Alberta Health Services

Alberta Health Services
Alberta Health Services
Type Health Care
Industry Health care
Founded May 2008
Founder(s) Government of Alberta
Headquarters Edmonton, Alberta
Area served Alberta
Key people Minister of Health
Health Board
President & CEO
Employees 90,000 (2010)

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is the province-wide organization responsible for providing hospital and other health care in the Canadian province of Alberta. Known as the "superboard",[1] it was created in May 2008, with the abolition of nine previous regional health authorities, the Alberta Mental Health Board, the Alberta Cancer Board and the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission.[2][3] It is the largest provider of health care in Canada, Alberta's largest employer (with about 90,000 staff) and the 5th largest employer in Canada. Health services in Alberta have been reorganized a number of times, with successively fewer separate public organizational entities.[4][5][6][7]

Alberta Health Services' strategic direction articulates three broad goals (access, quality and sustainability) which expand into eight 'areas of focus' (e.g. improving access, fit for the future, learning and improving) and 20 strategic priorities.

The formal structure of Alberta Health Services separates acute hospital facilities (with separate reporting lines for major tertiary, metropolitan and regional hospitals) from smaller hospitals and community services, the latter organized into five zones (North, Edmonton, Central, Calgary and South). The Calgary Zone, for example, includes some sites and services formerly administered by the Calgary Health Region while other services have been reorganized on a provincial scale.



Edmonton-based Dr. Stephen Duckett[8] was the inaugural President and Chief Executive Officer of Alberta Health Services, taking up the role on 23 March 2009. He was replaced on 23 November 2010 by Dr. Chris Eagle. The Alberta Health Services board includes several notables including Eldon Smith OC, MD, FRCPC.


Alberta Health Services employs 90,000 staff, including clinical, administrative and support personnel across the province. Staff belong to a variety of professional organizations and associations, including United Nurses of Alberta,[9] several locals of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees,[10] and the Health Sciences Association of Alberta.[11]


AHS maintains and runs a number of different types of facilities.[12] These include:

  • Cancer Care
    • For the prevention, detection, treatment, education and care of cancer patients, as well as to facilitate research of cancer.
  • Continuing and Long-Term Care
    • For the treatment of patients with complex health needs requiring 24-hour on-site services from registered nurses.
  • Emergency
    • For immediate care of patients with all types of conditions.
  • Hospitals
    • For medical, surgical, or psychiatric care of the sick and injured.
  • Labs
    • For the processing of medical samples and tests.
  • Mental Health & Addictions
    • For treatment and care of patients diagnosed with mental health or addiction issues.
  • Other
    • A wider array of miscellaneous health facilities include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, home care, hemodialysis and others, and also include Public Health Centres which provide services such as prenatal, postpartum, health promotion/disease and injury prevention, bereavement services, communicable disease and school health.
  • Urgent Care
    • To treat patients with unexpected but not life-threatening issues requiring same day treatment.
  • X-Ray & Imaging Clinics
    • For procedures such as MRIs, X-Rays and other types of scans.


The Alberta Health Services Corporate Office is located in Seventh Street Plaza. Edmonton Zone comprises territory formerly administered by the Capital Health Region and includes eight acute care sites (hospitals) in the metropolitan area, which include: University of Alberta Hospital (Edmonton), Royal Alexandra Hospital (Edmonton), Grey Nuns Hospital (Edmonton), Misericordia Community Hospital (Edmonton), Sturgeon Community Hospital (St. Albert), Leduc Community Hospital (Leduc), WestView Health Centre (Stony Plain), and Fort Saskatchewan Health Centre (Fort Saskatchewan).


The Calgary Zone administrative offices are located in the Southland Park business complex. Calgary Zone comprises territory formerly administered by the former Calgary Health Region and includes four major acute care sites (hospitals) including Foothills Medical Centre, Alberta Children's Hospital, Peter Lougheed Centre and Rockyview General Hospital.


