The creation of a Cochrane and Area Health Foundation is well underway and hopes to receive ministerial approval late in the spring.

Chair Brian Winter says their nine trustees are basically in place, and with the help of two facilitators, the group has been brainstorming to finalize their goals, mission statement, and bylaws. 

"We have another meeting coming up Monday to not formalize, but to say, OK, is this where we're heading in 2023-24? We know what our ultimate goal is, but how do we get there?" 

He says they will be releasing more information in February and introducing their trustees. They hope to submit their foundation application early in the spring to the Alberta Health minister and anticipate being able to take their next steps after the May provincial election.

"Once we get that done and approved by the Health minister, we can apply for a CRA number, our charitable number, and then we can start asking for funds and doing fundraising."

He says they believe the timing is right for the creation of the foundation.

"We think we're at an optimum opportunity right now. The premier is talking about health reform, talking about giving communities more autonomy, and this is a great way of doing it.

"We've got a great number of committed people that want to see our health foundation flourish and increase the medical care in our community. It's going well. The progress is pretty positive."

At an Oct. 18 inaugural meeting, 14 people signed up to help lay the groundwork for the foundation.