Physicians & Medical Learners

Chief of Staff Office

The Chief of Staff Office provides a number of services to support the relationship between St. Mary’s General Hospital/Grand River Hospital and the Professional Staff (physicians, dentists and midwives) resulting in effective governance, credentialing, planning, monitoring and improving the quality of patient care and resource utilization across clinical areas.

Dr. Peter Potts is the Common Chief of Staff for both St. Mary’s and Grand River Hospital.

Dr. Peter Potts
Chief of Staff
St. Mary’s General Hospital/Grand River Hospital
Telephone: 519-749-4300 ext. 2507
Facsimile: 519-749-4293

Chief of Staff Office Support Staff:

Tanja Cvijetic, Medical Affairs Coordinator
519-749-4300 ext. 3892

Heather Dowling, Executive Assistant
519-749-4300, ext. 2507

Leah Klassen, Medical Education Coordinator
519-749-4300 ext. 2525

Medical Staff – Departmental Leadership

The following physicians hold leadership positions as chiefs of clinical departments at St. Mary’s General Hospital/Grand River Hospital.

Anaesthesia Dr. Valerie Spenler, common chief
Cardiovascular Services Dr. Brian McNamara, common chief
Critical Care Medicine Dr. Mohammad Bahrgard Nikoo, common chief
Diagnostic Imaging Dr. Darren Knibutat, common chief
Emergency Medicine Dr. Bob Wickett, common chief
Hospitalist and family medicine Dr. Brian Kelly, common chief
Internal Medicine Dr. William Plaxton, common chief
Laboratory Medicine Dr. Dimitrios Divaris, common chief
Nephrology Dr. Gerald Rosenstein, chief, Grand River Hospital
Nuclear Medicine Dr. Richard Dubeau, chief, St. Mary’s
Oncology Dr. Gregory Knight, chief, Grand River Hospital
Paediatrics Dr. Bruno DiGravio, Grand River Hospital
Psychiatry Dr. John Hentizman, chief Grand River Hospital
Pulmonary Services Dr. Eric Hentschel, common chief
Reproductive Medicine Dr. Stephen Halmo, chief, Grand River Hospital
Surgery Dr. Bogdan Paun, common chief

Medical Staff Association

The Medical Staff Association represents physicians on various hospital committees. Meetings provide an open platform for medical staff to ask questions and raise concerns to hospital administration and the chief of staff. The association’s current president (GRH/SMGH) is Dr. Gagandeep Sarkaria and the vice president section is vacant.

Professional Staff List

The Professional Staff Contact List is available in PDF format. This document is updated twice annually, in November and May. The list includes office addresses, telephone numbers and fax numbers of all Professional Staff with privileges at St. Mary’s General Hospitals and Grand River Hospital.

Helpful Links and Resources

Credentialing and Recruitment

The Chief of Staff Office provides a number of services to support and facilitate the relationship of St. Mary’s General Hospital and Grand River Hospital to the Professional Staff (physicians, dentists and midwives). Its purpose is to work closely with medical leaders, hospital administrative leaders, and medical schools to support processes such as recruitment, credentialing, career and leadership development planning, orientation, and medical education.

Recruitment

The purpose of the Professional Staff recruitment process is to assist the Hospitals in planning professional staff recruitment in keeping with the mission, vision, and clinical priorities, as well as facilitating the accommodation of appointments within available hospital resources. All Professional Staff recruitment will be based on an annual board-approved medical resource plan.

Credentialing and Re-credentialing

We administer the credentialing and re-credentialing processes to facilitate the appointment and re-appointment of professional staff members and the delineation of procedural privileges.  Credentialing is the process of confirming the qualifications of a member or potential member of the Professional Staff. Qualifications include:

  • professional experience;
  • competence;
  • reputation;
  • authenticity of the qualifications;
  • licensure and certification.

The Joint Credentials Committee evaluates the “credentials” of an individual and ensures that all criteria for appointment to the Professional Staff are met as outlined in the Comprehensive Appointment and Credentialing Policy . The Committee then recommends the individual for a Professional Staff appointment and recommends a specific delineation of procedural privileges for the applicant. All Professional Staff members are re-credentialed annually.

Orientation

A comprehensive orientation is a responsibility shared by the Professional Staff member, the Chief of Department, the Chief of Staff and the St. Mary’s General Hospital and Grand River Hospital. All new Professional Staff members at SMGH and GRH shall be provided a general orientation to the Hospitals and a more detailed orientation to the department or service concerned.

The orientation program is intended to assist professional staff in maximizing individual potential and in meeting the required core hospital and job specific responsibilities and standards of performance.

Physician Opportunities

To inquire about physician vacancies at St. Mary’s General Hospital or for any other inquiries, please contact:

Tanja Cvijetic, Medical Affairs Coordinator
519-749-4300 ext. 3892

Clinical placement opportunities & observerships

Clinical Placements

Clinical placements at Grand River Hospital (GRH) and/or St. Mary’s General Hospital (SMGH) must be approved by the Chief of Staff office. Medical learners (medical students, midwifery students, residents, and fellows) must complete a registration form and confidentiality agreement. Learners must also complete the privacy awareness and accessibility courses, and request a letter of good standing from their home university. All documents must be submitted to the Chief of Staff office at least one month prior to the rotation start date.

Placements for students of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine – Waterloo Regional Campus are arranged via the REL/Administrative Assistants of the Waterloo Region Campus in collaboration with the Chief of Staff Office.

Out-of-town learners from McMaster or another Canadian university must apply through the Mac-Care program for all placements within the McMaster University catchment area. Please visit the Mac CARE website (opens in new window) for more information.

International medical students or residents seeking a clinical placement at Grand River Hospital and/or St. Mary’s General Hospital must register with McMaster University.

Undergraduate medical learners should visit the AFMC Student Portal (opens in new window) to apply for a clinical placement.

Postgraduate medical learners should email maccare@mcmaster.ca to arrange clinical placements.

If you have questions regarding clinical placements at GRH, please email the medical education coordinator (opens in new window).

Observerships

Observerships provide an educational opportunity to an individual seeking to observe and gain insight into how healthcare is provided in hospitals and/or how various hospital departments function. An observer is not permitted to participate in the treatment of patients in any way, and must be accompanied by their supervising physician at all times.

Observerships are only offered to individuals who are currently studying medicine as an international medical student or those who are international medical graduates (IMGs). Observers must have clearly defined goals and objectives. Undergraduate students and individuals who are considering a career in medicine are not eligible to apply. Eligible individuals can participate in observerships for a maximum of 30 hospital days.

It is the individual’s responsibility to contact and secure a supervising physician for their observership term. To locate a physician, please use the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s website (http://www.cpso.on.ca) to conduct a physician search.

Once an individual has secured a supervising physician, they must contact the Chief of Staff Office to receive an application package. The package, along with a CV and detailed explanation of what they hope to gain through observership, are then submitted for review and approval.

Observership requests must be submitted at two weeks prior to the desired start date.

The Professional Staff Observership Policy can be viewed here.

To inquire about clinical placements, or the observership application process, please contact:

Leah Klassen, Medical Education Coordinator
Phone: 519-749-4300 ext. 2525
Email: leah.klassen@grhosp.on.ca