IWK interim CEO Dr. Krista Jangaard speaks out about state of hospital
The interim CEO of the IWK says her number one priority right now is to get her staff back on track.
Dr. Krista Jangaard stepped in to run the IWK following the resignation of CEO Tracy Kitch, who billed the hospital for more than $47,000 in personal expenses.
“I will admit it's been a difficult time,” Dr. Jangaard says.
Dr. Jangaard has spent almost 30 years at the IWK, most of it in the neonatal unit. She tells CTV she was asked to step in following Kitch’s resignation.
“My only reservation was whether or not I could do a good enough job for this organization,” Dr. Jangaard said. “I had absolutely no reservation about that fact that if they needed me to be here I needed to give back to them for all they've supported me and growing me through my career.”
Only 37 days into her new position, Dr. Jangaard admits she has found a bitterness among some staff members over what's happened.
“They were upset. They were angry. Then as one of my staff said, ‘You know, I took a deep breath and I thought, well, we've been here for 100 years, the IWK is about providing care, our doors are open that's what we're going to do,’” she says.
Last year, New Brunswick spent $15.2 million on a number of IWK services, like the Maritime Newborn Screen Program. P.E.I. spent $8.6 million for patient costs at the facility, as well.
Dr. Jangarrd says she will be reaching out to her counterparts at some point, but for now, her number one priority is to ensure the 3,200 people at the IWK are proud of where they work.
“My real job right now is to make sure that the people who are here, who should be thinking about doing their job, or coming in and are seeing their patients, are focused on what they do well and they should be able to be proud of it,” says Dr. Jangarrd.
Public relations firm National PR, who worked with Dalhousie University on the dentistry scandal in 2014, confirmed to CTV News they are providing "communications, counsel and support" to the IWK's board and organization at this time.
“We're here, we're going to do our job and we're going to move forward,” says Dr. Jangaard
Dr. Jangaard will be CEO until a permanent one is in place. The hospital will put out an ad and interview potential candidates.
She says that process will happen over the “next little bit,” and says she's unsure whether she'll apply.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.