Board of Directors

HDIRS' Board of Directors

HDIRS' Governance

HDIRS is governed by a board of directors that includes Ontario-based hospital chief executives and others. HDIRS follows a skills-based approach to creating a highly effective board.

With the scope and authority to make impactful decisions, HDIRS’ nine voting board members actively represent — on a volunteer basis — the collective interests of member hospitals, independent health facility clients (IHFs), four LHINs and, ultimately, all patients served.

Jim Flett is a senior executive with 31 years of experience in hospital administration and, most recently, was the Interim Chief Executive Officer of Kingston General Hospital (KGH), from which he retired as of March 31, 2017. From September, 2009 until December 31, 2015, he served as the Chief Operating Officer at KGH. Between 1986 to August 2009, Jim held executive positions at London Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London, and The Toronto Hospital (now University Health Network).

A Chartered Accountant, Jim has a Commerce degree from Queen’s University and a Masters in Business Administration from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. He has provided executive leadership to a range of clinical, support, and corporate portfolios over the years, and remains active in provincial associations, regional organizations, and corporate boards.

Jim Flett Profile Image

Dr. Robert (Bob) Howard is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Michael’s Hospital, an academic hospital dedicated to caring for the critically ill and society’s most vulnerable.

Dr. Howard is a well-respected cardiologist and is also known in the field for excellence in healthcare management and his vision for quality improvement. He made it the cornerstone of the hospital’s strategic plan, and his work in this area is setting the benchmark within the Toronto Central LHIN and across Ontario.

Under Dr. Howard’s leadership, St. Michael’s officially opened the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, comprised of the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre. The hospital also received approval to build a 17-storey patient care tower, with expected completion by the end of 2018. This will culminate in the major revitalization of the hospital’s facilities to bring together the best in health sciences research, education, and patient care.

Dr. Howard is also active in the broader healthcare community. Notable examples include his roles as previous Chair of the GTA Health Information Collaborative, incoming Chair of the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TAHSN), and member of the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO). He is also a Board Director on the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC), HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency, and The Michener Institute.

Dr. Howard has an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from the University of Toronto, a medical degree from McMaster University, and an executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business. He is a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.

Bob Howard Portrait

Benjamin Trister studied economics and political science at McGill University and obtained law degrees from the University of Windsor (Bachelor of Laws) and the University of Detroit.

Benjamin is a former partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and was national coordinator of the firm’s Business Immigration Group. In practice, Benjamin represented many of the world’s leading companies, particularly in the entertainment and technology sectors.

Benjamin is also a chartered director, having earned this professional accreditation to sit on boards of directors from The Directors College, founded by The Conference Board of Canada and McMaster University.

Benjamin Trister Profile Image

Mike Garvey has a wealth of background and experience as a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and extensive board experience in both public and not-for-profit enterprises, including organizations in the healthcare sector. As a public accountant, Mr. Garvey has thirty-seven years of practice, working with a wide range of national and international clients operating within a number of different industries, including technology, manufacturing, hospitality, insurance, automotive, airlines, electrical distribution, advertising, mining, and real estate. During his career, Mr. Garvey has worked in Canada, England, Cuba, and the Middle East. Currently he sits on the boards of Kelvin Storage Inc. and the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. He is chairing the fundraising committee of the School of Accounting and Finance at the University of Waterloo.

Karim Jessa MD, FRCPC, is a medical doctor and emergency physician and is currently the chief medical information officer with the Hospital for Sick Children, and an emergency staff physician with the Hospital for Sick Children and North York General Hospital.

Dr. Jessa’s former roles include active emergency staff and director of medical informatics at Mackenzie Health and physician radiology liaison representative at North York General Hospital.

Shebina Kanani is an information technology leader with extensive experience in financial service. She has worked in wealth management, domestic retail, international, commercial, wholesale and electronic banking, product, and service system groups. Over her extensive career, Ms. Kanani has developed expertise in outsourcing, management, application development management, vendor management, strategic planning, and project management for mission-critical systems. In addition to her impressive career accomplishments, Shebina is also active on a number of volunteer organizations. Ms. Kanani joined the HDIRS board as an independent director.

Dr. Bert Lauwers is the President and CEO of the Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay. He is the former deputy chief coroner — inquests and investigations in the Province of Ontario. Dr. Lauwers is a graduate of the University of Toronto Medical School and has a fellowship from the College of Family Physicians. He holds a master’s in public policy, administration and law from York University. He is appointed as an assistant clinical professor (adjunct) in the Faculty of Family Medicine at McMaster University. He is a former president of the Ontario Coroners Association.

Altaf Stationwala was appointed President and CEO of Mackenzie Health in November 2010. Prior to joining Mackenzie Health, Altaf held the position of SVP and COO at Mount Sinai Hospital. At Mount Sinai, he was responsible for a number of portfolios, including capital redevelopment, corporate services, support services, and diagnostic services. Before joining Mount Sinai Hospital, he was site executive – Brampton Civic Hospital and vice president, patient services, at the William Osler Health Centre.

In 2007, Altaf was presented with the Canadian College of Health Service Executives Canada’s Outstanding Young Health Executive of the Year Award. This award is presented to a Canadian health executive who has demonstrated leadership in improving the effectiveness and sustainability of the country’s health system. He has undergraduate degrees in economics, geography and business administration from the University of Western Ontario and a master’s in health administration from the University of Toronto. Altaf is also an adjunct professor in the department of health policy, management and evaluation, faculty of medicine, University of Toronto and is also a surveyor with Accreditation Canada.

Cathy Szabo is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Providence Care, the leading provider of aging, mental health, and rehabilitative care in southeastern Ontario.

Her experience has focused on health system improvement, creating organizational cultures of quality and excellence while delivering patient care that meets individual needs.

Under her leadership, Central CCAC developed a Medication Management Support Services program that was awarded Best Innovation Healthcare Practice in Canada by the National Research Corporation (NRC). Additionally, this program was recognized at the bronze level by the Institute for Public Administration of Canada (IPAC).

A dedicated advocate for healthcare, Cathy is a member of the International Society for Quality in Health Care, Osgoode Hall Health Law Program, GS1 Canada Health Care Advisory Council, and the HQO IDEAS Strategic Advisory Committee – Improving and Driving Excellence Across all Sectors. Cathy is past chair of HIROC – the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada.

Cathy holds a Master of Public Health, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and a Diploma of Clinical Administration from the Ontario Hospital Association. She is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders.

David joined HDIRS in 2008 and has held a variety of roles within the organization, culminating in his appointment to his current role in October 2014. David has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare and diagnostic imaging fields in both the private and public sectors. From 2003 to 2007, David served as a director on the Board of the Canadian Medical Equipment Protection Plan (CMEPP), a not-for-profit, self-insurance reciprocal dedicated to help member healthcare organizations reduce the cost of maintaining complex diagnostic and laboratory equipment.

David holds a master of business administration with distinction from Heriot-Watt University. With a strong interest in governance, particularly in integrating information management/information technology (IM/IT) into enterprise governance, David holds a number of industry certifications, including the Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) designation from ISACA. He also holds a Chartered Director Designation (C. Dir.) from The Director’s College.