The chair of the board of directors at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is speaking out about management staff and physicians leaving the hospital.


Susan Fraser, chair of the board of directors at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, says recently-reported management staff and physician departures are not a cause for concern. (Supplied )

The recently-reported departures have prompted speculation in the community that something may be amiss at the hospital.

"I know there's been a number of rumours and innuendos circulating about," Susan Fraser told CBC News on Monday. 

She said the board is "not concerned" and has the "utmost confidence" in CEO Andrée Robichaud's leadership and, through her, the operation of the hospital.  

Fraser said the board is responsible for governance and doesn't wade into human resources details.

"People move on [to] bigger and better things and we can only be happy for them [and] encourage them in their careers as they stretch and grow in that capacity," she said.

ER tough place to work

Fraser said the board is aware of only one executive team member leaving. Scott Potts, executive vice-president of corporate and diagnostic services, recently handed in his resignation after a lengthy career.  According to hospital administration, Potts' last day will be June 28.

"In 24 years, Scott has contributed much to our organization so I really wish him well in his future endeavours," Fraser said, adding it was up to Potts whether he wanted to talk publicly about his reasons for leaving. 

Fraser said she couldn't comment on the recent departure of hospital pharmacy manager Jeff Chan.

CBC News reached Chan by telephone on Monday, but he said he wasn't in a position to speak about the matter. 

As for the six emergency department doctors leaving in the coming months, Fraser said she understands some aren't from Thunder Bay and are moving closer to home. She acknowledged the ER is a tough place to work, however.

"I think it's no secret ... that we struggle with our emergency being one of the busiest in the province," she said. "It's a pressure cooker sort of environment for the people working there."

Fraser said the hospital continues to recruit staff and physicians. 

"People can be confident in the Health Sciences Centre and the care that we provide," she said.