The top of the biggest hospital in southwestern Ontario has travelled outdoors of Canada 5 instances for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic started, together with most not too long ago over Christmas whereas employees had been working to comprise outbreaks at two London hospitals and case counts had been climbing throughout the area.
London Well being Sciences Centre’s President and CEO Dr. Paul Woods travelled to Michigan December 19 to go to household and returned Dec. 25, the hospital stated in a press release.
In November, Woods scolded hospital staff for “unacceptable” behaviour reminiscent of not sustaining bodily distancing, and stated those that work at LHSC should maintain themselves to a better customary.
The Christmas journey was the fifth Woods has taken for the reason that pandemic began.
“Hindsight will all the time be 20/20 and I can not flip again the clock. What I can do is take accountability for my resolution to go to with speedy household out-of-country and totally apologize. Please settle for my deepest remorse for my actions,” Woods stated in a press release launched Friday afternoon.
Every of his journeys was authorised by the hospital’s board.
“The Board of Administrators is conscious Dr. Woods continued to journey for private causes given the separation from his speedy household and the Board helps his continued management of LHSC,” stated Amy Walby, chair of LHSC’s Board of Administrators.
CBC London had contacted board members and LHSC Thursday when sources first revealed that journeys had occurred. On the time, sources say there was no plan to make the worldwide journey, which has been discouraged by federal and provincial politicians for months, public.
The assertion additionally included a message from Woods who says he’ll now not be travelling till federal guidelines proscribing non-essential journey are lifted.
I perceive that my journey to see household might undoubtedly trigger frustration given my repeated asks for adherence to public well being measures.– Dr. Paul Woods in a press release to LHSC employees
Woods is a Canadian citizen with a inexperienced card to work within the U.S. The hospital says his household is within the U.S. and he lives alone right here in Canada, calling that “extenuating circumstances.”
In November, one month earlier than travelling for the vacations, Woods wrote an all-staff memo important of staff who break public well being pointers.
Woods instructed employees “we should set ourselves to a better customary with regards to dwelling and modelling public well being pointers each inside and outdoors our office,” he wrote on Nov. 19.
“Willfully selecting to not adhere to our important security practices whereas at work could lead to disciplinary motion, as much as and together with termination.”
On the time, the outbreak at College Hospital was beginning to unfold having reached two items. By the point it was resolved, about one month later as Woods travelled to the U.S., it had reached 11 wards and killed 26 individuals.
LHSC has stated it is not going to remark additional on the matter.
Woods is just not the primary hospital CEO to have travelled outdoors of the nation in current weeks. Dr. Thomas Stewart from St. Joseph’s Well being System in Hamilton vacationed within the Dominican Republic over the vacations.
The hospital community’s board of administrators confirmed Thursday that it had parted methods with Dr. Stewart however not till after employees and the group had expressed outrage.
Dr. Woods was beforehand primarily based in Livonia, Michigan earlier than signing a 5-year contract with LHSC that started in 2018. His base wage is $495,000. The 2019 Sunshine lists states his earnings are $605,000, together with wage and advantages.
LHSC stated within the assertion that Woods adopted public well being pointers when he returned from his journeys, driving throughout the border, and quarantining upon his return.
Assertion to employees
Ten minutes earlier than the assertion was despatched to media, Woods despatched a memo to employees. It reads, partly:
“Later at the moment, you may even see reviews within the media relating to my private journey to america 5 instances all through the pandemic. As a lot of you could know, I stay alone in Ontario; my speedy household resides in america the place I’ve inexperienced card standing and labored beforehand earlier than assuming my place at London Well being Sciences Centre.
I need to acknowledge the discrepancy this journey implies between the actions I’ve requested you to comply with and people I selected to take. I’ve usually implored you to set the usual for our group, and whereas with out exception I adopted federal quarantine necessities upon my return to Ontario, I perceive that my journey to see household might undoubtedly trigger frustration given my repeated asks in your adherence to public well being measures.
“Hindsight will all the time be 20/20 and I can not flip again the clock. What I can do is take accountability for my resolution to go to with speedy household out of nation and totally apologize. Please don’t let my actions deter you from persevering with to set the instance in our group; LHSC is much better than one particular person and now, greater than ever, our group will look to you.
“I’ll now not be touring till federal restrictions limiting non-essential journey are lifted. Please settle for my deepest remorse for the influence my actions could have on you and your colleagues.”
Author: ” — www.cbc.ca ”