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Robert Howard brings expert medical knowledge to new post

Dr. Bob Howard says when he first started at St. Michael’s Hospital more than 25 years ago as a resident, he was hooked. “I quickly came to love this place because of the people and their willingness to always go the extra mile for patients,” he says. Now, Dr. Howard is the new president and CEO of St. Michael’s, which under his leadership, will continue to grow in clinical excellence, research and education.

Toronto, April 27, 2009

Bob Howard Dr. Bob Howard

Dr. Bob Howard says when he first started at St. Michael’s Hospital more than 25 years ago as a resident, he was hooked. “I quickly came to love this place because of the people and their willingness to always go the extra mile for patients,” he says. Now, Dr. Howard is the new president and CEO of St. Michael’s, which under his leadership, will continue to grow in clinical excellence, research and education.

“Patient care at St. Michael’s has always been number one,” he says. “At the same time, we’re competing at a global level with a renowned research platform and well-developed educational programs.”

This is especially true with the building of the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Centre in Health Care Education that together form the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. Dr. Howard has seen the concept and planning of this innovative facility from the beginning. “The Knowledge Institute is unique because it is the first to bring research and education together in a clinical setting to improve patient care, faster.”

Prior to being appointed president and CEO in the spring of 2009, he was the executive vice president, Programs, and chief medical officer for 11 years, as well as the vice-president of Education. In this role, he spearheaded initiatives to develop education at all levels and strengthened links with our academic partners. A credit to his leadership, St. Michael’s FitzGerald Academy is the first choice for University of Toronto medical students.

Dr. Howard knows the importance of integrating clinical care with academics. Dr. Howard first joined the Hospital as a staff cardiologist in 1982 before becoming the director of the University of Toronto Training Program in Cardiology in 1989. In 1993, he became acting chief for the Division of Cardiology and then the medical director of the Heart Program in 1994. In 1998, he was appointed vice-president, Programs and chief medical officer, and in 2002, when the executive management structure changed, his title became executive vice-president, Programs, Education and chief medical officer, emphasizing his education portfolio which he assumed 11 years ago.

During this time, he continued to see patients through his cardiology practice. Dr. Howard will no longer see patients regularly, but he will continue to work in the Echocardiography Lab.

Dr. Howard says since his days as a resident, St. Michael’s has changed dramatically. “We have expanded our capacity to reach more people, recruit leading clinician-scientists to our team, and specialize in diagnosing and treating people with complex health issues and traumatic injuries,” he says. “But our tradition of care and compassion has never changed.”