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Rick Charlebois join Erie St. Clair LHIN Board

By Melissa Schilz, Postmedia Network

Rick Charlebois has joined the Board of Directors for the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network. (Provided photo)

Rick Charlebois has joined the Board of Directors for the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network. (Provided photo)

Petrolia’s own Rick Charlebois has been appointed to the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Board of Directors. The Director of Corporate Services/Treasurer for the Town of Petrolia spent four years on the Bluewater Health Board, which he said gave him deeper insight into the world of healthcare.


“They thought it’d be a nice natural progression to go to the LHIN and see what I can do to help,” Charlebois said.


With a background in finance that spans across the country, as well as working for the Canadian Armed Forces, he will work to bring a new point of view to the diverse board. Charlebois said prior to his appointment to the board, they didn’t have a member with a finance and accounting background.


“They also wanted representation from the Sarnia-Lambton area,” he said. “It’s a really well-run organization.”


This is just one of 14 LHINs across Ontario that work to plan, integrate and fund local healthcare and services, including long-term care, mental health and addiction services. The Erie St. Clair LHIN is responsible for managing just over $1 billion of health care services across the Chatham-Kent, Sarnia/Lambton and Windsor/Essex area.


Charlebois said this new role means he will be working hard in staying current on issues within the region.


“When something comes up that is in our area and I know something about it, as a Board Member I’d add my two cents into the discussion,” he said. “One of the main things is to bring the decision making for local healthcare to these 14 areas.”


He said the board is currently working on ways to better integrate healthcare - one of the key things to improve on is to make transitioning for patients better and easier. The board aims to optimize local health care for residents.


Charlebois said he looks forward to what will come with his new position. He noted that a lot of change is afoot, and with a board that includes members who have unique specialties and backgrounds, including First Nations members, there are an array of voices to offer opinions on health. They have also increased membership on the board from 9 people to 12.


“It’s a strong board,” he said. “It has diversity…a lot of change is happening.”