Venetta Symonds To Be BHB CEO from 7 April 2012

Bermuda Hospitals Board today announces that Deputy CEO, Mrs Venetta Symonds, will become BHB’s next Chief Executive Officer after Mr David Hill’s five year contract ends on 6 April 2012. Mrs Symonds will take on the CEO role from 7 April 2012 and report directly to the Board.

Mr Hill joined BHB at the end of 2006, after an extensive international recruitment process. Under his leadership, BHB has developed a strong strategic focus, with improvements to facilities and services, a regular patient satisfaction survey to give patients a voice in improving hospital services, the establishment of the KEMH Redevelopment Project, the development of a Mental health Plan for Bermuda, and the introduction of a robust succession planning programme to develop and prepare identified Bermudian talent. Indeed, one of his key deliverables was to ensure the CEO position transitioned to a Bermudian at the end of his tenure.

Mrs Symonds was appointed through the BHB’s succession planning programme. The programme was introduced to identify and develop talented Bermudian leaders, in order to improve leadership stability and ensure identified Bermudians have the required skills and experience to succeed up to the highest levels of the organization.

Minister of Health, the Hon. Zane De Silva JP MP, comments: “With major projects underway at BHB, I am well aware that maintaining the strength, momentum and focus of the organisation over the coming years is critical. I salute the Board who have worked with great foresight to ensure a well-planned change of leadership at BHB at this most important time, and for meeting their own goal of identifying and developing a qualified Bermudian to take over the reins. I would like to thank Mr Hill for all he has achieved over the last five years and congratulate Mrs Symonds on her appointment.”

Chairman of the Board, Mr Herman Tucker, comments: “Appointing a CEO at BHB is one of the most important mandates of the Board. We are extremely pleased to be able to champion the success of our succession planning programme with an appointment of a talented and experienced senior leader from within BHB ranks. We undertook a thorough process that required a formal interview and review by a Board Committee, whose recommendation required full Board approval. Mrs Symonds has worked with great dedication as Deputy CEO and has shown she has the skills and experience, as well as the courage, vision, commitment and care for our community that is required in a successful BHB CEO.”

Current CEO, Mr Hill, comments: “Senior leadership stability is vital, especially in a hospital that is managing Bermuda’s first public private partnership and biggest construction project to date. I’m very pleased to have worked proactively with the Board well in advance of my departure to enable a smooth and well-managed transition period, and I am extremely proud that Venetta will take on this role when I leave. It is a testament to her skills and dedication as a leader. Additionally, her experience, understanding and detailed knowledge of the KEMH Redevelopment Project will be vital to ensure it continues successfully to completion.”

Mrs Symonds joined BHB 31 years ago as a radiographer. She became senior technologist in 1986, overseeing the set-up of a new CAT Scan service in the hospital and was promoted in 1997 to the post of Diagnostic Imaging Manager. She was promoted again in 2000 to the position of Chief Operating Officer, Support Services, an administrative position that included responsibility for diagnostic imaging, pathology, pharmacy and food services. In July 2004 she was appointed as Organisational Review Officer, in order to implement a series of organization-wide improvements. From April 2006 to November 2006, she took on the role of Acting CEO while an international recruitment process for the post was completed. When the CEO, Mr Hill, arrived in November2006, she was appointed Deputy CEO.

In this role, Mrs Symonds deputizes for the CEO and has responsibility for human resources, public relations, as well as construction, maintenance and renovations. Most significantly, she has been the executive lead for the KEMH Redevelopment Project, encompassing the new hospital construction and development of existing facilities.

Mrs Symonds comments: “I look forward to continuing to work closely with David over the next six months. The last five years has been both exciting and challenging, especially my work as executive lead for the KEMH Redevelopment Project. My focus is to continue to keep the momentum of positive change going that has been established under David’s leadership, and continue developing BHB to meet changing international best practices while serving Bermuda’s long term healthcare needs.”

Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Trust Chairman, Mr Philip Butterfield, comments: “On behalf of the BHCT trustees, I would like to congratulate Mrs Symonds on her appointment. We have built a trusted relationship with the current CEO Mr Hill and I would like to thank him for all he has done. We look forward to continuing this with Mrs Symonds, whose experience and expertise will keep the KEMH Redevelopment Project on course and in safe hands.”

Mrs. Symonds attended the University of Tennessee Centre for the Health Sciences and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Radiologic Technology in 1980. Mrs Symonds has a Masters of Arts Degree in Human Resource Development. She is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a Fellow of the Advisory Board Company. She sits on the Bermuda Employer’s Council Executive Committee and the Council for the Allied Health Professions. Mrs Symonds has represented BHB and spoken at international conferences, and went through a two-month internship at Baptist Hospitals, South Miami Florida as a requirement of CEO succession development.


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