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HHS CCO Brenda Flaherty retiring

Earlier this week, Brenda Flaherty shared with me her intention to retire from Hamilton Health Sciences this summer. While I am saddened to make this announcement, I am also very happy for my remarkable colleague and friend, and for her family.

Brenda is the kind of leader, teammate, mentor and friend that we all aspire to be. During her 36 years at Hamilton Health Sciences, she has shown all of us what it means to lead with humility and passion for our organization’s mission. At the same time, Brenda’s deep commitment to our community and her regard for the importance of family have inspired many.

Her outstanding leadership has resulted in numerous significant contributions to health care, research and education – in Hamilton, our region and elsewhere in Ontario.

Brenda has served HHS in many capacities, including as a registered nurse, Associate Director of Nursing, Vice-President Patient Services, Site Administrator for both Henderson General Hospital and Hamilton General Hospital, and, as Chief Operating Officer. She was instrumental in creating and overseeing HHS’ Management Services Agreements with five community hospitals; and in developing and implementing the Access to Best Care plan, which created a dedicated children’s Emergency Department at McMaster Children’s Hospital. Most recently, she has helped usher in the next generation of transformative change to hospital services at HHS by leading the Our Healthy Future planning initiative.

Brenda has served on national and provincial expert panels for clinical services including the Canadian Stroke Strategy Steering Committee. She is presently co-chair of the Ontario Neurosurgery System Capabilities Working Group, and the Ontario Epilepsy Integration Task Force. Brenda has also served as co-chair of the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO) Resources Committee, and in 2012/13 was appointed by the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to act as a supervisor for the Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre.

Throughout her career, Brenda has shared her expertise with nursing and business students as an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the Faculty of Health Sciences, and a part-time instructor in the MBA program at McMaster University.

In our community, Brenda actively volunteers in a number of different ways. She is a past Chair of the Board of YMCA Hamilton, Burlington & Brantford and the North Community Health Centre. Currently, she is a member of the YMCA Canada Board, and she is also the Vice Chair of The Change Foundation.

One of the many highlights of her career and of her life-long mission to make Hamilton a healthier community, has been the development of the LiveWell partnership between the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford, McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences. For this, and her many notable achievements, Brenda was inducted in the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction this past November.

On behalf of everyone at Hamilton Health Sciences, I would like to extend my heartfelt and deep appreciation to Brenda for her leadership at our hospital, and also for the incredible legacy of impact she has created.

Please join me in congratulating Brenda on her upcoming retirement.

A national executive search for the position of Chief Operating Officer will begin in the weeks ahead.

Rob MacIsaac
President and CEO
Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

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