HDIRS' Board of Directors
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’ ten voting board members actively represent — on a volunteer basis — the collective interests of member hospitals, independent health facility clients (IHFs), LHINs and, ultimately, all patients served.
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.
Janice Skot is the President and CEO of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie, Ontario. Under her visionary and progressive leadership, RVH has become a recognized centre of excellence and innovation, providing specialized care closer to home with a strong culture of safety, transparency, accountability, and service excellence.
Throughout her career, Janice has held a number of senior positions, including President and CEO of Laurentian Hospital in Sudbury as well as the CEO of the Northeastern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre under the auspices of Cancer Care Ontario. Prior to these appointments, Janice was a member of the Laurentian Hospital senior team holding a variety of clinical portfolios.
Janice currently sits as an independent board member of Plexxus and, previously, she chaired the COHPA Board of Directors. Janice is also a surveyor with Accreditation Canada. Janice has sat on a variety of Ontario Hospital Association committees and is currently a member of the Leadership Council of the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network and, in this capacity, she has lead or been a member of multiple regional projects.
Janice is a Certified Health Executive and holds her Master of Health Science, Health Administration, from the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Queen’s University. Her continuing education includes the Harvard School of Business Advanced Management Program and the Independent Corporate Directors Program, Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto.
Janice is passionate about patient-centred care and the need to align the organization’s culture in order to witness sustainable improved outcomes. To this end, Janice has spoken nationally and internationally about how to define and drive culture to achieve strategic results.
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.
Passionate about system transformation, Ann believes partnerships and collaboration will drive innovation and change to improve patient care and access to services. She actively promotes planning and strategic initiatives that reach across the continuum of care to focus on improving system capacity to provide high quality care where and when the patient needs it.
Ann is currently the VP, Facility Operations, Redevelopment, Information Systems, and Chief Privacy Officer at William Osler Health System, a role that develops and supports the strategy and implementation of transformational initiatives that support clinical operations. Ann is also the executive responsible for the planning and implementation of Osler’s redevelopment strategy. In this role, Ann provides leadership for Osler’s major projects, including the new patient tower and the Etobicoke Wellness Centre (Ancillary Services Building) at Etobicoke General Hospital and the Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness (PMC), which is in operation and serving the community, as well as, planning for PMC Phase 2. She has worked closely with multiple stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Cities of Brampton and Toronto, community members, patients, and clinical teams to create facilities that support Osler’s vision to deliver high quality patient care now and into the future. In her regional role, Ann also supports the redevelopment project at Headwaters Healthcare Centre.
Ann holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Colorado State University and a Master of Science Health Administration from the University of Colorado. She maintains membership in numerous professional societies, including the Canadian College of Health Leaders, the American College of Health Executives, and the Project Management Institute. Ann is a member of the Shared Services West Board of Directors.
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.
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.
Veronica Nelson currently holds the dual role of Interim President & Chief Executive Officer and Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) in Lindsay, Ontario. Programmatic areas for which she has Vice President oversight include Diagnostic Imaging, Laboratory, Pharmacy, Facilities, Nutrition, Environmental Services, Security, Procurement, and Special Projects.
Veronica joined RMH as a Medical Radiation Technologist in March of 2000. In July 2008, she was named the Technical Director of Diagnostic Imaging and in April 2014 she added the diagnostic imaging departments of the two sites of Haliburton Highlands Health Services to her portfolio as part of the strategic alliance between the two corporations. During her tenure as Director, Veronica was the Project Manager for the Diagnostic Imaging Redevelopment Project for the addition of MRI.
Veronica holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science (Medical Imaging), a Master’s Degree in Medical Radiation Science (Image Interpretation). Her continuing education includes a Masters Certificate in Healthcare Administration at the Schulich School of Business, and the Advanced Health Leadership Program at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
Veronica is an HDIRS Board member. Previously, Veronica was the Chair of the Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Sciences (OAMRS) Board, and Treasurer of the Board of the Ontario Association of Radiology Managers. She also previously sat as a Director on the Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes Board where she held the position of Chair of the Quality Committee, and recently completed her final term as Chair of the Board of Kawartha Credit Union.
Veronica is a member of the Provincial Quality Management Program for Mammography where she participated in developing the mammography peer review process. Veronica is also a member on the College of Medial Radiation Technologists of Ontario (CMRTO) Investigations, Complaints, and Reports Council.
Dr. Gary Newton assumed the role of President and CEO of Sinai Health System in 2016.
A well respected physician leader, Dr. Newton previously held the position of Physician-in-Chief of Mount Sinai Hospital from 2013 to 2015 and was appointed to the role of Chief Medical Strategy Officer and Physician-in-Chief of the newly formed Sinai Health System in 2015.
As a practicing cardiologist, Dr. Newton was Head of the Division of Cardiology, University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital from 2009 through 2013. He has had an active research program in human physiology, focusing on congestive heart failure, most recently investigating nutritional issues in patients with heart failure. He currently serves as Chair of the Scientific Research Committee of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
Dr. Newton is a graduate of the University of Toronto Medical School. He completed internal medicine at the University of Toronto and trained in adult cardiology at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. This was followed by specialty training in heart failure, combined with an integrative cardiac physiology fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Newton joined the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto in 1996, where he has distinguished himself as a mentor to junior faculty. In 2016, Dr. Newton was awarded the Robert Hyland Award for Excellence in Mentorship by the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto.
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.
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.
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.
Now Seeking Candidates for HDIRS' Board
Would you like to help shape the future of an established and evolving healthcare organization? Would you like to collaborate with some of Ontario’s most inspiring healthcare providers? Would you like to help to connect clinicians and enrich patient care? Join us! HDIRS is now welcoming applications from proven leaders with digital health, analytics, enterprise risk management, IT management, cybersecurity, and/or outsourcing experience. Note: Applicants require previous board experience.