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B.C. Cancer Agency President Resigns, Cutting Short First Term in Office

By March 7, 2019No Comments

Malcolm Moore will leave his post as president of the B.C. Cancer agency next month, well before the end of his sole term in office.

The oncologist, researcher and clinical pharmacologist’s pending departure extends a pattern of revolving-door leadership at the province’s cancer research and care agency, an organization that was mired in internal controversies that went public not long before he took the job.

Moore’s decision to leave was “based on personal or family needs,” Carl Roy, president and CEO of the Provincial Health Services Authority, told staff at the cancer agency in a notice sent out Tuesday morning.

“We value Malcolm’s leadership and all he has contributed, but also respect his decision to move on,” Roy said. “Malcolm leaves behind a legacy of achievement.”

It is unclear exactly what led Moore to make the decision, with Roy saying little more than it was “to focus on what comes next for his family.” Moore plans to remain in his role until April, then he will return to Ontario to be closer to his family and friends, according to the notice.

Health minister Adrian Dix told media that Moore did a very good job at the agency.

“In 2015, the agency was in some chaos,” Dix said. “He stabilized things. His legacy is one of excellent leadership.”

Moore was appointed president of the cancer agency in May 2015. Shortly after his appointment, the then-61-year-old doctor told Postmedia health reporter Pamela Fayerman he planned to stay in the role for at least five years — that is the duration of the typical contract for the presidency, he said. Moore’s predecessors included Dr. Max Coppes, who stayed in the job for two years, and Dr. David Levy, who stayed just 18 months.

Before Moore stepped into the job, scientists and clinicians had cited concerns about poor staff morale at the agency, long patient waiting times and inadequate government funding. Asked at the time about those controversies, Moore said he was interested in whether the problems were real and whether there were reasonable solutions. He said he thought conditions were ripe for the agency to move forward.

Roy said the cancer agency has already turned to the task of finding a new leader, but that it plans to look primarily at internal candidates.

Moore received about $375,000 from the cancer agency in 2017-18, according to government records. He also held paid academic appointments at the University of B.C. and Simon Fraser University.

The B.C. government’s latest budget included increased funding for the cancer agency, earmarked for increased cancer-related surgeries, diagnostic imaging, expanded positron emission tomography and computerized tomography scans, and chemotherapy demands.