Aiming High Strategic Plan 2021-2025

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Michelangelo
Dr. Höediono,
Board Chair
Ron Gagnon,
President and CEO

The Drive to be World Class for our Community

Message from our Board Chair and President & CEO

Dr. Höediono,
Board Chair
Ron Gagnon,
President and CEO

In the words of artist and innovator Michelangelo, “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” This is a reminder that we have kept top of mind in charting this exciting path for the future. We committed to aim high and to support our communities in their aspirations and dreams for the future.

In developing this plan, we have been inspired by the communities we serve and the collective aspiration of being world class. We are dedicated to being part of that collective vision. When we looked to the end of the next decade, we looked beyond our own organization and our own self interest. We looked to the future with a broader lens of what we see in our community and that is a world class health system supporting healthier lives. We are dedicated to seeing that vision realized and this plan begins our journey along that path and our contribution to the success of the communities we serve.

We have set out what success looks like a decade from now and five-year milestones letting us know that we are on the right path. We have identified three key strategic directions with four goals each to achieve the results we are aspiring to. Although we have a clear plan for where we are going and how we will get there, we also know that our environment changes in small and in major ways - this last year is a great example of the impact of major unexpected change. We will be continuously testing our plan to make sure it is right for the environment we find ourselves in and when needed, make adjustments.

Our plan has been informed by thousands of voices – patients, families, our hospital team members, partners and community leaders. It has also benefited from the significant experiences and changes of the last couple of years including the community and organizational response to Covid-19, the launch of a new hospital information system with our partners at St. Mary’s General Hospital, and the changing delivery of health care through Ontario Health Teams. We have also paid close attention to our history and are building on our strengths and the successes of the past as we look to the future.

This past year has reinforced many things, most importantly the strength, compassion and dedication of our team, the power and strength of our partners, that life is precious, and that our reason for being is the people we serve and the people who deliver that service. Our response to Covid-19 has also shown us just how much we can accomplish together and has inspired us in shaping what’s possible in the years to come.

In addition to our new vision, we have built on our mission statement and identified four key organizational values that will serve as our foundation for the future. We have been inspired and driven by the feedback we have received from hospital team members, partners and patients to our plan for the future and the positive impact it will have on people’s lives. We have no doubt that together, through our belief in each other and our community, our commitment to continuously raising the bar, and our resolve to savour and celebrate our successes along the way; we will collectively realize our dream of world class.

We will aim high.

Ron Gagnon's Signature
Ron Gagnon (he/him)
President and CEO
Grand River Hospital
Dr. Harry Hoediono's Signature
Dr. Harry Höediono
Chair of the GRH
board of directors

Vision, Mission & Values


A world class health system supporting healthier lives.


Deliver an exceptional health care experience with compassion. Driven by inspired people, an unwavering quality focus, strong partnerships and innovative solutions.


Trust and be Trustworthy
Courage to Start, Heart to Finish
Welcome One to Welcome All

Who We Are

Grand River Hospital is the largest health service provider in Waterloo Region and Guelph-Wellington and provides regional care services. We are proud to be a community teaching hospital and a preferred destination for learners from many disciplines. In 2020, 750 student learners joined the GRH team, for 60+ professional disciplines.

We have two campuses with three satellite locations and have an annual budget of $400M.

Staff Members
Medical Staff*

Our Community

Waterloo Region includes the three cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, and the four townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich. With a population of more than 630,000 people, Waterloo Region is one of the fastest growing areas in Ontario.

* Physicians, dentists, midwives and nurse practitioners credentialed through the Chief of Staff's office.

Our Care Services

  • Cancer Care
  • Childbirth
  • Children's
  • Complex Continuing Care
  • Critical Care (ICU)
  • Emergency
  • Laboratory Medicine
  • Medical Imaging
  • Medicine
  • Mental Health and Addictions
  • Pharmacy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Renal (Kidney)
  • Stroke
  • Surgery
“A health system that is among the best in the world in terms of experience for the people we serve and our teams, health outcomes and sustainability as a system.” What Being World Class Means to Us

Measures of Success

5 Years

  • Our board, leadership and team make up better reflects the community we serve
  • We will rank in the top decile in Ontario for patient/family and team experience
  • We will rank in the top decile in Canada for selected/key patient quality and safety results
  • Our new acute care infrastructure plan is ready to go to market
  • Maximize government funding to support high quality care and services close to home. Increase non-ministry revenue by $20 million/year and achieve a bottom line equal to 2% of total revenue to support strategic investments
  • Innovation collaborative is in place with local medtech, education and healthcare organizations, and GRH will be recognized as a leader in care innovation locally and nationally
  • KW4 OHT is fully operational (integrated funding enveloped and integrated outcome accountabilities)
  • The 3 RoW hospitals will be functioning as one system (does not require formal integration)
  • Will have established or strengthened Regional Centres of Excellence and have approval for a neurosurgery program
  • Our Health Information System (HIS) is fully optimized and used beyond our walls
  • GRH will have advanced the maturity of its practices to be a recognized leader as an insight driven organization

10 Years

  • Globally recognized brand for health care excellence, attracting top talent from around the world
  • One integrated health system for the community
  • Patient and family driven culture - they are part of everything we do
  • State of the art infrastructure, technology, and therapies
  • Community driven innovation collaborative is recognized as a leader in health care delivery innovation
  • Care is primarily delivered outside of our traditional hospital walls
  • An insight driven organization
  • Significantly grow our revenue from all sources in order to support investments in our world class vision

Strategic Directions


We value people above all else and our aim is to make a positive difference in their lives every day.  We will put the experience of our patients & their families, our team members (Physicians, staff, learners and volunteers) and our partners at the very top of our agenda.

Key Strategic Goals which will enable success

  1. Place quality of the patient, family, team, learner and partner experience at the heart of everything that we do.
  2. Continue to support our teams to be world class
  3. Advance diversity, equity and inclusion across the organization by creating structures and launching programs for long-term, sustainable change.
  4. Maximize government funding to support high quality care and services close to home.  Invest in world class by increasing non-ministry revenue and operating efficiency through innovation, entrepreneurship and philanthropy.


We will be an engaged partner working with our partners, patients and their families to co-develop a truly world class system to advance the health and health outcomes of people in our community.

Key Strategic Goals which will enable success

  1. Play a leadership role in working with our partners to make the Ontario Health Team (OHT) vision a reality.
  2. Implement solutions to ensure the physical infrastructure needs of high quality, safe care are met today and tomorrow.
  3. Champion the delivery of integrated hospital services in our region. Where appropriate, strengthen or establish GRH as a regional centre of excellence in select program, service and support areas.
  4. Implement systems and innovative tools to identify, share, and continuously embed world class practices into our operations.


We will leverage the collective talents and strengths of GRH, our community, and our partners to innovate and accelerate the transformation of health care delivery.

Key Strategic Goals which will enable success

  1. Build a culture of innovation and research that encourages a spirit of curiosity, discovery, and improvement.
  2. Build innovation capacity.
  3. Position GRH as a preferred destination for learners in order to prepare for, and inform, future health care delivery.
  4. Become an insight driven organization.