Grand River Hospital has a senior leadership team focused on carrying out our mission of exceptional CARE with compassion. Each member of the senior leadership team is responsible for a variety of corporate services or supervising activities within the hospital’s 14 clinical programs and services.
Malcolm Maxwell, President and Chief Executive Officer
Malcolm Maxwell has been president and CEO of Grand River Hospital since May 2007.
Malcolm’s career has included CEO roles in hospitals in Nova Scotia and health authorities in Alberta and British Columbia. He has also held senior health ministry roles in the Yukon Territory and Nova Scotia. Within Waterloo-Wellington, he has participated in inter-organizational work to support integration in the areas of information technology, pharmacy and support services.
Malcolm holds a masters degree in environmental studies as well as a master of health services administration degree from Dalhousie University. He has held an appointment in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Dalhousie as adjunct faculty in the School of Health Services Administration. He has served on the boards of the Ontario Hospital Association, Canadian Institute for Health Information, Accreditation Canada, and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation.
You can reach Malcolm through his assistant Karen Taylor at 519-749-4300 extension 2201.
Judy Burns, Vice President of Cancer and Diagnostic Services, GRH and Waterloo Wellington Regional Vice President, Cancer Care Ontario
Judy Burns was appointed vice president responsible for the Grand River Hospital's integrated cancer program and vice president of Waterloo Wellington Regional Cancer Program, Cancer Care Ontario in June 2013. Judy also provides leadership for laboratory, medical imaging, special testing and pharmacy services.
Judy is a health professional with more than 25 years of increasingly senior management postings. She has previously held the positions of the Acting Vice President for the Ontario Renal Network, CCO Acting Vice President for Planning and Regional Programs and CCO’s Director of Corporate Projects. Judy also worked for The Hospital for Sick Children as the Director of Critical Care, Psychiatry and Adolescent Medicine, and has held management consulting roles.
Judy is a registered nurse and has held clinical instructor and staff nurse responsibilities. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Health Sciences in Health Administration, both from the University of Toronto.
You can reach Judy through her assistant Judy Zylstra at 519-749-4300 extension 5710.
Barry Cheal CA, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Barry Cheal was appointed chief financial officer for Grand River Hospital in 2009.
Barry supervises the development of GRH’s annual budget and monitors the hospital’s on-going financial position. He provides strategic options for GRH’s pension plan, capital financing, and partnership strategies. Barry also provides strategic leadership to the food, laundry, housekeeping, purchasing and security services at GRH.
Barry has more than 30 years of public and private sector financial and accounting experience, working with hospitals and health authorities, in private practice and with the Canada Revenue Agency. Barry holds a bachelor of commerce in accounting and management information systems from the University of British Columbia and is a chartered accountant.
You can reach Barry through his assistant Marg Klages at 519-749-4300 extension 2148.
Gary Higgs, Integrated Chief Information Officer
Gary Higgs was appointed integrated chief information officer for Grand River Hospital and St. Mary's General Hospital in 2008.
Gary is responsible for technology and telecommunications strategy and adoption at both hospitals.
Gary is a senior information technology professional with nearly two decades of IT management experience in the private and public sectors. Prior to his work in Kitchener-Waterloo, Gary worked for Bluewater Health in Sarnia where he was chief information officer and interim chief privacy officer. He holds a bachelor of mathematics degree in business administration and information systems and a master of management sciences degree in management of technology from the University of Waterloo. Gary has also served on a number of provincial and local IT and eHealth committees.
You can reach Gary directly at 519-749-4300 extension 2755.
Ann Lillepold, Vice President of Human Resources
Ann Lillepold was appointed Grand River Hospital’s vice president of human resources in 2008.
Ann is responsible for providing strategic direction for all core human resources functions at the hospital including labour relations, recruitment, compensation and benefits, occupational health and safety, employee health and wellness, organizational development and staff scheduling. Ann also provides leadership for the hospital’s employee engagement strategies.
Ann is a senior human resources professional with over 25 years experience in the private and broader public sector, the last several years in the healthcare sector. As a certified human resources professional (CHRP), she has continued to further her education through the Ontario Hospital Association and the Human Resources Professionals Association. Ann has also served on a number of provincial senior human resources committees.
You can reach Ann through her assistant Anna Hewat at 519-749-4300 extension 3938.
Tina Mah, Vice President of Planning and Performance Management
Tina Mah was appointed Grand River Hospital’s vice president of planning and performance management in 2008.
