It was a rumour that didn't unfold into reality last Wednesday afternoon.
There were some well sourced expectations that the Sun Country Regional Health board chairwoman Marilyn Charlton was going to make an announcement regarding the appointment of a chief executive officer during the board's regular open business session in Weyburn.
At a previous meeting, Charlton had noted that the announcement would probably be coming by the end of June.
That didn't happen.
When questioned by The Mercury as to why the anticipated month end event didn't take place, Charlton said that the CEO selection process was “on track but not all the information is in yet and I just didn't feel comfortable. There are new board members at the table now and we want them to get up to date on the process.”
Charlton said Sun Country had received 46 applicants for the top administrative job which has been filled by Marga Cugnet on an interim basis for over a year. Cugnet, the former vice-president of primary and integrated health care was willing to step into the breach that was left after the board terminated the employment of then CEO Calvin Tant which followed in the wake of the dismissal of the then vice-president of finance and corporate services Hal Schmidt after it was revealed that he had been less than forthcoming in presenting his credentials and previous work-related experiences to the Sun Country board and administration.
Schmidt's role was assumed by Pamela Haupstein who had been engaged in a senior administrative role in the finance department. That appointment was made at the same time as Cugnet took on the interim CEO's duties.
Haupstein has since declared she was not interested in applying for the finance position on a permanent basis while it is believed Cugnet was one of the 46 applicants for the CEO's position.
Charlton said the board will want the newly appointed CEO to take a lead role in the selection of a new vice-president of finance and corporate services and therefore that process will begin only after the CEO has been named. In the meantime, Haupstein will continue to serve in that capacity.
When it came down to fielding the CEO applicants, Charlton said the governance and human resources committee sorted through the names and credentials and came up with a long list that was later shortened by a professional consultancy firm and that short list was the one that was given to the newly appointed board members to peruse. The three-person short list led to interviews by the board who then make the final decision as to who gets the job that pays approximately $190,000 per year.
“When the decision is made, and I expect it to be made soon, there will be a press release issued,” said Charlton.