Diane Beattie steps down amid
LONDON, Ont. – Diane
Beattie (pictured), integrated vice president and CIO at London Health
Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph’s Health Care (SJHC), resigned
from her position earlier this month after it was disclosed that she had
awarded IT contracts without tendering to a one-time fellow employee
with Union Gas.
According to an audit report that was leaked to the local London Free
Press, since 2004 a total of $3.3 million in contracts was given to the
Atwood Group and its owner, Tom Vlasic, without competitive bidding.
The disclosure and publication of articles in the London Free Press
sparked public controversy in the southwest Ontario city, and the issue
was also raised by politicians in the provincial legislature.
“It is now clear that the current circumstances compromise Diane’s
ability to continue to lead in this capacity, which is necessary for the
priority patient care initiatives vital to the future of healthcare in
our region,” said a joint statement issued by Robert Siskind, LHSC
chair, and Gerald Killan, SJHC chair.
With an annual salary of approximately $260,000, Beattie is set to
receive a severance package worth $451,000.
The hospital boards credited Beattie with playing an important role in
establishing the region as a leader in patient care systems, and thanked
her for her contributions.
“Diane agrees this step is in the best interest of the hospitals and our
community, and concluded that she could not continue in this role. With
this shared understanding, she will support the smooth transition of
leadership,” the joint statement said.
CEO Cliff Nordal, who has previously admitted the rules were not
followed on awarding an electronic health records contract, has said the
contract will be terminated but not until October.
Locally, both board chairs said the situation has been a difficult one
for many, including staff, physicians and the community.
Kelly Butt, who was chairperson of the LHSC board when Beattie was
vice-chairperson, said that “Diane is a person of honesty and high
integrity.” She asserted that Beattie did nothing other smart business
leaders don’t do all the time – choose a consultant known for expertise
in a certain area for a competitive, yet reasonable fee.
Posted October 8, 2009