Insights January 2012

Final OHA Tom Talks, January 11, 2012

Tom Closson


After four years and over 100 Tom Talks, this is my final Tom Talks in my role as President and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) as I am stepping down on January 13th. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to work with you and lead the OHA through a period of significant change for hospitals and the healthcare system.

Some of the important initiatives that OHA staff have worked on with you  include:  implementation of new accountability arrangements with the LHINs; posting of patient safety and other hospital performance indicators; flagging the serious nature of the ALC situation and promoting strategies to address it; promoting and supporting good governance; publishing new hospital prototype bylaws; encouraging the work of the government task force on access to care in small communities; feeding into the Legislature’s select committee on mental health and addictions; publically promoting the concept of the hospital efficiency dividend; publishing  ideas for bending the cost curve; making breakthrough contracts with the Ontario Nurses’ Association and the Ontario Public Services Employees Union;  implementing Quality Improvement Plans in support of ECFAA; supporting a greater role for physician leaders; preparing for freedom of information to be applied to hospitals; promoting the value of hospital and other leaders to achieve a high performing system; gaining agreement from government to address working capital deficits; developing proposals for restructuring the health system and having a definite impact on the deliberations of the Drummond Commission on how to make the healthcare system more affordable.

Today, on January 11th, I presented on “Achieving a High Performing Health Care System” at the Longwoods Breakfast with the Chief. I covered such topics as: the government’s precarious financial situation, Ontario and Canada health care system performance (financial, processes and outcomes) and recommendations on how to help close the $16 billion financial gap that Ontario currently faces.   PowerPoint slides that I used for this presentation can be accessed here. Longwoods filmed this presentation. The video can be seen here.

Back  in December I presented at the Economic Club of Canada on the topic of “Leadership”.  A copy of my speech is accessible here.  The basic message of that  presentation is that leadership matters.  Good leaders (CEOs, VPs, and front-line managers) have enabled Ontario to have the most efficient hospitals in Canada and the shortest wait times for surgical procedures.  Moving forward we need the best possible leaders we can retain and attract.  Providing high quality health care services with significantly constrained resources will not be easy.

I would like to thank you all for the assistance that I have received from you over the past four years in my role as OHA CEO. I would particularly like to thank the OHA staff and Board for their support and guidance. I have done my best to merit having this role and I have enjoyed it immensely.  I am stepping down rather than retiring so I hope that I will have a chance to work with some of you in other capacities in the time ahead.  I can be reached at

Best wishes!



About the Author(s)

Tom Closson is the outgoing President & CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association.


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