The Honourable Penny Ballem

15th John K. Friesen Conference –
“Quality of Life at the End of Life: Decisions and Choices”

Penny Ballem picture


Penny Ballem, MD


Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health Services, British Columbia


On August 27, 2001, Dr. Penny Ballem was appointed Deputy Minister of Health Services. Over the last 22 years, Dr. Ballem has been a health administrator, an advisor to health policy-makers, both provincially and nationally, and a practicing academic physician. She was previously the Vice-President of the Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia, having responsibility for the largest maternity hospital in the country, and held a position of Clinical Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Previously, she held the position of Deputy Medical Director of the Canadian Red Cross, Blood Transfusion Service in British Columbia. Dr. Ballem currently holds an appointment on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
Dr. Ballem received her medical degree in 1978, and her specialist fellowship in 1983, both from UBC. She is sought after as a speaker on health systems, health policy, and women’s health. She is known in British Columbia for her work in developing innovative interdisciplinary health services, especially in the area of women’s health and has received awards for her work in education, research and advocacy in women’s health.