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Northern Regional Health Authority CEO retiring next spring

Helga Bryant has been the health region’s top executive since it was created by merging two Northern Manitoba health authorities in 2012.
nrha ceo hlega bryant at thopson covid-19 vaccination site feb 2021
Northern Regional Health Authority CEO Helga Bryant talks to one of the region’s first recipients of a COVID-19 vaccine at the vaccination super site in Thompson in February 2021. Brant is going to retire next March 30, the NRHA announced June 23.

Helga Bryant plans to retire from her position as Northern Regional Health Authority CEO next March 30.

Her pending retirement was announced by the NRHA in a June 23 press release.

“I have been privileged with an amazing career that has literally taken me from the bedside to the boardroom,” said Bryant. “It’s been my honour to work with such outstanding and committed teams of health professionals throughout the NRHA.”

Bryant was named CEO of the NRHA in June 2012, shortly after the new health authority was created by amalgamating the Burntwood Regional Health Authority, which was responsible for health care services in Thompson and elsewhere in the north, and the NOR-MAN Regional Health Authority, which was based in and provided services in the western portion of Northern Manitoba, including Flin Flon and The Pas.

“As the Northern Health Region’s first CEO, Helga Bryant has earned a reputation as a caring, compassionate registered nurse who never failed to advocate for our northern patients,” NRHA board

chair Cal Huntley said. “Helga built and nurtured great relationships with people and communities in

the North. She remains committed to the goal of ending indigenous racism in health care that we will

continue to work toward.”

Prior to becoming the NRHA CEO, Bryant was CEO of the NOR-MAN health region for just over a year.

“On behalf of our government, I commend Helga Bryant on her dedication and tireless efforts to advance healthcare in Northern Manitoba,” said Health Minister Audrey Gordon. “Her leadership and commitment to Northern Regional Health Authority staff and communities of the north is admirable.”

Bryant  completed a bachelor of science in nursing at Brandon University in 1993. She went on to earn a master’s degree in health care administration through Central Michigan University in 1997. She was the acute care and diagnostic services vice-president for the Brandon Regional Health Authority from 1998 to 2002, when she became vice-president and chief nursing officer at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, a position she held until 2009, when she was appointed as the executive director of the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba.

"I want to salute the exceptional team of colleagues that I still have the privilege to work with daily on my executive leadership council," said Bryant, who does not plan to stop working after she leaves the NRHA but says she intends to spend more time at her home near Riding Mountain National Park.  “We still have much to accomplish in the spirit of reconciliation and I plan on dedicating all of my remaining months fulfilling our mission, in support of our vision of healthy people, healthy north.” 

The search for a new CEO will begin soon, once a board committee has been created to oversee it, Huntley said.