Central Health CEO still in office 2 years after stepping down

Central Health CEO Andrée Robichaud announced two years ago that she was leaving her role for personal reasons and to be closer to her family. (Katie Breen/CBC)

The chief executive of Newfoundland and Labrador’s second health authority is still in the role two years after she resigned and moved permanently to New Brunswick.

On June 24, 2020, Andrée Robichaud announced that she was leaving the top job at Central Health for personal reasons and to be closer to her family.

At the time, Central Health said Robichaud would continue to work remotely as CEO “until the position is filled.”

But that recruitment campaign has since been scrapped, according to the chairman of the regional health authority’s board of directors.

In a written statement, Don Sturge said that “Given the recommendations of Health Accord NL, the move to a provincial health authority and the presence of a CEO to lead this transition, we do not believe this is the right time. to recruit a new CEO for Central Health.”

Andrée Robichaud announced her resignation as CEO of Central Health two years ago on June 24, 2020. (Carolyn Stokes/CBC)

“Since Ms. Robichaud returned to New Brunswick, the Board of Directors has seen no difference in her performance or commitment. She continues to show strong leadership during these challenging times,” Sturge added.

Robichaud, who received a salary of $218,000 in 2020, and Sturge were unavailable for interviews, according to a Central Health spokesperson.

Merger timeline unclear

Progressive Conservative health critic Paul Dinn said not bringing in a new CEO only makes sense if the provincial government moves quickly to merge the four regional health authorities in the city. province into one, as promised in the last budget and recommended in the final report of the Health Accord NL panel.

“There are timelines set, timelines suggested in the health accord, but if they [the provincial government] sticking to those is still to be determined,” Dinn said.

“When you deal with the issues that we face here in health care and the particular geography of Central Health, you know, where you have communities like Harbor Breton, Fogo, Bishop’s Falls, who are having issues with their care healthcare, I think it’s extremely valuable to have a person on the ground who sees this firsthand, who is able to go and talk to staff firsthand and find out what’s really going on here,” said he added.

Timelines recommended by Health Accord NL say that over the coming year, the governing Liberals are expected to appoint a transitional CEO and board of directors for the new provincial health authority.

Former Eastern Health director David Diamond was named CEO of the new provincial health authority on April 25.

According to Health Accord NL’s timeline, a permanent provincial health authority should be appointed within two to three years.

The provincial government has not committed to that deadline and a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Community Services has not said when it hopes to merge the four regional health authorities.

A spokesman for Health Minister John Haggie directed questions to Central Health.

Health Accord NL’s final report notes that merging the health authorities will require numerous legislative changes.

The House of Assembly does not return until October.

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