Stephen Samis, CFHI VP Programs, Appointed New Yukon DM of Health and Social Services

Statement from Maureen O’Neil, CFHI President

I am pleased to let you know that Stephen Samis, Vice-President, Programs has accepted an exceptional opportunity as Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services for the Yukon Government effective September 18, 2017. I know he will make a significant contribution to improving peoples’ lives there. Stephen’s strong commitment to social improvement, creative strategic thinking, fabulous ability to communicate and kind management of colleagues marked his time at CFHI. I will miss him.

This will be a real life adventure for Stephen and his husband, Chris.

Stephen and I have worked closely since 2010. Together with you, under the wise direction of our Board and the intellectual and financial support of Health Canada, we created CFHI. We have shown that healthcare improvements can be spread and significant change achieved. Stephen’s creativity, intelligence and social dedication were crucial to our transformation and will be as he supports the Minister of Health and the Government of the Yukon.  

Stephen’s last day at CFHI will be September 1, 2017. 

Our strong executive team will continue implementing and further developing our program of work. As such, Maria Judd has agreed to step in and act as Vice-President, Programs effective September 1, 2017.  Maria brings over a decade of progressively senior leadership at the Foundation and has played a key role in CFHI’s evolution, including strategic planning, partnership development and the creation and implementation of new programs.

To the role of VP, Programs Maria brings a passion for healthcare improvement, and a patient-first perspective, that has evolved from her diverse roles within the health system over the past 21 years, as a community health centre board member, clinician, program manager and researcher. She has extensive experience in knowledge transfer and exchange, establishing and promoting new ventures, creating education programs, developing clinical practice guidelines and convening expert groups. Maria holds a Master of Science in Epidemiology and Community Medicine from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto.

In addition, Linda Piazza has agreed to replace Maria and act as the Senior Director, Corporate Strategy and Development, while continuing to lead CFHI’s Education and Training portfolio, effective September 1, 2017. Linda’s background is nursing and she brings a wealth of experience from CFHI and elsewhere, including health services administration, strategic planning, partnership development, and large-scale project leadership. Previous positions include Nurse Specialist for Quality Improvement at the Ottawa Civic Hospital; CEO of the Canadian Nurses Foundation; and Director, Research, at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. At CFHI, Linda has worked in diverse roles over the past several years as Senior Director and consultant/advisor.

Once we have had a chance to assess our future needs at CFHI in terms of staffing, we will be posting the Vice-President, Programs position both internally and externally to ensure a fair and competitive process.

Please join me in wishing Stephen the best of luck.