Alberta Health Services administrator John Cowell signed on for rest of year

Appointed in November 2022, Dr. Cowell helped establish the Alberta Health Care Action Plan. His contract will be extended until the end of the year.

The contract for Alberta Health Services (AHS) administrator John Cowell has been extended for the rest of the year.

He was brought on in November 2022 for a six-month term.

Health minister Adriana Lagrange says she’s pleased with the progress made by Cowell in streamlining the healthcare system and looks forward to working with him over the next six months.

“We already have tangible results Albertans can see. I look forward to working with him over the next six months to continue improvements in health care delivery until a permanent governance structure for AHS is developed,” she said in a statement.

The province says there has been a 17 percent decrease in wait times at emergency departments since Cowell came on.

In addition, it says there has been a drop of almost half in EMS response times for the most urgent calls in metro and urban areas, along with fewer patients waiting longer than “clinically recommended for surgeries.”

The Alberta government also says more nurses, paramedics, and other front-line staff are employed.

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Cowell will support the ongoing work of Alberta Mental Health and Addiction to implement a “recovery-oriented system,” the province says.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to lead AHS and improve health care services for all Albertans. AHS continues to address priority areas and drive measurable, meaningful improvement,” Cowell said.

“We are fortunate to have the best health care workers in the world, and as an organization, we are focused on step-by-step improvement that is already leading to better access to care.

“I’m also looking forward to working with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction and improving clinical services, resources, and outcomes for Albertans needing support.”

Cowell was paid $360,000 dollars for the first six months on the job, and AHS confirms he’ll receive the same salary for the next six months.

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