New regional health authority boards named

FREDERICTON (GNB) – The boards of the province’s two regional health authorities were announced today by Health Minister Bruce Fitch.

Tom Soucy has been named chair of the Vitalité Health Network. Carol Reimer has been named chair of the Horizon Health Network.

Soucy is president and CEO of Groupe Westco.

Reimer is a registered nurse and independent health-care consultant.

“Since summer 2022 we have made important progress implementing the Provincial Health Plan as we work to ensure our health system can deliver the best care to New Brunswickers,” said Fitch. “With these new boards, we will continue the work the Department of Health, the Vitalité and Horizon health authorities and other partners have been making to ensure improvements.”

Suzanne Johnston and Gérald Richard, who have served as the trustees of the Horizon and Vitalité health authorities, respectively, since July 2022, and as co-chairs of the provincial health plan implementation committee since November 2021, conclude their terms today.

“Suzanne and Gérald have done great work in stabilizing and improving our health-care system for the future,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “Over the past 12 months they have provided important support and direction to the leadership of our health authorities as they make improvements and I know that will continue under the new boards.”

Higgs said Johnston and Richard have been focused on making transformational changes within the health-care system. That includes:

  • Over the past year, the health authorities have hired more than 700 permanent registered nurses, licenced practical nurses, and personal support workers, resulting in a net gain of 394 new employees.
  • A focused effort on improving access to hip and knee surgery has cut the number of people waiting more than a year from 700 in 2022 to about 400 in May 2023. At the current rate, by the end of June next year, no patient will wait longer than 12 months for hip or knee replacement surgery.
  • Improving access to cataract surgeries through a pilot project in Bathurst that recently expanded to Miramichi. In the Bathurst region, the list of people waiting longer than a year has dropped from about 300 in September to less than a dozen.

Along with the new boards, the Health System Collaboration Council is being established. The council will be chaired by the minister and include two representatives each from the two health authorities.

The council is designed to encourage greater collaboration and to provide a provincewide perspective when evaluating the needs within the health-care system, facilitating co-operation between both regional health authorities and studying investment, development, recruitment, and clinical opportunities.

The new board members begin their terms effective July 1. Each board is comprised of seven voting members.

The board members of the two health authorities are as follows:

Vitalité Health Network:

  • Tom Soucy, chair, Zone 4
  • Julie Cyr, Zone 5
  • Réjean Després, Zone 1
  • Yves Francoeur, Zone 6
  • Jean-Claude Pelletier, Zone 4
  • Claire Savoie, Zone 6
  • Johanne Thériault Paulin, Zone 6

Horizon Health Network:

  • Carol Reimer, chair, Zone 3
  • Dr. Stephen Bolton, Zone 3
  • Denis Goguen, Zone 1
  • Donna Redmond Gates, Zone 2
  • Susan Harley, Zone 2
  • Jane Nastasiuk, Zone 7
  • Mike Walton, Zone 2


Media Contact(s)

Sean Hatchard, communications, Department of Health,