During a career that has spanned more than four decades, alumnus Ken Fyke has been committed to social justice, equity and health for all people, and provided innovative leadership to many of Canada’s health reforms.
Fyke graduated with his master of health services administration (MHSA) degree in 1971 from the University of Alberta. He became interested in the program because it offered a broad scope and was not limited to hospital administration.
“The MHSA program emphasized respect for honesty, integrity, compassion and human rights,” explains Fyke. “Those values not only aligned with my family background, but they were fundamental to my reputation as being a person who is always prepared to speak ‘truth to power’ to improve society.”
Throughout his career, Fyke had the opportunity to work in hospitals and government, serve on Royal Commission on Health and has had exposure to political processes at all levels. He served as deputy minister of health in two Canadian provinces and held several senior roles in health care administration.
Although Fyke has had significant impact in various areas of public health like implementing non-smoking programs, restructuring stroke care, and convincing hospitals that community based programs are just as important as acute programs — he is easily able to highlight two crowning achievements.
“My biggest achievement was my role in setting up the Canadian Blood Services after the Krever Commission,” says Fyke. “This ensured Canadians would have a safe blood system.”
His proudest moment? He was instrumental in convincing the Government of British Columbia to be the first province in Canada to enact mandatory bike helmet legislation.
“The future in health services, public health and all related services has changed and will continue to change dramatically,” says Fyke. “We should always strive for a better country.”
Ken Fyke is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Silver Medal for Excellence in the Public Service from the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia (2000), the Award for Distinguished Service from the Canadian Healthcare Association (2003), the Order of Canada (2004), the Alumni Honour Award from the University of Alberta (2007), the Centennial Alumni of Influence Award from the University of Saskatchewan (2014) and the Alumni Anniversary Award from the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta (2016). Fyke has continued to be involved with the School as an alumni guest lecturer (2016), panellist in the Fellowship in Health System Improvement program (2017) and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Centre for Health System Improvement (2017)
(Last updated September, 2017)