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Mark Fam - St. Mary’s General Hospital

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your organization?

Mark Fam is the President of St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener-Waterloo – a community teaching hospital offering a broad range of emergency and inpatient services, with 200 beds and over 2,000 employees, physicians, and volunteers. St. Mary’s is known for its Regional Cardiac Centre, Regional Chest Program, and Regional Eye Program, serving 1.4 million people in cardiac services.


What drew you to St. Mary’s General Hospital? How has the organization changed since?

Mark's decision to join St. Mary's Hospital was influenced by several factors:


  • He was drawn to the team and culture at the hospital, specifically highlighting the "St. Mary's Way" that embodies the culture's values and grace, promoting connections among teams.

  • St. Mary's Hospital plays a significant role within the St. Joseph's Health System as the second-largest acute care hospital in a health system worth nearly $2 billion.

  • The innovation ecosystem surrounding St. Mary's and its close collaboration with Grand River Hospital, which includes shared medical staff and integrated roles, establish a strong basis for cooperation, presenting unique opportunities for the community. Both hospitals are currently collaborating on a new joint hospital project for the Waterloo Region, working together to "Build the Future of Care Together.”

Under Mark's guidance, St. Mary's has achieved its second Exemplary Standing in Accreditation, introduced a new regional Retina Program, and is preparing to launch its first MRI suite.



What do you like most about St. Mary’s General Hospital?

Mark appreciates St. Mary’s General Hospital's culture and sense of community. Despite its medium size, the hospital has a regional impact through tertiary programs in cardiac, chest and eye services reducing the need for community members to travel for care. The "just do it" dedication of the team has led to advancements and new programs, attributed to the legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the pioneering culture of the region.


Can you tell us what your role(s) is/are with the OHT?

Since starting his role in February 2023, Mark has been an active member of the Kitchener, Waterloo, Wellesley, Wilmont, and Woolwich (KW4) Ontario Health Teams (OHT) Steering Committee and supported several proposals to Ontario Health (OH) for additional community services. He aims to build partnerships within the region and sees hospitals playing a larger role in community health efforts as KW4 develops its strategy.


How does your organization align with the values and goals of the OHT?

St. Mary’s strategic plan is being refreshed to focus on community engagement and alignment with the vision of the OHT. Mark emphasizes the importance of all OHT members aligning on common goals for collective action.


What do you hope to see in the near future with your continued partnership with the OHT?

Mark looks forward to the OHT's progression towards maturity. As various sectors come together to form networks, a cohesive system of care is being established to align resources and goals while reducing competition. He envisions the KW4 OHT as the driving force behind the priorities and endeavors of all its members. Despite being in the early stages, Mark is inspired by the promising opportunities ahead.


What are 1-2 differences and similarities you have noticed here in the region since the OHT began? Which are you most interested in or excited for?

Mark is truly impressed by the dedication of the local community and primary care leaders in the region and their active engagement with the OHT. He is confident that primary care now plays a more influential role in shaping the path forward and anticipates valuable discussions between them and the hospitals. Mark is optimistic that through these dialogues, they can explore ways to better assist primary care providers in their roles.




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