CHEO President Message


Alex Munter
President and CEO, CHEO

Finding inspiration in children and families

Running a hospital is a humbling experience. I hear the same thing from our staff and physicians. When we go home each day, we may feel humbled because we don’t always have the answers. Humbled by the kids and families who face their diagnoses and treatments 24/7. Humbled by the frontline healthcare team who works round-the-clock to deliver treatments, provide diagnoses and offer a smile or a hug when it’s needed most.

Each day at CHEO we find inspiration in the children and families we care for. They inspire us to always do better and be the best at what we do. To achieve this, we set goals and guiding principles.

This year they included reducing the time any child has to wait for care, always aiming for a better safety record, using our resources responsibly, discovering and innovating, and connecting our care with the community.

At the forefront of all these goals is our CHEOnext action plan, the guiding force that motivates us and makes us accountable for the care and expertise we provide. Here are some of the milestones of the past year that make us proud:

  • In October, CHEO and The Royal launched the Young Minds strategy, a partnership to improve access to mental health care for children and youth in Eastern Ontario. This new strategy will help us adapt to the growing need for mental health services in our community. The aim is to help families find the right services at the right time, reduce wait times, and do more for young children, among other priorities.
  • In July, CHEO launched our Navigator Program – a unique pilot program that will help families manage the social, emotional and economic burden of caring for children with complex medical conditions. This program brings many players together across the community to provide services such as therapists, medical specialists, respite or palliative care, special supports to participate in school and community activities, and more.
  • This past year CHEO was able to significantly reduce wait times and improve care for kids with chronic pain. An increase in our team of medical professionals allowed us to treat 70 new patients and with the goal of adding another 106 new patients during the current year.
  • Our outpatient clinics have also focused on managing and reducing waitlists. This has been greatly helped by the implementation of Epic, our integrated electronic health record system, in 43 outpatient clinics at CHEO. We can now track, measure and report on our wait times for all new outpatients, and have begun to make progress on reducing wait times in Neurology, Pulmonary Function and Orthopedics, among others.
  • We were excited to be named one of Ontario’s top hospitals for employee and physician satisfaction. CHEO ranked #1, among all Ontario hospitals surveyed, for doctors who say they trust their organization. CHEO was also the #1 teaching hospital in five categories, including employee engagement. CHEO’s recognition is based on surveys conducted by The National Research Corporation Canada (NRCC) with employees and physicians at Ontario hospitals between 2012 and 2014.
  • CHEOworks is one of the programs behind the hospital’s continued success. CHEOworks has helped staff, patients and families come up with ideas to improve how things are done at CHEO. This best practice is based on “Lean” principles to improve patient care and streamline workflow. This year, employees, physicians, patients and families suggested and implemented 542 improvements.

The positive feedback CHEO gets from employees and physicians is reflected in the work that they do every day to improve the lives of patients and families. This engagement and commitment has a huge impact on the many big and small ways CHEO contributes to the health of children and youth.

Alex Munter
President and CEO, CHEO