Airdrie Health Co-op hires new CEO
Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 06:00 am
The Airdrie and Area Health Benefits Co-operative (AAHBC) announced Nov. 3 it had hired a new president and chief executive officer (CEO). Bruce Graham takes over the role Nov. 17 from Dr. Tom Feasby who now assumes the role of chief health officer (CHO).
“We are pleased with our progress to date. With Bruce and Tom leading us forward we expect to continue with consultations among the various health-related service organizations, best practice research, and soliciting public input to determine how to best support integration and co-ordination of health and health care service for Airdrie and area,” said Stan Grad, AAHBC chairman.
The AAHBC – formally incorporated as a co-operative in Alberta in December 2016 – will provide primary and proactive healthcare and emergent/urgent care to residents of Airdrie and area.
Graham has held leadership roles in corporate, non-profit, service agency and government organizations. His most recent role was as president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development. He has served on numerous boards including the Calgary Airport Authority Advisory Board, Alberta Economic Development Authority, the Calgary Rotary Club and Theatre Calgary.
Graham said he was compelled to take on the job after hearing more about the proposed co-operative.
“I didn’t know the organization at all but the people who introduced me to it – Don Bell and Stan Grad – are really high-quality people and they were very passionate about what it is they want to achieve here,” he said.
“Everyone I’ve met with since, including the team that has been working diligently below the radar screen to put this together, have just impressed me with what they’re trying to achieve, the implications this can have both locally and provincially.”
According to a release issued by the AAHBC Nov. 3, the creation of a new CHO position is required in order for the organization to continue to achieve its aims. As CEO, Graham will focus on the development, operations and business side of the organization while Feasby will focus on developing the health, health care and medical programs.
Graham, Feasby and Dr. Julian Kyne provided Airdrie City council with an update on the AAHBC’s progress at its Nov. 6 regular meeting.
According to Graham, the AAHBC has raised approximately $800,000 to date –including $450,000 from the City of Airdrie and a grant for $145,000 from the Calgary Foundation – with a goal of raising $1 million by yearend. A total of $2 to $3 million is required to complete the planning stages for the proposed health park and other components of the co-op, he said.
Graham said consultation with a number of stakeholder groups began earlier in 2017 and is expected to be complete in early 2018. Some of the groups the AAHBC has met with include the Airdrie Food Bank, North Rocky View Community Links, local physicians and other healthcare providers. Public engagement with residents is expected to begin before the end of 2017.
Potential sites for the Health Park are currently being looked at, according to Graham.
“We’re going through a deep consultation process to identify what appropriate uses should go in that park and how that park can interrelate with the rest of the community and a broader area,” he said.