Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Biography

Dr. Verna Yiu, MD, FRCPC, CCPE | Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

Effective January 1, 2024, Dr. Verna Yiu became the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Alberta for a five-year term. Read the announcement »

One of Canada’s most respected healthcare leaders, Dr. Verna Yiu has spent more than two decades holding executive roles across academia and the provincial healthcare system, where she is known for her exceptional servant leadership philosophy. 

Dr. Yiu is a professor of pediatrics in the U of A’s division of pediatric nephrology. A well-respected and long-serving member of the U of A community, Dr. Yiu has held numerous leadership roles in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry including Interim Dean (2011), Vice Dean (2008-2011), and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs (2000-2008). She is a proud U of A alumna, having completed her undergraduate degree, medical school, and residency at the U of A. She completed her fellowship in pediatric nephrology at Harvard University. 

For the past ten years, Dr. Yiu has held executive leadership roles at Alberta Health Services—Canada’s largest province-wide healthcare system—serving first as executive vice-president and Chief Medical Officer (2012-2016), then as president and Chief Executive Officer of AHS (2016-2022). During her tenure, she helped to optimize the integration of care within the province, leading AHS to become one of the top 5 most integrated healthcare systems in the world. She also helped to reduce AHS’s growth expenditure by more than 50% while maintaining quality and safety of care, launch the provincewide clinical information system Connect Care, and steered Alberta’s health authority through the worst public health crisis in recent memory: the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dr. Yiu is also a well-established leader within the national community, having served on many boards and committees including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information, among others. She has received numerous awards for her service—most recently being named a Global Woman of Vision in 2019 and ranked second on the Medical Post’s 2021 Power list of physicians in Canada—as well as her teaching and clinical care.

Dr. Yiu continues to work on the front lines, providing care to young patients and their families at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.