MHC president departs health centre, vice-presidents to share interim duties

MANITOULIN – Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) president and CEO Lynn Foster has left her role at the helm of the hospital, with vice-president of clinical services and chief nursing officer Paula Fields and vice-president of corporate support services and chief financial officer Tim Vine to share the added responsibilities until the process begins to find a successor, estimated for this fall.

“We greatly appreciate Lynn’s contributions to our organization and to the health of patients from across Manitoulin Island over the years,” said Terry Olmstead, chair of MHC’s board of directors, in a press release.

He declined to offer any specifics on the departure because it was a human resources matter, saying the hospital was sorry to see her go and that he felt the health centre has good people in charge for the interim.

“Tim and Paula, as you know, have run the place before and we said we’d give them the chance to keep running things effectively. They’re pretty committed to the patients and I have little or no fear,” said Mr. Olmstead.

The hospital and its board are now outlining new objectives to see the team through the end of the pandemic, at which point MHC will begin the search process for a successor.

The board’s governance and nominating committees will take on the task of looking both internally and externally for a suitable candidate, a process that could take a few months.

Ms. Fields and Mr. Vine shared a joint comment with The Expositor on their new interim roles.

“We are pleased to continue to work together in serving our community in our new roles as co-CEOs. During the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, we had the opportunity to work closely together in preparing both hospital sites, the COVID-19 testing centres, as well as the field hospital; we will continue to do everything in our capacity to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on the Manitoulin region,” they stated.

Ms. Foster was not ready to comment on the change when The Expositor contacted her last week.

She joined the hospital close to two decades ago and worked in different roles before assuming the top spot on October 1, 2018. Her background is with the Canadian military, accounting giant KPMG and Nature Conservancy of Canada, and she holds a chartered professional accountant certification.