Remembering Interior Health Chair Dr. Doug Cochrane

February 20, 2024

The news of Dr. Doug Cochrane’s recent passing has impacted communities and individuals across B.C. and beyond. Those who had the honour to work alongside him over his long and highly respected career are mourning the loss of an esteemed colleague, who will be well-remembered for his gentle approach to leadership and his ability to humanize the most complex of issues. Even those who only knew him briefly will surely remember Doug for his humility, integrity, and kindness. 

Doug had stepped down as Interior Health Board Chair for health reasons on Feb. 4, 2024.

He joined IH in 2017, and every day since had demonstrated a deep commitment to continuous improvement of patient care, quality and safety knowing it would lead to improved health outcomes. 

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

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.

Doug’s contributions to B.C.’s health-care system overall are unparalleled, having chaired the BC Patient Safety Task Force from its inception in 2003 to the creation of the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council (now known as Health Quality BC) and as the provincial patient safety and quality officer from 2008 to 2019. Doug was also past chair of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.

Doug was a highly esteemed mentor and educator, with more than three decades of clinical expertise as a pediatric neurosurgeon. He was appointed Professor Emeritus by the UBC department of surgery in 2016 and served as faculty for the Health Quality BC Quality Academy and Clinician Quality Academy programs, as well as the Sauder Physician Leadership program at UBC.

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