Toronto

Head of private long-term care company resigns after hundreds of deaths in Ontario homes

The president and CEO Sienna Senior Living, a private long-term care provider whose homes have seen hundreds of deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, has resigned.

Nearly 300 residents at Sienna Senior Living homes have died during the coronavirus crisis

At Sienna Senior Living's Woodbridge Vista Care Community location in Vaughan, 19 residents have died and 83 others have tested positive for COVID-19. (Grant Linton/CBC)

The president and CEO of Sienna Senior Living, a private long-term care provider whose homes have seen hundreds of deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, has resigned.

The company announced on Friday morning that Lois Cormack is leaving her job, effective immediately.

Cormack said she's stepping down for "personal reasons" in a news release.

Sienna Senior Living, which owns and manages 37 long-term care facilities in Ontario as well as eight in B.C., is named in a $100-million class-action lawsuit that was filed last month.

Cormack's departure comes just a week after Sienna Senior Living confirmed a former executive vice-president was no longer with the company after making insensitive comments during a call with families at Woodbridge Vista Care Community in Vaughan.

That location has recorded 23 deaths and at least 83 positive cases of COVID-19 among residents during its outbreak. A man living at the facility also recently died of exhaustion caused by malnutrition.

The company's Altamont Care Community location in Scarborough was one of five homes deemed to be in need of military assistance by the provincial government. A report issued by the military after its arrival noted widespread nutrition problems at the home, along with allegations of abuse and neglect made by a non-verbal resident.

Family members rallied and protested outside Woodbridge Vista Care Community in early June. (Grant Linton/CBC)

There have been at least 292 deaths linked to COVID-19 at Sienna Senior Living's Ontario locations.

Provincial data shows a total of 1,606 deaths among residents at all long-term care homes in Ontario.

Sienna quickly named Nitin Jain as its next president and CEO. Jain has been with the company in other high-ranking roles since 2014.

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