Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam


by Rhonda Spivak, October 15, 2011


Tuesday October 11,CEO-Sandra Delorme goes on medical leave.

Tuesday, October 11, p.m.-Staff Appreciation Pizza Party announced

Wednesday Morning, October 12- Jean Cox of WRHA meets with Staff and Board members of Simkiin Centre to announce findings of review verbally . Sandra Delorme not present as on medical leave. Announcement made that Simkin Centre passes 25/26 standards. Fails one standard. Written report to be delivered at a later date.

Wednesday noon, October 12,-Delorme, on leave, sends "Congratulatory" memo to staff.

Thursday afternoon, October 13,-Delorme seen in administrative offices.

Thursday October 13- Duration of medical leave not confirmed.

Thursday October 13,-Draft Press Release announcing review findings sent out. No mention of Delorme.

October 15-Board President Phyllis Spigelman confirms Delorme 's performance review completed a month previous and Board unanimously approved of her performance.

October 15, Spigelman unable to confirm who shared results of WHRA review with Delorme and when.

Confirms Delorme expected back by end of year.

October 15--Spigelman intends to stay on as Chair of Board.

October 15-Spigelman confirms no changes anticipated to board governance, or permanent changes to administrative team.

October 17-Board meets to confirm who assumes responsibilities during Delorme's medical leave.

Question: When did Delorme first learn of results of 26 Standards Review?


By Rhonda Spivak, October 15, 2011

Sandra Delorme, CEO of the Simkin Centre went on medical leave as of Tuesday October 12.

Phyllis Spigelman confirmed the date of Tuesday October 12 in written correspondence to the Winnipeg Jewish Review.

 Harriet Berkal first informed theWinnipeg Jewish Review on October 13 that she had heard that Delorme was on medical leave, and as a result the Review wrote to representatives of the home as follows on October 13:

It has come to my attention that CEO Saundra Delorme is on medical leave, as opposed to sick leave ( a shorter more defined period).

1.Can you please advise if this is the case?

If so, When did she began her medical leave and when is the earliest she is expected back? My information is that it began on Tuesday of this week-[October 11}-is that correct? please confirm

2. Who is running the Simkin Centre in her place? If her leave is to be indefinite, what are the procedures involved in filling her shoes? Is there an acting CEO and who is this person?

In response, Jack Litvack and Phyllis Spigelman, co-chairs of the Board, replied by email October 13:

"Sandra Delorme our CEO is in fact on medical leave. This was made official to us on Tuesday. Our board will meet on Monday evening to formalize the leadership plan for her absence. As of now our senior management is running the centre.

"We will not be commenting further until after the board meeting on Monday [October 17]."

In a telephone conversation on October 15, Spigelman added, "We got a doctor's noteTuesday morning [October 12] relating to her ['Delorme's]medical situation."

The Winnipeg Jewish Review has been attempting to pinpoint when exactly Sandra Delorme found out about the results of the full standards review conducted by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority [WRHA], which found that the Simkin Centre had passed 25 of the 26 standards, and failed one in the area of integrated care planning.

According to an email sent by Jean Cox , Assistant Deputy Minister of Health, Regional Programs and Services, to Harriet Berkal dated October 12, a day after Delorme began her leave on October 11, " Manitoba Health and WRHA representatives met with some staff and some Board members today to give a verbal update on the finding of the Standards."

During the October 12 meeting with Cox, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Health, Delorme was not present,as her leave had commenced a day earlier. According to Spigelman the briefing meeting with Jean Cox which was packed with staff began at 9 o'clock that morning and lasted until about 10:45 a.m. .Jean Cox at the meeting provided a verbal briefing as the written final report has not been released.

Spigelman told the Winnipeg Jewish Review in a telephone conversation on Saturday October 15, that she herself did not tell Delorme of the results of the 26 Standards Review nor did she know who may have, nor did she know when Delorme was first informed of the results.

Delorme wrote a memo to staff on October 12, 2011 at 12:03 p.m. (a day  after commencing leave on October 11) titled "Congratulations." Although she had not been at that morning's meeting with Jean Cox , Delorme knew of the results by  about noon that day .

The congratulations memo written by Delorme, dated Wednesday October12, 2011, a copy of which is in the possession of the Winnipeg Jewish Review says:

"I want to congratulate each and every one of you who contributed to our success on the 26 Standards Review. Wow! We met 25 Standards-how great is that ! All the hard work done by everyone made this possible. A special thanks to Alanna [Kull], for taking the lead in this and getting us through.


Sandra Delorme

A source who saw the memo posted in an area in plain view of the public, provided the Winnipeg Jewish Review with a copy.

Sandy Gordon, whose mother is a resident in the home, told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that she saw Delorme at the home in the afternoon of Thursday October 13 coming out of an administrative office with Alanna Kull, Director of Care of the Simkin Centre. When asked about that, Spigelman responded, "Who reported that!" She then indicated that she is not supervising Delorme 's schedule and if Delorme felt she needed to be back in the building that was up to her.

