New CEO “Excited to Bring 25+ Years Experience to SAH”

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Sault Area Hospital (SAH) will benefit from the talents and experience of a longstanding health leader as its next president and chief executive officer (CEO). Board Chair Reg StAmour is pleased to announce on behalf of the Board of Directors, that Wendy Hansson has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Sault Area Hospital, effective July 3, 2019.

SaultOnline caught up with Hansson to talk about her new role.

How does it feel?
“It’s very exciting. Yeah, it’s exciting to come full circle back and bring my skills and experience and knowledge back to the city and the community and continue to build on their good work. So it’s a very exciting opportunity, I’m very pleased.”

Headhunted or applied for position?
“It was a combination thereof. I knew the headhunter; we have an established relationship. But I also was aware of it, because I’d been in the city right around when it was being posted for a family funeral actually, and so I was aware of the role and was familiar with the firm that was helping support the board and it all just kind of piled up from there.”
Born and raised in the Sault, currently in BC

What made you decide to apply for/take this job and come back home?
“I think something about me being in town when it was posted,but I’d been looking for that opportunity to lead an organization and moving into the CEO role is really a combination of my 25+ years in healthcare so it’s a natural extension of my experience and I’ve worked across the whole continuum and I think my experience will be a value. And the city itself and my growing up have really contributed to who I am and my success, both in my personal and professional life, and so I was excited to ___ and applying to bring that experience back and just that and I have a privilege to lead the organization, which I know has a great reputation. So it’s kind of a combination of many things.”

Any big plans for SAH?
“I think my first task will be to get familiar and get in terms of a deeper and broader understanding of the Sault Area Hospital from the perspective of not only the organization and staff and physicians involved, but also reacquaint myself with the community and all of it’s partners. I believe that the hospital has done some good work in building a lot of connections and partnerships, which can always be advanced, and so I look forward to getting those perspectives. And many of those perspectives will inform my outlook of where we need to go. But certainly the vision that the organization has laid out around building trust and confidence in the community and continuing to provide excellent care and looking at what care looks like in the future from the patient and family perspective, that’s all very congruent with where all organizations in Canada are headed.”

What strengths and skills will you bring to the SAH team?

“I think – well I’m known in the system to have a broad systems perspective of looking at the system from an integrated care perspective. So where we – you know, healthcare has a tendency to be provided often in silos, but I’ve worked in more recent sectors in an integrated care system that looks at the in-and-care for the patient’s journey, along from the  home right into acute interventions and back into family practice and community supports, etc. To take that, looking at it as a system and healthcare system and how do we contribute to that is a big plus. I have done a lot of work in innovation and I think a lot of the future of how we ensure that we’re providing value with every dollar that we spend just keeps the system sustainable is an important one, so that encompasses bringing in data and analytics and digital technology into solutions.”