Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 6, 2000
CHAAA hires new director
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The new executive director of the Catholic Health Association of Alberta and Affiliates is a veteran health care worker with 25 years of experience in the field.
Calgary's Claire Mills, a former registered nurse, nursing instructor and lawyer, replaces Kathy O'Neill, who retired last October after 10 years in the position.
The mother of three, who serves on the social justice committee of St. Luke's Parish, describes her role as that of a cohesive agent for members who are spread across the province.
The CHAAA's membership includes more than 30 faith-based health care facilities.
"My goal is to assist the voluntary health care providers of Alberta to continue to participate as full partners in health care delivery in the province," she said.
"I believe the values of the volunteer health care sector are the values that are going to be needed in the future."
Mills has been at the helm of CHAAA for only two months and is reluctant to talk about the government's plan to expand the role of private, for-profit health care providers.
She did, however, express concern about the continued erosion of public health care and said for-profit medicine "doesn't fit in with the values of the CHAAA."
One of her challenges, as she sees it, is to keep CHAAA members well informed so "they can help the government find solutions" that will improve rather than erode the public health care system.
Born in Cape Breton, Mills has degrees in nursing from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia and law from the University of Calgary.
She began her nursing career in the intensive care unit of the Halifax Infirmary Hospital before moving to Banff in 1973 to work as staff nurse and then director of nursing.
She has been a nursing instructor at the Foothills Hospital School of Nursing and Calgary's Mount Royal College.
Mills also served as home care coordinator for Calgary Health Services and executive director of the Alberta Long Term Care Association. She was also a health care consultant for Vicom Multimedia Company.
The CHAAA participates in the healing mission of Jesus, who sought to empower others in the creation of a healthy society. The association enables those engaged in Christian health care through education, proactive stances and collaboration with other health care groups.