Hospital  >  Welcome  >  Our President & CEO

Our President & CEO

Dr. Andy J. Smith, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS
President and CEO
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Since 2017, Dr. Andy Smith has been President and CEO of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where he leads more than 12,000 staff, physicians, researchers, and learners and an annual budget in excess of $1.4 billion. Prior to his current role, Dr. Smith served as Sunnybrook’s Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Executive.

With a long-established career as a surgeon and recognized leader in the management of colorectal cancer, Dr. Smith is deeply committed to progressing healthcare. He has been involved for many years in quality improvement initiatives in Ontario and is passionate about healthcare leadership, innovation, and the evolution of the healthcare system in Canada. Dr. Smith recently served as Chair of the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TASHN), championing the collaborative impact of the network. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Ornge, Ontario’s air ambulance and medical transport service, Public Health Ontario (PHO), and HealthCareCAN, an association of healthcare organizations and hospitals across Canada.

Dr. Smith completed medical school, including a Master of Science, and General Surgery residency at the University of Toronto. He also completed a Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Smith is a Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto and has served as the Bernard & Ryna Langer Chair, Division of General Surgery at the University of Toronto.

Sunnybrook is one of Canada’s largest academic health sciences centres, and is a fully affiliated teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. Sunnybrook is also home to the country’s first and largest trauma centre. Each year, Sunnybrook conducts more than $100 million in research, trains approximately 4,000 learners, and cares for more than 1.2 million patients. The organization also provides a broad range of tertiary regional programs and services including specialties in cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, high-risk obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedic and arthritic conditions, rehabilitation, and community care. In addition, Sunnybrook is Canada’s largest facility caring for the country’s war veterans.

Read a selection of Dr. Smith’s recent updates to Sunnybrook staff

May 09, 2024 - Spring Greetings

Dear Sunnybrookers,

As spring arrives, I have a sense of unwavering optimism about our future and the groundwork that we laid for several major initiatives. It is a testament to our collective commitment to excellence that we are not merely progressing, but advancing and truly excelling in our endeavours.

Inside our walls, we continue to focus on improving access and capacity in key areas. One area of success worth highlighting is from our operating rooms, where teams have implemented changes to improve delays. By realigning resources, improving analytics and sharing real-time data, we have reduced the number of times a patient is delayed (or held) in the recovery room from 41% last spring to 5.7% in February 2024. In a similar vein, we recently launched the Access to Emergent Care Task Force to focus improvement efforts on delays and wait times experienced in the emergency department which involved many programs across Sunnybrook and partners in the community.

Looking externally, we are seeing the results of partnerships we forged in previous years. The efficiencies of the Toronto Regional Arthroplasty Collaborative (TRAC) resulted in an increase in the total hip and knee surgery cases performed, have a greater proportion of cases down within the wait time targets and have reduced the number of people waiting on the list by 9% across the partnership sites. We are seeing similar improvement from other partnerships in ENT, ophthalmology and gynecology and are forging new ones in the areas of brain sciences and mental health.

As you learned last week, Project REACH has achieved another exciting milestone. The health information system vendor with the highest ranking after a multi-phase evaluation is Oracle Health. What this means is that Oracle Health received the highest score by our evaluators and we will now enter the contract negotiation phase. We anticipate this phase will take several months. Project REACH is a large-scale venture that touches all aspects of our organization and will continue to drive our progress and advancement forward. I’m deeply appreciative of the significant efforts from our teams as we move along in this journey.

Our people are undoubtedly our strength and it’s inspiring to have so much to celebrate. Sunnybrook is increasingly recognized for our ability to recruit, train and retain the next generation of leaders, as seen in the most recent Health Workforce Canada article. We are coming to the end of an incredible Nursing Week celebration and we have also held important events recognizing the culture and heritage of our Sunnybrook teams through Black History Month, our first Eid celebration, Asian Heritage Month with Jewish Heritage Month recognition still to come. Congratulations go out as well to our recent award winners from all areas of the organization, including the Leo N. Steven Excellence in Leadership Award, the Nursing and Clinical Excellence Award, Education Research and Scholarship Grants, and our Excellence in Education Award winners. You have also all contributed to Sunnybrook’s ranking on Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals list for the sixth year in a row.