A large network of hospitals are maintained in the outlying communities of Alberta. They include[13]

  • Athabasca Healthcare Centre (Athabasca)
  • Banff - Mineral Springs Hospital (Banff)
  • Barrhead Healthcare Centre (Barrhead)
  • Bassano Health Centre (Bassano)
  • Beaverlodge Municipal Hospital (Beaverlodge)
  • Bonnyville Healthcare Centre (Bonnyville)
  • Bow Island Health Centre (Bow Island)
  • Boyle Healthcare Centre (Boyle)
  • Brooks Health Centre (Brooks)
  • Canmore General Hospital (Canmore)
  • Cardston Health Centre (Cardston)
  • Castor - Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital (Castor)
  • Central Peace Health Complex (Spirit River)
  • Chinook Regional Hospital (Lethbridge)
  • Claresholm General Hospital (Claresholm)
  • Coaldale Health Centre (Coaldale)
  • Cold Lake Healthcare Centre (Cold Lake)
  • Consort Hospital and Care Centre (Consort)
  • Coronation Hospital and Care Centre (Coronation)
  • Crowsnest Pass Health Centre (Blairmore)
  • Daysland Health Centre (Daysland)
  • Devon General Hospital (Devon)
  • Didsbury District Health Services (Didsbury)
  • Drayton Valley Hospital and Care Centre (Drayton Valley)
  • Drumheller Health Centre (Drumheller)
  • Edson Healthcare Centre (Edson)
  • Elk Point Healthcare Centre (Elk Point)
  • Fairview Health Complex (Fairview)
  • Fort McMurray Northern Lights Regional Health Centre (Fort McMurray)
  • Fort Saskatchewan Health Centre (Fort Saskatchewan)
  • Fort Vermilion St. Theresa General Hospital (Fort Vermilion)
  • Fox Creek Health Care Centre (Fox Creek)
  • Grande Cache Community Health Complex (Grand Cache)
  • Grimshaw/Berwyn Community Health Complex (Grimshaw)
  • Hanna Health Centre (Hanna)
  • Hardisty Health Centre (Hardisty)
  • High Level Northwest Health Centre (High Level)
  • High Prairie Health Complex (High Prairie)
  • High River General Hospital (High River)
  • Hinton Healthcare Centre (Hinton)
  • Innisfail Health Centre (Innisfail)
  • Jasper - Seton Healthcare Centre
  • Killam Health Care Centre (Killam)
  • Lac La Biche - William J. Cadzow Healthcare Centre (Lac la Biche)
  • Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre (Lacombe)
  • Lamont Health Care Centre (Lamont)
  • Leduc Community Hospital (Leduc)
  • Manning Community Health Centre (Manning)
  • Mayerthorpe Healthcare Centre (Mayerthorpe)
  • Medicine Hat Regional Hospital (Medicine Hat)
  • Oilfields General Hospital (Black Diamond)
  • Olds Hospital and Care Centre (Olds)
  • Oyen - Big Country Hospital (Oyen)
  • Peace River Community Health Centre (Peace River)
  • Pincher Creek Health Centre (Pincher Creek)
  • Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre (Ponoka)
  • Provost Health Centre (Provost)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Hospital (Grande Prairie)
  • Raymond Health Centre (Raymond)
  • Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre (Red Deer)
  • Redwater Health Centre (Redwater)
  • Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre (Rimbey)
  • Rocky Mountain House Health Centre (Rocky Mountain House)
  • Sacred Heart Community Health Centre (McLennan)
  • Slave Lake Healthcare Centre (Slave Lake)
  • Smoky Lake - George McDougall Healthcare Centre (Smoky Lake)
  • St. Joseph's General Hospital (Vegreville)
  • St. Mary's Hospital (Camrose)
  • St. Paul - St. Therese Healthcare Centre (St. Paul)
  • Stettler Hospital and Care Centre (Stettler)
  • Stony Plain - WestView Health Centre (Stony Plain)
  • Strathmore District Health Services (Strathmore)
  • Sturgeon Community Hospital (St. Albert)
  • Sundre Hospital and Care Centre (Sundre)
  • Swan Hills Healthcare Centre (Swan Hills)
  • Taber Health Centre (Taber)
  • Three Hills Health Centre (Three Hills)
  • Tofield Health Centre (Tofield)
  • Two Hills Health Centre (Two Hills)
  • Valleyview Health Centre (Valleyview)
  • Vermilion Health Centre (Vermilion)
  • Viking Health Centre (Viking)
  • Vulcan Community Health Centre (Vulcan)
  • Wabasca/Desmarais Healthcare Centre (Wabasca)
  • Wainwright Health Centre (Wainwright)
  • Westlock Healthcare Centre (Westlock)
  • Wetaskiwin Hospital and Care Centre (Wetaskiwin)
  • Whitecourt Healthcare Centre (Whitecourt)


