A well-known Okanagan Indian Band councillor is among the government’s latest appointees to the province’s health authority boards.
Allan Louis has been named to the board of the Interior Health Authority.
“These new appointees bring a depth of experience from the public and private sectors, local and First Nations government, civil society, labour, health care and research,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “Their diversity in background, perspective and expertise, and shared commitment to public service, further strengthen our health authority boards during a pivotal time.
“The boards are playing a key role in helping government accomplish its goals related to restoring a strong public health-care system, innovation and ensuring the needs of a diverse patient population are understood and met.”
There were 14 nominees and 12 reappointments to six of the province’s health authority boards, with Indigenous representation also increasing. Each health authority now has two board members of First Nations background.
“This reflects both the considerable breadth of talent and valuable experience individuals from First Nations bring to the boards, and the need for Indigenous perspectives in health-care decision-making, so services are culturally safe and appropriate,” said Dix.
Louis serves as a councillor of the Okanagan Indian Band, maintaining a focus on ideas and initiatives meant to benefit the membership. He is co-chair of the Aboriginal Education Committee for the Vernon School District, recognizing First Nations interests and challenges with the current education model.
In addition, he is an active member of the First Nations Health Council, working together with local, provincial and federal governments to achieve innovative ways of delivering health services to First Nations. Louis is the owner of Maximum One Venture. Previously, he worked as a manager for Vernon Travelodge. He has also worked as the security manager for Casino of the Rockies and as a service advisor for Cranbrook Dodge. Louis attended Okanagan College.
Joining Louis on the IHA board is Karen Hamling, who served four terms as mayor of Nakusp. Hamling retired after many years at the Arrow Lakes Hospital, most of which were spent as the health records supervisor. She previously owned two businesses and now helps with a forestry contracting business.
Boards are responsible for the governance and oversight of health services in the province. They work with health authority leadership to establish the organization’s overall vision and ensure there is appropriate community consultation.