Manitoba

'Effective immediately': WRHA's top doctor/VP is no longer in role

Dr. Bruce Roe is no longer the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's chief medical officer and vice-president, the CBC has learned.

Health authority announces Dr. Bruce Roe's departure to staff in Wednesday memo

Dr. Bruce Roe, second from left, is no longer chief medical officer at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. (Government of Manitoba )

Dr. Bruce Roe is no longer the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's chief medical officer, the CBC has learned.

A memo sent to authority employees Wednesday says "effective immediately" Roe would no longer be the CMO or the vice president of the authority.

"I want to thank Bruce for his tenure and service," WRHA CEO and president Réal Cloutier said in the memo. 

A spokesperson for the WRHA confirmed Roe is no longer in the position, but said he could not comment any further.

Roe became the WRHA's top doctor in September of 2017 after serving for more than a decade at St. Boniface Hospital as its chief medical officer and a stint as the hospital's president and CEO.

He came to the WRHA just as a major overhaul was taking shape, including plans to close the Misericordia, Seven Oaks and Concordia emergency rooms as well as the consolidation of other services.

A chief medical officer is typically the top physician of an organization who oversees the performance of other doctors and maintains a leadership role in the authority. 

The news comes on the heels of a scathing report released on Monday by Dr. David Peachey which revealed a host of concerns with the overhaul and the botched plan to close Concordia's emergency room.

Peachey found several human resource challenges as Concordia Hospital prepared to close its ER, including physicians who became disengaged as they prepared their exit. As well, a destabilized emergency department caused by multiple resignations resulted in high vacancies and overwhelmed staff, Peachey said.

In addition, respiratory therapists resigned early. Those vacancies jeopardized patient safety, Peachey said.

The government announced last month that Concordia's ER would instead be converted into an urgent care centre.

Dr. Ainslie Mihalchuk, the associate CMO for the WRHA, will take over the role of CMO in the interim.

About the Author

Kristin Annable is a member of CBC's investigative unit based in Winnipeg. She can be reached at kristin.annable@cbc.ca

with files from Ian Froese