Alberta Health has hired its first Health Advocate.  Mary A. Marshall, a lawyer, will take on a six-month term to set up the office and determine how it will function.

The public advocate is supposed to help Alberta patients and families navigate the healthcare system.

Another advocate will start in April and will be focused on helping families and seniors who need help.

The two positions are part of the new Alberta Health Act which comes into effect in 2014.

Alberta already has a mental health patient advocate.

In all, there will be three advocates working out of one office and they will report to the provincial health minister.