two of Northern Health’s strategic goals are the focus at each regular Board meeting.

“The Board felt it critical that focusing on our staff and physicians is foundational to creating sustainable and integrated services throughout the region,” said Dr Charles Jago, Northern Health Board Chair. “We are building momentum that is the envy of the province.”

The human resource report identified a number of positive trends such as the reduction of incidence and duration of staff injuries, an increased focus on leadership development which has led to stability in positions and roles over the last few years, and increased success in recruitment initiatives, resulting in fewer vacancies.

“The partnership between Northern Health and UNBC and community colleges is making a significant difference in our ability to recruit and retain professionals,” adds Cathy Ulrich, Northern Health CEO. “We presented details to the board of the proposed Memorandum of Understanding between UNBC and Northern Health that was subsequently signed June 18th.”

Dr. Ronald Chapman, Executive Director of the Northern Cancer Control Strategy (NCCS), presented the board with an update on the NCCS, highlighting many achievements to date, including:

* Visits with many community councils and stakeholder groups
* Installation of a construction web cam and project web page for the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North
* Aboriginal health program initiatives
* Cancer centre recruitment activities
* Expansion of tele-health capacity
* Prevention First working group activities

“The new BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North is one key piece of a continuum of services,” said Dr. Chapman. “As can be seen from the activities we have undertaken, we are taking actions to tackle cancer as close to people’s homes as we can.”

Among other highlights of the meeting:

* The NH Board recognized Lynn Shervill, retired oncology nurse, Bulkley Valley District Hospital, Smithers, who recently received a BC Community Achievement Award for his contribution to developing the Smithers Community Cancer Clinic and also for helping bring about improved access to palliative care.

* Board members lauded the strong support of the Skeena Queen Charlotte and Bulkley-Stikine Regional Hospital Districts in continuing to move forward the planning for new hospitals in Queen Charlotte and Burns Lake, and;

* The Board received a financial update that forecasts a balanced budget to end the 2009-2010 fiscal.

The next regular meeting of the NH Board will take place in October in Prince George.