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Mark Fam head shot photo


Kitchener, ON | November 24, 2022 – After an extensive search process, Mark Fam has been named the new President of St. Mary’s General Hospital, and will be joining the Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health System on February 6, 2023.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mark to St. Mary’s and to the St. Joseph’s Health System,” says Elizabeth Buller, President and CEO of the St. Joseph’s Health System. “Mark embodies our mission to serve with compassion while inspiring excellence. His collaborative leadership style will undoubtedly benefit the broader community, not just the patients and staff of St. Mary’s,” says Buller.

Mark joins St. Mary’s from Michael Garron Hospital where he is currently the Vice President, Clinical Programs, and before that as the Vice President, Corporate Services at Health Quality Ontario. A Certified Health Executive, Mark has a broad base of industry knowledge based on his 20+ years working in the health system, where he developed expertise in health system strategy, operations and planning, service integration, community engagement, and quality improvement at the local and regional levels. Mark also contributes to new learners in the health system through his work as an Assistant Professor with the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and Associate Professor at the Rotman School of Management, at the University of Toronto.

Interim President Sherri Ferguson is set to retire in March 2023, and she is thanked for her tremendous commitment to St. Mary’s General Hospital during her tenure, and in her prior roles. We warmly welcome Mark to St. Mary’s and Waterloo Region.

As we observe the second official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Friday, September 30, it is important that we recognize this day as an opportunity to pause and reflect on the trauma and legacy of the residential school system in Canada. By joining the national community in observing this day, we acknowledge how integral it is for Catholic healthcare institutions to ensure we are continuously seeking ways to be thoughtful, considerate and compassionate in how we serve our community in providing high-quality patient care.

Background on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Orange Shirt Day began in 2013, when Phyllis Webstad, from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, first told her story of attending residential school, where the new orange shirt her grandmother had given her for school was stripped from her. Since that day, September 30 has been recognized across Canada as Orange Shirt Day, an opportunity to discuss in a meaningful way the effects of residential schools.

In 2021, the Government of Canada legislated September 30 as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It follows one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) recommendations, which calls for the government to work with Indigenous people to develop a day to “honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”

There is still work to be done

This summer, Pope Francis apologized to Indigenous residential school survivors in Maskwacis, Alberta, following a visit to the former site of the Ermineskin Indian Residential School. During his visit, he said, “We want to walk together, to pray together and to work together, so that the sufferings of the past can lead to a future of justice, healing and reconciliation.”

Pope Francis’ apology can be found HERE

As further unmarked graves continue to be discovered, such as the recent 43 discovered at the former Mohawk Residential School, St. Joseph’s Health System remains committed to working alongside the Catholic healthcare community towards justice, healing and reconciliation.

In its statement last week, the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada acknowledged the difficult truth about the history and impact on the health status of Indigenous Peoples, and the journey we seek to build trust and work towards transformative change for Indigenous People receiving care within the Catholic health system in Canada.

What you can do

I invite and encourage our St. Joseph’s Health System family to join in this journey toward justice, healing and reconciliation.

  • Many of our organizations have created opportunities for healthcare workers to learn more. Please seek these out.
  • Show your support – wear an orange shirt and/or buy an Orange Shirt button to demonstrate your interest and support.

Listen. Learn. These are small but tangible steps to continue building bridges toward reconciliation.

Support and resources

We recognize that this may be a difficult time, and a time of reflection for Indigenous staff, patients and families. This is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our relationship with Indigenous Peoples, to educate ourselves about Canada’s history, and take advantage of available educational resources. These are some resources to become better informed.

If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out. Supports available include:

  • The Hope for Wellness Help Line, which offers immediate help to all Indigenous peoples across Canada at 1-855-242-3310.
  • A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line provides support for former students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line at 1-866-925-4419.