Thank you for the tremendous response to our Staff and Physician Engagement Survey last year. Your feedback indicated that we have been making beneficial changes to your work life experience like the creation of the Department of Equity and Social Accountability, improving staff lounges and providing additional opportunities for professional development and growth. It also helped us identify where to focus our efforts next, including electronic patient information systems and flexibility in scheduling.

As we look to the months ahead there are several noteworthy activities. This month we will be having important discussions with our Board of Directors about our approach to outpatient care and kicking off a strategic planning exercise for 2024-05. Later this Spring we will see the opening of the MySunnybrook Experience Centre in the M1 lobby as well as the rededication of our renovated Cenotaph. I also encourage everyone to come out to ‘A Special Staff Experiencein June. It is sure to be a memorable opportunity to learn more about what makes this place Special and to take a moment to celebrate the amazing work you do.

As we move forward through Spring, let's continue to support one another and celebrate the incredible dedication and care we provide to our patients.

I am deeply grateful to serve alongside you all here at Sunnybrook.

Best regards,

Dr. Andy Smith,
President and CEO

December 20, 2023 - Happy Holidays

Dear Sunnybrookers,

As we approach the end of another year, I find myself reflecting on our incredible journey with not only an enormous sense of accomplishment, but immense gratitude. The year 2023 has been pivotal for Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Over the past 12 months, we continued to make profound advances in patient care and research, deepened our impact in the community, and have worked together to ensure that we are there when it matters most for our patients and our families. We have also faced challenges together, and done so with grit and resolve.

This year holds special significance, as our Bayview campus commemorated the 75th anniversary since opening as ‘Sunnybrook Military Hospital’. Originating as a hospital for Canada's veterans, we have evolved into a beacon for providing healthcare leadership and caring for some of the most challenging cases in our province, while upholding our commitment to those who have served our country. We have a mandate for system leadership, so we are focusing on the future to ensure readiness for the evolving needs of our communities and healthcare system. From the upcoming launch of the Garry Hurvitz Brain Science Centre, the first of its kind in Canada, to the initial planning stages of a state-of-the-art Critical Care Centre, Sunnybrook is well poised for the next 75 years.

Part of being future-ready means updating our systems and facilities, and there are currently over 100 infrastructure projects underway. Modern facilities are essential for twenty-first-century care, and as our buildings age, investing in them becomes crucial to support world-class care. This year we also launched a process to procure a health information system (HIS). Known as Project Reach, the new HIS will bring us in line with the standards of other TAHSN organizations, while improving the quality of care and reducing risk. As we continue to face tremendous health human resource pressures, the HIS system will also help to relieve some of the administrative burdens our healthcare providers experience in manual documentation processes.

Our research and education teams achieved notable accomplishments this year. The Sunnybrook Research Institute moved up to the ninth spot on the 2023 list of Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals, released by RE$EARCH Infosource Inc. The list analyzes hospital-based research institutes on several metrics, including total funding. SRI research spending totaled more than $128 million in the 2022 fiscal year, an increase of 24.8% from the previous year. The Sunnybrook Education team unveiled a new strategic plan, reinforcing our commitment to developing future healthcare leaders and creating quality learning for all in changing times.

People are, and always will be, our number one priority. I have long said that it’s you - the staff, physicians, and volunteers - who are our superpower and make Sunnybrook special. As we look ahead to 2024, I do so with confidence and great pride in Team Sunnybrook. Thank you for your unwavering support, dedication, commitment to care and innovation, and for being an indispensable part of Sunnybrook.

Over the next few weeks, many families, friends and loved ones will gather to enjoy time together while also recharging and preparing for a new year. For many, however, and especially in the face of so many challenges happening here at home and around the globe, it is a difficult time. Know that my thoughts are with you, and I want everyone at Sunnybrook to support one another in our common humanity.

I extend my best wishes to you and your loved ones for a New Year filled with good health, peace, and happiness.

Warmest regards,

Dr. Andy Smith,
President and CEO

November 6, 2023 - Recognizing Veterans Week

Dear Team Sunnybrookers

Seventy-five years ago, we opened our doors as the Sunnybrook Military Hospital, and for 75 years we have been true to our roots by continuing to provide outstanding care for Veterans. Today, we have more than 200 resident Veterans from WWII, The Korean War, and the Cold War living in the Veterans Centre under our care.

