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VIHA hires new chief executive officer

VICTORIA – The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has announced that Howard Waldner (pictured at left), currently executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Calgary Health Region, will become the VIHA’s new chief executive officer on October 11, 2004.

“Howard has a truly outstanding record in healthcare management,” said Jac Kreut, Chair of VIHA’s Board of Directors. “I am confident he can lead this organization through the many challenges that lie ahead with a focus on maintaining and enhancing high quality healthcare service to island residents.”

“I am very disappointed to see Howard go, but I know he will excel in his new role,” said Calgary Health Region president and CEO Jack Davis. “I am confident the staff and community on the Island will value Howard’s leadership and experience as much as I have.”

Serving 1.5 million people, the Calgary Health Region is a large health organization encompassing acute, community and primary care programs and has 7,000 beds, 23,000 staff and an operating budget in excess of $2.0 billion.

Mr. Waldner joined the Calgary Health Region in May 1999, after 27 years of service in healthcare in Scotland. During his tenure in Calgary, he helped to build the region’s services and infrastructure, and played a key role in developing its standing as a world leader.

Mr. Waldner has an MBA from the University of Glasgow and previously worked with the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, where he held several chief executive officer and senior executive positions.

In Calgary, a transition planned for this fall involving Waldner and Bob Holmes, senior vice-president, strategic services, will now be delayed. Mr. Holmes has graciously agreed to remain in this role for the time being. “Everyone in the Calgary Health Region wishes Howard the best, and he is sure to take many positive memories from Calgary with him on this new adventure,” said Mr. Davis.