There were some familiar names on the list when the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health announced the appointment of board members to the Saskatoon Regional Health Authority last week.
Humboldt’s mayor, Malcolm Eaton, was listed as a new addition to the board, as was Rose Silzer-Quinn of Muenster.
There were two other new appointees to the board — Ann Mueller, a retired director from Cudworth and Megan Rumbold, a grain farmer and seed retailer from Wadena.
Jim Rhode remains the board chair, and Colleen Christensen the vice-chair. Both are from Saskatoon, as are the five other continuing board members.
Silzer-Quinn, who manages the Muenster Credit Union, decided to get involved with the SRHA because health care “is such a critical component of our society,” she told the Journal.
It’s a prestigious appointment, she agreed.
“When your government officials call on you to help, you say, ‘I’ll do what I can’,” she said.
Her mother, she explained, was a registered nurse, and so she has always held an acute interest in health care.
As a user of the system, “I’m really interested in learning and trying to be a part of ongoing solutions to make the system strong. “
It’s easy, she continued, to be part of the problem, to complain about things instead of working to make them better. She wanted to do the latter.
Silzer-Quinn feels the skills she has to offer may be different than those of others on the board.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” she said.
Eaton, a retired teacher, said he was encouraged to apply for an appointment when the call went out.
There were a couple of reasons why he wanted to do so, he explained.
“Certainly, health care is extremely important to the community,” he said. And since he’s been involved with the advisory committee that was struck to make the new hospital a reality, with the Humboldt District Hospital Foundation’s recent capital campaign, and the Humboldt Doctor Recruitment and Retention Committee, which was started up last year, “I’ve certainly learned a lot,” he said.
“I think it’s really important that we have some representation on the board from Humboldt.”
Darlene Eberle of Humboldt has served on the board in the past, as has Marilyn Scott, who also recently stepped down from her post as city councillor in Humboldt.
“In a sense, I’m taking Marilyn’s place,” Eaton noted.
“I think it’s important to have rural representation (on the board),” Eaton continued, and that is present in the four rural representatives that have now been appointed.
Eaton, Silzer-Quinn and the other new board members will each serve three-year terms, and attend roughly one meeting per month.
“It’s an opportunity to learn and perhaps have some influence on some policies and programs the health region is working on... to improve health care services in the city (of Saskatoon) and rural centres,” he said.
This appointment comes at an opportune time for Eaton. A retired school principal, he is now planning on giving up his part-time teaching position at Humboldt Collegiate Institute at the end of June, and will no longer be involved on the board of the Prairie Innovation Enterprise Region (PIER) as that organization is being disbanded.
“I have a bit more time to devote to another area,” he said. “With the importance of health care to the region and the community, (I) can devote some time to that area.”