Doc demoted from chief of staff role


By Kristen Shane


The South Bruce Grey Health Centre board of directors has demoted Dr. Lisa Roth from her position as chief of staff of the Kincardine hospital site because of her role with the Friends of the Kincardine Hospital.


Roth said she was sent a registered letter dated Feb. 18 telling her that the board has indefinitely revoked her appointment as chief of staff, a position she has held for about four years, she says.


“They were concerned about an e-mail sent to SBGHC staff encouraging them to participate in the independent consultant’s survey that was commissioned by the Friends of the Kincardine Hospital,” she said in a letter to the editor sent to The Independent on Monday.


Roth hasn’t been shy about her membership in the Friends. SBGHC CEO and president Paul Davies said the e-mail to hospital staff was the first formal proof of her involvement.


“Her involvement with the Friends of the Kincardine Hospital represents a conflict of interest which is against the (hospital corporation) bylaws,” said Davies in late March.


“As chief of staff, you are working on behalf of the hospital in its entirety. So being involved as a principal representative of an organization that wants to de-amalgamate is a conflict of interest.”


Although the Friends have, in recent months, put de-amalgamation on the “back-burner” while focusing on improving board governance and management, Davies said he believes it’s still part of the group’s objectives.


The chiefs of staff of individual sites are the “eyes and ears” of the overall hospital chief of staff who is a member of the hospital board, said Davies. That position is held by Dr. Bill Denyer of Durham.


“So virtually, his responsibilities are passed to her,” said Davies.


Hospital board members must seek to ensure the viability of corporation, he said.


“If you belong to another group whose objectives are opposed to that, then there’s a conflict of interest,” he said.


In an interview, Roth questioned the idea that she had a conflict of interest.


“The whole point of the Friends of the Kincardine Hospital is to try and improve the hospital. (Friends members) are local concerned citizens. Why should there be a conflict of interest? Why should there be this adversarial system set in place?” she said. “All I’m trying to do is to make sure that the hospital is the best that it can be.”


The greater good of the hospital should be everyone’s main focus, she said.


She said she is disappointed with the board’s decision and wonders why it didn’t try to meet with her or the other Kincardine physicians to resolve their differences.


Now, Roth is staying as a regular doctor at the hospital, working emergency room shifts and seeing patients.


But without her as chief of staff, she said, there is no one to represent the Kincardine hospital on the board’s Medical Advisory Committee, by which chiefs of staff can bring local concerns to the board.

The vacuum left by her demotion also leaves open the question of whether Denyer will replace her with another Kincardine physician. It could be hard to find one that doesn’t pose the same perceived conflict of interest as Roth.


Dr. Gary Gurbin is also a member of the Friends.


“Dr. Gurbin and myself have the full support of all the physicians in town for everything that we are doing with the Friends of the Kincardine Hospital,” said Roth.

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