STEGH Board Responds to Recent Media Coverage

In recent media coverage, including CBC Radio, Aylmer Express, and Ian McCallum’s Cityscope blog, St. Thomas City Councilor Linda Stevenson has commented on the Hospital’s Board of Governor’s actions related to the recruitment of a new CEO for St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital and how the Board of Governors conducts its’ business. The following information is in response to these comments.

 In her comments, she says she “hasn’t been allowed to be part of the discussion” with the CEO Selection Committee. In fact, the Selection Committee is leading the recruitment process and reports regularly to the full Board of Governors at monthly meetings. At any time, voting members of the Board are able to provide input, ask questions, and be part of the conversation.

 Ms. Stevenson states that the current STEGH CEO salary is “probably in the middle of the pack.” In fact, the STEGH CEO salary is third lowest of any medium size community hospital in Ontario and is the lowest of any CEO in Ontario overseeing a hospital with more than 100 beds.

 The Selection Committee is well aware of the Executive Compensation freeze under the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act and this has been well communicated to the Board. The Selection Committee is at a critical point in the CEO recruitment process and has followed due process with guidance from both a highly reputable recruitment firm and legal counsel.

 Concerns were expressed about a lack of Board transparency. In fact, all Board meetings are open and information relative to the topics under discussion are made available. All Board meeting minutes are available on our website. Also posted are a number of different scorecards, including the Board Scorecard, Hospital bylaws and all Board policies.

 Ms. Stevenson states “it took (city council) almost a year to find me to do it. Nobody wanted to be on it”. In fact, we were advised by Ms. Stevenson that the reason for the delay in filling the City representative vacancy left when the previous incumbent retired, was that she needed to obtain counsel to ensure there wasn’t a conflict of interest due to her six years of service on the Southwest LHIN Board. This approval took months to secure.

 The process and application form to apply to be a Board Member and/or a Board Committee Member is on the website. We no longer do a “once a year” call for membership using print advertising as it proved not to be an effective method of recruitment. We use our Board of Governors section on the hospital website, the hospital’s social media platforms, and face-to-face meetings and subsequent invitations to apply as methods to attract potential Board and Committee Members on an ongoing basis.

Collectively, we stand behind our Board Chair, Melanie Taylor, and the work of the Selection Committee who, along with the entire Board of Governors, value integrity, honesty and transparency.
Signed by
Cathy Crane, Vice Chair, on behalf of STEGH Board of Governors

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