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.

Ian Preyra, M.D., M.B.A., FRCPC (EM), Chief of Staff

Dr. Preyra brings a wide breadth of leadership experience to JBH, most recently as Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Emergency Medicine at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. He has a proven track record of implementing innovative approaches to clinical processes that deliver high quality, effective care.

His extensive governance experience includes quality assurance, healthcare finance and risk management. Dr. Preyra has a reputation as a superb clinician, leader and educator. In addition to his administrative role at JBH, he will continue his practice in emergency medicine. He holds an academic appointment at McMaster University and is active in teaching and research.

Dr. Preyra is a strong advocate for child welfare and is an active board member (Treasurer) of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton.  He is also a coroner and Team Emergency Physician for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Dr. Preyra is a passionate physician leader with an unrelenting focus on quality and patient care and JBH is thrilled to have him on board as Chief of Staff.

Cheryl Williams, Executive Vice President Clinical & 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.

Mario Joannette,  Chief Communications Officer

Mario 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 has served as Vice President, Public Relations and Communications of Joseph Brant Hospital since December 2009. In July of 2018, Mario assumed the role of Chief Communications officer. In his new role Mario has added the new responsibility of leading our new community engagement initiative.  

In 2009 when Mario stepped into his role the organization was embarking on a new path forward to communicate JBH's bold transformational agenda. This agenda included an ambitious $450 million plus hospital redevelopment and expansion project and the launch of a 'new era' hospital campaign and rebrand. Mario has also been instrumental in moving forward JBH’s government relations and public relations efforts.    

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 Chief of Staff for the local Hamilton MPP Ted McMeekin. Mario has also served 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 finishing his Masters of Communication Management program at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. 


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. 

Anissa 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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