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N.S. provides more details on health reorganization

Janet KnoxHALIFAX – Nova Scotia has announced more details about its plan to merge the province’s nine health authorities into one. The government said a new executive structure will come into effect on April 1, 2015, with a CEO and 8.5 vice presidents.

The province announced earlier that its new, unified health authority is going to be led by Janet Knox (pictured), a registered nurse and senior health executive with leadership experience in Nova Scotia, Canada and overseas.

Ms. Knox is currently acting as CEO designate and is advising the province and health system as it continues the consolidation process. She has been seconded to the Department of Health and Wellness from her role as CEO of Annapolis Valley Health and South Shore Health.

“We have a unique opportunity in Nova Scotia to move forward as one to support the health of our people and communities,” said Ms. Knox. “Together we can create the health system that is needed now, and into the future, guided by our shared values of quality and safety, and grounded in research and learning.

Reducing the number of health authorities from 10 to two – one for the IWK Health Centre in Halifax and one for the rest of the province – was an election promise made last year by the Liberal party.

“We have an opportunity to build a system that thinks and acts like one,” Health Minister Leo Glavine said.

The Liberals have said the province will save $13 million a year through amalgamation. Glavine has said that while most of the savings would come from shared services and staffing reductions, the only positions to be cut would be from management.

Ms. Knox has a master’s degrees in nursing and business administration and is a certified health executive. She has held clinical, academic, consultant and administrative roles during her career.

In late October, the government announced more details about the forthcoming reorganization, including highlights about the executives structure:

• Senior health authority team will include a CEO and 8.5 Vice Presidents.

• One senior position – VP, Learning, Research and Innovation – will be shared with the IWK.

• Structure reduces the number of senior leaders by approximately 50 percent and enhances the responsibility of senior leaders.

• VPs will each have responsibility for about 90 to 4,500 Full Time Equivalent staff (FTEs), as direct reports or in their portfolios.

• VPs will be responsible for budgets ranging from approximately $10.5 million to $492.5 million.

• The primary focus of the senior provincial team is strategy.

The vice president positions will be as follows:
1. VP Medicine and Integrated Health Services
2. VP Integrated Health Services – Primary Care & Population Health
3. VP Integrated Health Services – Program of Care 1
4. VP Integrated Health Services – Program of Care 2
5. VP Integrated Health Services – Community Support and Management
6. VP Stewardship and Accountability
7. VP Quality and System Performance
8. VP People
9. VP Learning, Research and Innovation (.5 position shared with IWK)

The provincial team will be supported by eight executive directors, two in each zone. One will be responsible for medical leadership and one will provide operational leadership. They will report to a VP of Integrated Health Services. These zone leaders will focus on local operations aligned with provincial standards and direction.

Initially, Expressions of Interest will be open to staff of the health authorities and Merged Services Nova Scotia, and in the case of the IWK, those staff whose positions may be impacted. If suitable candidates are not selected through this process, an external posting will follow. Recruitment for VPs and the Executive Assistant to the CEO is expected to begin in early November, with the recruitment of Executive Directors and Executive Assistants to VPs following in January.

Zone offices:
• Western: Kentville, Chipman Building
• Eastern: Sydney, Cape Breton Regional Hospital
• Northern: Truro, Colchester East Hants Health Centre
• Central: Halifax, specific buildings to be confirmed.

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