While it’s fair to say we celebrate our Veterans every day through the truly special recreational programming and medical care provided at Sunnybrook Veterans Centre, during Veterans Week we have additional opportunities to honour their service.

Each year on the eve of Remembrance Day, our community comes together through Operation Raise a Flag to plant thousands of Canadian flags on the Bayview Campus grounds as a tribute to our Veterans who call Sunnybrook home. Our intention is simple: to say thank you to our Veterans for their incredible service and sacrifice, and to let them know “you are not forgotten. Indigenous Artist Philip Cote’s artwork will once again be showcased on flags across Sunnybrook’s Bayview campus as part of Operation Raise a Flag.

Sunnybrook staff are invited to volunteer at the flag planting event to show their support to Sunnybrook's Veterans.

  • Friday, November 10, 2023
  • Shifts available between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
  • For more information and to sign up click here, and you can find more about the Operation Raise a Flag campaign here.

On November 11, our Veterans and their families will be watching our Remembrance Day Service from various locations within the Veterans Centre, while Team Sunnybrook members are invited to watch from home or work through our YouTube channel or onsite at the McLaughlin Auditorium. The service begins at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed at 11:30 a.m. by a Memorial Wreath Dedication at the Cenotaph on Bayview. Team members onsite that day are welcome to watch the procession, which proceeds from the L Wing lobby up to the Cenotaph, from the sidelines. For those unable to join, I encourage you to observe a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Veterans Week is a very meaningful time for Team Sunnybrook and we look forward to saying thank you to the brave men and women who served our country.


Andy Smith
President & CEO
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

October 30, 2023 - Sunnybrook launches new advertising campaign

Dear Sunnybrookers,

Sunnybrook is special. We hear that from our patients and their families. We hear it from you.

It’s the way we tackle challenges. It’s the way we innovate and push for new solutions for exceptional care. It’s how we collaborate with each other and reach beyond our walls to ensure our patients and their families receive the very best care in their toughest moments.

We are pleased to share with you a new marketing campaign that has been collaboratively developed with the Hospital and Foundation to show just how special Sunnybrook is. The campaign highlights the breadth and depth of the care, innovation and people that make Sunnybrook unique. We are exceptionally proud of all you accomplish, and we are delighted to share a glimpse into what makes us so special with our community.

The campaign launches publicly on October 30. In the next few weeks, it will be featured on television, billboards, radio, newspapers, online, and across our campuses. And, in the weeks ahead, you will hear more about how we will bring the campaign to life in celebration of the outstanding work and the people that make Sunnybrook special. We have an incredible 75-year legacy and this campaign is just one way to celebrate it.

We encourage you to watch the campaign video here and hope you will share it with your family and friends.

Our sincere thank you for everything you do to make Sunnybrook special.

Dr. Andy Smith,
President & CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Kelly Cole,
President & CEO, Sunnybrook Foundation

September 29, 2023 - New $10-million gift to support Brain Sciences Outpatient Care

Dear Sunnybrookers,

We are pleased to give advance notice that today Sunnybrook will announce a $10-million gift from Yuval & Lori Barzakay to establish the Yuval & Lori Barzakay Brain Sciences Clinic

This exciting gift will support the Barzakay Clinic within the Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre. The Barzakay Clinic will serve as a hub for specialized multidisciplinary outpatient care across life stages, from youth through late adulthood. This unique space will allow patients with a variety of brain disorders to receive the care they need from one coordinated location at Sunnybrook.

We are immensely grateful to the Barzakay family for their generous commitment to establish this innovative outpatient clinic. Their family’s goal is to have the best team possible under one roof, coordinating, collaborating, and helping to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.


Dr. Andy Smith,
President & CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Kelly Cole,
President & CEO, Sunnybrook Foundation

September 12, 2023 - Little Things Mean a Lot

Dear Sunnybrookers,

We are off and running into another ‘school year’, full of challenges, big ambitions, projects, and the hurly-burly of life in healthcare. There are lots of big issues to consider, but lately, I’ve been thinking about the ‘small things’. Importantly, many times, little things mean a lot!

Some examples include the positive impact of planning for newly paved roads on campus that result in a smooth start - or end - to your day; receiving a helping hand from a colleague; or taking a small breather to stretch your legs and refill your water bottle.

