Interior Health CEO resigns effective this fall

Dr. Robert Halpenny
Dr. Robert Halpenny

Interior Health’s President & CEO Dr. Robert Halpenny says he will resign in the fall in order to pursue other opportunities.
“Over the five and a half years that Dr. Halpenny has served as CEO, he has driven transformative change across the organization with a primary focus on quality improvement in all activities of the health authority,” IH Chairman Erwin Malzer sais in a statement announcing Halpenny’s decision to step down. “There is not a facility, program or service within Interior Health that does not have his legacy stamped on it ― a legacy that will serve us well as we continue our organization’s quality journey into the future.”
Some highlights during Dr. Halpenny’s tenure as CEO at Interior Health include:

  • Creating ground and air based critical care transport programs;
  • Establishing the first cardiac program ― including open heart surgery ― outside the Lower Mainland and Victoria;
  • Partnering with UBC-Okanagan to establish teaching sites across the health authority to support the Southern Medical Program;
  • Investing over $750 million in new, upgraded, and expanded capital facilities from Cranbrook to Williams Lake;
  • Opening 473 residential care beds in 16 communities;
  • Expanding numerous telehealth programs resulting in almost 70,000 annual visits that have connected specialists with patients who remain in their home; and
  • Being recognized as a BC Top Employer for the last three consecutive years.

“It has been an absolute privilege to serve our residents in the Central and Southern Interior, and to support and lead the more than 20,000 staff and physicians who provide care to our patients, clients, and residents every day,” Halpenny said in the statement. “While I will miss the role and especially the people I interacted with each day, it is time for me to pursue other opportunities and for a new CEO to lead Interior Health and our committed, passionate health professionals forward.”
Dr. Halpenny joined Interior Health as Senior Medical Director in January 2007 and was appointed President & CEO by the Board of Directors in January 2010. Prior to joining Interior Health he was the Provincial Executive Director of Cardiac Services at the Provincial Health Authority, and Vice President of Medicine at Fraser Health, St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction Colorado, and St. Vincent’s Hospital in Vancouver consecutively. Prior to these roles, he established a family practice in Vancouver after spending numerous clinical rotations in Kelowna during the early 1980s.
The IH board of directors has appointed a search committee led by Malzer to find a new CEO. In the meantime, Dr. Halpenny will remain in his position until his departure in the fall.