Former UCP exec appointed health, mental health patient advocate
Published Saturday, November 9, 2019 9:32PM MST
EDA former United Conservative Party executive has been assigned to the roles of Health Advocate and Mental Health Patient Advocate.
Janice Harrington was appointed to the roles on Friday by Health Minister Tyler Shandro.
The positions are expected to advocate for patients and make recommendations to improve the health care system, and can start reviews or investigations under the Alberta Health Act or the Mental Health Act.
"(Janice Harrington's) extensive leadership, communications and stakeholder work will serve well as she works directly with Albertans to ensure our health system meets their needs," a statement from the ministry's press secretary, Steve Buick, reads.
"The Health Advocate must be a voice for Albertans and be capable of effectively engaging government, the public and other stakeholders. Ms. Harrington has extensive experience working in media, public relations and marketing."
Harrington worked previously as the executive director of both the Progressive Conservative Party, before the 2017 merger, and the United Conservative Party, after.
She resigned from the role earlier this year.
Alberta NDP's mental health critic, Heather Sweet, has questioned whether Albertans can trust Harrington to stand up to the government.
“The Health Advocate position was created to ensure all Albertans get the best care possible," Sweet said in a statement to CTV News Edmonton.
"How can Albertans trust an advocate, who was the partisan lead for the UCP, to ensure their medical needs are protected at a time when the government is cutting services in health and threatening mental health supports across the province?”
Harrington was appointed for two-year terms.
She'll make between $125,000 and $164,000 per year.