A new face is set to head the Stanton Territorial Health Authority (STHA) this September.
Brenda Fitzgerald will be taking the reins from Kay Lewis as STHA’s CEO.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity and moving to the North,” Fitzgerald told The Journal. “I have over 30 years in health care and I just love the field we’re in, the connections and differences we can make.”
Fitzgerald, originally from Newfoundland, was most recently the president and CEO at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon, Sask., her home for the past decade. She stepped down from this title in 2008. Her latest project is the construction, commissioning and licensing of a 174-suite independent and assisted living facility.
She also started her own consulting company in 2009 and oversaw the work of a 100-suite long-term care facility from 2010-2012 in partnership with the Catholic Health Ministry of Saskatchewan and the provincial ministry of Health.
Her favourite success, however, came from her first job on Newfoundland’s Burin peninsula when she was a fresh graduate.
“We built a brand new hospital there that brought speciality level services to the peninsula like psychology, obstetrics and gynecology,” she said. “People said you’ll never be able to do this, you won’t be able to recruit enough professionals….But I had the pleasure of recruiting an awesome team. The hospital is still there and still provides a great level of care and that was all started in 1987.”
Fitzgerald graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from Memorial University in Newfoundland and earned a Masters of Health Science from the University of Toronto. She went on to hold several health services administration and CEO positions and also served as the assistant deputy minister of Health with the government of Newfoundland and Labrador. In this position, she oversaw the transfer of community based components of the provincial department of Social Services to regional health and community services boards.
It was Fitzgerald’s broad experience and overwhelmingly positive references that helped make the authority’s decision easier, said Joe Handley, STHA’s public administrator.
“She’s been a senior hospital administrator for a number of years; she’s worked in government and helped Saskatchewan’s health department restructure their system into something more integrated, which is what we’re trying to do,” Handley said. “We had other good candidates too, but she outranked the others with her experience.”
As Stanton starts to look at major reconstruction over the next few years, Fitzgerald will be a key player in helping that process roll out smoothly, Handley said.
“I’m looking forward to building on the strengths already established at Stanton and what they are currently putting in place for the future in terms of the capital planning process and continue to identify opportunities for improvement and really be responsible for the people we serve,” Fitzgerald said.