The province announced Thursday that Athana Mentzelopoulos has been named the new president and CEO of Alberta Health Services, effective Dec. 11.
Mentzelopoulos has two decades of public sector leadership experience and was appointed this past summer as the deputy minister of special projects on executive council.
The province said she previously also served as deputy minister in various portfolios in both the Alberta and B.C. governments and worked as EMS provisional lead and advisor to the official administrator within AHS.
She was also a senior adviser to former B.C. premier Christy Clark.
The province said Mentzelopoulos was also selected for the role by Dr. John Cowell, the official administrator of AHS.
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Mentzelopoulos was also recently served a brief stint as the executive director of the Alberta Medical Association, having formally assumed that role on Oct. 1.
“On behalf of Alberta Health Services, I welcome Athana to the organization, ” AHS executive board chair Dr. Lyle Oberg said in a statement.
“She has a long history of public service leadership here in Canada. I look forward to working with her to support staff through the healthcare system refocus efforts underway, while keeping to AHS’ mandate of delivering high quality health services to all Albertans.”
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Mentzelopoulos holds an Honours BA in political science and economics from Carleton University and an MA in contemporary social and political thought from the University of Victoria, according to her AMA biography.
The new leader comes to AHS amid a time of drastic change.
Mauro Chies had been in the role until a shakeup of the agency’s senior leadership team last month. He had been brought in as the interim president and CEO on April 4, 2022, after the dismissal of previous leader Verna Yiu — who’d held the CEO position since May 31, 2016.
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On March 20, 2023, the interim title was removed from Chies.
For the past month, Sean Chilton, vice-president and chief operating officer of clinical operations and information technology, had been operating as acting president and CEO.
Premier Danielle Smith announced sweeping changes to dismantle Alberta Health Services in November, reducing it to one of four new service delivery organizations, all reporting directly to Health Minister Adriana LaGrange. The transformation is to take up to two years.
AHS is focusing now on four key priorities: improving emergency medical services (EMS) response times, decreasing emergency department wait times, reducing surgery wait times and improving patient flow and continuity of care.
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