Former CEO of hospital who went on vacation to Dominican Republic to receive over $ 1 million

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The former head of a Hamilton hospital network who vacationed in the Dominican Republic over the holidays amid warnings not to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic has been fired without cause and entitled to 24 months pay, which represents more than a million dollars.
The board of directors of St. Joseph’s Health System confirmed new details of Dr. Tom Stewart’s departure on Monday evening.

“All of the terms of Dr. Stewart’s contract will be met by both parties,” the statement read.

Stewart will now have to look for a permanent job that can pay off what he’s earned as president and CEO, and only if he finds such a job can St. Joe’s stop the payment, according to his. contract dated August 1, 2018. For a period of time, he would also continue to receive certain employment benefits.

He received a salary of $ 604,083.24 and $ 25,631.76 in taxable benefits in 2019, according to public records.

He follows the news last Thursday that he was CEO of St. Joe’s and that Melissa Farrell, president of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, knew Stewart was going overseas in December but couldn’t stop him.

The St. Joe’s board of directors also confirmed that it had approved his vacation, but did not indicate if board members knew Stewart would be traveling to the Dominican Republic.

“If they knew, it was an ethical violation,” said Dr. Kerry Bowman, who teaches bioethics and global health at the University of Toronto.

“If they didn’t see it as an ethical issue, it shows that the system is flawed.

Stewart’s vacation began on December 18, and occurred as the facilities of his hospital networks battled COVID-19 outbreaks. It also started a day after its hospital networks called on Premier Doug Ford’s government to be more decisive in the lockdown measures.

He was removed from his role as CEO of Niagara Health last Wednesday. On Tuesday, hours after the public learned of his vacation, Stewart resigned from a number of health advisory committees, including a COVID-19 committee that advises Ford.

He also faced controversy during his tenure as Chief of Staff at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

Stewart resigned this post in 2012 after a Toronto Star Inquiry revealed that the hospital paid ORNGE CEO Chris Mazza $ 256,000 for consulting work without proof the work was done.

Winnie Doyle as new CEO

St. Joe’s has announced that Winnie Doyle will be its new Interim President and CEO effective January 18th. She was previously Executive Vice President of Clinical Programs and previously served as Interim President.

“From now on, under Ms. Doyle’s leadership, we will continue to provide the excellent and compassionate health care that people in our communities have come to rely on,” the board said.

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