Melanie Kohn named chief at Michael Garron Hospital
May 17, 2023
TORONTO – Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) is pleased to announce the appointment of Melanie Kohn (pictured) as president and chief executive officer (CEO), effective Monday, June 12, 2023. Melanie is a talented, compassionate and dynamic health system leader with more than 20 years of progressive experience leading transformational projects benefiting patients, families and communities across Ontario.
She comes to MGH from the Ontario Ministry of Health (MOH), where she served as assistant deputy minister of Hospitals and Capital Division. In this role, she oversaw multi-billion-dollar budgets supporting the operations and capital funding of Ontario’s hospital sector, including all 144 hospitals in the province.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Melanie was the assistant deputy minister of Mental Health and Addictions at the MOH. In this role, she was responsible for the implementation of critical mental health investments supporting Ontario communities.
Prior to joining the Ontario Public Service, Melanie spent most of her career working in acute care hospitals. Most notably, she worked at St. Michael’s Hospital for over 12 years in operational and strategic roles, including strategy and corporate planning, project management and research administration.
Melanie holds a Master of Business Administration, with a specialization in Health Services Management, from McMaster University, and a PhD in Evidence-Based Strategic Decision Making from the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation.
She is highly regarded for her ability to develop meaningful and collaborative partnerships with colleagues and valued stakeholders across the health sector.
Melanie shares her excitement about joining MGH and getting to know the tight-knit community that makes up the heart of the east.
This includes people inside and outside of hospital walls, from staff, physicians, learners and volunteers, to patients, families, partners and the East Toronto community at large.
Melanie deeply admires the hospital’s close connection to the community it serves and notes that it was one of many reasons she was inspired to apply for the position.
“Michael Garron Hospital stands out in the province as a special place that is truly integrated into the fabric of the community,” Melanie says. “Beyond providing excellent care, the hospital approaches the delivery of care with such compassion, connectedness and a genuine feeling of collaboration and teamwork that spans beyond four walls.”
During Melanie’s tenure as the assistant deputy minister of Mental Health and Addictions, she worked together with partners across the sector, people with lived experience and healthcare providers to create the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence at Ontario Health.
She also led the implementation of the Roadmap to Wellness, a plan to build and improve access to Ontario’s mental health and addictions system.
Melanie’s leadership was instrumental in guiding the operations of this complex and multi-faceted sector responsible for providing a range of mental health and addictions services to people at all stages of life, from children and youth to adults and seniors.
“What drives me every day is the ability to deliver the best care to everyone, no matter where you are from or where you live. Michael Garron Hospital is highly respected for its ability to lift up communities and lend a voice to those who may not always feel empowered to have their own,” says Melanie, who shares these values and looks forward to working with hospital and community partners to create a more connected and integrated health system.
“Michael Garron Hospital is truly living the promise of an Ontario Health Team – to support the integration of health and social care services for the community it serves. East Toronto Health Partners, the Ontario Health Team that the hospital is part of, is a trailblazer and leading the way in this important space. It’s an incredibly exciting model that can be adopted across the province.”
Melanie is a lifelong learner with an impressive academic background and passion for supporting the next generation of healthcare leaders.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have many mentors in my life who have generously offered their time and given me chances,” says Melanie, who actively looks for opportunities to speak with students and emerging healthcare leaders. “We need to lift them up, so they can lift up the next generation.”
She is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
Outside of work, Melanie enjoys traveling, cooking, painting and, most importantly, spending quality time with her husband, two children and extended family and friends. “It’s not what you have, but who you have in your life,” she says.
Lovisa McCallum, chair of the MGH Board of Directors, shares her enthusiasm and support of Melanie’s appointment following an extensive CEO search.
“There has never been a more important time in our hospital’s and community’s history to bravely lead forward on shared goals together with government, Ontario Health Teams, and academic, health system and community partners. Melanie’s deep knowledge of the health sector and proven track record of effecting positive change through meaningful collaboration and stakeholder engagement makes her an excellent fit to lead MGH into the next phase of healthcare transformation in East Toronto,” Lovisa says.
“As we navigate COVID-19 and healthcare recovery, the health sector faces severe systemic challenges that require innovative solutions coordinated across multiple fronts. The pandemic broke down functional silos to open the door for such coordination. We owe it to ourselves to leverage this momentum. Only together can we address the health inequities, support the recovery of our health system and deliver inclusive and accessible care to everyone.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Michael Garron Hospital community, I want to thank Wolf Klassen who took on the president and CEO, interim role since August 2022. We are grateful for his steadfast leadership and significant contributions to the hospital and East Toronto community during a critical time of transition.”