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Jan Currie


Kroft says decision not to go though formal advertising process was good decision under the circumstances

by Rhonda Spivak, December 15, 2011

The Simkin centre announced the hiring of Jan Currie as an interim CEO on a half time basis on December 13, 2011 until March 30, 2012. The position for  an interim CEO was not advertised anywhere.

As Bill Brownstone, Acting Chair of the Board of Directors, wrote in a letter to residents and family:

 "Jan comes to us with an extensive nursing background and an exceptional track record in health care. Her career includes stints as Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, and as Executive Director of the Deer Lodge Centre.

'She is also an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Manitoba.

"She retired from the WRHA in 2009. In retirement, Jan has worked on a couple of assignments as a health care consultant and is also an active volunteer. Jan will be working with us on a half-time basis. We are grateful that she is willing and able to start working with us later this week.


"I’d like to thank Chairperson Linda Hughes and the Selection Committee for their hard

work. They were assisted and advised by consultant Elaine Todres from Toronto. Ms.
Todres is a former Deputy Minister in Ontario; a former member of the senior
management team of the Baycrest Centre; and President of the Baycrest Centre
Foundation. Ms. Todres’s participation in the selection process was invaluable and we are grateful for her expertise."

 Charlie Sitwell, who was one of the three candidates interviewed for the position of Acting CEO at the Simkin Centre was asked by the Winnipeg Jewish Review as to whether he was told in the interview process that they were looking for a half time position. He answered, "No. They said little." He went on to say that he was approached by the  Chair of the Search Committee to ask if he would consider being interviewed for an Acting CEO position while Sandra Delorme was on Sick leave. He understood he would be one of several people interviewed. He said there was no more information in terms of how long the term would be or other specifics.

After agreeing to being considered, Sitwell says  he received a "brief" list of responsibilities prior to the interview [this job description is set out at the end of this article]  He says he had requested additional information for the interview and was told he would not need any.

According to Sitwell, at the interview, it was again emphasized that this was a short term position while Sandra Delorme was on sick leave.

When asked if he was told whether the interim CEO would be able to apply to become a permanent CEO, Sitwell says this was not addressed.


Jan Currie  is clearly a well qualified candidate and could well be an excellent choice. The questions I sent below to the Simkin Centre  are questions which in my view ought to be raised here in regard to process. The Winnipeg Jewish Review  sent an email to  Bill Brownstone, acting Chair, and Heidi Graham of the WHRA with the following questions on December 13:

1. Where if at all, was this posiiton for Interim CEO advertised?

2. If it was not advertised, how is that in keeping with the recommendations of the Kafka report, which emphasize transparency, and putting in place proper processes (for governance, hiring, evaluation of  CEO)

3. Does the Board anticipate Sandra Delorme will be returning in March 2012 from medical leave? 

4. If not, with the  interim CEO Currie be able to apply to be hired as the CEO in the future?

Heidi Graham, Director Media Relations WHRA esponded the same day:

"The decision about who to hire as interim CEO was made by the Board of Directors of The Simkin Centre and so all inquiries should be directed to them."

In answer to queries by the Winnipeg Jewish Review as to why the job of acting CEO was not advertised, Jonathan Kroft, spokesperson for the Simkin Board, said that the selection of an acting CEO is an interim measure to deal with an immediate need and the process had to be carried out on a timely basis. Potential candidates had to be available to take the position in Winnipeg immediately. Kroft said that the decision not to go through a formal advertising process was "a judgement call" that he felt was "reasonable" and "good" since it would have created delay and the Centre had the opportunity to "put an excellent person in place immediately". He said the committee and the Board considered many factors and decided that this was the appropriate route to take.

When asked about whether Delorme has given an anticipated return date, he said he is not aware of a specific return date. Graham has written to the Winnipeg Jewish Revew that "It is our understanding that the  CEO [Delorme] is on "an indefinate leave."

Kroft said that Jan Currie has advised that she is not looking for a permanent position and so he did not expect she would apply to become the permanent CEO in the event Sandra Delorme does not return from medical leave. He said the date of March 31, 2012 was chosen as the term of Currie's contract based on her being able to commit to that time frame

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.