Interior Health CEO and Chair tour Kimberley

Interior Health CEO and Chair tour Kimberley


The annual Interior Health (IH) Board Chair CEO Tour took place this week and CEO/President of Interior Health, Chris Mazurkewich was in Kimberley to speak with staff and community representatives.

Part of the tour was introducing the new board chair, Dr. Douglas Cochrane. With them, was Dennis Rounsville, Board Director, Jenn Goodwin, VP of Communications and Public Engagement, Terri Domin, Health Service Administrator for East Kootenay and Christine Neal, Site Manager.

“Doug has been with us for just 30 days so he’s a brand new chair with a very distinguished background,” said Mazurkewich.

Continued on A2

“Doug is chair of the patient quality council and [he is the] patient safety officer for BC. He is a very distinguished individual and pediatric neurosurgeon in his background so we’re most fortunate to have him. I predict he will be fantastic for IHA as the board chair.”

Mazurkewich says that the tour gives him, and the other IH representatives, the chance to talk with press, local auxiliaries, local politicians, physicians, staff and managers as well as meet with the foundation.

“It gives us a chance to set up a dialogue about what’s happening in each community. We can see and hear directly from people in an unfiltered manor,” Mazurkewich said. “We always come away with great stories and lots of learnings as well. The other thing is, you recognize how remarkable our staff are. When you meet them and actually hear directly from them; what they’re doing, what they’re working on, what their day to day experiences are like. I think the communities we have are fortunate to have such dedicated and compassionate people.”

“We operate in 55 communities, 20,000 people from Williams Lake to Cranbrook,” said Rounsville. “The expanse of what Chris oversees is remarkable in terms of services provided in a number of communities.”

When asked if IH would be continuing their lease and work here in Kimberley, Mazurkewich responded by saying, “I think we’ll always be in the community. It’s a great community. When we look at the services that are provided here and how they’re provided, we’ve actually talked to other communities about what’s happening here and how good the service is. We think Kimberley has fantastic physicians and staff and they work in an integrated manor; the patients benefit dramatically because of that. We’re trying to take this model and use it in other communities.”

“I think it’s actually really important that the community recognize that the model of care that is here is actually a model that is being used to replicate in other places,” said Cochrane.

For example, the local auxiliary has contributed to the MRI service that is currently under construction at East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook. Construction is expected to be complete in the spring of 2018, and the new MRI unit operational in the summer.

“We’re very grateful for their generous donation and continued work,” Mazurkewich said.

Up until recently, there has been a waitlist to see a physician in Kimberley, which has posed concern for some residents. Neal says that issue could soon be alleviated with the addition of a new physician.

“With the retirement of Dr. Haiduk, that left a number of orphaned patients,” said Neal. “I’ve been made aware today (we’ll probably hear more in the next meeting) that they’ve had some successful conversation with a new recruit. We’ll leave it to the physicians to make the announcements and introduction of that, but I think that’s positive for the community. Prior to Dr. Haiduk’s retirement there wasn’t a wait list in the community, which is what made this community attractive. They attached all members of the community as required, so I suspect that philosophy in the clinic will continue with the new physician.”

“I think with the group of physicians Kimberley has here, I would be surprised if they were not able to recruit high quality physicians,” said Mazurkewich. “We’re optimistic.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

The Kimberley Nordic Club has outlined their plans for a safe season of winter sport amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy of Kimberley Nordic Centre.
Kimberley Nordic Club details plans for safe season of winter sport

The Kimberley Nordic Club has released their plan to re-open for the… Continue reading

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP seeking driver of burnt out car found on HaHa Creek Road

Cranbrook RCMP are looking for the driver of a vehicle that was found on fire Monday

Starting in January of 2021, the RDEK will be removing yellow bins designated for glass collections. East Kootenay residents will be able to recycle their glass at one of the many Recycle BC depots across the region. (RDEK file)
Changes coming to RDEK glass recycling program

Starting in January 2021, glass will no longer be collected through the yellow bin program

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Most Read