These little things all impact our overall well-being, especially as we know fall can be a busy time for everyone. September is Self-Care Awareness Month, and together with the senior leadership team, I’d like to encourage you to take good care of yourselves. Please take a few moments to visit our wellness page with numerous staff resources.

I’m often struck by our teams’ creativity in weaving wellness with our commitment to environmental sustainability. The Team Sunnybrook Community Garden springs to mind. If you enjoy spending time outdoors, have an interest in gardening, and are looking to meet new people, please sign up to volunteer. Next time you’re at the Bayview campus, step outside to have a look at the thriving herb and vegetable garden between M-wing and H-wing.

Along those lines, I’d like to recognize the work of the Green Task Force for pushing us to live our commitment to sustainability. Since installing our first water-filling station in 2011, we now have 19 water stations with a total of 1.7 million usages! This Thursday, bring your reusable water bottle to our Harvesting Gratitude Staff BBQ to use at the water stations while enjoying delicious food, great company and a live DJ.

Autumn events are underway, with the RBC Race for the Kids in support of our Family Navigation Project just around the corner on September 23. It fills me with pride each year when I see the incredible fundraising efforts and turnout on race day. I encourage you to sign up and throw on your running (or walking) shoes, or sponsor a participating teammate as we support care for youths and their families dealing with mental health challenges.

Team Sunnybrook will be supporting Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Orange Shirt Day, held on September 30th, is an Indigenous-led commemorative day honouring the children who survived residential schools and also remembering those who did not. This year, you can purchase a beautifully designed shirt from our Gift Shop by Animikiik’otcii Maakaai, an Anishinaabe multidisciplinary artist from Toronto, and help raise funds for Toronto Fire Council.

Take care, everyone. I am very proud of the excellent and compassionate care our teams provide to patients, their families and communities across Ontario. I wish you all the best for the 23/24 ‘school year’. Embrace the small moments.

Many thanks,

Dr. Andy Smith,
President & CEO

June 30, 2023 - Welcome to Summer

Dear Sunnybrookers,

On the cusp of Canada Day, as we look forward to warmer weather and enjoying a well-deserved break, I’m truly thankful for the 11,000+ staff, physicians, learners and volunteers who support Sunnybrook.

I often refer to us as ‘Team Sunnybrook’ as I believe healthcare is truly a team effort. As with any team, it’s important to take care of yourself and also lift up and take care of the people around you. I see this every day across the organization: a collaborative group who work together to ensure our patients receive exceptional care. Tomorrow, we’ll welcome a new rotation of residents and I know I can count on you all in supporting them on their journey of learning and discovery.

June has been incredibly busy with a host of events and celebrations including recognizing Indigenous People’s Day and PRIDE month. These are key activities to help embed equity, diversity and inclusivity into the fabric at Sunnybrook. I would like to thank everyone who helped make these events a success. I would also like to acknowledge members of the President’s Anti-Racism Taskforce (PART), who are making tangible strides to promote inclusiveness and equity across the organization, including an upcoming initiative which will allow patients to share their gender, pronouns and chosen name in our registration system.

During Sunnybrook’s Board of Director’s recent annual general meeting, I heard time and time again the words “our teams” said with such pride. From our beginnings 75 years ago, Team Sunnybrook continues to honour our first patients – war veterans – by creating a legacy of world-renowned patient care, education and research. We had a chance to celebrate our milestone 75th anniversary on June 12 and thank staff at the Veterans Centre for their continued support. And I encourage you to also check out the Last Salute virtual photo exhibit, featuring our Centenarian Veterans.

We have made tremendous strides recently in clinical care and research breakthroughs. Sunnybrook’s Tory Trauma Program was the first outside of the United States to be verified as a level 1 trauma centre by the American College of Surgeons. A tumour-targeting drug was tested and shown to significantly slow the growth of a common type of brain tumour.

We’ve also looked beyond the walls of the organization to ensure we are contributing to positive changes for the wider health system. Sunnybrook’s surgical team joined forces with Michael Garron Hospital, Unity Health Toronto and Sinai Health to increase capacity for hip and knee replacements by operating on the weekend. Again, healthcare is a team sport and this spirit extends to our partners, and it’s making a dramatic impact on patients’ lives.

