London Health Sciences Centre CEO on temporary medical leave of absence, ‘effective immediately’

In a media statement on Monday, London Health Sciences Centre announced its board of directors had decided to end Dr. Paul Woods' employment in response to staff and community concerns surrounding his pandemic travels. Supplied photo

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) board of directors has granted its president and CEO a temporary medical leave of absence, “effective immediately.”

A letter from board chair Amy Walby on Thursday states the absence of Dr. Paul Woods is believed to be related to a pre-existing medical condition and not COVID-19, but “testing will be undertaken to confirm.”

Walby adds that Woods is currently in self-isolation at home. No other information was provided about his pre-existing condition.

READ MORE: Middlesex-London reports 13 new COVID-19 cases, 2 cases confirmed at Stratford long-term care home

COO Neil Johnson has accepted a request from the board to report as acting president and CEO during Woods’ absence.

“The board is confident in Neil’s leadership capabilities, and he has our full support. His 32-plus years’ experience at LHSC, in particular his many years of executive leadership, will ensure that LHSC can seamlessly continue responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Walby said.

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The letter ends by acknowledging that the board is “deeply appreciative” of the commitment and hard work exemplified by the staff and physicians of LHSC “during this unprecedented public health emergency.”

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