The 7 member First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) Board of Directors is the corporate governance arm of the BC First Nations health governing structure. The Board of Directors provides leadership and oversight for all corporate activities of the FNHA.
The pending transfer of FNIH BC resources to the FNHA will see a substantial change in the way health care is designed, administered and delivered in partnership with BC First Nations. As the Board of Directors establishes agreements and processes to transfer resources, records, facilities, assets and staff from First Nations and Inuit Health (FNIH) BC Region into FNHA control, the board is actively rewriting the way health care is delivered to BC First Nations.
The complete seven member Board of Directors combines years of experience in First Nations health, community development, financial management and political expertise at all levels of government.
Current board members include Chair Lydia Hwitsum, Vice-Chair Pierre Leduc, Secretary John Scherebnyj, Jim Morrison, Jason Calla, Madeleine Dion-Stout and Dr. Elizabeth Whynot.
The three-year term of the previous First Nations Health Society/ Interim First Nations Health Authority Board of Directors expired on March 31, 2012. The officers of the Board – Lydia Hwitsum (Chair); Pierre Leduc (Vice-Chair); John Scherebnyj (Secretary-Treasurer) were appointed to serve for another three-year period, until March 31, 2015, to ensure consistent leadership throughout the transition period. On March 20, 2012, the iFNHA members formally appointed Madeleine Dion-Stout, Jim Morrison, Jason Calla and Dr. Elizabeth Whynot to the Board of Directors commencing April 1, 2012 and concluding on March 31, 2014. The two-year term was recommended to stagger Board of Director terms, allowing for continuity and mentorship within the Board.
Lydia Hwitsum - Chair
She graduated from University of Victoria’s Law School in 1997, has a Certificate in the Administration of Aboriginal Government, a Diploma in Public Sector Management at the University of Victoria, and has training in Conflict Resolution. Lydia has held a number of prominent leadership positions, including Chief of Cowichan Tribes, Task Group member of the First Nations Summit, BC Region elected representative on the Assembly of First Nations National Women’s Council, and former Chair of the First Nations Health Council. She also has served on a number of Boards, including at the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, the Land Title and Survey Authority, and the Tele’ethw Aboriginal Capital Corporation.
Pierre Leduc - Vice-Chair
Pierre’s experience in the health care industry spans three continents and more than 37 years, with the last 14 years in British Columbia.
For the past decade he has served on the board of directors of Providence Health Care. He has over 25 years of senior management leadership experience in the health care industry and over 20 years of experience on public, private, and not-for-profit governance boards as well as having extensive experience managing budgets of $10 million to over $500 million
Madeline Dion Stout
Through her numerous accomplishments as a nurse, teacher, and philosopher, Ms. Dion Stout is a leader in the health development of Aboriginal people. Ms. Dion Stout’s family provided her with a strong head start on the Kehewin First Nation. After graduating as a registered nurse in 1968, she returned to school to complete a Bachelor of Nursing with Distinction. She then completed her MA in International Affairs. Madeleine Kētēskwew Dion Stout was honoured with an honorary doctorate from the University of British Columbia. As well, the Canadian Nurses Association chose her for the Centennial Award that was given to 100 outstanding nurses in 2008. In 2010, she recieved the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in Health. Ms. Dion Stout was appointed by Prime Minister Jean Chretien as a member of the National Forum on Health. Recently, she was appointed Vice-Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. She also serves on several non-governmental boards and committees.
Jim Morrison offers a wide range of skills and experiences in organizational development and review, training, policy development, strategic planning, facilitation, and program evaluation. He has been a management consultant for twenty years, working mainly with BC First Nations organizations, and has previously held management and policy positions with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs and other organizations. He has degrees from UBC (B.Ed) and SFU (MBA), and serves as an adjunct professor at SFU in resource and environmental management.
Jason is a member of the Squamish Nation. He has extensive experience working with First Nations communities and organizations, including in: community development plans, economic strategies and impact assessments, fiscal and tax advisory, and community consultation and outreach for First Nation governments and organizations. His educational background includes: London School of Economics and Political Science, London, England — M.Sc. (Econ), Regional and Urban Planning Studies; and, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC — Bachelor of Commerce (Urban Land Economics).
Dr. Elizabeth Whynot
Dr. Liz Whynot retired in November 2008 from her role as President of BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, a leadership position she held for 8 years. While at Women’s, she was responsible for both the patient services provided there and for developing a variety of provincial strategies to improve the health of women and of marginalized communities. She provided leadership for the development of BC’s Provincial Women’s Health Strategy, the Women’s Health Research Institute, the Maternity Care Enhancement Project and the Aboriginal Maternity Strategy. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Provincial Health Services Authority, she was responsible for the successful development of its HIV/AIDS and Aboriginal Health Strategies. She also chaired the Advisory committee for the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s report “Maternity Care in Canada. Under her leadership, BC Women’s was awarded the 2007 Arthur Kroeger Public Affairs Award in the Management Category. Currently, Liz is the Director of Whynot & Associates Consulting and continues to provide clinical care as a locum physician for the Vancouver Native Health Clinic.
