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Chair of Interior Health’s board of directors passes away

Interior Health (IH) is mourning the loss of Dr. Doug Cochrane.

Cochrane, who was the chair of the IH board of directors, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, surrounded by family.

He was 73 years old.

<who>Photo Credit: Interior Health</who>Dr. Doug Cochrane

IH president and CEO, Susan Brown issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying she’s “deeply saddened” over Cochrane’s passing.

“Doug leaves a lasting legacy as he guided our reconciliation efforts from a personal commitment to listening and learning from Indigenous peoples in the Interior, their histories and how the current systems in place have impacted them directly,” she explained.

“Indigenous health and wellness were of particular importance to Doug as he served as co-chair of both the First Nations and Métis partnership leadership tables.”

Brown said Cochrane demonstrated a deep commitment to continuous improvement of patient care, quality and safety since joining IH in 2017.

“Doug’s contributions to British Columbia’s health-care system overall are unparalleled,” noted Brown.

That was a sentiment that BC's Minister of Health agreed with too, as Adrian Dix released a statement about Cochrane's passing not long after Brown's.

"At a personal level, Doug was a mentor to thousands of people who work in our public health system, including me," Dix said.

"He was a brilliant doctor and scientist who made everyone around him better, as colleagues and people. I am grateful to have known him."

Cochrane was born in Cambridge, Ont., in 1950, and graduated from the University of Toronto Medical School in 1975.

His medical career took him all over Canada and beyond, but it wasn’t until retirement in 2017 that he turned his energy to his latest role with IH.

Brown called Cochrane an esteemed mentor and educator who spent more than three decades as a pediatric surgeon.

“I will miss Doug as a colleague, mentor, and friend and remember him for his kind and gentle approach to leadership, always willing to take on the toughest of challenges in the most human of ways,” added Brown.

“On behalf of Interior Health, I extend our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Cochrane leaves behind his wife of 51 years, Barbara, daughters Dawn and Katherine and four grandchildren.

Dix said an interim chair appointment for IH will be determined at a later date.

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