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Updated message from President and CEO Lynn Guerriero – February 17, 2022

Posted Feb 17th, 2022

We are devastated by Heather Winterstein’s death. I have personally reached out to Heather’s family to express our condolences, to assure them of our commitment to understanding what happened, and to include the family in this process. We are in regular contact with the family and members from the local Indigenous community and will continue to stay in touch with them. 

The internal quality of care review is a top priority and is fully underway. This review is focused on understanding Heather’s care experience, and we will be sharing the recommendations from this review with the family. The target date for completion is end of February. 

The Coroner’s investigation has begun, and Niagara Health is fully supportive and co-operating. All information requested by the investigating Coroner to date has been provided. This is a separate investigation from our internal review and is being overseen by the Coroner’s office.

Immediately following Heather’s death, Niagara Health committed to conducting an independent Third Party Review to help us to deepen our understanding of her patient experience and the experiences of Indigenous patients and community. This review is intended to further inform our work to provide safe, quality healthcare to every patient we serve. Timing to proceed with a Third Party Review is pending the outcome of the Coroner's investigation.

Niagara Health is committed to understanding Heather’s experience and the experience of Indigenous patients in our care. Ultimately, we’re committed to providing the best care for every patient and to working with Heather’s family and Indigenous community members to meaningfully improve their experiences.

Lynn Guerriero

President and CEO

Niagara Health

Niagara Health System