Pressing the reboot button



It’s early on in the process, but we get the feeling the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance is in pretty good hands with Rob Devitt and Ken Deane.

Devitt, the provincially appointed supervisor for the CKHA, and Deane, the interim CEO, are a little over two months into their time cleaning up the mess that is the alliance.

Speaking to the media at a press conference last week (see the story on the facing page), the two were quite candid in their progress and where they want to go.

One of the first things on the list is hiring a permanent replacement for Colin Patey, the ousted CEO and president of the alliance.

They’ve brought in a headhunting company to handle the task, and that firm, Devitt says, has chatted with CKHA staff to obtain feedback.

These guys are here temporarily; they know that. Rather than hit the ground running, we’d say they hit it walking, taking the time to examine file after file after file, and to talk to staff in Chatham and Wallaceburg.

When they do land a new CEO, Deane won’t be walking off into the sunset immediately either. The plan is to share his experience and wisdom with the new person.

Devitt is working to rebuild oversight of the alliance. He’s starting at the most basic levels, including examining how much material hospital board members are expected to try to digest prior to a meeting, and how much time they have to do so. If a board doesn’t have the time to comprehend reports and material, how can it make educated decisions in the best interest of the health care of the citizens of Chatham-Kent?

Considering the alliance sprung its huge leak at the governance level, it’s a wise spot for Devitt to focus his time.

He also realizes there is no magical fix for the divide between Wallaceburg and Chatham in terms of hospital priorities, and is smart enough to know that’s an issue to ponder in the short term and act upon at a later date.

Do Devitt and Deane have all the answers for the CKHA? No. But they seem to be looking into all the corners and dark places to uncover all the problems.

And that is a great start.


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