Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry assistant professor Dr. Gillian Kernaghan has been named President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Care, effective Oct. 4.
A highly respected physician and administrative leader, Kernaghan is renowned for her medical, academic and system leadership at local, regional, provincial and national levels.
Dr. Gillian Kernaghan
“Today we mark the beginning of the next era in hospital care, teaching and research in London,” says St. Joseph’s Board Chair Dr. Gerry Killan. “Gillian has the skill, knowledge and drive to take St. Joseph’s and London’s academic hospital system to the next level. Our board is unanimous in this appointment of a fine clinician, educator and leader.”
Since 2006, Kernaghan has been integrated vice-president, medical education and medical affairs for both London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph’s. Among her many accomplishments in this role, she led the establishment of an ethics program at LHSC, acted as the hospitals’ pandemic incident manager and led a city-wide hand hygiene campaign that saw 40 to 50 per cent increases in compliance across hospital sites within two years.
“I have worked with Gillian for 13 years and during this time, I have witnessed her drive for excellence and her compassion for people,” says Dr. Rob McFadden, chair of St. Joseph’s medical advisory committee and a member of the CEO selection team.
“She is committed to health care excellence and is a seeker of solutions, having worked on some of the most challenging issues facing our system today.”
Prior to her current role, Kernaghan was vice-president, medical and professional affairs at St. Joseph’s for five years. Between 1993 and 1997, she was vice-president, medical services at Parkwood Hospital and played a key role in the transition of Parkwood’s amalgamation with St. Joseph’s in 1997.
“Having worked for 17 years as a senior medical leader committed to the development of our academic health sciences centre in London, I look forward to leading St. Joseph’s as we forge new roles within the health care system and continue to provide excellent compassionate care to the community,” says Kernaghan, president elect of the Canadian Society of Physician Executives.
Kernaghan has been a family practice physician in London for more than 25 years and with the responsibilities of the new CEO role, her one regret is the need to stop direct clinical practice. She will work with physicians and staff at the St. Joseph’s Family Medical Centre to ensure her patients have continued family practice care.
Former Schulich Dean Carol Herbert describes Kernaghan as “one of the finest clinicians and leaders in our academic health sciences centre today.”