When Mrs. Andrée Robichaud began her role as CEO of Central Health in November 2018, she was given a mandate by the Board of Trustees to deliver on several transformational objectives including, but not limited to, the establishment of new medical bylaws, implementing the recommendations of the Central Health External Review completed by Dr. Peter Vaughan, and the development of the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan. This work was on schedule until Central Health, along with the rest of the world, faced the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic and response have brought unforeseen challenges to all areas of society, particularly the healthcare system.
In June, Mrs. Robichaud gave notice to the Board that she was going to resign and move back to New Brunswick for personal and family reasons, but the effective date of that resignation was dependent on a number of factors, including completion of the Vaughan Report recommendations and having someone in place who has the experience to carry on that work.
With COVID-19 impacting all areas of our operation, we are in a situation where recruitment is particularly challenging. We could be considering candidates, but we currently cannot invite them to visit our area to show them around our towns and facilities where they would be working. If we are going to be limited in our recruitment efforts because of COVID-19, why would we proceed? Especially when we have a seasoned, experienced leader at the helm who is already supporting the organization effectively.
As a Board of Trustees, we want to effectively attract top candidates and share the wonderful attributes that come with living and working in Central Newfoundland. The people of Central Newfoundland deserve no less.
As CEO, Mrs. Robichaud continues to have the full support and confidence of the Board of Trustees, Senior Management Team and the Physician Leadership at Central Health.
Together, we all agree that this is not the right time to recruit a new CEO. Our senior management and physician leadership support us in the belief that changing course and changing leadership in the middle of a pandemic does not make sense and would only increase our risk as an organization.
Since Mrs. Robichaud moved back to New Brunswick, we have seen no difference in her performance or engagement. In the middle of a pandemic, we fail to see any issue with whether Mrs. Robichaud is sitting in her home at Peddle Drive in Grand Falls-Windsor or in her home in Moncton. She continues to provide strong leadership and a steady hand during these challenging times. Her strength in bringing people together and leading the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic response has been exceptional, and for that as a Board we are thankful.
As we deal with a second wave, we continue to work very hard and follow public health guidance to keep our population safe and healthy. Looking ahead to the spring, if we can get past this, we will be well-positioned to start recruitment for a new CEO and bring them to Central Newfoundland to show them what a wonderful place it is to live and to work.
Gayle St. Croix
Director of Communications and Government Relations