Local Doctor Recognized for Excellence in Medical Leadership

Stewart Kennedy
Dr. Stewart Kennedy, Executive Vice President of Medical and Academic Affairs at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, is the recipient of this year’s Canadian Society of Physician Leaders (CSPL) Excellence in Medical Leadership Award. The CSPL presents this award annually to a physician who has made an outstanding contribution to the development and mentorship of medical leaders in the field of health services leadership and management.

Dr. Stewart Kennedy is Executive Vice President of Medical and Academic Affairs at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. He is a member of the senior management team with responsibilities for medical affairs, pharmacy and academics, and interprofessional education. Dr. Kennedy is leading the development of a system-wide quality framework with a focus on enhancing the patient experience and developing a simulation program emphasizing quality improvement. He is introducing change into the organization and transforming a community hospital into an academic centre of excellence.

Dr. Kennedy is also working with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and the Northern Academic Hospitals to enhance the governance structures of these organizations and improve the integration and accountability of the medical leadership. This work also includes development of an academic plan that will provide for protected time for clinicians to pursue their academic mission. As primary care LHIN (Local Health Integration Network) lead, Dr. Kennedy is spearheading the development of a medical model of governance for the region.

Dr. Kennedy developed the Enhanced Patient Care Clinic, which is responsible for caring for the most complex patients — those who use the top 5% of hospital health care resources. This has led to a reduction in hospital admissions and earlier discharges among this cohort of patients.

Dr. Kennedy was chair of the 2004–2005 OMA Negotiating Team, which established a landmark agreement that stabilized academic medicine in Ontario. It introduced family health teams, capitation models for family practice, enhanced physician payments for hospital work, and complex care and incentive payments.

Dr. Kennedy is a highly experienced and professional senior executive with a history of making positive change at both local and provincial levels. He faces challenges head on and is an exceptional role model for physicians and hospital staff. He accepts challenges and is a respected leader who believes in accountability, transparency, and evidence-based decision-making. He is able to build consensus, reach decisions, and solve complex problems with creativity and innovation. Dr. Kennedy has demonstrated outstanding skills in building relationships with colleagues, patients, and community members, and he understands the importance of working with a strong and dedicated team. He pursues excellence with integrity and passion and has proven his ability to work through challenges to achieve results in a complex health system.

Dr. Kennedy was president of the Ontario Medical Association in 2011–2012 and has filled numerous roles within the organization, including a term (2005–2008) as co-chair of the Physicians Service Committee responsible for contract implementation with the Ministry of Health and chair of the Section of General and Family Practice. He served on the board of the Canadian Medical Association from 2012 to 2015.

Dr. Kennedy is currently a member of the board of Health Quality Ontario.