John Scherebnyj, CGA - Treasurer/Secretary
John has professional accounting and auditing qualifications with leadership and management experience at senior levels in public and private sectors in Canada.
He has more than 35 years combined experience in Canada working with Federal and Territorial Governments and Aboriginal organizations. (Health Canada, INAC, CRA)
interim First Nations Health Authority
Newly appointed iFNHA Board excited for historic work ahead
April 1, 2012
COAST SALISH TERRITORY (Vancouver) – The recently assembled Board of Directors for the interim First Nations Health Authority (iFNHA) are excited to undertake the next steps in momentous transition that will be a first for Canada. As the Board establishes agreements and processes to transfer resources, records, facilities, assets and staff from First Nations and Inuit Health (FNIH) BC Region into iFNHA control, the group eagerly anticipates the unprecedented work of rewriting the way health care is delivered to BC First Nations. The complete seven member Board is made up of Chair Lydia Hwitsum, Vice-Chair Pierre Leduc, Secretary John Scherebnyj and newly appointed members Jim Morrison, Jason Calla, Madeleine Dion-Stout and Dr. Elizabeth Whynot.
“The iFNHA is committed to supporting the necessary work to fulfill our obligations under the Tripartite Framework Agreement, including ensuring that the partnerships are enduring to collaborate towards better First Nations health,” said Lydia Hwitsum, who is excited for a health transformation that involves BC First Nations in the plan, design and management of their health and wellness. “We will all have to work together to move towards a seamless transfer to First Nations control and do the necessary ongoing work together to improve First Nations access to quality, culturally appropriate health and wellness services.”
Returning Board member Hwitsum has an education background in Aboriginal and Public Sector programs, graduated from the University of Victoria Law School and has previous experience in Conflict Resolution. She has held a number of key leadership positions within high level First Nations organizations in BC including the First Nations Summit, the BC Region of the Assembly of First Nations Women’s Council and as former Chair of the First Nations Health Council. Her previous Board experience includes involvement with the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, the Land Title and Survey Authority and the Tele’ethw Aboriginal Capital Corporation along with serving as Chief of Cowichan Tribes.
The iFNHA Board of Directors oversee financial, operational and service delivery to maintain the separation of business and politics within the organization. The coming transfer of FNIH BC resources to the iFNHA will see a substantial change in the way health care is designed, administered and tracked for BC First Nations.
“The First Nations Health Council and the governments of BC and Canada have embarked on a historic journey that I firmly believe will improve health for First Nations peoples in BC and will have a lasting, positive effect on all of our health systems,” said Dr. Elizabeth Whynot, who is looking forward to the upcoming iFNHA Gathering Wisdom V May 15-17. “I am honoured to have been invited to play a role in supporting the transition to a new system as a member of the iFNHA Board. The Board will have a key governance role as the transfer of services to the iFNHA progresses.”
Dr. Whynot has been involved in a number of significant initiatives aimed at improving the health of BC First Nations and women in the province. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), she led the development of the PHSA’s Aboriginal Health and HIV/AIDS Strategies. As President of BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, she also provided leadership for the Provincial Women’s Health Strategy, the implementation of the Women’s Health Research Institute and the Aboriginal Maternity Strategy. Dr. Whynot currently works as a locum physician at the Vancouver Native Health clinic and provides consultation services in the health sector.
“It’s a great honour to be a part of this group,” said new Board member Jim Morrison, who has over 20 years of experience working with BC First Nations and the Federal government. “We’re facing big challenges and this has never been done before in Canada but we have very capable people on the Board, within the entire iFNHA staff and in our communities. I think the skills and talents we have should be celebrated and if we weren’t ready for this the Chiefs wouldn’t have said ‘let’s do it’.”
Newly appointed Board member Jason Calla is eager to bring his knowledge and expertise to the table for the coming transformation. Calla is a member of the Squamish Nation and brings extensive experience working with First Nations in community development plans, economic strategies and impact assessments, financial and tax advisory, and consultation for First Nations governance.
“Access to quality health care is a defining characteristic of being Canadian and a fundamental component of the fiscal relationship among Canada, BC and First Nations,” said Calla. “I am excited to be a part of the iFNHA, an initiative that will be taking practical steps to include First Nations in the provision of health care services.”
The complete seven member board combine years of experience in First Nations health, community development, financial management and political expertise at all levels of government. Their diverse experiences offer a well-versed skill set and knowledge to draw from during the evolution into a permanent First Nations Health Authority in BC.