“Listen to your staff, listen to your board, stay true to your principles and you will do a good job,” are the words of advice Dr. Richard Schabas leaves for his successor.
Friday marked the medical officer of health’s last day of his 35-year career, 11 of which were at the helm of the Hastings Prince Edward Counties Health Unit.
Looking back Dr. Schabas said he feels like he has been part of a job well done and something worthwhile as health in the province has moved forward in important ways.
He added he feels very good leaving the organization now because it is in very good shape for the future.
He also pointed to the financial situation as a draft budget summary presented at Friday’s Board of Health meeting, for the period of January 1 to October 31, 2016 showed the Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit was in good shape with a $3,273,274 surplus. With only 79% of the $15,495,861 2016 budget spent so far it looks as though the board will be at a break even point. The budget is expected to be released in February 2017.
Looking ahead Schabas explained both he and his wife are retiring. He said they plan to travel, pursue their hobbies and play with their grandchildren.
The Board of Health confirmed that Dr. Kieran Moore, associate medical officer of health for Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington Public Health will serve in the interim during the transition to the appointment of a new medical officer of health. Dr. Moore will provide medical expertise and direction, attend monthly Board of Health meetings and provide general leadership for the organization. He will be onsite approximately one day per week. In his capacity as Acting MOH, Dr. Moore will also oversee Dr. Piotr Oglaza who is doing a residency placement in Belleville through Queen’s University.
The Board also announced that Valerie Dunham, Director of Administration, would be acting executive officer pending the appointment of a permanent medical officer of health.