Last Week Friday, we told you that the KHMH finally named a new CEO, after Dr. Adrian Coye left office in May. She’s Michelle Cox Hoare - who was holding over after Coye.  She comes with 33 years of service in different parts of Belize’s healthcare system.

She also holds a Master’s Degree in public health, a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Administration, and she was previously the Director of Nursing Services at the KHMH.

Today - the unlikely choice - who, we are told, never even applied for the job - introduced herself to the public with a short press conference. Here’s what she had to say today about the thrust of her leadership of the KHMH:

Michelle Coax Hoare - CEO, KHMH
"I've been with the health system for the past 33 years, I entered the ministry of health, the health services as a nurse manager, a registered nurse. As the CEO for Karl Heusner, I have full responsibility for the management and operations of the organization, the hospital services throughout here at Karl Heusner and that comprised medical services, nursing services, allied health services. We're looking at infrastructure and those other areas, finances. So in looking at what I've accomplished, what I've been able to do, I believe I have an intimate relationship with the health system because of the role as, my role as infection control officer, manager of the various patient care areas and most importantly the quality assurance coordinator because as quality assurance coordinator, you are responsible for looking systems and processes, improving those areas that you identify to be weak areas in the hospital, we look at things objectively, we set standards, we develop audit tools and so in the capacity of CEO, it merely means that you have more responsibility and a little more authority to execute some of what was already in place."

Of course, she takes over the national referral hospital during a transition period. Presently, the hospital is operating in what it calls “emergency mode” while structural repairs on the roof are ongoing.  In Mid-March, part of the ceiling fell in, exposing the fact that the roof over a third of the hospital was structurally compromised.

Today, the new KHMH CEO told us that within 5 to 6 weeks, those weaknesses will be repaired, and the hospital will be able to return to full service:

Michelle Coax Hoare
"Its 2 months ago since I've been in the seat and I've actually finalize some of the work that has already been put in place by the previous CEO, basically its just to complete and see it through and we are at that juncture where we are almost at the completion of the restructuring all the repairs that needed to have been done, we're looking to the end now right and in terms of services, there are indeed we have not a complete shutdown or services but there are specific areas where we had to reorganize services, we had to reduce the service to the public and we are managing those quite safely given the capacity that we are able to work with right now. So its a smooth transition I must say, things are on target, I mean the work that we've set out, we are on schedule and I'm pleased to announce that within the next 5 to 6 weeks, we should be back in full swing.”

We also asked her to talk about what to expect from KHMH in terms of high quality standards. Hoare comes with years of experience as a quality assurance coordinator at the Ministry of Health. She has examined hospitals and medical facilities countrywide in an effort to raise the bar of medical services available in Belize, and so, we wondered what types of initiatives she will work to implement at the hospital she now runs. 

Here’s what she had to say on that topic:

Michelle Coax Hoare
"High standards doesn't always mean high cost right. Of course some of it required funding but it looks at efficiency, it looks at minimizing wastage, setting standards so that errors, we don't have errors that can be costly. It looks at a level of performance for staff that above board and so it’s how we engage our employees, our department heads, the different program areas to ensure that everybody understands what they are about, what the service is about, how the service contributes to the operations of the hospital. So quality assurance has to do a lot with, it’s a cultural thing, it’s a way of defining standards, setting targets for staff and working with them so that they will be able to understand what it really means to be a physiotherapist, working at Karl Heusner, towards our vision. What does it mean to be a doctor working at Karl Heusner, looking at the vision of being a national leader, that's the type of message, that's the type of culture change that are aiming for. So some of it comes with financial cost of course, however a lot of it has to do with house we empower our people, how we work with our people, how we develop them to deliver the level that they will be able to see themselves as a part of Karl Heusner working towards this vision that we agreed on."

In addition to working in Belize’s healthcare system, Hoare also served as Program Officer at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Channel 7