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Alberta appoints new Health Advocate

Deborah Prowse, Q.C., will bring extensive human rights and patient safety advocacy experience to her new role as Alberta’s Health Advocate. 

Deborah Prowse is appointed as the new Health Advocate

Prowse has a professional background in social work and law, with experience in conflict management and mediation. She is the former chair of the Patient/Family Safety Advisory Panel with the Health Quality Council of Alberta and a former hearing chair with the Alberta Human Rights Commission. She has served as a patient safety champion at the World Health Organization and as the co-chair of the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Health in 2010.

Prowse takes over on July 1 from Mary Marshall, whose interim position as Health Advocate ends June 30.

“Deborah’s personal experience with patient safety advocacy will be a great benefit to Albertans as she takes on the duties of Health Advocate. I have witnessed her ongoing commitment to build a stronger health care system through the years and I know this dedication will be used to help Albertans navigate the health system. I also want to take this opportunity to thank Mary Marshall for her hard work as interim Health Advocate.”

Fred Horne, Minister of Health

“I’m passionate about safe, high quality health care and ensuring that people are able to speak up about their concerns. Alberta has a great system, but when things don’t go as well as they should, Albertans need to understand what they should expect and how and when they should speak up. I’m looking forward to talking with Albertans about the Health Charter and what it’s going to mean for providers and users of the system.”

Deborah Prowse

The Health Advocate is part of the Office of the Health Advocates, which also includes John Cabral as interim Seniors’ Advocate and Carol Robertson Baker as the Mental Health Patient Advocate.

Albertans can call the office for assistance with things such as:

  • navigating the health system;
  • assistance with complaints and concerns;
  • information about the Health Charter;
  • the interests and needs of seniors;
  • addressing patient complaints under the Mental Health Act; including understanding legal rights and obligations.

The Office of the Health Advocates can be reached by:

  • calling 780-422-1812 in the Edmonton area, or toll-free, by first dialing 310-0000 and then the number; or
  • visiting

The Health Advocate is appointed under the Alberta Health Act, which sets out clear principles to guide decision-making in the health system and reinforces the government’s commitment to the principles of the Canada Health Act. The Alberta Health Act also establishes a Health Charter to guide what Albertans can expect from the health system.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

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