Symonds on leave from Bermuda Hospitals Board

  • Medical leave: Venetta Stymonds
  • Stepping up: chief of staff and acting CEO at BHB Michael Richmond (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The chief executive of the Bermuda Hospitals Board has taken a three-month break on medical grounds.

Venetta Symonds has been off work since December 15 and is expected to return on March 18.

Michael Richmond, the board’s chief of staff, is acting CEO in her absence.

The board said yesterday that Ms Symonds’s leave was supported by a medical certificate.

The hospitals board is implementing an improvement plan drawn up by Dr Richmond, in partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, as reported by The Royal Gazette last week.

Dr Richmond said yesterday: “On behalf of staff, leadership and the executive team, we have a clear strategy to continue implementing and quality improvements that are well under way.

“Services will continue, we will keep working on improvements and look forward to welcoming Mrs Symonds back in March.”

Details of the three-year IHI partnership were published in the Official Gazette on Monday in a list of contracts worth $50,000 or more entered into by the BHB.

Boston-based IHI is to be paid $606,000 for “strategic guidance and capacity building” from May last year until May 2021.

William Madeiros replaced Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister, as hospitals board chairman after the Government appointed a new board last month.

The new deputy chairwoman is Lucille Parker-Swan and the other members are Mrs Symonds, Edward Schultz, Sandy DeSilva, Victor Scott, Anthony Manders, Cyril Whitter Jr, Terry Faulkenberry and Alison Hill.