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Hamilton/Niagara has new eHealth chief

HAMILTON, Ont. and ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – The former Chief E-Health Strategist for the Province of Ontario is taking over as the lead in the development of an eHealth strategic plan for all hospitals located within the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network (HNHB LHIN).

Roger Girard (pictured), who just completed his tenure with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s eHealth Office as the eHealth Lead, began his new role as Integrated Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the hospitals of the HNHB LHIN and the eHealth director of the HNHB LHIN effective October 2, 2006.

Girard takes over the position from Bala Kathiresan, who returns to the Niagara Health System (NHS) as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). Kathiresan held the Integrated Vice President and CIO position from June 2005 until now, and is credited with playing a key role in enabling the HNHB LHIN to develop the eHealth Strategy and implement a number of joint hospitals initiatives.

“Bala has done a tremendous amount of work laying the groundwork for an eHealth strategy that will significantly improve the provision of patient care,” says Girard. “This is a tremendous opportunity for me to build on Bala’s contributions in building an effective technological platform across all our LHIN providers.”

“eHealth is the key enabler of our provincial government’s transformation agenda and our LHIN area hospital Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are showing continued commitment and leadership in supporting this Integrated Vice President and CIO position,” says Kathiresan. “It is a very positive step for the hospitals served by the LHIN. It was a tremendous opportunity for me to be involved in this project at its inception, and I am confident that in Roger we have an individual who brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this role and will make our CEOs’ vision a reality.”

Speaking for the CEOs of the hospitals, Murray Martin, President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences and Co-Chair of the hospitals’ CEO Council, said: “We wish all the best to Bala in his new endeavour. We definitely want to continue to build on the momentum and are glad to have Roger on board to provide the strategic leadership.”

“The Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN hospitals’ CEO Council is being recognized around the province as thought leaders in promoting integration and collaboration,” added Don Scott, Co-Chair of the hospitals’ CEO Council. “eHealth is one of many initiatives in which we have not only made a commitment in principle to work together but also committed the funds to make it happen.”

Girard reports to the Presidents and Chief Executive Officers of the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN hospitals.