Interior Health’s Board Chair Erwin Malzer on Tuesday announced that President & CEO Dr. Robert Halpenny has informed the Board of Directors of his decision to resign in the fall of 2015 in order to pursue other opportunities.
“In his tenure as president & CEO, Dr. Halpenny has been a passionate leader, working tirelessly to improve health care for residents throughout the Interior,” stated Health Minister Terry Lake. “Dr. Halpenny’s mark on patient care has been significant. Under his leadership, Interior Health has implemented countless programs and services – from major capital investments to community-specific initiatives that provide patients with the care they need closer to home. I wish Dr. Halpenny the very best as he moves on to his next adventure.”
“Over the five and a half years that Dr. Halpenny has served as CEO, he has driven transformative change across the organization with a primary focus on quality improvement in all activities of the health authority,” said Erwin Malzer. “There is not a facility, program or service within Interior Health that does not have his legacy stamped on it — a legacy that will serve us well as we continue our organization’s quality journey into the future.”
Some highlights during Dr. Halpenny’s tenure as CEO at Interior Health include:
• Creating ground and air based critical care transport programs;
• Establishing the first cardiac program — including open heart surgery — outside the Lower Mainland and Victoria;
• Partnering with UBC-Okanagan to establish teaching sites across the health authority to support the Southern Medical Program;
• Investing over $750 million in new, upgraded, and expanded capital facilities from Cranbrook to Williams Lake;
• Opening 473 residential care beds in 16 communities;
• Expanding numerous telehealth programs resulting in almost 70,000 annual visits that have connected specialists with patients who remain in their home communities; and
• Being recognized as a BC Top Employer for the last three consecutive years.
“It has been an absolute privilege to serve our residents in the Central and Southern Interior, and to support and lead the more than 20,000 staff and physicians who provide care to our patients, clients, and residents every day,” noted Halpenny. “While I will miss the role and especially the people I interacted with each day, it is time for me to pursue other opportunities and for a new CEO to lead Interior Health and our committed, passionate health professionals forward.”
Dr. Halpenny joined Interior Health as Senior Medical Director in January 2007 and was appointed President & CEO by the Board of Directors in January 2010. Prior to joining Interior Health he was the Provincial Executive Director of Cardiac Services at the Provincial Health Authority, and Vice President of Medicine at Fraser Health, St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction Colorado, and St. Vincent’s Hospital in Vancouver consecutively. Prior to these roles, he established a family practice in Vancouver after spending numerous clinical rotations in Kelowna during the early 1980s.
The Board of Directors has appointed a search committee led by the Board Chair to direct the recruitment process for a new President & CEO. In the coming days, the Board will begin working with an executive recruiting firm to undertake a national search to ensure that the best possible candidates are considered for the role. In the meantime, Dr. Halpenny will remain in his position as President & CEO until his departure in the fall.