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by Rhonda Spivak, December 20, 2011

 The Winnipeg Jewish review has learned that neither the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority [WHRA] or Manitoba Health was consulted by  the Simkin Centre Co-Chairs  Phyllis Spigelman and Jack Litvack before they decided to renew the  Contract of  CEO Sandra Delorme in February 2011.

Thus it is clear that not only was the contract not ratified by the  Simkin board but it was not entered into with the advice of th e WHRA or  MB Health.

In response to our inquiries in this regard, Heidi Graham, spokesperson for the WHRA wrote in an email recently,  

"Neither the WRHA nor Manitoba Health was consulted about renewing Ms. Delorme's contract in February 2011. Like all other private PCHs, the Simkin Centre Board is responsible for hiring (or terminating) the CEO of its facility."

However, other questions related to this matter  were not specifically answered by Graham, including the following questions numbered 3-6:

3.When was the first time that anyone from the WHRA/govt became aware that Delorme's contract was renewed for a five year term in February 2011? [could you please give the exact date or approximate date you learned of this]

4.Has the WHRA/government seen Delorme's contract renewed in Feb 2011 and if so when was the first time that you saw this?

5.If you did not not know about the renewal UNTIL AFTER THE FACT, was this in your view a recommended action? There are many in the Jewish community who are saying that the Simkin Centre should not have renewed Delorme's contract in February 2011 for a five year term, and that if they intended on renewing it it should have been for a much shorter term (ie 6 months-one year). Do you agree that this would have been a far more prudent course of action--yes or no?

6.For the record, if in fact the WHRA/Govt was not advised until after the action was taken to renew/extend Delorme's contract, could the WHRA state what it would have advised the Simkin Centre to do had it been consuted for advice in advance?

In related news the Crown Attorney's office  on December 19, 2011 asked for another adjournment of the private proesecution launched against the Simkin Centre by Harvey Berkal until January 16, 2011. The Crown Attorney dealing with this matter and deciding whehter the Crown will interviene and take over the prosecution or dismiss it is Collen McDuff.

The private prosecution relates to the  death of Mrs. Peck last October 2010, and  the Crown has apparently questioned why  there the  Medical Examiner's office did not conduct an investigation into the death at the time.

Editor's note: Notwithstanding Graham's diplomatic response, one has to wonder whether the WHRA or MB Health could have reasonably foreseen  that then co-chairs of the  Simkin Board Pyllis Spigelman and Jack Litvack would have proceeded (rather recklessly in my view) to renew Delorme's contract under the circumstances without mentioning it to them in advance ?



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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.