Island Health administrator appointed at Comox Valley Seniors Village

An administrator has been temporarily appointed by the Island Health Board of Directors to manage and oversee the day-to-day operations of Comox Valley Seniors Village.

“Providing high quality, safe, dignified care for seniors in our publicly funded long-term care facilities is a key Island Health priority,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health Board Chair. “Due to the operator’s inability to meet the care expectations outlined in legislation, the Board of Directors has taken the extraordinary action to appoint an Administrator to manage the facility.” 

The appointment of the administrator was based upon the recommendation of the North Island Medical Health Officer. The Medical Health Officer’s decision was informed by evidence from Island Health’s Community Care Facilities Licensing program, following a diligent administrative process involving numerous routine and complaint-based licensing inspections. Despite wide ranging and stringent conditions placed on the facility’s licence on June 10, 2019, the Licensing program continued to observe and report multiple areas of non-compliance. 

A detailed investigation undertaken by the Licensing program in August and September found two key areas of non-compliance with the Community Care and Assisted Living Act. The volume of contraventions, lack of timely responses to address the contraventions and the duration of the contraventions were unacceptable.  The risk rating of the facility had not materially changed, even after conditions were placed on the facility’s licence. 

The administrator will report to the Island Health Board of Directors. The individual will provide comprehensive, on-site responsibility for the daily operation and management of the facility supporting critical functions including:

  • Care planning
  • Staff recruitment and orientation
  • Development and implementation of audit tools
  • Developing policies and procedures 
  • Overall compliance with the legislated standards of care

“It is always important for families of loved ones to bring their concerns forward so that we can ensure they are investigated and addressed through our Licensing process,” said Mark Blandford, Executive Director – Primary Care and Seniors Health and Acting Vice President – Priority Populations and Initiatives. “The appointment of an administrator will provide Island Health the clarity of leadership required to return the facility to compliance, providing residents with the care they deserve and families the peace of mind they should have with publicly funded long-term care.”

The Board of Directors appointed Susan Abermann as the administrator for a period of 6 months effective September 30, 2019. Ms. Abermann has a 25-year career in seniors care in British Columbia including serving as Island Health’s lead for residential care services. She also was the executive director of another facility owned by the operator of Comox Valley Seniors Village – providing her valuable insight into the practices and policies of the licensee and the facility.

Comox Valley Seniors Village is a privately owned 136-bed long-term care facility operated by Retirement Concepts. Island Health publicly funds 120 of the beds.

The Medical Health Officer’s report to the Board of Directors is available at: www.islandhealth.ca/about-us/accountability/reports-plans.

Media inquiries:
Dominic Abassi
250-668-3098
Dominic.Abassi@viha.ca