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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

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

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