February 4th, 2019
Dr. Andrew Falconer begins his new role as St. Mary’s President today, eager to get to know staff physicians and volunteers, and looking forward to leading an organization that is nationally recognized for quality and safety.
“I was drawn to St. Mary’s by its reputation for outstanding patient care, pursuit of continuous improvement and compassionate support for patients and families,” says Dr. Falconer. “St. Mary’s consistently hits the ball out of the park and has amazing outcomes in both patient and staff safety.”
On several visits to St. Mary’s prior to his start date, Dr. Falconer was impressed by the friendly atmosphere, how staff show respect for each other and their patients, and how volunteers will walk with patients and visitors to where they need to go, rather than just directing them.
“Quite often hospitals can be impersonal and I felt right away that St. Mary’s is different. This is a place I will enjoy going to work at every day. We share the same values and approach.”
Dr. Falconer comes to St. Mary’s after 31 years at Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa, a 284-bed regional referral centre. He is an Emergency Physician with 11 years’ experience in administration, most recently as Vice President and Chief of Staff. His VP portfolio included mental health, cardiopulmonary services and diagnostic imaging. He has a Masters of Health Administration, a yellow belt in Lean management and a record of leading successful health system integration that significantly reduced patient wait times and improved the patient experience.
His first few months in a new community and new role will involve a lot of learning, he says.
“I need to scan the environment and get a really good understanding of what makes things tick in Kitchener-Waterloo. I want to understand how we are working together to achieve the best outcomes for patients and where we can improve further by integrating with other hospitals and with other services providers in our community.”
Dr. Falconer embraces St. Mary’s vision of being the safest and most effective hospital in Canada and is passionate about continuing the hospital’s internationally-recognized success with staff-led improvements using the Lean management system.
He will also support the organization as it moves toward implementation of a common, integrated health information system with Grand River Hospital. The new system offers many features to improve patient safety and will create a seamless flow of information between hospitals.
Much of Dr. Falconer’s first week on the job will be spent meeting staff, physicians and volunteers. On Thursday he will address a capacity crowd at St. Mary’s annual public Heart Month event at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo.
“I really enjoy meeting people and learning what they are all about,” he says.