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Hospital president’s head rolls

Debbie Sevenpifer has been ousted from the Niagara Health System.

The NHS board of trustees announced Wednesday morning that Sue Matthews will take over as interim president and chief executive officer of the organization that manages hospitals in the region.

The ouster comes on the heels of news that the financial situation of the NHS is slipping farther behind despite an infusion of $14 million in additional funding from the provincial government.

Sue Salzer, head of the Yellow Shirt Brigade, said it belies the support the NHS executive received from Juanita Gledhill and the rest of the Local Health Integration Network that oversees the NHS.

“What a great start,” she said. “It’s just a start. Debbie has been a volatile target but we will continue to call for an overhaul of the NHS. It’s a systemic problem.”

“Hopefully, the NHS will come to the realization the the HIP is not working  and it is a disservice to the community.”

She said the HIP is now causing a stir in St. Catharines since all eye surgeries have recently been transferred to Welland.

Last week it was revealed that an expected $3 million deficit has ballooned into a $7 million projected shortfall for this year.

It was a $17 million deficit in 2007 that resulted in the NHS developing the so-called Hospital Improvement Plan in 2008 that called for the closure of emergency and surgical rooms and acute care beds at Douglas Memorial Hospital and Port Colborne Hospital.

The NHS budget is $405 million.

Matthews served as executive vice-president of clinical operations and chief nursing executive since 2009 when she joined the NHS.

Sevenpifer was named president and CEO in March 2003 and “was insturmental in advancing the multi-site hospital through its first decade characterized by some of the most turbulent years in the history of health care in the Niagara region,” states an NHS press release.

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  1. Shawn | Jan 19, 2011 | Reply

    I can only hope her long awaited departure does not add salt to a wound by giving her a golden parachute payday for leaving as well.

  2. Mike Cloutier | Jan 19, 2011 | Reply

    It’s not unusual for executives to get a year’s salary as severance. Her salary last year was $340,467.34 and $12,992.52 in taxable expenses.

  3. Chris | Jan 25, 2011 | Reply

    I hope Sevenpifer is in Fort Erie one day, and needs immediate medical care.

  4. Betty | Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    I agree Chris!!!!

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