Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry Gets Underway

Mr. Justice John Z. Vertes appoints Sheila-Marie Cook, CVO to lead the inquiry into the possibility of improper preferential access to publicly funded health services in Alberta

CALGARY, June 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Mr. Justice John Z. Vertes, Commissioner of the Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry, has announced the appointment of Sheila-Marie Suzanne Cook, CVO as Executive Director of the public inquiry into the possibility of improper preferential access to publicly funded health services in Alberta.

If evidence is found to substantiate concerns regarding improper preferential access to publicly funded health services, the terms of reference for the Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry include a call for recommendations on preventing improper access in the future.

Mrs. Cook is uniquely suited to lead the Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry. She has had extensive experience in the strategic planning and management of eight major Royal Commissions and public policy reviews which include, but are not limited to: Inquiry into the Bombing of Air India Flt. #132, The Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities Inquiry (The Gomery Commission), The Commission to Review Remuneration and Allowances of Members of Parliament, and The Royal Commission on Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada.

Mrs. Cook was appointed by Order in Council as Secretary and Deputy to the Governor General of Canada from 2006 to 2011. In this capacity, she also served as Herald Chancellor of Canada, Secretary General of the Order of Canada Council, Secretary of the Canadian Honours Committee and Secretary General of the Order of Military Merit. She was named a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in July, 2010. Former Mayor Ralph Klein appointed Mrs. Cook as the City of Calgary's chief of protocol for the XV Olympic Winter Games. Originally from Granby, Quebec, Mrs. Cook is a long-time resident of Calgary, Alberta.

Information regarding the Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry will be available at their newly created website at www.healthaccessinquiry.ca. The website will serve as a valuable tool to keep the public well-informed throughout the inquiry process. The website will provide public access to relevant information including the Inquiry's terms of reference, news, transcripts of the Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry's hearings and a public communication feedback form.

The public inquiry will be conducted in accordance with sections 17 to 22 of the Health Quality Council of Alberta Act and the Commissioner has all the powers, privileges and immunities under the Public Inquiries Act.

Terms of reference for the public inquiry are available at: www.healthaccessinquiry.ca.


Sheila-Marie Suzanne Cook, CVO Biography

Sheila-Marie Cook began her term as Secretary and Deputy to the Governor General on 17, September, 2006. In this capacity, she was also Herald Chancellor of Canada, Secretary General of the Order of Canada Council, Secretary of the Canadian Honours Committee and Secretary General of the Order of Military Merit. Originally from Granby, Quebec, she is a long-time resident of Calgary, Alberta.

Prior to joining the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (OSGG), Mrs. Cook had extensive experience working in the federal public service and in para-public organizations, most specifically in strategic planning and management of Royal Commissions and public policy reviews which included: The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples; the Inquiry into the Bombing of Air India Flt. #132; the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities; the Commission to Review Allowances of Members of Parliament; the Royal Commission on Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada; the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing; the Citizens' Forum on Canada's Future; and, the Minister's Monitoring Committee on Change in the Department of National Defense and Canadian Forces. Mrs. Cook also served as Secretary of the Board of the National Arts Centre Chief of Protocol for the XV Olympic Winter Games in Calgary; and, Canadian Secretary to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Council.

Mrs. Cook is a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of Canadians who have helped create the Canada of today.  She was awarded the CVO (Commander of the Royal Victorian Order) by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in July 2010 for services to the Crown.

Image with caption: "Sheila-Marie Cook, CVO appointed by Mr. Justice John Z. Vertes to lead the inquiry into the possibility of improper preferential access to publicly funded health services in Alberta (CNW Group/Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120626_C4094_PHOTO_EN_15714.jpg

SOURCE Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry

For further information:

MEDIA CONTACT:
Jessica Moran
Senior Account Executive
Brookline Public Relations
Cell: 403-629-7311
jmoran@brooklinepr.com 

HEALTH SERVICES PREFERENTIAL ACCESS INQUIRY MAILING ADDRESS: 
104-1240 Kensington Rd. N.W. Box 410
Calgary, Alberta   T2N 3P7 
Telephone: 403-270-2059 
Fax: 403-270-2084 
www.healthaccessinquiry.ca

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Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry

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