No word on replacing the boss at CKHA yet

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Lori Marshall

The clock is ticking on the retirement of Lori Marshall from the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA), but no definitive word from officials on when a replacement will be hired.

Marshall has spent seven years as president and CEO of the CKHA, having been selected by provincially appointed hospital supervisor Rob Devitt to lead the CKHA out of some dysfunctional times.

There is an invite-only going away celebration for Marshall later this month. But there is no word on who will be hired to succeed her.

Or when.

Deb Crawford, chair of the hospital board, said they continue to work with the executive search firm Mirams Becker Inc. out of Toronto.

“We’re very, very busy in the search right now,” Crawford said in a June 2 quarterly meeting with local media.

She said surveys were conducted, along with interviews, to “construct a profile” for the position.

“Staff and the public all contributed to this,” Crawford said. “The search company spoke to many, many people across our community and within our hospital. They surveyed our medical and other staff in the hospital to get their perspective on what we should be looking for in a leader.”

Fannie Vavoulis, a communications specialist at the hospital, said the survey went out through the CKHA’s social media channels.

“We had close to 200 responses. We got some really great feedback,” she said.

On May 2, nearly two months after Marshall announced her retirement plans, CHKA officials released a video on Instagram seeking applicants. As of June 4, it had 20 likes.

The application period closed May 24, according to the Mirams Becker website.

A request for comment from Hayley Becker, partner at Mirams Becker, was not answered as of press time.

As Marshall’s exit party takes place two weeks from now, Crawford said the alliance hopes to be “through our process” at that time.

“We’ll have a sense of what our next steps are going to be,” she said, remaining vague. “We’re in the process right now. As things become a bit more clear, we know that we have to make plans. It depends on the candidate. It depends on their abilities.”

Crawford said the ideal candidate would be “someone who is going to come here and really care about our community and be a respectful leader,” she said.

Until they sift through the applications, “we’re just not sure what we are going to need to do. We will have leadership at the hospital regardless of how the process goes,” she said.

Crawford declined to answer if they have a contingency plan to name an acting CEO if a permanent replacement for Marshall is not in place by the time she retires.

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