Island Health administrator appointed at Nanaimo 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 Nanaimo Seniors Village.

“Ensuring seniors living in our publicly-funded long-term care homes are receiving the high quality, safe and dignified care they need and deserve is paramount to Island Health,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health Board Chair. “As this operator has been unable to meet the care expectations outlined in legislation, the Board of Directors has taken action to temporarily appoint an administrator to manage the day-to-day operations of Nanaimo Seniors Village.”

The Board of Directors’ appointment of the administrator was based upon a recommendation from Dr. Paul Hasselback, Central Island Medical Health Officer. Dr. Hasselback’s decision was informed by evidence from Island Health’s Community Care Facilities Licensing program, following a diligent and detailed administrative process involving numerous routine and complaint-based inspections.

Island Health’s Licensing program operates at arm’s length from the health authority and reports directly to the Office of the Chief Medical Health Officer.

Dr. Hasselback noted insufficient staffing, the operator’s inability to submit an acceptable health and safety plan, concerns with care delivery, and the operator moving too slowly to re-establish compliance. This was in spite of a significant amount of work undertaken with the operator by Island Health’s Licensing and Long-term Care programs to support the facility coming back into compliance with legislated standards of care.

The administrator will report to the Island Health Board of Directors. The individual will be responsible for the operation and management of the facility, supporting critical functions including:

  • Care delivery and care planning
  • Site management
  • Staff recruitment and orientation
  • Developing policies and procedures
  • Overall compliance with the legislated standards of care

“We always encourage families of loved ones to let us know about any care concerns so that we can make sure they are investigated and addressed through our independent Licensing process,” said Mark Blandford, Executive Director – Primary Care and Seniors Health. “Appointing an administrator is a necessary step to ensure the facility comes into compliance and provides the care residents deserve in a publicly-funded long-term care home.”

The Board of Directors appointed Susan Abermann as the administrator for a period of six months, subject to adjustment if conditions warrant, effective November 27, 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.

Ms. Abermann was previously appointed as a temporary administrator for a six-month period at Comox Valley Seniors Village, a site owned and operated by an operator within the Retirement Concepts corporate group. Ms. Abermann will continue in that role and be supported in her work at Nanaimo Seniors Village by a full-time manager to assist with the administration.

Nanaimo Seniors Village is a privately owned 150-bed long-term care facility operated by Pacific Reach Seniors Housing Management operating as West Coast Seniors Housing Management, which is part of the Retirement Concepts group of companies. Island Health publicly funds 134 of the beds. 

The Medical Health Officer’s report to the Board of Directors is available at  

Media inquiries:
Dominic Abassi