Tina is responsible for strategic and operational planning, project management office, quality, decision support, health records/transcription, health information management, IT and research.
Tina completed her PhD in Health Studies in Gerontology at the University of Waterloo, holds a bachelor of science in occupational therapy from the University of Alberta and a master of business administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. Tina has held senior management positions across the care continuum including hospital, homecare, community, and private consulting services. Tina's research interest is in the area of the care of the older adult, with a particular interest in patient safety, quality improvement, patient experience with care, and risk management.
You can contact Tina through her assistant Sarah Laferriere at 519-749-4300 extension 2876.
Karin Olson, Vice President of Clinical Programs and Chief Nursing Executive
Karin was appointed the vice president of clinical programs and chief nursing executive in 2013.
Karin leads the development and delivery of clinical programs and services and is a key participant in hospital-wide activities promoting a safe, patient-centred care environment within Grand River Hospital. Her portfolio includes the childbirth, children's, complex continuing care, critical care, emergency, medicine, rehabilitation, renal, stroke and surgery programs as well as infection control and professional practice. Karin provides a key link amongst GRH and our Waterloo Wellington partners in health, education and professional activities.
Karin is a registered nurse with over 33 years of experience spanning acute care, home care, nursing education and clinical leadership. She was the former executive director of clinical and systems transformation for British Columbia's Vancouver Costal Health Authority, as well as the former director of acute care services for Lions Gate Hospital. Karin's experience has seen her lead change management, collaborate with health service providers, work with capital investment and take on community engagement responsibilities. Karin holds a MBA, Master of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She has held clinical instructor and faculty positions at the University of British Columbia and the BC Institute of Technology. Karin also holds a Certified Health Executive designation from the Canadian Council of Health Leaders, and is a graduate of the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council's Quality Academy.
You can reach Karin through her assistant Kathy Fogal at 519-749-4300 extension 2506.
Jenny Rajaballey, Executive Vice President
Jenny Rajaballey is currently the executive vice president responsible for mental health and addictions, capital strategy (including capital planning, facility management and redevelopment and foundation liaison), communications and marketing, senior team processes and volunteer administration as well as site administration for GRH’s Freeport site.
In the last 20 years, Jenny has held a number of positions in the Ontario Public Service and hospitals in Ontario. In the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, she led projects or teams that have included: hospital restructuring, CCAC operational review, priority programs, capital planning and LTC legislation. She was also the regional director for South/West Ontario.
After leaving the provincial government in 2003, Jenny became vice-president of corporate planning at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. This role evolved into becoming the first integrated vice president at Grand River Hospital and Cambridge Memorial Hospital in October 2005 responsible for mental health and addiction services in Waterloo Region.
Jenny has a bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Waterloo and a master’s in health administration from the University of Ottawa.
You can reach Jenny through her assistant Lindsay Caroppo at 519-749-4300 extension 5726.
Dr. Ashok Sharma, Joint Chief of Staff
Dr. Ashok Sharma was appointed joint chief in 2005 for Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital.
Dr. Sharma is responsible for chairing the medical advisory committee between both hospitals, advising the hospitals’ boards on the quality of medical care and recruitment and credentialing for physicians. He is also an assistant clinical professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University and certified member of the American College of Physician Executives.
Dr. Sharma is an emergency department physician with 32 years of clinical experience. His medical leadership career spans two decades. Dr. Sharma attained a masters of science in administrative medicine from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Dr. Sharma is actively involved with the Ontario Hospital Association, University of Waterloo, Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network and various health management organizations. Currently, he is pursuing a leadership fellowship offered through American Hospital Association and the National Patient Safety Foundation, USA.
You can contact Dr. Sharma through his assistant Sonja Cvijetic at 519-749-4300 extension 2507.
Dr. Denise Wren, Vice President of Medical Affairs
Dr. Denise Wren was appointed the vice president of medical affairs in 2014.
Dr. Wren brings more than 30 years of medical practice in Kitchener-Waterloo and a long standing relationship with practitioners to this position. For the past several years she has served as a hospitalist at Grand River Hospital and St. Mary's General Hospital. In her role as vice president of medical affairs, Dr. Wren will lead planning and change activities that will enable clinical program leaders and medical staff to work closely in making improvements in patient care to keep up with pressures facing the health system.
Dr. Wren will provide leadership to the medical directors and the risk management and patient relations team, and will serve as the hospital's medication safety officer.
You can contact Dr. Wren through her assistant Kathy Fogal at 519-749-4300 extension 2506.