Southlake Regional Health Centre has launched a “search consultation” inviting anyone who is interested: 

“to confidentially provide input in the search process for the new President and CEO.”

The current Chief Executive, Arden Krystal, dropped a bombshell on 5 July 2023 by unexpectedly announcing her resignation in the middle of a major exercise to find a location for a second Southlake campus as close as possible to the Davis Drive site.

Big Job with Salary to Match

Being Chief Executive is a big job with a salary to match. Arden Krystal’s pay last year was $521,297 plus $10,649 in taxable benefits.

Her 2017 contract with the hospital is here. The responsibilities are huge.

I have nothing but praise for the medical staff who deserve ten out of ten. We are lucky to have them.

But it is impossible to write about Southlake without mentioning the many well publicised run-ins the nurses have had with the hospital management. 

And I was shocked to discover the hospital was cutting the number of nurses in the middle of the COVID pandemic.

Southlake’s consultation asks:

    1. From your perspective, what are the challenges, opportunities and key priority areas of focus associated with this President and CEO role and the future of Southlake Regional Health Centre.
    2. What leadership attributes and competences should the ideal candidate possess?
    3. What experience should the ideal candidate possess?
    4. If you were speaking to a good candidate for the role, what would you say about the organisation and the opportunity to generate their interest? 

This survey is confidential. However, Southlake is committed to keeping you updated. If you wish to receive updates from Southlake, including an overview of the results of this survey, please provide your information below...

I can't see a deadline for returning the survey form but I may have missed it. How much notice the Search Commitee will take of the responses is anyone's guess. 

For a non-medical person like me these are daunting questions. But, first up, I’d say the Search Committee (whoever they are) will be looking for someone with a medical background with a track record in hospital administration, delivering results. (Arden Krystal was a nurse in her earlier career.)

The successful candidate will also bring his or her own ethos to the job.

Southlake and Transparency 

The Southlake I’ve observed over the years has hoarded information, treating every scrap of paper as if it contained a patient’s medical history.

The hospital trumpets:

“Southlake Prides Itself on being transparent.” 

Pull the other one!

Shrouded in Secrecy

Meetings of the Board of Directors are shrouded in secrecy. There are no minutes available to the public – not even redacted ones. Only selective meeting summaries.

Even now, over nine months after a key meeting on 1 November 2022 when developer Michael Rice offered Greenbelt land for a new hospital for a nominal fee, Southlake insists it has no records of what happened then. Who is kidding whom?

The Board’s “meeting summaries” do not tell us about conflicts of interest that have been declared by Board members.

They do not tell us if the offer of land for a new hospital was reported to the Board at its meeting on 25 November 2022 or, indeed, at the next meeting on 26 January 2023 after the Ford Government had removed the Rice lands in King from the Greenbelt.

If everything is above board there is absolutely no reason why this information should be withheld.

The new Chief Executive has nothing to fear by opening up a closed institution and letting the daylight in.

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Update on 8 August 2023: From the Toronto Star: Doug Ford's Tories brace for auditor's report into controversial Greenbelt land swap