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Rob Devitt, left, and Ken Deane (Aaron Hall)

The interim leadership of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance provided an update about their progress to date at a special meeting held with the media.

Rob Devitt, the provincially appointed supervisor for the CKHA, and Ken Deane, the interim CEO, led an open-dialogue discussion and fielded questions at the meeting, which comes approximately 60 days after both started working at the CKHA.

Visits to Wallaceburg

Devitt said they have both visited the Sydenham Campus in Wallaceburg a number of times in the past two months.

“We’ve met with a number of people there. Our call of action to our Quality Committee and our Medical Advisory Committee has been we need to make sure we continue to provide safe, good quality, cost effective care everywhere we deliver care. Until something says otherwise, that is what our focus is on… continuous improvement,” Devitt said.

“When we go through the planning process we’ll figure out. The Wallaceburg site offers some complexity in terms of what are the mix of programs, what are the services, is it that site, that’s a big question. But we can’t just jump to that. We’ve got to start with what is the right process to come up with a vision to answer those questions.”

Devitt said many people want to know what the end result will be.

“If you’re at a stop sign idling and you pop the car into sixth (gear) and you try to start, you know what happens,” he said.

“And yet for many people, the way they frame their thinking, is ‘what does it look like when you’re in sixth’, but you have to go first, second, third, fourth, fifth (gear) before you go to sixth.”

Working on new vision

Devitt said he has been working on creating a governance structure for the CKHA, but has been wrapping his head around the myriad of plans and reports created for both CKHA campuses.

“I’ve now gone back and reviewed the plans that were submitted in the spring time,” he said.

“I’ve reviewed the Imagine plans, which were developed back in 2012. I’ve reviewed engineering reports. So now I’ve got all that stuff in my head and I’m now trying to figure out what is the best path forward to come up with an exciting vision that is not only going to meet the need of the entire Chatham-Kent community, but one that is going to be inspiring and exciting and one that everyone wants to be a part of.”

Devitt said they are working with architects, and engineers to help them work towards their vision.

“We’re now looking at how to we get the right expertise to work with us to develop that,” he said.

“Not throw everything out because a lot of resource has been invested, time and money with all of the studies over the years, but how do we come up with something to go forward and something that is going to be affordable. If we develop plans that are not affordable for the local community and the Province of Ontario, then we might as well not have a plan, because if it’s not affordable than it’s not going to move ahead. We’re now starting discussions with architects, engineers to get proposals from them, not on the vision, but on what process would go through with us to develop that vision.”

Watch for more coverage

Both Deane and Devitt spoke extensively about their search for a full-time CEO, the transition with a new CEO, their work-to-date on a new governance structure, capital planning and the financial situation at the CKHA.

Watch for follow-up stories focused on these topics on the Sydenham Current..


– Photo credit: Aaron Hall

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