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Thunder Bay hospital, health research institute picks a new leader

Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott jumps from LHIN job to head up northwestern Ontario medical centre hub

Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott has been appointed as the president-CEO of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute, effective November 23.

Hospital board chair and CEO search committee leader Matt Simeoni and research institute board chair Andrew Dean made the announcement on Sept.4.

Crocker Ellacott replaces Jean Bartkowiak who had announced his intention to retire.

Described in a hospital news release as a health care executive with more than 30 years of "progressive health care experience," she is the current CEO of North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), and CEO of North East LHIN and Transitional Regional Lead for Ontario Health in the North Region.

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Crocker Ellacott was formerly the executive vice-president of patient services and chief nursing executive of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and CEO of Nipigon District Memorial Hospital.

She is called a motivational leader and a team builder in developing effective partnerships and networks across the broader health system.

"The board is absolutely confident that Rhonda is the right person to lead our Hospital through the development of a new strategic plan and health system transformation,” said Simeoni in a statement.

“She is a highly respected and proven leader, as well as a champion of patients and families, as demonstrated by her three decades of growth and success.”

Dean called Crocker Ellacott a "visionary" driven to advance and enhance the patient experience.

"Her comprehensive background in the health care system and specific knowledge of and passion for northwestern Ontario make her the ideal person to inspire and guide ongoing innovation in health research at our Health Research Institute."

Crocker Ellacott said she's looking forward to reconnecting with staff, scientists, patient family advisors and volunteers.

"In this new role, I will rely heavily on their collective knowledge, skills, and commitment to safe, quality care as we advance our vision of being Healthy Together.”