Corporate Information

Executive Team

Robert Howard
President and Chief Executive Officer

Bob Howard

Dr. Robert (Bob) Howard, President and CEO of St. Michael’s Hospital since 2009, is a cardiologist known for bringing a comprehensive quality improvement (QI) program to the downtown Toronto academic hospital. He embedded a QI philosophy in the hospital’s strategic plan, championing work related to the six Institute of Medicine dimensions of quality: improving safety, patient outcomes, access, patient-centredness, equity and efficiency. This effort has set the benchmark for hospitals, and has allowed staff to continue to foster and build a culture of quality improvement that spreads outside of the institution’s walls.

Under Dr. Howard’s leadership, St. Michael’s officially opened two linked buildings—the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre—that together form the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. This innovative facility brings the worlds of health sciences research and education together to advance patient care. The hospital has begun construction on a 17-storey patient care tower, with expected completion by 2018. This will culminate in the major revitalization of the hospital’s academic and patient care facilities.

Prior to his appointment as President and CEO, Dr. Howard was the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice-President of programs and education at St. Michael’s. Dr. Howard has an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from the University of Toronto, a medical degree from McMaster University and an Executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business. He is a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and is a board member for the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC) and the Health Force Ontario Marketing and Recruitment Agency (HFO-MRA).


Alayne Metrick
President of St. Michael's Foundation

Alayne Metrick A fellow of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, Alayne Metrick has spearheaded a number of successful fundraising campaigns – including a recent $140 million campaign to advance patient care – since joining St. Michael’s Foundation in 1995. Metrick has increased hospital fundraising revenues to $38 million from $5.5 million annually and achieved a significant milestone in 1996 when 100 per cent of physicians at St. Michael's Hospital donated to the organization's fundraising efforts.

“Together, we achieved a North American first in fundraising," Metrick explains. "We have now completed our third successful physicians' campaign. This achievement speaks to the outstanding physicians at our organization who are so committed to who we are and what we do.”

In 2005, Metrick was singled out for her contribution to the fundraising community when she was named the Association for Fundraising Professional's Fundraiser of the Year.


Ella Ferris
Executive Vice-President, Programs, Chief Nursing Executive, Chief Health Disciplines Executive

Ella Ferris Ella Ferris has been with St. Michael's since 1972, when she joined us as a staff nurse following her training at our nursing school. She was appointed executive vice-president of programs, and chief nursing executive in March 2006.

In 2001, Ferris was seconded to the Health Reform Implementation Team of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care where she gained experience in health systems planning and service integration. Ferris was honoured with the Ontario Hospital Association's R. Alan Hay Memorial Hospital Executive Award in 2005. She holds a master's in Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

"It's a privilege to work at St. Michael's. We make decisions guided by our mission and values," she says. "Patient care is our number one job. Our strong education and research programs enhance our ability to provide quality patient care today and into the future. I am grateful to work each day with a dedicated team of physicians, staff and volunteers."


Dr. Douglas Sinclair
Executive Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Doug Sinclair After a 22-year hiatus in Nova Scotia, Dr. Doug Sinclair rejoined St. Michael's in 2010 where his medical career first began. Following his graduation from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto in 1980, Dr. Sinclair completed his clerkship in Toronto, became chief resident of Emergency Medicine at U of T and an attending staff emergency physician at St. Michael's.

After that, Dr. Sinclair spent two decades in Halifax in a number of progressive leadership and academic roles, including founding head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine, vice-president of Medical Services at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre and most recently, associate dean of Continuing Education in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University .

Dr. Sinclair returned to St. Michael's in 2010 as executive vice-president and chief medical officer. "St. Michael's is a place that has the opportunity to really close that gap that frustrates most academic clinicians in moving research discoveries to patient care," he says. "I am very impressed by the commitment and focus of the staff at St. Michael's - their enthusiasm for their work is palpable."


Dr. Patricia Houston
Vice-President, Education

Patricia Houston A graduate of Medicine from the University of Toronto with a master's in Education, Dr. Patricia Houston leads the hospital's education program. With a mandate to strengthen academic partnerships and professional education, Dr. Houston's team is focused on improving education, research and innovation.

"I have a deep respect for the values of the institution," she says. "It is very motivating to know that we are reaching out and helping people from all walks of life and that we are helping to instil these values into health-care providers of the future through our educational programs."

Prior to joining St. Michael's in 1997, Dr. Houston was the medical director of the Medical-Surgical ICU at Toronto Western Hospital . A professor and vice-chair of Education in the Department of Anesthesia at the University of Toronto, Dr. Houston also chairs the national Continuing Education and Professional Development Committee.


Dr. Arthur S. Slutsky
Vice-President, Research

Arthur S. Slutsky Dr. Arthur Slutsky is responsible for St. Michael's vast expansion of research over the past decade, including the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.

Originally an engineer, Dr. Slutsky also studied medicine at McMaster University. After completing a pulmonary fellowship at Harvard, he taught there until 1984 when he returned to the University of Toronto to teach medicine, surgery and biomedical engineering. Dr. Slutsky is currently director of the interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine at U of T. His major focus is translational research in intensive care with a focus on mechanical ventilation.

A member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Fleischner Society for Thoracic Imaging and Diagnosis, Dr. Slutsky also advises the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on biomedical research and respiratory and anesthesiology devices. He has received numerous research awards over the years, including a lifetime achievement award from the American Thoracic Society as well as a Recognition for Scientific Accomplishments Award, and has published more than 350 peer reviewed articles.


Dr. Thomas G. Parker
Chair, Medical Advisory Committee

Dr. Andrew BakerDr. Parker is the chief of the Department of Medicine and physician-in-chief at St. Michael’s Hospital. He was recruited to St. Michael’s in 2003 as the first recipient of the Brazilian Ball Chair in Cardiology Research and was appointed head of the Division of Cardiology in 2004. He is an active researcher and clinical cardiologist who is committed to improving patient care at the hospital.

Dr. Parker is the inaugural recipient of the Squires-Chalmers Chair of Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto, the medical lead for the Senior Strategy and co-chair of the Urban Community Patient Priority Committee.

He received his medical degree from the University of Western Ontario and completed clinical training in internal medicine and cardiology at the University of Toronto and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.