Dr. Yiu dismissed as head of Alberta Health Services
April 6, 2022
EDMONTON – Dr. Verna Yiu (pictured) has been removed as president and CEO of Alberta Health Services more than a year before her contract was set to expire. A news release from AHS said a search committee was formed “several months ago” to begin looking for Yiu’s replacement but did not offer a specific reason for Yiu’s departure.
Board chair Gregory Turnbull said in the release that the board has been planning for an “orderly transition.” Mauro Chies, vice president, Cancer Care Alberta and clinical support services, has been asked to serve as the provincial health authority’s interim CEO.
“We are very grateful for Dr. Yiu’s tireless leadership through the worst days of the pandemic, and we thank her for her years of dedicated service and commitment to AHS and to Albertans,” said Turnbull.
Yiu, whose contract was extended for another two years last June, thanked the staff, physicians and volunteers at AHS.
“I took on this role in 2016 because I saw an opportunity to further solidify culture, teamwork, and excellence within the organization. I believed that we could develop better relationships with our patients and families, and with Alberta communities. I am so proud and grateful for all AHS team members as well as our advisory groups and councils, and all the foundations who support AHS,” Dr. Yiu wrote in the release.
Turnbull added that the board looks forward to delivering on key projects, including expanding surgical and acute care services, continuing care, improving EMS, enhancing mental health programs and services, and recruitment and retention initiatives.
NDP Health Critic David Shepherd thanked Yiu for serving Albertans during some of the most difficult times in the history of the province.
“You have served Albertans well through good times and bad. You guided our hospital system through waves of COVID that were far worse than they had to be due to the failures and deliberate decisions of this UCP government,” Shepherd said.
“Albertans have seen the candor she brought to COVID-19 briefings, willing to tell the truth… It’s clear to me that Dr. Yiu put health and well-being of Albertans first during an unprecedented health crisis.”
Shepherd said his phone “started to blow up” Monday with messages from doctors and other healthcare workers who are shocked and disheartened by the decision.
“These folks are struggling to hold things together even now as we may be entering the sixth wave.”