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Alberta’s Health and Mental Health Advocate guides Albertans through the appropriate complaints resolution processes and provides information and education so they can become an advocate for their own health journey, and for those they care for. Ms. Douglas has been appointed to a three-year term to be a strong voice for Albertans when it comes to their health care and to ensure the health system operates effectively for all Albertans.
Ms. Douglas has been with the Office of the Alberta Health Advocate for more than six years; and has been the interim Health and Mental Health Advocate since July 2022. She brings more than 40 years of experience, spanning four provinces, of working with persons with disabilities, in health care, and in seniors housing.
“With her advanced skills in leadership, analysis, strategic planning and consensus building, I am confident Ms. Douglas will be an excellent voice and fair advocate for patients struggling to navigate the health system. I welcome Catherine to her new role and know she will do everything she can to help support Albertans and their families receive the best health services possible, and provide a patient perspective to inform system-wide improvements.”
The Mental Health Advocate helps protect the rights of Albertans receiving in-patient care under the Mental Health Act or subject to a community treatment order for mental health issues. In this role, Ms. Douglas will assist patients in understanding their rights, investigate complaints, and help them and their families connect and communicate effectively with health-care teams to support them on the road to wellness.
“The mental health and well-being of all Albertans is a priority for our government and Alberta’s health professionals. I wish to extend a warm welcome and congratulations to Ms. Catherine Douglas in her new role. I am confident she will be a strong advocate within the health care system for all Albertans experiencing mental health challenges.”
In additional to supporting opportunities to strengthen the patient complaint process, the Advocate’s Office will play a larger role in navigating issues in the health system identified by seniors and their families, in collaboration and partnership with the Ministry of Seniors, Community and Social Services
“Providing access to good health care is a primary responsibility of Alberta’s government. Alberta’s Health and Mental Health Advocate plays an important role especially as a voice for seniors, ensuring they are able to access the supports and care they need. I look forward to working together with the new advocate in making life better for seniors and all Albertans.”
“I am honored to accept the role of Health Advocate and Mental Health Advocate. I’d like to thank our office’s outstanding staff who serve Albertans every day. Each of them listen to the concerns of the public allowing us to provide the critical patient perspective as we strive for quality improvement in the health system. I look forward to ensuring that each individual is supported as a true partner in their health care journey.”
Ms. Douglas will start her new role February 15, 2023. She will make recommendations to the Minister of Health to improve patient care and Alberta’s health system.
The Office of the Alberta Health Advocates includes the Health and the Mental Health Advocate.
- Since 2018, the two roles have been fulfilled by a single individual.
- Catherine D. Douglas, Director, Office of the Alberta Health Advocates has been the Interim Health and Mental Health Advocate since July 2022.
The Health Advocate helps Albertans:
find health system resources, programs and services
determine the appropriate resolution mechanism to address and resolve their complaints
understand their rights and responsibilities under the Alberta Health Charter
The Mental Health Advocate helps Albertans who have been detained in hospital or subject to a community treatment order, to understand their rights and conducts investigations of complaints related to matters under the Mental Health Act.
The Health and Mental Health Advocate will provide an annual report to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Mental Health and Addiction outlining work to date and substantive issues.