Ms. Liz Buller
President and CEO
St. Joseph’s Health System


Hamilton – March 24, 2022 – Dr. Anne Anderson, csj, Chair, Board of Directors of St. Joseph’s Health System (SJHS), with the approval of the Diocese of Hamilton, announces the appointment of Elizabeth Buller to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Joseph’s Health System.

Ms. Buller is currently President and CEO of Scarborough Health Network and Scarborough Research Institute.

St. Joseph’s Health System is a large and complex health system comprised of six-member organizations and multiple sites, which include: St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener, St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Guelph, St. Joseph’s Home Care, St. Joseph’s Lifecare Centre in Brantford and St. Joseph’s Villa in Dundas.

Ms. Buller is well known for her outstanding contributions to health care both provincially and nationally.  She has led the Scarborough Health Network from 2017 to the present. Prior to her current position, Ms. Buller was President & CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre Toronto, where she was instrumental in the voluntary merger of three hospitals to create Unity Health Toronto. Her extensive background in healthcare leadership also includes the position of Executive Vice President Clinical Operations & Chief of Nursing and Professional Practice for the William Osler Health System, one of Canada’s largest multi-site community hospital corporations.

On the West coast, Ms. Buller served as Senior Operating Officer for Vancouver Acute, a multi-site academic health sciences centre within the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Canada’s largest integrated health region. Additionally, she has held positions of Executive Director, Program Planning and Services, and Director, Cardiac Sciences for Providence Health Care, in Vancouver.

A native of London, Ontario, Ms. Buller obtained her BScN magna cum laude from McMaster University.  She also holds a Master of Health Administration from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Training from Royal Roads University in Victoria. Ms. Buller is also a member of the Canadian College of Health Leaders and the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.d). In 2019, she was recognized by WXN (Women’s Executive Network) as one of Canada’s top 100 most powerful women.

Ms. Buller’s start date is being determined.

About St. Joseph’s Health System
St. Joseph’s Health System is one of the largest corporations in Canada devoted to health care. Our member organizations are known for genuine compassion and caring, both locally and around the world. Each of the organizations offers services according to their strengths, from acute care, long-term care, and community care, to rehabilitation, hospice, community outreach, and mental health. SJHS is also a well-recognized leader for innovation in models of patient-centred, integrated care at each stage of the patient experience.

For more information:
Christine Cho, Manager, Public Affairs
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
Phone: 289-442-1660 or ccho@stjoes.ca

The Ontario government today announced that Hamilton will be one of the first communities in Ontario to move forward with establishing an Ontario Health Team.

The Honourable Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health made the announcement today at the David Braley Health Sciences Centre, before an audience that included patient advisors and other representatives of the Hamilton Health Team.

The Hamilton Health Team is a collaboration of Hamilton health and social service partners and includes representation from more than 20 organizations, reflecting primary care, home care, hospitals, community agencies, long-term care, mental health, Indigenous health, post-secondary education, and the City of Hamilton (Healthy and Safe Communities Department, Public Health and Paramedic Services), among others.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, St. Joseph’s Villa Dundas and St. Joseph’s Home Care are among the group of collaborators making up the Hamilton Health Team.

The Hamilton Health Team is co-chaired by two patient advocates, and was built on Hamilton’s rich history of working together to create a healthier community. The announcement that Hamilton’s application to form an Ontario Health Team was accepted presents an exciting opportunity to further expand on that collaborative movement involving primary care and patients as partners in design, and with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes.

“This is a remarkable opportunity to redesign and rebuild health care, focused on improving access for patients and creating more opportunities for providers to work together. I am incredibly proud of the patients and partners who have come together from across Hamilton to bring us to this point. We look forward to working with the Ministry and other Ontario Health Teams as we move forward,” said John Fleming Co-chair Hamilton Health Team.

“As a patient who has contributed to changes in health care, I’ve seen the impact we can have when we work with healthcare providers to make improvements. Patients see the gaps and know the opportunities to create a more integrated and seamless care system. We are grateful for the leadership and insights patients have provided in our early work and look forward to continuing to build patient and caregiver partnerships in the Hamilton Health Team,” said Bernice King, Co-Chair Hamilton Health Team.

