Photo: IERHA CEO, Ron Van Denakker
By Don Norman
Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority CEO, Ron Van Denakker is announced his retirement last week on a telephone call with local media. His last working day will be October 15.
Van Denakker started his tenure as the CEO at the IERHA just over five years ago, after a year as the “Acting” CEO. But his work in the health care field stretches long before that. “When I started doing the math, my very first job in Health Care was in 1973,” said Van Denakker. “When I washed floors at Miseracorida Hospital.” He also worked as an x-ray tech, sold imaging systems, worked as an administrator and a planner.
His 5-year contract ended on March 31 this year. He had already been planning this at that time. “Then Covid-19 raised it’s head. I didn’t feel comfortable leaving my position in the region as the pandemic began to get worse.”
He said it really just felt like it was the right time to move on. “There are some really really amazing things that are coming. There will be some heavy lifting for three years and I didn’t think I could commit to that for three years.”
The board chair has reached out to Ron Janzen – current VP of Corporate Services and Chief Operating Officer of Selkirk Regional Health Centre – and has asked Ron to take the acting CEO role (similar to what happened to Van Denakker six years ago). “Ron is a stellar individual,” said Van Denakker. “He’s incredibly bright. Has worked very closely with me.”
For the time being, he said he doesn’t have any plans to move into another position elsewhere. “This is a pure retirement,” he said. “I may carry on with boards. I need a bit of time to reflect. You probably haven’t heard the last of me.”