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New chair, vice-chair for St. Joseph's Hospital board

Jim Bennett and Chris Kelsey are the new chair and vice-chair of the St. Joseph’s General Hospital board of directors.

Long-standing board chair Ron Philip stepped down from the position at the end of November. Bennett was appointed to replace him Thursday as board chair.

Bennett, who has been a director since 2005, moved up from vice-chair. He was employed for 11 years in Canadian banking and 33 years in local government administration. He has served on various boards and associations in B.C. and Alberta.

"I look forward to working with the board, senior leadership, physicians and all the staff at St. Joseph's General Hospital to ensure that the high quality of health care, currently being provided at the facility, is maintained," Bennett says. "Over the next few years, as a new hospital is being planned for the Comox Valley, the board and staff will be working with VIHA (Vancouver Island Health authority) and the Diocese of Victoria to examine the future role that St. Joseph's will play in providing health care services to the residents of the Comox Valley and northern Vancouver Island.”

Kelsey is a general solicitor with the Courtenay law firm of Swift Datoo & Company. He has been a director of the hospital since

2008. In addition to a law degree, Kelsey has a degree in international relations and extensive volunteer experience with various boards and associations.

Reflecting on his 11-year association with the hospital (10 years as chair), Philip states, “I have observed first-hand the wonderful support St. Joseph’s receives from physicians, senior management, nursing, support staff and volunteers throughout the hospital. The residents of the Comox Valley and northern Vancouver Island should be justifiably proud of the high standard of health services that they receive at St. Joseph’s General Hospital.”

Philip will continue to serve as a director for a further two-year term.

The hospital is governed by a local board of directors appointed by its owner, the Catholic bishop of Victoria. Under the authority of the Hospital Act, St. Joe's operates under an affiliation agreement with VIHA.

Eleven of its 12 directors reside in the Comox Valley (one director represents the Diocese of Victoria).

— St. Joseph's General Hospital

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