Health minister replaces 2 health authority CEOs

Health Minister Ted Flemming is replacing the chief executive officers of both of New Brunswick's regional health authorities, effective next month.

Ted Flemming gave no reason for replacing Donn Peters and Joey Caissie

Health Minister Ted Flemming spoke with reporters on Thursday and explained why he changed the CEOs of the province's two health authorities 2:39

Health Minister Ted Flemming is replacing the chief executive officers of both of the regional health authorities, effective next month.

John McGarry will head up the Horizon Health Network, while Rino Volpé will take the helm of the Vitalité Health Network, effective on Feb. 1, Flemming announced on Thursday.

They will replace Don Peters and Joey Caissie respectively.

McGarry and Volpé are also the co-presidents of the Office of Health Renewal, appointed last year to reduce costs in the health care system.

The office was set up to find ways to reduce the cost of delivering health care closer to the national average by 2016-17.

The health renewal office had been setting up benchmarks to compare New Brunswick's health care services to similar services across the country.

"Now that this work is underway, it is time to begin a transition to sustainable care and it makes sense that these individuals continue their efforts as CEOs of the regional health authorities," Flemming said in a statement.

Flemming told reporters on Thursday this is not another study of health-care costs, it is about "execution."

The two CEOs will retain their roles with the Office of Health Renewal.

McGarry had previously served as the chief executive officer of the former River Valley Health Authority.

Volpé had served as the chairperson of the board for both Vitalité Health Network and the New Brunswick Health Council.

Flemming said Volpé and McGarry have a solid working relationship and that was a key factor in the decision to name them as the chief executive officers of the two health authorities.

"The individual health authorities have got to start working together themselves," the health minister said.

"And one of the reasons I appointed these two gentlemen is because they work extremely well together. They are of like mind, they understand the issue at hand, they are both intelligent, able people ready to make a contribution."

Caissie, Peters thanked for service

Health Minister Ted Flemming replaced the chief executive officers of the province's two regional health authorities. (CBC)

The health minister thanked Peters and Caissie for "their years of dedication" in a news release.

"Both were instrumental in the work to reduce the number of health authorities in our province from eight to two and their leadership was much appreciated," Flemming stated.

Flemming said Peters was close to the end of his contract and did not want to renew. He said Caissie is staying with the Vitalité Health Network but in a new position.

Although they headed the province's two health authorities, with 21,000 employees and a combined budget of $1.8 billion, neither Peters nor Caisse were among the top 150 salaried employees in the health-care system.

Each earned between $200,000 and $225,000 in 2011 according to government records, more than government deputy ministers but less than senior executives at NB Power.