The Minister’s announcement will enable the Hamilton Health Team to move forward with planning its early initiatives. This work focusses on three priority populations in Hamilton, based on data demonstrating a need to better integrate care for an aging population and provide more accessible mental health services:

  • Adults with mental health and addiction concerns
  • Children and youth with mental health and addiction concerns
  • Older adults with multiple chronic conditions

The early work will expand on key initiatives already in progress in Hamilton related to early identification, population areas and coordinated patient transitions between healthcare providers. This includes expansion of 24/7 navigation and care coordination services for patients and families, and increasing access to digital tools such as virtual visits and health records, implemented in phases over time. The work will benefit patients and healthcare providers and also help to address hallway healthcare.

The Hamilton Health Team will work closely with the Ministry of Health to determine how it will proceed with these initiatives and how it will work with other Ontario Health Teams.

There are no immediate changes or impacts for patients or healthcare providers at this time.

More than 200 leaders, community members, patients, and physicians took part in workshops to develop the application. Over 130 primary care physicians are already engaged, representing more than 200,000 patients. This works sets the foundation for increasing engagement and collaboration into the future.

For more information on the Ontario Health Team, please go to https://www.hamilton.ca/city-initiatives/strategies-actions/hamilton-health-team.

Frank Proctor enrolled in Integrated Care at UHN prior to lung surgery in late July and twice in the first month after he got home used the 24/7 phone line to connect with his IC Lead.

University Health Network (UHN) is partnering with St. Joseph’s Health System (SJHS) to implement the integrated care model pioneered by SJHS to support patients’ transition from the hospital to their home and community.

To date, the Integrated Comprehensive Care program at SJHS has served more than 20,000 patients with a 98 per cent satisfaction rating. It has helped patients go home sooner, reduced their need to go back to the Emergency Department and decreased readmissions into hospital for care.

UHN launched Integrated Care in their Thoracic Surgery Program in June and is set to expand the model across other surgical programs and beyond, including into social medicine, where the integration will also be comprised of programming for high-needs patients.

“I was privileged to play a role in creating this model and observed firsthand how the care experience was improved for patients, their families and care providers at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton,” says Dr. Kevin Smith, UHN President and CEO. “Now, TeamUHN is partnering with the St. Joseph’s Health System’s Centre for Integrated Care to bring our collective expertise and experience together.

Click here to read the full article on the UHN website.

Pictured above: Frank Proctor enrolled in Integrated Care at UHN prior to lung surgery in late July and twice in the first month after he got home used the 24/7 phone line to connect with his IC Lead. (Photo: Courtesy Frank Proctor)

A statue of Mother Mary Martha Von Bunning sits outside the Sisters of St. Joseph motherhouse in Dundas. Von Bunning was still in her twenties when she founded the Hamilton order. She died in her 40s. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Call them early feminists, or the founders of modern healthcare in Hamilton, but nuns are leaving a legacy

CBC Hamilton | Samantha Craggs, CBC News Reporter  | November 17, 2019 | Photo provided by Samantha Craggs/CBC Hamilton

When Sister Teresita McInally leaves the Sisters of St. Joseph motherhouse in Dundas next month, it’ll be “kicking and screaming.” But she, like the few others still there, knows the time has come.

It’s a beautiful property, with an expanse of green grass, flowers with blooms like clouds and a gazebo with comfortable chairs. At one point, more than 100 sisters lived here, women religious who taught high school, and cared for the sick, and held leadership positions in a time when few women did.

Catholic health care was borne from phenomenal and brave women of faith. The Sisters of St. Joseph risked their lives to heal the sick and care for the most vulnerable. Today, their mission and legacy live through our staff, not only here in Hamilton, but across the St. Joseph’s Health System.

Click here to learn more about their history and to read the full article.