(From left to right) Board member Dennis Rounsville, new Board Chair Douglas Cochrane, and President and CEO Chris Mazurkewich of Interior Health pose for a picture outside the Golden Hospital after meeting with medical personnel Thursday. Dallin Cervo/Star Photo

Interior Health board visits Golden

Members of the Interior Health board visited Golden Oct. 24 on their trip around the East Kootenays.

Members of the Interior Health board visited Golden Thursday, October 24 in their current trip around the East Kootenay area visiting hospitals and other medical personnel.

While no major announcements were made, the purpose of the trip was mainly to introduce new board of directors chair Douglas Cochrane, who was appointed in September, to the medical staff. Making the trip wiith Cochrane was board of directors member and chair of the Audit & Finance Committee Dennis Rounsville, Vice President of Communications and Public Engagement Jenn Goodwin, and President and CEO of Interior Health Chris Mazurkewich.

The board met with the medical staff in Golden and discussed a number of things from rural staffing, the isolation of Golden from other communities and the good work being done here.

“One of the important aspects we learned was the changing need of residential care support here in the community,” Mazurkewich said.

They praised the community as being extremely generous and supportive of Interior Health programs. They had the opportunity to meet people who support activities and fundraise on behalf of medical care.

Cochrane emphasized the importance of these visits and said teleconferences and video conferences don’t convey the same message that in-person visits do.

“We need ways to understand the nuances and the uniqueness of the communities and the only way you can do that is face to face,” Cochrane said.

Overall, the board says it’s important for the community to continue to communicate with them and to share stories of things that have gone well as well as things that can be improved.

“It’s important the community knows we’re interested and we want to hear from them about the services and the needs. The hospital in the community as well as the greater community,” Cochrane said.

The Board of Directors oversees operations, works with management to establish overall strategic direction for the organization, and ensures appropriate community consultation. The board also regularly reviews the organization’s long-term plans, significant issues affecting the organization, and evaluates results. The board oversees the most facilities in the province with 55 communities that total nearly 750,000 people.

After being appointed as the new Board Chair in September Cochrane is quickly adjusting in the position. Before becoming the chair, he was a surgeon for 35 years, he chaired the BC Patient Safety Task force and has served as the chair of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute. Currently he is also the chair of the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council and the Provincial Patient Safety and Quality Officer for British Columbia and he is a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia in neurosurgery.

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