Retirement won't last very long for Helga Bryant. The soon-to-be outgoing CEO of the Northern Health Region will become the new University College of the North (UCN) Dean of Health next year.
Bryant will assume the post next May. Bryant is currently slated to step down as NHR CEO March 30, 2023, at least a month before joining UCN. The NHR is searching for a new CEO.
“UCN is excited to bring Helga onto our team,” said UCN president and vice-chancellor Doug Lauvstad in a statement released August 18.
“Helga is well-known and respected in the region. UCN has a strong record of preparing healthcare professionals for northern communities and she will help ensure UCN’s health programming continues developing and support the needs of the north.”
Bryant holds a master's degree in administration from Central Michigan University. Her health care career includes 19 years of clinical practice at Brandon Regional Health Centre, with Bryant eventually becoming nurse manager and director of the centre. From there, Bryant became the first vice-president of acute care and diagnostics for the then-called Brandon Regional Health Authority in 1997. Bryant later became the vice-president and chief nursing officer for Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg from 2002-2009, then spent a year as the director for the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba.
Bryant became the CEO of the Nor-Man Regional Health Authority in 2010, becoming the CEO of the NHR when the Nor-Man Regional Health Authority and Burntwood Regional Health Authority in Thompson amalgamated.
In recent years in Flin Flon, Bryant presided over the construction and opening of a new emergency department at Flin Flon General Hospital, but also presided over services such as obstetrics, birth care, day surgery and others at the hospital being either reduced or removed outright.
UCN's Faculty of Health includes a four-year bachelor of nursing program offered in partnership with the University of Manitoba and a two-year Diploma in Practical Nursing program. The four-year program allows students to study in either The Pas or Thompson, while students can study for the two-year program in Flin Flon, Swan River or Thompson. The two-year program received provincial funding earlier this year to expand from 14 seats in Flin Flon to 28, along with expansions to 40 seats each in Swan River and Thompson.