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SickKids appoints new President and CEO
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SickKids appoints new President and CEO


Following a comprehensive international search, the Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ronald Cohn, MD, FACMG to the position of President and CEO at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), effective May 1, 2019.

TORONTO – Following a comprehensive international search, the Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ronald Cohn, MD, FACMG to the position of President and CEO at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), effective May 1, 2019.

Dr. Cohn is currently Paediatrician-in-Chief at SickKids and Chair, Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto, a position he has held since 2016. He first joined SickKids in 2012 and is a Professor of Paediatrics and Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, a renowned clinician in the area of genetic medicine, and Senior Scientist in the Research Institute at SickKids.

“Dr. Cohn is a highly respected leader and clinician-scientist who brings a compelling and bold vision to his new role as the hospital’s President,” says Senator Sabi Marwah, Chair, SickKids Board of Trustees. “Dr. Cohn envisages a stronger alignment of the clinical and academic elements of SickKids’ mission, with a view to generating breakthroughs that will enhance children’s health locally, nationally and globally. He also emphasized to the Board that, no matter how technology advances, compassionate care for children and families must remain at the heart of SickKids’ mission.”

Senator Marwah added: “The Trustees are delighted to appoint a globally acclaimed paediatric clinician-scientist to lead SickKids, with a mission to build on its position as one of the world’s leading paediatric hospitals, incorporating innovation and research to deliver the finest possible care for children.”

Over the last number of years, Dr. Cohn has led and made significant contributions to a variety of strategic initiatives at SickKids including:

  • the creation of a Child Health Institute to advance a unified voice for applied child health research, including improvements in access and quality of care, policy influence and knowledge translation
  • accelerating improvements in disease treatment and prevention through a Precision Child Health Strategy, informed by cutting-edge technology (such as artificial intelligence, genomics, advanced imaging and innovative procedures)
  • the implementation of a 5-year strategic plan for the Department of Paediatrics focused on excellence in clinical care, research, and education, while improving equity, diversity and inclusion.

“I am humbled and honoured to be taking on this prestigious leadership role at an important time in SickKids’ evolution,” says Dr. Cohn. “SickKids is a very special organization with highly committed, collaborative faculty and staff that not only provides world-class patient care and teaching, but also relentlessly pursues new discoveries that bring hope to so many patients and their families. I look forward to leading an organization that will continue to advance children’s health through exemplary clinical care, breakthrough research, and teaching excellence. Furthermore, I believe the hospital must continue to take on a wider role in the health-care system, by improving coordination for patients and families through initiatives like Kids Health Alliance, and addressing persistent child health disparities.”

Many of Dr. Cohn’s professional efforts have been focused on developing novel therapeutic strategies using CRISPR-based genome editing for various inherited disorders. In addition, Dr. Cohn was actively engaged with the development and enactment of Canada’s Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (GNA), which became law in Canada in May 2017.

Dr. Cohn received his medical doctor degree from the University GHS Essen, in Essen, Germany and completed postgraduate, research and specialty training in paediatrics and clinical genetics at the University of Essen Children’s Hospital in Germany, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Iowa College of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He has received awards for both excellence in clinical care and cutting-edge contributions to genetics research.

Dr. David Naylor will continue as the Interim President and CEO until April 30, 2019.

About The Hospital for Sick Children

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recognized as one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-care institutions and is Canada’s leading centre dedicated to advancing children’s health through the integration of patient care, research and education. Founded in 1875 and affiliated with the University of Toronto, SickKids is one of Canada’s most research-intensive hospitals and has generated discoveries that have helped children globally.  Its mission is to provide the best in complex and specialized family-centred care; pioneer scientific and clinical advancements; share expertise; foster an academic environment that nurtures health-care professionals; and champion an accessible, comprehensive and sustainable child health system. SickKids is a founding member of Kids Health Alliance, a network of partners working to create a high quality, consistent and coordinated approach to paediatric health care that is centred around children, youth and their families. SickKids is proud of its vision for Healthier Children. A Better World. For more information, please visit Follow us on Twitter (@SickKidsNews) and Instagram (@SickKidsToronto).

For more information, please contact:

Matet Nebres
The Hospital for Sick Children

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