Michael Marchbank is the new president and CEO of the Fraser Health Authority.

Fraser Health gets new president

Longtime provincial health administrator takes top job at health authority

A longtime B.C. health administrator is taking charge of the Fraser Health Authority and its $3.1-billion budget.

Michael Marchbank will be the health region’s new president and CEO effective Jan. 2.

He replaces former president Dr. Nigel Murray, who resigned in June to return to New Zealand as the province was set to unveil reforms at Fraser. Dr. David Ostrow had been acting as interim CEO since then.

Marchbank – who will be paid $345,000 a year at Fraser, significantly less than Murray’s total remuneration of $444,000 – is currently president and CEO of the Health Employers’ Association of B.C., which coordinates labour negotiations for the health regions.

He has also served as the government’s point man on other issues, most notably over the past year when he was picked to replace school trustees overseeing the B.C. Public School Employers Association in contract bargaining with the B.C. Teachers Federation. At that time, the education minister said the appointment was to let the BCTF bargain directly with the government.

Marchbank’s previous positions include chief operating officer of the Provincial Health Services Authority and president and CEO of the Fraser Valley Health Region in the 1990s before the current health authorities were created.

He arrives as Fraser tries to implement recommendations of a government-ordered strategic review, which targeted new ways to cut unnecessary use of hospital emergency rooms in favour of improved primary and community care.

A key challenge will be keeping the health region’s spending within government-approved increases in the face of a growing and aging population.

Fraser Health’s board confirmed the appointment Tuesday.

“We believe Michael Marchbank has a very good balance between a passion to deliver good patient care and a passion to administer an organization and keep it aligned with the budget that the minister have given us,” board chair Karen Matty said.

She rejected suggestions he is Victoria’s choice, adding the board chose Marchbank over other contenders due to his extensive experience and local roots.

“He is absolutely the board’s man,” Matty said. “He’s got a good knowledge of health care in B.C. He also lives within the Fraser region and at one point worked in Fraser Health.”

Matty was appointed board chair last month, replacing Wynne Powell, who had served as interim chair since the province decided in April to remove chair David Mitchell.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

A pair of crashes on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack have snarled traffic in both directions.
Pair of crashes snarl traffic between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Traffic delays eastbound, large westbound backup

Final numbers won't be known for weeks, but turnout was down across the board in the Fraser Valley and B.C.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
Election turnout down across Fraser Valley and B.C.

Even after thousands of mail-in ballots counted, turnout is likely to fall below 50% in many ridings

NEWS FILE PHOTO
Voters in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission and Langley may head back to polls in 2021

Election of local politicians in BC vote would trigger by-elections in several Fraser Valley cities

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil forfeiture office alleges $2M Surrey home was used to launder cannabis money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

Most Read