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High hopes for new BHB chief of staff

Very optimistic on search: temporary chief of staff for BHB Keith Chiappa

Keith Chiappa, the Bermudian neurologist temporarily posted to chief of staff for the Bermuda Hospitals Board, hopes to see a permanent replacement for the role within a matter of months.

“The search needs to be done deliberately and carefully,” said Dr Chiappa of BHB’s most senior physician’s role. “I would think it will take much less than a year — perhaps six months.”

Meanwhile, Dr Chiappa, the former chief of medicine, will continue to work with his predecessor, Michael Weitekamp, who stepped down at the conclusion of his three-year contract.

“Dr Weitekamp started some good initiatives,” Dr Chiappa said. “I will be working with him to continue them; he will continue part-time. Some of that overlap will be helpful to me.”

The time taken for a replacement is “not necessarily the search itself”, he added.

Even when a suitable candidate is found, they are often in other jobs, requiring them to give a lengthy notice.

The job has evolved from the rotating chiefs of staff typical of smaller hospitals, Dr Chiappa said — in part due to the increasing complexity of medicine.

Dr Chiappa, who will continue his consultant neurologist duties, said he came to BHB after decades of work at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“It’s good for anyone from a small island to learn how the rest of the world does things.”

Top priority for the new chief of staff is quality of care.

“A good example is our cardiology department,” he said. “We have two cardiologists, and I call them world-class. There are a lot of areas of excellence here.”