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Hospitals and community care centres create joint CIO

The Scarborough Hospital, Durham Access to Care, Lakeridge Health, Rouge Valley Health System and Scarborough Community Care Access Centre are pleased to announce the appointment of Lewis Hooper as new joint Chief Information Officer (CIO), effective immediately. The organizations are located in Toronto and just east of Toronto.

Hooper's position is the first appointment of this kind in Ontario where a CIO will coordinate several information systems of collaborating and partnering organizations.

"The role of the CIO is increasingly important for hospitals and community healthcare providers alike. As Ontario's health care system changes, information remains our second most important resource after our dedicated and caring staff," said Dr. Tom Ward, President and CEO of The Scarborough Hospital. "We've found the perfect match in Lewis."

Hooper has served on a number of province-wide initiatives including the Health Services Restructuring Commission and the Ontario Third Party Review, and has had significant involvement with the Joint Policy and Planning Committee (JPPC). He has also been involved in healthcare reform in Nova Scotia.

Hooper will spend 40 percent of his time on The Scarborough Hospital's information technology, processes and management. The balance of his efforts will provide strategic leadership on a joint information management vision, strategy and implementation plan across partnering organizations.

"I'd like to commend all of our partners, especially Tom at The Scarborough Hospital, for their foresight and leadership in making this partnership a reality," said Brian Lemon, CEO of Lakeridge Health. "Although operating in silos sometimes seems easier, it's not the right thing for patients or our organizations. This is one more step in helping us move to a true healthcare system for our residents," he added.

To move its transformation agenda forward, the Ontario government has announced the creation of 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) that will plan, coordinate, integrate, manage and fund care at the local level within defined geographic areas. The appointment of the joint CIO will help meet the information needs of some of those organizations individually and collectively, improving efficiency, collaboration and accountability.

"Over the years, we have developed many partnerships making a big difference in the lives and care of our patients," said Hume Martin, CEO of Rouge Valley Health System. "But we have only just scratched the surface of what we can achieve. I am excited and look forward to working with our partners in the Central East Local Health Integration Network to achieve even greater accomplishments," he added.

"At the patient care level, our staff do an exceptional job of working together so that patients have a seamless experience within the healthcare system," said Janet Harris, Executive Director of Durham Access To Care. "Now we need to move that strong working relationship to focus on connecting our computer and information systems which will further improve the client's experience," she added.

"Working together and in partnership, we'll be able to combine our buying power while at the same time maximizing opportunities for sharing information leading to better patient care. This is a win for our patients, staff and organizations alike," said Julie Foley, Executive Director of the Scarborough CACC.