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New Riverside CEO looking forward to coming here


Although he doesn’t start his job until Jan. 4, the new chief executive officer for Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc. already seems excited about coming here.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it . . . it will be a challenge,” Wayne Woods noted Monday.

Woods was born in Pembroke, Ont. but spent his early life in Sarnia, where he received his education. He has an accounting degree and a Masters of Science (Health Administration).

His health care experience began at Sarnia General Hospital in 1984 as its director of finance and later as assistant executive director. He also has seven years’ experience as a CEO at Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital in Petrolia, Ont.

Woods has had extensive experience in the private sector in accounting and controller functions, and noted even the best-run facility can have problems in the current health care environment.

“In the past while, difficulties have mainly been the result of the health care restructuring done by the government,” he explained. “There has to be a shift from in-patient facilities to out-patient facilities.

“Of course, there’s also the funding, or should I say, lack of funding issue . . . ” he added.

Undaunted, Woods said he would help Riverside deal with the resources available and “do the best a facility possibly can.”

Woods has been to Fort Frances twice over the past few months. First for the initial interview with the search committee and again when he finalized his contract.

That visit also gave his wife, Karen, a chance to check out the area they would soon call home.

“It looks like a nice area. You probably have a bit of snow there now but I’ll be sure to bring my skis,” he laughed.

Woods likely will live in an apartment here until next July when his wife, a school teacher, will come up. From there, the couple hopes to settle down and enjoy the district.

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