The former CEO of the IWK Health Centre has been removed from a list of Canada’s most powerful women, an award created by the Women’s Executive Network.
A spokesperson for the organization that says it is dedicated to the advancement and recognition of professional women confirmed Tracy Kitch was named to the top 100 list before she became the subject of an investigation for charging personal expenses to the IWK Health Centre, a women and children’s hospital in Halifax.
“We have determined she will not be a recipient of the 2017 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award. Once the investigation is concluded we will evaluate our next steps,” PhaseNyne, the parent company of the Women’s Executive Network, wrote in an emailed statement Wednesday evening.
Kitch had been listed as a recipient of the award as late as Tuesday evening.
When the full list of women was released Wednesday, Kitch’s name was not included.
In June, CBC News reported Kitch used a corporate credit card to pay for personal expenses.
CBC News had requested credit card statements since August 2014 for Tracy Kitch in a freedom of information request. That’s how long she’d been the head of the $250-million operation.
Within the statements was a charge of $5,876 by the Women’s Executive Network in October 2016. That charge, according to the IWK Health Centre, was to buy a tablet at a gala.
Kitch stepped down from her post as chief executive officer in late August, one week before an independent audit found she expensed about $47,000 in personal charges to the IWK for things like air travel, hotel costs, data overages and car rentals.
Some of Kitch’s expenses had been repaid by the time she resigned, but the hospital board had asked that the outstanding balance be repaid by the end of September.
Nova Scotia’s auditor general has launched an investigation into the IWK’s financial practices. (Shaina Luck/CBC)
Nova Scotia’s auditor general has since announced his office will examine the IWK’s books and practices, and the hospital’s board has referred the matter of Kitch’s expenses to Halifax Regional Police.
In October, the IWK confirmed Kitch had repaid the remaining $9,720.39 in outstanding personal expenses.
Kitch was a recipient of the award in 2016 in the PwC public sector leaders category for her work at the IWK.
On Wednesday Debby Carreau, who is the CEO and founder of Inspired HR and someone who has made the powerful women list four times, told CBC News Kitch’s award should be taken away.
Four women from Halifax made the most powerful list in the following categories:
- Kelly Williamson, Lt.-Cmdr. with the Canadian Armed Forces, public affairs, Maritime Forces, Atlantic – BMO Arts & Communications.
- Laurel Broten, president and CEO at Nova Scotia Business Inc. – CIBC Trailblazers & Trendsetters.
- Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, president and CEO at Digital Nova Scotia – RBC Champions.
- Maike van Niekerk, founder and CEO of Katrin’s Karepackage – Telus Future Leaders.