All of these successes make my heart swell with pride, as does hearing about the many members of Team Sunnybrook who are signing up for September’s RBC Race for the Kids in support of our Family Navigation Project. I encourage you to participate, either by walking or running, or sponsoring a friend, family member or colleague.

I’ve touched on just a handful of our team’s recent successes in this note. Sunnybrook Shines a Spotlight on 2022-23 captures our numerous achievements over the last year across the organization.

I hope you all get a chance to enjoy the sunshine this summer with your loved ones. When you're at work, consider asking a colleague for a coffee break or to take a leisurely walk during your break time. If you know me, you'll know that I love getting a chance to meet or walk in the ravines near Sunnybrook, and I often see other staff out walking. It offers a wonderful opportunity to rejuvenate and also helps to foster connections with one another.

My sincere thanks and kudos for your hard work and commitment.

Dr. Andy Smith,
President & CEO

June 22, 2023 - Announcing Harquail Chair in Neuromodulation

Dear Sunnybrookers,

We are pleased to share news of a $12-million gift made by David Harquail, Birgitta Sigfridsson-Harquail and family that will support and expand the Harquail Centre for Neuromodulation.

This transformative donation to Sunnybrook and University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine builds on the Harquail family’s first gift to establish the Harquail Centre in 2018, and brings the combined commitment from the Harquails and Sunnybrook Foundation to more than $25 million.

This new gift will strengthen the Harquail Centre’s world leading work in minimally and non-invasive therapies, establish new professorships and endow a Harquail Chair in Neuromodulation to be held by the Centre’s Director, Dr. Nir Lipsman.

The Harquail Centre will continue to offer hope to patients for the most difficult-to-treat and treatment-resistant brain disorders. The Centre’s work also will be enhanced in the coming years by its new home in our state-of-the-art Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre, bringing together multidisciplinary teams of experts to improve care and innovation.

We are immensely grateful to the Harquail family for their dedication and partnership in advancing research and education, and positively impacting the lives of our patients.

This Saturday you’ll see a joint U of T ad in the Globe and Mail announcing the gift as well as a press release shared on the wire. This gift is exciting news for Sunnybrook. It’s an acknowledgment of our global leadership in brain science and the remarkable work of team Sunnybrook. I hope you’ll join us in sharing this news with your networks.


Dr. Andy Smith and Kelly Cole

June 12, 2023 - Celebrating 75 Years of Excellence: A Tribute to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Dear Sunnybrookers,

Today I am both honoured and excited to commemorate the 75thanniversary of the official opening of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. On June 12, 1948, Sunnybrook first opened its doors as a Military Hospital with a mandate to care for the heroic men and women who served our country during World War II. Staffed with some of the best and brightest minds to care for our veterans, it was a unified commitment to excellence that led us on a journey to become the internationally renowned health sciences centre we are today.

What set us apart in 1948, is the same thing that sets us apart today: the unwavering commitment, passion and drive of our staff, physicians, researchers, learners and volunteers. On this momentous occasion, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to every member of team Sunnybrook, both past and present, who has contributed to the success and growth of our esteemed institution. It’s because of your tireless efforts, compassion, and expertise that we have become a beacon of hope, healing, and innovation.

On this milestone, I encourage you to join me in taking a moment to also honour the countless lives that have been touched, and transformed, within our walls. Your collective efforts have allowed us to impact thousands of lives in our community, province and country. It’s their stories of resilience, healing, and recovery that inspire us to push the boundaries of medical excellence. View the Last Salute Virtual Photo Exhibit.

Throughout the years, our organization has witnessed tremendous growth, expanded care and services, advanced medical research, and embraced cutting-edge technology. We have championed change and adapted to the evolving needs of our community with an eye on ensuring that every patient receives the highest quality of care, tailored to their unique circumstances.

As we celebrate our past achievements, we also look ahead with excitement and anticipation for the future. The legacy of Sunnybrook is not only defined by our remarkable history but also by how we are inventing the future. Together, we will continue to break new ground, most recently with the Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre, explore new frontiers, and redefine what is possible in health care.

Again, thank you for your incredible support and happy 75th anniversary!

With sincere thanks,

Andy Smith, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS
President & CEO
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Twitter (X)Follow @DoctorAndySmith »