Don Shilton graduated from Waterloo in 1981 with a BSc. He earned an MBA in Health Services Management from McMaster University and is a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders.
After 22 years at Hamilton Health Science Centre, Don joined St. Mary’s General Hospital in 2005 as the assistant vice-president for the Regional Cardiac Care Centre, which was recognized as the highest quality cardiac surgery program in Ontario. He became VP of Patient Services in 2007 and was ultimately named president in 2010.
As president, Don launched an ambitious new vision and strategic plan for St. Mary’s: To become the safest and most effective hospital in Canada. Under his leadership, St. Mary’s was the first to post emergency room wait times online and one of the first hospitals in Ontario to implement LEAN Management methodology. These innovations have resulted in better patient outcomes; emergency room wait times have gone down and in 2012, St. Mary’s had the lowest hospital standardized mortality ratio in Canada. St. Mary’s has been named the fifth-safest hospital in Canada by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
Don’s leadership has affected the hospital in other ways as well – as part of his vision, he launched the Bright Ideas and 1,000 Better Ways campaigns to empower front line staff to improve efficiencies and drive organizational improvement. Since then, St. Mary’s staff turnover and staff injury rates have gone down and the hospital has been recognized for being one of the best places to work in the Waterloo Region.
In recognition of these successes, Don was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Waterloo Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators “Excellence in Communication Leadership Award.”
Photo: Ryan Walker Photography