Baffin health board CEO takes leave from job


Nunatsiaq News

The Baffin health board’s chair was expected to make an announcement this week in response to rumors that his chief executive officer has been fired.

Dennis Patterson said that he’s reviewed Pat Kermeen’s performance, but in an interview Wednesday, wouldn’t say what the result of that is.

“Since being appointed I have been intensively reviewing all aspects of the board’s operations, including the CEO, who reports to the board chair,” Patterson said from his Yellowknife office. “My review of the operations of the board revealed some problems.”

Kermeen was named acting chief executive officer of the board in July, 1996, replacing Trevor Pollitt. The board confirmed her appointment to the position on September 30. She is currently on leave from the board and her position is being filled by Gene Tomasky, the board’s new director of finance and administration.

“I have been approached by a number of people, including staff members, to clarify the CEO situation,” Patterson said.

Kermeen’s competence to do her job was called into question in early October. That’s when both the Iqaluit and Baffin Regional Chambers of Commerce issued a joint press release calling on the board’s then-chair Ann Hansonand Health Minister Kelvin Ng to remove Kermeen. Neither Hanson, who stepped down last month, and Ng refused.

Patterson met with chamber members in Iqaluit to discuss their concerns on October 30, shortly after being appointed.

“That’s one of the factors that had to be borne in mind in my review for sure. This was a public matter and it was discussed when I met with the executive of the regional and Iqaluit chambers.”

As part of his review, Patterson said he looked at briefings from the CEO to himself and to the board, as well as examining documents dealing with the move of specialist services from Montreal to Ottawa. He said one of the key documents was the report from the deputy minister of health reviewing recent board decisions both in the Baffin and Keewatin regions.

“I have said up till now that it’s a private personnel matter,” Patterson said. “When my review is complete there’ll be an announcement”

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