Montreal is dramatically different from Kamloops. But the new chief executive officer of the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation believes the needs and issues in health care are quite similar across the country.
Heidi Coleman said Thursday from Montreal that she has been to B.C. before and felt it would be a wonderful place to live.
She, her husband and their seven-year-old son came out for a week and liked what they saw and felt.
“My husband and I were looking to live in a smaller community and have more community feeling,” she said.
Coleman has worked with the Old Brewery Mission in Montreal, a 12-year-old homeless shelter. Before that, she was vice-president of the Jewish General Hospital Foundation.
That hospital was about three times the size of RIH — it had 600 beds, compared with 224 at Royal Inland — but many of the problems are the same at both.
Coleman replaces Veronica Carroll, who has moved on to another hospital foundation in the Lower Mainland.
Coleman toured RIH while she was here, and was impressed with the foundation’s last fundraising project, the new intensive-care unit.
“The ICU is incredible. Veronica did a great job on fundraising for that,” she said.
“I want to build strong partnerships that can build on what is already a great hospital.”
While she was born and raised in Montreal, Coleman just found out on Wednesday that she has a second cousin in Kamloops, so she will have some family here.
She starts her new job Tuesday.
“We are very happy to have found someone with Heidi’s experience to help build the future of the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation,” said Jim Reynolds, foundation board chair.