Kozakevich remains as chair of regional district

Kozakevich remains as chair of regional district

The chairs and vice chairs of the regional district and the hospital board were decided Thursday.

By acclamation it was decided Karla Kozakevich, director for Area E (Naramata), will serve as chair of the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen for a third year.

Kozakevich was named chair during the inaugural meeting of the RDOS on Thursday.

Kozakevich said she was pleased to continue her role as chair.

“I felt that for continuity it would be good, especially with so many new people. We’ve already been asked a lot of questions over the last two weeks from new directors looking for support, so they could be prepared for what they’ll be taking on over the next few months,” she said.

Related: Regional chair calls out Penticton mayor’s decision on appointments

About half the members are new to the RDOS table this year although several directors have served on the board before in previous terms or served on municipal councils in the past.

Keremeos mayor Manfred Bauer reclaimed his role as vice-chair of the board after being voted in by his colleagues over Penticton mayor John Vassilaki.

First up for RDOS will be budget sessions starting Nov. 22, strategic planning and more budget meetings.

More people stepped forward to lead the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District board.

Earning the chair position was Petra Veintimilla over Penticton councillor Frank Regehr.

In Veintimilla’s nomination speech she noted access to health care should be equal in rural communities and larger centres.

“I have spent the last few years learning about some of the issues effecting rural health care in our region and our province, and warranted or not, there is some real angst among many South Okanagan residents who fear their timely access to health care is in jeopardy as they see centralization of hospital services on the horizon,” she said.

Veintimilla, admittedly not knowing how formal the process would be, said she brought endorsement letters from several physicians she’s worked with including the chief of staff at the South Okanagan General Hospital, head of emergency services and secretary treasurer of the medical staff association and the past-president of Doctors of B.C.

Toni Boot earned vice-chair also over Regehr who let his name stand for both of the hospital board’s top positions.

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