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Richmond to follow Symonds as BHB CEO

Michael Richmond, Chief of Staff at the Bermuda Hospitals Board and the next CEO (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The Bermuda Hospitals Board’s Chief of Staff will be its next chief executive and president, it was announced yesterday.Michael Richmond will take over the job from Venetta Symonds as she takes early retirement this month after eight years in the post.The BHB also revealed that R. Scott Pearman will become the deputy chief executive for the organisation.A spokeswoman said Mr Pearman was on a “developmental pathway to be a potential candidate to compete for the CEO position in 2023”.Dr Richmond said his three years as Chief of Staff at the BHB had shown him the dedication of hospitals staff. He said: “I look forward to building on the awesome work already achieved with my colleagues and working more closely with staff in support and administrative, as well as clinical areas.” He added: “The pandemic has only highlighted the phenomenal ability of BHB staff to do what is needed to care for the Bermuda community.”Dr Richmond said: “While we know there are challenges ahead, I have great faith we will navigate through them, be stronger and make Bermuda proud.”William Madeiros, the BHB chairman, thanked Mrs Symonds for her hard work over her 40-year career at the BHB.He said: “To ensure we appointed an equally high-calibre CEO who could continue to improve quality and value at BHB, the board established a sub-committee last year, after Mrs Symonds announced her intention to take early retirement. “Dr Richmond is an experienced and skilled candidate, with extensive experience as a hospital executive, who is ready to take on this critical role.” Mr Madeiros added: “While we face an unprecedented challenge with the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Richmond’s leadership of the BHB pandemic response has only highlighted what we already knew — that we have someone with the skills, experience and strategic abilities to navigate hospital services through major challenges and help them become stronger.”Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, also thanked Mrs Symonds for her contributions to the island.She added: “Covid-19 remains a potent threat in Bermuda and overseas, but Dr Richmond’s advice and strategic approach to managing the pandemic and looking beyond at how quality and service improvements can be made once the pandemic is over give me great optimism for the future of BHB and hospital services, and their ability to meet the needs of people in Bermuda.”Ms Wilson said the appointment of Mr Pearman to the reinstated post of deputy CEO highlighted the importance of training Bermudians.She added: “The Ministry of Health along with countless Bermudian families invests heavily in the education of Bermudians in healthcare professions and beyond. “We are renewing our commitment to realising the best possible return on those investments by ensuring a depth of leadership talent on the proper path to success.”The new CEO’s contract, which will start on August 1, will be for three years with an annual salary of $485,000. Dr Richmond, originally from Britain, joined the BHB in 2017.Dr Richmond earlier worked in the dual roles of Chief Medical Officer at Hamad Medical Corporation and chief executive of Hamad Medical Corporation’s Women’s Hospital in Qatar.He obtained his medical degree from the University of Aberdeen and specialised in anaesthetics at the Royal College of Anaesthetists in Britain and the College of Anaesthetists Ireland.