Mr. Speaker, Regional Wellness Council members are a critical part of our health and social services system. They are change leaders in their communities and a voice for residents in their regions. They champion the ideas and concerns of residents and are passionate about using that information to shape and improve our health and social services.
Mr. Speaker, as Members know, we have six Regional Wellness Councils across the territory representing the regions of Beaufort-Delta, Dehcho, Fort Smith, Hay River, Sahtu and Yellowknife. Each Council has six members and a chairperson.
Council members advise me, as Minister, on their council activities. They also provide advice to the Northwest Territories Leadership Council on the priorities for the health and social services system, and play an active role in the promotion of health and wellness. Council members also seek out opinions and information from the public on local health and social services.
Regional Wellness Council members help to ensure our health and social services system is responsive to the needs of northerners and their communities. They also provide input to guide the development of the territorial health and social services strategic plan to meet our goals for health and social services. They discuss and make recommendations on how to improve the delivery of services and better meet the needs of residents in their communities, based on local input and feedback. They also play an important role in guiding primary health care reform, community wellness activities, quality improvement and other community-based initiatives. Council members have an opportunity to raise important community issues with the Health and Social Services Authorities through the Leadership Council and to communicate back to residents on those issues.
Appointments to Regional Wellness Councils are for terms of up to three years and every year about one third of the appointments expire. Many Council members apply to be reappointed, but we always have a few vacancies.
This year, I am issuing several a calls for nominations to fill vacant and expiring positions. I would like to encourage residents to consider applying to serve on our Regional Wellness Council when nominations open. I would also like to invite my colleagues and fellow Members of this Legislative Assembly to nominate residents for any vacancies in their regions.
For those who are interested, the criteria and a handbook of responsibilities are listed on the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority website. Information on vacant council positions will be advertised and also posted on the Health and Social Services website.
Mr. Speaker, I welcome residents that are interested in these positions and in serving their communities, regions and our territory, to look at the information on our website and apply to become a Regional Wellness Council member.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.