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Niagara Health System Board announces new Chair

Posted Jun 21st, 2011

NIAGARA, ON: Welland lawyer Paul Leon is the new Chair of the Niagara Health System Board of Trustees. It will be familiar territory for Leon, who previously volunteered as Chair between 2002 and 2006. He replaces Betty-Lou Souter, who was named Chair in July 2006 and will remain a member of the Board in the capacity of Past Chair.

Mrs. Souter says Mr. Leon’s experience and successes on the NHS Board will provide the trustees with valuable historical context and perspective as well as strong leadership, particularly as the NHS search continues for a new Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Leon, a former chair of the South Niagara United Way campaign, says while his immediate goals include strengthening relationships within and outside the NHS, “Our ultimate goal is to see that the NHS has the highest patient and staff satisfaction scores in Ontario.”

He points to the need for stronger relationships with medical staff and pledges to work to lessen their bureaucratic burdens and respond to their valid concerns. He also sees the need for enhanced partnerships with McMaster and Brock universities, as well as Niagara College.

“Three of our 13 Board members are new and will bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to our discussions and deliberations,” says Mr. Leon. “There are three of us who bring in-depth experience to the organization, and seven members have been with the Board for three to six years, which gives a diverse perspective.”

“The Board has a strong commitment to quality throughout the organization and this includes the quality of its own governance,” says Mr. Leon. “The Board is currently working with Tony Dagnone who is a well respected expert in healthcare leadership and governance and who is assisting the Board in ensuring that its governance represents best practices consistent with hospital boards across the province.”

The Board that Leon chairs will have three new members: John Bragagnolo, General Manager of the Pen Centre, who has more than 20 years of property management experience and is a member of several local organizations, including the Niagara Economic Development Corporation and the St. Catharines Chamber of Commerce; Bruce Ross, a newcomer to Niagara who has worked around the world in the medical device industry, most recently as Chief Operating Officer and Executive VP Sales, Marketing and Services with Spectranetics Corporation; andLuba Raso, a Nursing Professor with Mohawk College, who has extensive experience as a Registered Nurse and nursing leader with Hamilton Health Sciences.

The board also appointed four new members to the Fort Erie, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Port Colborne standing committees. Standing committees ensure the perspectives, service requirements, unique needs and community interests of Niagara Health’s smaller sites have an effective voice at the Board level.

Appointed to the Fort Erie Standing Committee were Barrie Golding and Jillian Hartman-Grelowski. Barrie is Owner/President of B.J. Golding and Associates food broker, and Jillian is Owner and Chiropractor/Acupuncturist with Fort Erie Chiropractic. William McEachern, a retired senior administrator with the Department of Foreign Affairs, was appointed to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Standing Committee, while Kim Eros, a Registered Nurse and Administrator of D.H. Rapelje Lodge in Welland, was appointed to the Port Colborne Standing Committee.

Niagara Health System