Gordon also told the Review that to the best of her knowledge, and after checking with ohter residents in the home, they did not receive any written notification in the week of October 10-14 as to the fact that Delorme was on leave.

The Winnipeg Jewish Review also has a copy of a memo from Erin Loschiavo, administrative Assistant to Resident Services to staff, entitled Staff Appreciation, dated October 11, 2011, 1:29 P.M. ( a day before the meeting with Jean Cox -and the same day Delorme commences leave) inviting staff for pizza, salad and drinks, with a draw for great prizes on October 18.

When asked whether the Staff Appreciation event was connected to the staff being informed of the results and meant to boost staff moral, Phyllis Spigelman said on October 15, that the Staff Appreciation event was an annual event that was planned much earlier. Therefore, according to Spigelman it is co-incidental that a memo advising staff of a staff appreciation pizza event was sent out before the staff would be notified of the results of the standards review , including the failure on one standard.

Although Spigelman did not specifically address our question as to when Delorme was expected back to work on Thursday October 13 when she sent an email responding to our inquiries, in a telephone conversation on October 15, she said "I hope she will be back by the end of December. I expect her back then. She is coming back."

A draft press release prepared October 13, on behalf of the Simkin Centre by a communications consultant hired by the Simkin Centre was forwarded to the Winnipeg Jewish Review by a member of the Jewish community who is not a board member of the Centre. They themselves were sent the draft release by email from another non-Board member. The draft release was not marked confidential or otherwise private and appears it may have been sent out initially by a member of the Simkin Centre Board.

According to that draft press release prepared by the consultant on behalf of the Simkin Centre, "The one standard that did not earn a passing grade was on integrated care planning. Improvements to the Centre's process in this area are necessary, according to the review and are proceeding. The results also pointed to some improvements the Centre needs to consider, even in those standards that earn a passing grade."

The draft press release, dated October 13 was prepared to be released prior to the Simkin Centre receiving a copy of the full written report.

Although the draft press release was dated October 13, two days after Delorme went on leave, it made no mention of of Delorme at all. It directed inquiries to the "executive offices" of the Centre.

The draft press release was also designed to be sent out on October 13, the first Yom Tov of Sukkot. On October 13, the Winnipeg Jewish Review wrote to representatives of the Simkin Centre notifying them that we had received a copy of the draft press release. We never did receive any copy of a final press release.

Harriet Berkal and Marsha Palansky, the daughter of the late Lillian Peck, have questioned why a Jewish care home would be so interested in potentially sending out a press release on a Yom Tov , especially when the written report of the full standards review was not out.

They further suggest that it was "pre-mature" for the Simkin Centre to consider sending out a press release to the media regarding the 26 Standards Review before the written report has been released.

When asked whether the Simkin Board had done a performance review of Delorme as Jack Litvack , co-chair of the Board, told the Winnipeg Jewish Review he expected to occur prior to the General Annual meeting on October 26, Spigelman said that the Board had conducted a performance review for Delorme "about a month ago" and 'it was unanimous" that the board "backed her" and was pleased with her performance.

Spigelman said the meeting was "in camera" and she " has the notes of the meeting". It appears, however, there was no press release relating to this at the time.

In the telephone conversation of October 15, Spigelman indicated that she intends to be the chair of the Board herself, since Jack Litvack will not be continuing to act as co-chair.

The Winnipeg Jewish Review is in the process of investigating several more issues relating to the Simkin Centre full standards review and related issues and will be issuing more reports in due course.







<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • Royal Bank
  • Fillmore Riley
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • JNF Manitoba / Saskatchewan
  • JCFS
  • JCFS Winnipeg
  • Orthodox Union
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Sobey's
  • Coughlin Insurance
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Safeway Tuxedo
  • Daniel Friedman and Rob Dalgleish
  • Lipkin Family
  • Booke + Partners
  • Red River Coop
  • Gislason Targownik
  • Janice Morley-Lecomte
  • James Teitsma
  • Obby Khan
  • Jon Reyes
  • James Bezan
  • Markus Chambers
  • Ross Eadie
  • Ted Falk
  • Artista Homes
  • Fetching Style
  • Chisick Family
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Bob and Shirley Freedman
  • Shinewald Family
  • MLT Aikins
  • MLT Aikins
  • Myers LLP
  • Charach Family
  • Munroe Dental Centre
  • MCW Consultants Ltd.
  • Preventative Health First
  • Lanny Silver
  • Josef Ryan
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Holiday Inn Polo Park
  • Bruce Shefrin Interior Design
  • PFK Lawyers
  • Commercial Pool
  • Simmonds and Associates
  • CdnVISA Immigration Consultants
  • Laufman Reprographics
  • Dr. Brent Schachter and Sora Ludwig
  • Clear Care Periodontal
  • Shindico
  • Doheny Securities Limited
  • Lazar Family
  • Superlite
  • Chochy's
  • Nick's Inn
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Global Philanthropic
  • Abe and Toni Berenhaut
  • Peerless Garments
  • Cavalier Candies
  • Roseman Corp
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • kristinas-greek
  • Broadway Law Group
  • West Kildonan Auto Service
  • The Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd.
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
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.