Verna Yiu appointed VP at University of Alberta
June 22, 2022
EDMONTON – Former Alberta Health Services president and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu (pictured) has been named interim provost and vice president at the University of Alberta. Yiu has been appointed to a two-year term set to commence on July 1.
“I have deep roots with the University of Alberta, and after a decade away I’m excited to re-immerse myself in this community,” she said in a written release.
“I know the community is in a place of tremendous change, and I look forward to getting reacquainted quickly so that we can work together to move the U of A into the future.”
Yiu was terminated from AHS in April, 14 months before her contract was set to expire in June 2023.
The province said the decision to remove her is part of a greater plan to modernize AHS, but critics called the move political as a result of Yiu’s stance on releasing COVID-19 information.
“Albertans have seen the candor that she brought to COVID briefings – a willingness to tell the truth that we certainly did not get from our ministers of health Tyler Shandro or Jason Copping,” NDP health critic David Shepherd said in April.
He went on to say he couldn’t help but wonder if Yiu’s “habit of giving Albertans the straight goods is part of, if not the chief reason, the UCP has fired her.”
“Dr Yiu is one of the finest physician administrators in Canada and one of the smartest, most decent and effective CEOs I have ever known,” former Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. James Talbot told CTV News. “For a government to have the captain of a ship that brought it safely into port, through a one in a hundred-year storm, walk the plank is despicable. It only proves that the UCP considers AHS to be their own personal toy instead of treating it with the respect due to a precious resource that is vital to the health of all Albertans.”
AHS is still in the process of searching for a new CEO.