In addition to primary in patient care, AHS took over responsibility for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) from the municipalities on 1 April 2009, making ground ambulances a provincial responsibility rather than a civic one.[14]


Responsibility for ground ambulance was transitioned from municipalities and organizations to Alberta Health Services (AHS) in April 2009. Provincial air ambulance transitioned to AHS in April 2010.[15]

EMS Quick Facts

  • Alberta Health Services assumed responsibility for ground ambulance on April 1, 2009 and air ambulance on April 1, 2010.
  • The provincial model of Emergency medical services (EMS) in Alberta includes ground ambulance, air ambulance, inter-facility hospital transfers, and EMS dispatch.
  • EMS serves 3.5 million Albertans in a large and diversified province that is more than 660,000 square kilometres.
  • EMS dispatch handles about 400,000 ambulance events each year. Approximately 30 per cent of these are for inter-facility transfers (patient transfer from one health care facility to another), and 70 per cent are for 9-1-1 calls.
  • Emergency medical services are provided using a hybrid model – direct delivery and contracted services. In 2010, ground ambulance service was provided at 194 locations across the province – 115 direct delivery and 79 contracted providers.
  • STARS flew approximately 1,300 missions in 2010.
  • Approximately 5,500 patients were transferred by fixed wing aircraft through contracted air ambulance providers in Alberta.
  • There are approximately 4,000 EMS practitioners in the AHS system (direct delivery and contracted services) across Alberta including Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians and Emergency Medical Responders.
  • There are more than 550 ambulances currently in the system across Alberta.


  1. ^ Tories create health superboard.
  2. ^ Liepert, R. (2009). Provincial health structure: Alberta Health Innovation Report Fall pp 12-13 also at
  3. ^ Philippon, D (2009). Health care system reorganization: expectations, approaches and impact Health Innovation Report Fall pp 44-49
  4. ^ Philippon, D. J. and S. A. Wasylyshyn (1996). Health-care reform in Alberta. Canadian Public Administration 39(1): 70-84.
  5. ^ Reay, T. and C. R. Hinings (2005). The Recomposition of an Organizational Field: Health Care in Alberta. Organization Studies 26(3): 351-384.
  6. ^ Hinings, C. R., A. Casebeer, et al. (2003). Regionalizing Healthcare in Alberta: Legislated Change, Uncertainty and Loose Coupling British Journal of Management 14:S1(December): S15-S30.
  7. ^ Casebeer, A., T. Reay, et al. (2006). Experiences of Regionalization: Assessing Multiple Stakeholder Perspectives across Time. Healthcare Quarterly 9(2): 32-43.
  8. ^ Dr. Stephen Duckett's biography
  9. ^ UNA "about" page
  10. ^ AUPE "about" web page
  11. ^ HSAA "about" page
  12. ^ AHS facilities website
  13. ^ AHS hospital list
  14. ^ AHS backgrounder
  15. ^ EMS Transition

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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