CEO Paul Collins signs 5-year deal with hospital

The St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital board of governors today (Oct. 12) signed CEO Paul Collins to a five-year contract. City Scope will offer comment Saturday. In the meantime here is the release in its entirety from the hospital. Note: the board of governors took great pains to advise Collins will remain at last year’s salary. What the board did not come clean on is the fact his salary will be reviewed next year …

St. Thomas, ON – The St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH) Board of Governors approved a new final agreement for current CEO Paul Collins, which runs through October 2016.

STEGH CEO and President Paul Collins

Collins’ salary remains the same as last year. The hospital is paying his salary but has not, and will not, contribute to a pension fund or any other investment fund subsequent to his employment status change in June 2010. This arrangement is saving money for the hospital. Terms state this is the final employment agreement that will be negotiated with Collins.

“Paul Collins has done an outstanding job and he is the right person to lead this organization at this time,” says Board Chair Bruce Babcock. “This Board considered the advice and opinions of many people and our decision is what we believe is the right thing for this community. It is without question in the best interest of the future of this hospital to retain Paul’s leadership.”

The Hospital medical professionals, including the President of the Professional Staff/Chief of Internal Medicine, the Vice-President of Professional Staff/Chief of Surgery, the Vice President of Medical Affairs/Chief of Staff, as well as the Chief Nursing Officer, strongly advised the Board to retain Paul Collins in the position of President and CEO. Additionally, there were many employee signatures demonstrating strong support for retaining Paul Collins.

“While we acknowledge the input from both the County and the City politicians, this employment agreement is a matter for the Board to decide,” says Babcock. “We understand that they are concerned about unemployment and working hard to attract replacement industry and new jobs. A first-rate hospital is a key incentive for economic development. It is the belief of the Board that we must not do anything to jeopardize this advantage.” The hospital is fully prepared to support new business relocation to this community in any way that it can.

“There has been a lot of debate in the community around the employment agreement between the Board and Paul Collins. Unfortunately the debate is fuelled by misunderstanding and misinformation,” explains Babcock. “Concern has been expressed in the community about the concept of double dipping. However, Paul has paid into his industry pension for 32 years and has every right to access that investment.” The pension does not come from STEGH.

Under the agreement, Collins will remain in his current role as CEO through October 2016, representing a critical time during which the Hospital will achieve significant milestones.

Collins will have many accountabilities and will have to assume many roles including all phases of the redevelopment project while maintaining and continuously improving all of the criteria that make STEGH an excellent hospital. Over the period of this final employment agreement, the CEO will work closely with the Board to ensure that appropriate and timely succession and transition plans are in place.

Babcock says the responsibility of the Board is very clear. “Our responsibility is to the patients and their family and friends; our community; and our employees. And that forms the basis for all our decisions. I can say we believe that this is the right move for our Hospital and our community.”

Under Paul Collins’ leadership our community hospital has achieved great success:
· Balanced budget achieved consistently for the past 5 years.
· Project approval for the significant redevelopment of the hospital including new Emergency Department, new Surgical Suites, and new in-patient and out-patient mental health programs and services.
Awarded 2010 Quality Healthcare Workplace – platinum level. One of four hospitals in Ontario and the only community hospital to receive this award.
Emergency Room wait times consistently better than provincial targets
Wait times for key surgical procedures such as hip replacement and cataracts consistently meet the provincial targets
Experienced tremendous physician recruitment success including full complement of Emergency physicians, Specialist physicians and Hospitalists; including the recent recruitment of two Obstetricians and an Orthopaedic Surgeon.

“Paul has brought so much success to this Hospital,” says Babcock. “We could not have achieved the redevelopment project approval without him.”

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