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Niagara Health System and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton partner to transform renal care across the region, establishing largest program in Ontario

Posted Nov 14th, 2014

Niagara Health System (NHS) and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton are pleased to announce the creation of a single renal program (regional chronic kidney disease program) in both organizations, serving patients from across the Hamilton-Niagara-Haldimand-Brant Local Health Integration Network (HNHB LHIN).

Media Release Attachment Communiqué


This exciting partnership is the first achievement of the two organizations working more closely together since January 2014, when Dr. Kevin Smith assumed the role of NHS CEO in addition to his role as President and CEO of the St. Joseph’s Health System (SJHS). The ultimate aim of the renal initiative is to ensure the absolute best patient experience across the entire continuum of kidney care services, from early detection, to dialysis, to kidney transplant. The partnership will result in the largest renal program in Ontario, enabling Niagara and St. Joseph’s to contribute more fully to discussions and the development of leading practices at a provincial and national level.  

SJHS President and CEO and NHS CEO Dr. Kevin Smith notes ‘Regional and provincial leadership including our LHIN and our Minister of Health have encouraged us to be creative in envisioning the future of tomorrow for patients and realizing these visions today. A regional program for kidney care is a truly innovative approach to addressing what is most important to patients in a high-functioning health system: coordination, satisfaction, quality, and sustainability.’ 

“We believe that through a collaborative partnership, Niagara Health System and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton will be able to draw on each others’ successes and learnings, ultimately delivering a transformative approach to care that will be recognized across the province, and on a national level,” says Mr. Carl Santoni, Chair, St. Joseph’s Hamilton Joint Boards of Governors.

"Niagara Health System's Board of Directors is committed to a world-class health system for local residents, and encourages collaborations that will fulfill this vision,” says Dr. Barry Wright, Chair of the Board of Directors for Niagara Health System. “In the case of today's announcement, we are participating in an innovative model for renal care in the LHIN, with a vision for streamlined access to all phases of care ‎right up to transplant. This is a great opportunity we simply could not miss out on and one that we are very excited to be actively engaged in with our healthcare partners." 

HNHB LHIN CEO Ms. Donna Cripps applauds the initiative. ‘The HNHB LHIN believes in the power of this kind of integration to accelerate positive healthcare for patients by streamlining coordination and making transitions between phases of care seamless. The potential for a seamless experience for say a dialysis patient who lives in Fort Erie and requires a transplant later in their journey is a really compelling goal of this program. We will continue to encourage these partners and watch for exciting developments of this collaboration.’

As part of this partnership, Mr. Rick Badzioch has been named Executive Director for the newly integrated program.  As Clinical Director of the Nephrology Program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Regional Director, HNHB LHIN for the Ontario Renal Network, Mr. Badzioch is a well respected leader in chronic kidney disease, known for delivering innovative, excellent outcomes in care. ‘There is so much to be excited for here,’ said Badzioch. ‘I am thrilled to be working with such engaged colleagues in both Niagara and Hamilton. I feel very lucky to unite them in a common purpose as we work together to leverage our collective strengths.’

NHS President, Dr. Suzanne Johnston and SJHH President Dr. David Higgins note, ‘collaborating to build this jointly administered program is a highlight in our partnership, as the potential to benefit those we serve is so evident, especially where the kidney care programs serve clients across the socio-economic spectrum. We are confident in Rick’s ability to lead our teams, and work with stakeholders and partners beyond our walls to build a true system of care we can all be proud of.’

The partnership between NHS and SJHH takes effect immediately, and work has begun on engaging teams at both organizations.


In Hamilton please contact:                                                                     

Maria Hayes                                                                                                 
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton                                                
(p) 905-522-1155 ext. 33506                                                      
(m) 905-975-2740                                                                    

In Niagara please contact:

Caroline Bourque Wiley
Niagara Health System
(p) 905-378-4647, ext. 43113
(m) 905-329-9523


Niagara Health System