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Western Health's new CEO says there are solutions to be had for the challenges it faces

Cindy Davis has been named the new CEO of Western Health. Davis is currently the vice-president of patient services and chief nursing officer with the health authority.
Cindy Davis has been named the new CEO of Western Health. Davis is currently the vice-president of patient services and chief nursing officer with the health authority. - Diane Crocker

Cindy Davis recognizes that Western Health is facing a number of challenges when it comes to meeting the health-care needs of western Newfoundland.

“But from my perspective there’s solutions to be had,” said Davis on Thursday afternoon, just a few hours after it was announced by the provincial government that she would be assuming the role of CEO of the health authority come June 1.

Davis comes from within the ranks of the health authority as she is currently vice-president of patient services and chief nursing officer.

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Her appointment was recommended though the merit-based Independent Appointments Commission. Western Health’s Board of Trustees was involved in the search committee.

Over 50 people applied for the job and Davis was one of nine that moved to the interview and assessment stage.

Finances are among the challenges faced by the health authority, but Davis said the province’s aging population and high amount of chronic diseases are also big issues.

She said the strategies and priorities the health authority along with the province is planning for the future include access to primary care, improving mental health and addictions treatment and care of the older adult.

“And in some respects, if you get the quality right the financial pieces start to take care of themselves as well,” she said.

“What we really want to do is figure out how we keep our residents healthy and well and how we meet their needs in the communities that they live.”

She said when they come to Western Health’s facilities the authority wants to be sure it has everything ready to treat them as quickly as possible and get them back to their communities.

A priority for Davis and the board over the coming months will be to reach out to its community partners.

“To talk about our future and our challenges and how we can meet the needs of the people in their towns and communities.”

She also wants to engage the staff and hold the same discussions with them.

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