St. Mary’s General Hospital President Announces Plans to Retire June 30

January 25th, 2018

January 25, 2018 – St. Mary’s General Hospital will begin the process of recruiting for a successor to President Don Shilton who has announced plans to retire on June 30, 2018, after a 35-year career in healthcare. Mr. Shilton has served St. Mary’s for 13 years, and during his eight years as president, has overseen significant growth and innovation, leading to national recognition of St. Mary’s as one of the safest hospitals in Canada.

Early in his presidency, St. Mary’s Board of Trustees adopted a vision for St. Mary’s to be the safest and most effective hospital in Canada, characterized by innovation, compassion and respect. Mr. Shilton led the effort to embed Lean thinking throughout the organization, which empowered staff to propose and implement thousands of improvements in quality and safety. Today, St. Mary’s is a North American leader in the adoption of Lean methodologies in healthcare.

“This remarkable achievement is a testament to Don’s ability to build a culture of problem solvers and rally the organization around such an ambitious vision,” said Tom Motz, Chair of St. Mary’s Board of Trustees. “Don’s commitment to compassionate care and collaboration reflects the legacy of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton,” added Dr. Kevin Smith, Chief Executive Officer of St. Mary’s and the St. Joseph’s Health System. “He has built an excellent leadership team and community partnerships and will leave St. Mary’s well-positioned for continued success.”

Duing Mr. Shilton’s tenure, St. Mary’s has:

  • Scored Canada’s lowest Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratio in 2012 and 2016
  • Achieved mortality rates of less than half the national average for cardiac surgery
  • Achieved significant growth of the cardiac program and upcoming expansion of its heart rhythm program in 2018-19
  • Become one of the first hospitals in Canada to fully implement a model for Early Recovery After Surgery for video-assisted lung cancer surgery
  • Become the first hospital in Ontario and only the second in Canada to provide real-time Emergency Department wait times online.

“I am grateful to St. Mary’s and the St. Joseph’s Health System for the opportunity to serve,” said Mr. Shilton. “Every day I see examples of kindness and compassion from our staff, physicians and volunteers and am amazed by their dedication and strength.” “I want to express my appreciation to the leadership and staff at the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network and to all of our health care partners in Waterloo Wellington and beyond. In particular, I’d like to thank the Board and leadership team at Grand River Hospital for a shared vision of what is possible. We have accomplished much together and will continue to do so in the future.”




Anne Kelly, Manager, Communications
519-749-6578, ext. 1501
226-339-1903 (mobile)