Michael Marchbank is the new president and CEO of the Fraser Health Authority.

Fraser Health gets new president

Longtime provincial health administrator takes top job at health authority

A longtime B.C. health administrator is taking charge of the Fraser Health Authority and its $3.1-billion budget.

Michael Marchbank will be the health region’s new president and CEO effective Jan. 2.

He replaces former president Dr. Nigel Murray, who resigned in June to return to New Zealand as the province was set to unveil reforms at Fraser. Dr. David Ostrow had been acting as interim CEO since then.

Marchbank – who will be paid $345,000 a year at Fraser, significantly less than Murray’s total remuneration of $444,000 – is currently president and CEO of the Health Employers’ Association of B.C., which coordinates labour negotiations for the health regions.

He has also served as the government’s point man on other issues, most notably over the past year when he was picked to replace school trustees overseeing the B.C. Public School Employers Association in contract bargaining with the B.C. Teachers Federation. At that time, the education minister said the appointment was to let the BCTF bargain directly with the government.

Marchbank’s previous positions include chief operating officer of the Provincial Health Services Authority and president and CEO of the Fraser Valley Health Region in the 1990s before the current health authorities were created.

He arrives as Fraser tries to implement recommendations of a government-ordered strategic review, which targeted new ways to cut unnecessary use of hospital emergency rooms in favour of improved primary and community care.

A key challenge will be keeping the health region’s spending within government-approved increases in the face of a growing and aging population.

Fraser Health’s board confirmed the appointment Tuesday.

“We believe Michael Marchbank has a very good balance between a passion to deliver good patient care and a passion to administer an organization and keep it aligned with the budget that the minister have given us,” board chair Karen Matty said.

She rejected suggestions he is Victoria’s choice, adding the board chose Marchbank over other contenders due to his extensive experience and local roots.

“He is absolutely the board’s man,” Matty said. “He’s got a good knowledge of health care in B.C. He also lives within the Fraser region and at one point worked in Fraser Health.”

Matty was appointed board chair last month, replacing Wynne Powell, who had served as interim chair since the province decided in April to remove chair David Mitchell.

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Local committee creates opposition strategy for quarry open house

‘Friends of Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs’ to hold info session on same day

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

PHOTOS: Black bear gets curious on Lower Mainland driveway

Joe Wu captured photos of the animal wandering in Surrey

Stó:lō Nation prepares to host its 26th annual Children’s Festival

Titled Battle for the House Cup, this year’s event adorns a Harry Potter theme

VIDEO: Agassiz Community Gardens turns 15

Growing is good for personal and community health

VIDEO: Plane crashes in Langley farm field

It appears at least one person may have been hurt

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

1 man in critical condition after ‘serious’ stabbing in Downtown Eastside: police

Vancouver police say there was an altercation and stabbing appears targeted

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

Seal pup rescued near White Rock pier

Animal was moving and “barking” when rescue crews arrived

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

Most Read