New board chair for Fraser Health

Karen Matty takes helm as health region pushes ahead with planned reforms

Karen Matty is the new board chair of the Fraser Health Authority.

Karen Matty is the new board chair of the Fraser Health Authority.

A Fraser Valley business executive and former nurse is the new board chair of the Fraser Health Authority.

Karen Matty will replace Wynne Powell, the chair of the Provincial Health Services Authority, who has served as interim chair at Fraser since the province decided in April to remove then-board chair David Mitchell.

Health Minister Terry Lake had said he wanted “fresh eyes” and new leadership as Fraser Health implements the recommendations of a strategic and operational review.

The review, which was released over the summer, targeted new ways to cut unnecessary use of hospital emergency rooms in favour of improved primary and community care.

Lake also raised the possibility of shifting Burnaby into the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority as well as closer collaboration between the two health regions as they work to rebuild St. Paul’s and Royal Columbian hospitals.

Matty has served as a Fraser Health director since 2012 and takes over from Powell at the end of October.

Matty’s background includes a career in nursing in Williams Lake and president of Matsqui Developments, a family-owned real estate and lumber business in the Fraser Valley.

She received the Order of Abbotsford in 2011 and has served on other boards, including the Abbotsford Foundation, Abbotsford Police Board and University of the Fraser Valley.

Fraser Health is still searching for a permanent CEO. Dr. David Ostrow is serving on an interim basis since Dr. Nigel Murray resigned as CEO to return to New Zealand.