In November 2018, the BC AHSN News had an opportunity to interview Charles Jago, BC AHSN Board Chair about his role and involvement in our organization.
Dr. Jago began in academia. He first obtained a PhD from Cambridge University, and was subsequently at McMaster University, Huron College at Western University as principal, and then served as president of the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) until 2006.
Following his retirement from the academic field, he began to work in the health care field, as Chair of Northern Health.
“It was in that context that I worked closely with the CEOs of the health authorities, the other board chairs, the senior [Ministry of Health] officials,” he noted. “I had really focused – since my retirement from UNBC – on board governance, so I became, within the ministry, the resource person to address issues of board governance, and I really enjoyed that. This eventually led to my being asked to take on the position of Chair of BC AHSN.”
Why did Dr. Jago agree to head our organization as Board Chair?
“It was an exciting opportunity to develop a new organization in the province that would address many of the issues relating to translating research into practice,” he said. “So, with my academic background, and my background at Northern Health, I could represent that link between the universities, health authorities and ministry, and find a way of working with others to create a very strong and dynamic organization.”
Under Dr. Jago’s guidance, the board has grown (currently at eight members, plus a science advisor), and this diverse yet unified governing body provides the entire BC AHSN organization – including the BC SUPPORT Unit, Clinical Trials BC and Research Ethics BC – with a wealth of knowledge and experience.
“We’ve put together a very strong board with wide-ranging expertise to enable us to fulfill our mandate,” he said. “So, the putting together of the board and bringing in key people were a significant part of the early achievement we did to develop the AHSN as a vibrant organization.”
One of the key individuals that Dr. Jago helped to join the organization was a visionary leader – Tom Noseworthy, CEO, who started in June.
“You know they say that the most important thing a board does is to hire a competent CEO,” he observed. “On the clinical expertise side, we were weak and we needed that CEO position filled. Tom has come in with tremendous energy, and now we’re starting to implement a short-term action plan and we’re working on a long-term strategic plan, but we’re already beginning to shape the approaches. We turned a significant corner.”
Dr. Jago continued that under the CEO’s leadership, these approaches will be adopted to translate research results into practice and evaluate these practices in accordance with sound scientific principles. He’s optimistic about both the short-term changes, and the longer-term future of the BC AHSN organization, which is uniquely positioned to creating lasting changes to both health research, and health care, in British Columbia.
“We now encompass clinical trials, patient-oriented research and ethics reviews; we’ve brought together a cluster of expertise that I think will be very powerful going forward, and there may be other parts added to that over time,” he concluded. “That cluster of expertise, in addressing issues relating to research and practice, is a very significant achievement and should be acknowledged.”
The BC AHSN News profiles a member of the organization’s community in each issue. Stay tuned for our December 2018 issue to see who will be featured next!
- Find out more about what BC AHSN does on our What We Do page.