Senior Leadership Team

Eric J. Vandewall, 
President & Chief Executive Officer

Eric assumed the position of President and CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital in 2009, and under his leadership, several major accomplishments have been realized.

An ongoing focus to continually improve quality care, safe care, and service excellence is evident throughout the hospital. Currently, JBH has amongst the lowest C. Difficile rates in Ontario, has improved hand hygiene rates by over 20% throughout the hospital, and achieved a balanced budget position for four straight years after a two-year deficit position. Additionally, provincial government approval for the hospital's $300 million plus hospital redevelopment and expansion was secured in August 2011. Since then, construction has steadily progressed with a completion date set for 2017/18.

Before coming to JBH, Eric served as the Senior Vice President, Trillium Health Centre, and Vice President of Planning and Corporate Services at Trillium Health Centre. Eric has held a number of other senior management positions including Director, Health Outcomes at Glaxo Welcome; Director, Health Reform Implementation Team, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care; and, Director, Health Promotion Branch, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. He has held several other senior positions at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care over an 11 year period.

Eric is a graduate of Queen's University and holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration, Health Policy. He also has an undergraduate degree from Ryerson University in Architectural Sciences and holds a Chartered Director designation from the Directors College, McMaster University.

Mario Joannette, 
Vice President - Public Affairs & Communications

Mario has served as Vice President, Public Relations and Communications of Joseph Brant Hospital since December 2009. He has a genuine caring approach and an engaging style that has helped him build a strong reputation in being able to work with others to get the job done, in sometimes very challenging times.

Mario stepped into this position at a time when the organization was embarking on a new path forward to communicate JBH's bold transformational agenda. This agenda included an ambitious $450 million plus redevelopment and expansion project, the launch of a 'new era' hospital campaign and rebrand, and an ongoing focus to continuously improve safe, quality care and service excellence throughout the hospital. 

Mario has a diversified profile of career experience in both the public and private sector, and has also spent several years working in provincial and municipal politics. Mario previously assisted former Minister of Education Gerard Kennedy as his senior advisor, and was the former Executive Assistant for the Honourable Ted McMeekin when he was first elected in 2000. Mario also spent 3 years as the Chief of Staff for Larry Di Ianni, former mayor of Hamilton, and played a pivotal role in two election campaigns, one as Mr. Di Ianni's campaign manager.

Mario is a graduate of Laurentian University and holds an Honours Bachelor of Social Work degree. He is currently enrolled in the Masters of Communication Management program at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in partnership with the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.

Nancy Casselman,
Vice President - Human Resources

Nancy is an award-winning Human Resource business partner with expertise in bringing organizations from vision to performance excellence. Nancy holds a Masters of Industrial Relations and Human Resources and is a Certified Emotional Intelligence trainer.

Her leadership focuses on strategic management, continuous quality improvement, and best practices to promote teams and engagement.

Prior to joining Joseph Brant Hospital, Nancy held progressive roles as Director, Human Resources & Organizational Quality, Safety & Wellness, at Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH), and Director, Labour Relations, Loblaws Companies Limited with George Weston Limited.

Through Nancy's leadership, TEGH was acknowledged as the first hospital in Ontario to receive the Order of Excellence from Excellence Canada, recognizing outstanding performance in organizational quality and healthy workplace initiatives. Additionally, she led and implemented an innovative engagement strategy to enable the patient experience as well as the implementation of a leading program in Workplace Violence. 

Cheryl Williams,
Vice President - Patient Care Services & Chief Nursing Executive

Dr. Cheryl Williams joined Joseph Brant Hospital in 2015 as Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Executive (CNE). In this role, Cheryl is responsible for providing strategic direction and oversight to clinical and clinical support service programs. She is accountable for the quality and safety of patient care related to nursing and allied health professional practice.

Utilizing Lean philosophy, tools and techniques, she is strategically focused on engaging staff and physicians in a culture of continuous improvement to improve quality and safety, and creating effective clinical processes to engage patients and families early in setting plans for care that promote wellness and recovery.

She has extensive experience designing innovative collaborative and cross-sector models of care, and has demonstrated the ability to deliver substantial improvements to drive results. 

Cheryl is actively involved in hospital redevelopment, and is working with other members of the Senior Team to lead the clinical services transition plan and growth strategy. 

Cheryl began her career as a Registered Nurse (RN) in Psychiatry at the Hospital for Children. After completing her Master's, Cheryl taught courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level, while advancing through progressive leadership roles. She holds undergraduate degrees in Science and Nursing from McMaster University, as well as a Masters of Nursing and a PhD in Nursing Science from the University of Toronto. Cheryl is also Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders.

Dee Perera, 
Vice President - Finance & Corporate Services & Chief Financial Officer

Dee is a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA), with over 20 years' business experience in both the private and public sectors leading multi-year operational and capital budgets. Her strong leadership, accompanied by genuine strive for delivering the best healthcare to patients have allowed her to lead innovation and transformation at every hospital she's worked at.

Since joining Joseph Brant Hospital, Dee has headed key initiatives to position the hospital as a leader in best practices for the community. Some of the initiatives she's headed include the Post Construction Operating plan & Capital funding negotiations, launching a Business Intelligence tool, and setting up a Business Development unit.

Prior to joining Joseph Brant Hospital, Dee was the Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Woodstock Hospital. During her time there, she was instrumental in supporting and adopting Health System Funding Reform changes, as well as successfully executing the Post Construction Operation plan of the hospital's redevelopment project.

Dee has a Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University and is an Associate of the Institute of Bankers. Dee is also a Gold Medal Winner of the Dale Carnegie Institute for Leadership. She is currently an active member of Finance Executive International Golden Horse Shoe Chapter. In 2006, Dee was named a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (FCPA), the highest honour CPA Canada bestows. Dee was recognized for her leadership in business, community service and promotion of the accounting profession. 

Anissa Hilborn, Foundation President

Anissa is an experienced executive in the not-for-profit sector and has held a broad range of leadership positions in fundraising for the past 15 years.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honours from the University of Western Ontario and is a Certified Fundraising Executive. Before joining the hospital's foundation, Anissa was the President of the Erinoak Kids Foundation. She has also held roles as Vice President, at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation (CAMH), Director, Community Fundraising for the Credit Valley Hospital Foundation (CVH), and Manager, Special Events for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of Canada. 

Annissa is a resident of Burlington and is deeply invested in and giving back to her community through volunteer work with other community organizations.

 

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