Lennox and Addington County General Hospital welcomes new CEO

The Lennox and Addington County General Hospital (LACGH) Board of Directors has announced the retirement of Wayne Coveyduck, President and Chief Executive Officer at Lennox and Addington County General Hospital, effective Sunday, Mar. 31, 2024.

According to a release from the LAGCH Board, in April 2023, after 15 years of “unwavering commitment and exemplary leadership,” Wayne Coveyduck advised the Board of Directors of his planned retirement date of September 2023. He reportedly delayed his departure date to March 31, 2024, at the request of the Board of Directors to establish a strong project framework for the Long-Term Care and MRI builds and to allow a comprehensive CEO recruitment process to come to completion.

“Wayne’s departure marks the end of an era characterized by significant organizational growth, transformative initiatives, and a legacy that will endure for years to come,” said Board Chair Deb Lowry. “We are thankful for Wayne’s remarkable vision, innovation, and commitment to providing high-quality care for our patients and community. His leadership will be deeply missed.”

With retirement comes recruitment, and the LACGH Board of Directors also shared that Michael Bell has accepted the position of President and Chief Executive Officer, effective March 25, 2024. The board noted that Bell is a results-oriented health-care executive with significant experience in system integration, partnership development, health service delivery, and clinical transformation. 

Bell is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Kingston Community Health Centres (KCHC), where he is accountable for a budget of $35 million and 250 staff, the board noted. The budget of KCHC has more than doubled since he assumed the CEO role in 2017, an accomplishment that the organization is especially proud of given the complex nature of the organization; comprised of 16 different funders with 10 distinct Accountability Agreements, and program mandates spanning primary care, mental health and addictions, dental care, seniors’ wellness, immigration, early years, education, and more.

Additionally, Bell is an active participant in the Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Ontario Health Team (FLAOHT), where KCHC sits as a partner in promoting the health and well-being in the communities served. Prior to his CEO position with KCHC, Michael was the Program Operational Director with Kingston Health Sciences Centre where he was accountable for all operations of the South East Regional Cancer Program and the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, with a budget of more than $30 million and 400 staff. Through these experiences, Michael brings a broad, system-level perspective and passion across the continuum of health care services having worked across a range of clinical programs, services, and operations, according to the LACGH Board of Directors.

Kingstonist has inquired with KCHC as to who will take over Bell’s position with that organization. No response was received by time of publication.

Among other credentials, Bell holds a Master of Science from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Arts from Carleton University. He has some big shoes to fill at LACGH, but the Board feels he is up to the challenge, they express.

Through Coveyduck’s tenure, he has overseen the expansion and enhancement of LACGH’s programs, services and facilities, ensuring that the hospital remained at the forefront of medical technology and service to the community, the board shared. He created a “magnet institution” where people want to work – implementing a staff recognition program in his early years as a CEO and exemplified by being able to staff services without the use of Agency staff during the pandemic, according to the release. He also led the organization through three successful Accreditation Canada assessments and achieved back-to-back Silver Awards for a Quality Healthcare Workplace from the Ontario Hospitals Association and Health Force Ontario.     

In addition to work done within the walls of the Hospital, Coveyduck’s vision for an innovative campus of care, supported by the Board of Directors, resulted in the addition of many valued services since he became the CEO in 2008, including: convalescent care, primary care office space, specialist clinics, an Acquired Brain Injury Home, chemotherapy service, echocardiography, mammography, bone mineral densitometry, CT, dialysis, supportive living, and soon MRI and a 128-bed Long-Term Care Home. According to the board, this patient-centered approach, forged by strategic partnerships, has created a comprehensive, and ever-evolving healthcare environment for patients and their families that is close to home. All of this was reportedly achieved without capital funding from Government and while maintaining a positive financial position.

The board noted that Bell holds existing relationships with the Ministry and Ontario Heath, local health service providers and post-secondary institutions. He has developed positive working relationships with many LACGH medical staff, and has a fondness for the Town of Greater Napanee, as his current organization operates the Napanee and Area CHC and the RFLA Allied Health Team.

“As Wayne Coveyduck embarks on this well-deserved chapter of retirement, the Lennox and Addington County General Hospital Board of Directors expresses its sincere gratitude for his dedication, transformative leadership, and commitment to high quality patient and resident care,” the board stated. “The hospital community, as well as the broader community it serves, will undoubtedly feel the positive impact of Wayne’s contributions for years to come.”

In 2003, Coveyduck received the ACHE Regent’s Award for outstanding healthcare executive leadership for activities he is still known for today. The board also noted that on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, Coveyduck was awarded Life-Time Fellow status with the ACHE.

The board offers Bell a warm welcome to Lennox and Addington County General Hospital, while bidding Coveduck a fond farewell with best wishes for his retirement.

More information on the Napanee-based hospital can be found on the LACGH website.

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