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Niagara Health System announces new President Dr. Suzanne Johnston

Posted Jun 3rd, 2014

Niagara Health System is pleased to announce the successful recruitment of Dr. Suzanne Johnston to the position of President for NHS.

Media Release Attachment New President Announcement

Dr. Johnston is currently Vice President, Clinical Programs, and Chief Nursing Officer at Northern Health Authority in British Columbia, an organization serving northern B.C. with over 24 hospitals, 14 long-term care facilities, and community services providing specialized services to diverse populations including aboriginal Canadians.  She will join NHS on a permanent basis in September 2014.

Dr. Kevin Smith, CEO, notes: “Dr. Johnston represents the best-case scenario when it comes to recruiting a President. Here we have a person with a remarkable track record in multi-site hospitals, who has a strong sense of community, and who has excellent academic preparation and focus. I have absolutely no doubt in her abilities in super-charging our agenda for great patient experiences and work-life, while also aiding to grow local community confidence in our plans.”

Dr. Barry Wright, NHS Board Chair, emphasizes: “Dr. Johnston truly wowed our interview panel, both in terms of her depth of knowledge of our needs and her ideas for our plans, but also because of what a great fit she’ll clearly be with the organization and the type of culture we are building.”

Dr. Suzanne Johnston NHS President

“To me, one of the first important aspects of my new role will be building relationships and trust,” says Dr. Johnston. “Niagara is an amazing region of communities and the NHS is poised to be one of the great Canadian hospital systems. Our success is dependent on how we engage our staff, physician and communities in our vision. This includes how we interact with people both inside and outside the organization, and how we respond to their feedback. I plan to be present and available, and am ready to work with a great team to deliver excellent care and caring to all.”

Dr. Johnston has more than 25 years of leadership experience in health care and government. Before taking on her current role, Dr. Johnston was Chief Operating Officer for Northern Health Authority’s northwest region, and has worked at the NHA since 2000.

Dr. Johnston obtained both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing from the University of New Brunswick and completed her doctoral studies at the University of Arizona. She participated in executive education at the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania.

In the role of President, Dr. Johnston will be the local leadership presence of the hospital system and will report to the NHS Board and to Dr. Smith in his capacity as CEO.  She intends to relocate to the Niagara Region at the end of the summer.


Media contact:

Brady Wood, 905-378-4647, ext. 43111, or 905-380-0884 (cell);

Niagara Health System