Longwoods Blog

May 15, 2008: Health minister Ron Liepert announces the creation of Alberta Health Services, a single, centralized health authority built on a corporate model of governance. Liepert later says caucus made the decision in one day, with dissolution of regional boards made overnight.

January 2009: The province announces it has tapped Australian health policy expert Stephen Duckett as AHS’s first chief executive. Ken Hughes is named board chair.

November 2010: At the height of an ER crisis, Duckett famously walks past reporters and refuses to answer questions saying he was too busy eating a cookie. The superboard boss — who later says he was muzzled by government from speaking to media about the emergency department concerns — is pushed out. Duckett’s departure sparks a massive board shakeup as four AHS board members step down, charging political interference.

April 2011: Anesthesiologist and longtime Calgary health administrator Dr. Chris Eagle is named CEO in Duckett’s place. He promises a new, more decentralized structure. Five new zones are set up.

February 2012: Health Quality Council of Alberta CEO Dr. John Cowell releases a damning 428-page report that raises concerns about dangerously long emergency room waits, a culture of “fear and alienation” and political interference.

September 2012: The province appoints businessman and AHS board member Stephen Lockwood as the new AHS board chairman, taking the place of Ken Hughes, who’d stepped aside to run in the provincial election. Lockwood later runs afoul of government.

June 2013: Health minister Fred Horne fires Lockwood and the entire 10-member board in a dispute over executive pay. He immediately names veteran health administrator Janet Davidson to a new role: AHS official administrator. From the nine regional boards five years earlier, authority for the operations of the entire health system is consolidated into the hands of one individual.

September 2013: A blistering AHS governance review in hand, Horne undertakes another health authority executive shakeup, ordering the agency to drastically cut its vice-presidents ranks, dismiss five top executives and refine its entire health management structure. Horne appoints Davidson deputy minister of health. Health watchdog Dr. John Cowell takes the job as AHS official administrator.

September 2014: Davidson takes over again, as interim official administrator after Cowell’s one-year term ends.

May 2014: Vickie Kaminski, a health-care executive from Newfoundland and Labrador, is appointed president and chief executive of AHS.

November 2014: Carl Amrhein, provost and vice-president (academic) at the University of Alberta, becomes official administrator of AHS. His term is due to end in June 2015.

March 18, 2015: Health minister Stephen Mandel announces the province will set up eight to 10 new health districts by July 1. Each district will receive advice from a local advisory board.

May 2015: The NDP defeat the Tories in the provincial election, and move quickly to cancel Mandel’s plan to reorganize AHS. New Health Minister Sarah Hoffman says she is reviewing governance options for the health authority.

Aug. 25, 2015: Former Lethbridge mayor David Carpenter is appointed as the new AHS administrator for Carl Amrhein, who becomes deputy minister of health.

Oct. 23, 2015: Hoffman announces AHS will again be overseen by a board, this time led by former Edmonton Journal publisher and University of Alberta chancellor Linda Hughes. The new structure has six members with an unknown number of aboriginal leaders to be added at a later date.

Nov. 27, 2015: CEO Resigns: Kaminski announces she is resigning as president and CEO of AHS, on the same day the new board takes over. Recruitment for a new chief executive will begin immediately.


This entry was posted on Friday, November 27th, 2015 at 3:04 pm and is filed under Publisher's Page.