You may be familiar with the expression ‘form follows function’. How an organization is structured should reflect the work that it does, the current environment and the outcomes you want to achieve. There is no single, perfect structure for an organization as large and complex as Saskatoon Health Region, but our structure is an opportunity to enable and support better health, better care, better value and better teams.

For the past several months, your senior leadership team has examined options and finalized a new organizational structure at the vice president and director levels. Some of these changes take effect immediately and others will be phased in over several months. New titles and portfolio names take effect April 2, 2012.

Key features of the new structure include:

• An Integrated Health Services portfolio, which groups patient, client and resident services regardless of where care is provided – urban or rural, hospital or community. Services will be organized not as traditional departments, but as value streams which reflect the full range of services and care providers that are involved in each patient and family experience, with a goal of improved coordination and flow. These value streams are: surgical services, cancer care services, maternal and child services, mental health and addictions services, seniors health services, acute medical and complex care services (which includes emergency and critical care), and primary care and chronic disease management services. The Integrated Health Services portfolio also includes medical imaging, laboratory and pharmacy services. This large portfolio will be jointly led by Sandra Blevins, Dr. Alan Casson, and Jackie Mann.

• Petrina McGrath leads the Quality and Interprofessional Practice portfolio, which includes a new Continuous Improvement Promotion Office, infection control, ethics services and other roles and functions to support and promote quality, safety, client and family-centred care and interprofessional practice.

• Nilesh Kavia, VP Finance and Corporate Services, is responsible for a range of administrative services, including finance, facilities, materials management, food and nutrition services and information technology.

• Bonnie Blakley leads the People and Partnerships portfolio, which combines our current People Strategies team with Population and Public Health and other functions to enhance the health of our internal and external communities and nurture a safe and joyful workplace. Dr. Cory Neudorf, Chief Medical Health Officer, is Bonnie’s dyad partner for Population and Public Health.

• Dr. Grant Stoneham is Interim VP Practitioner Staff Affairs, formerly Medical Affairs, pending recruitment of a new VP. This portfolio supports recruitment, credentialing, contract management and other administrative services related to medical and dental staff. This VP also serves as liaison with the Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry with regard to medical and dental academic programs.

• Beth Horsburgh is VP Research and Innovation, a joint position with the University of Saskatchewan. This portfolio supports and promotes research, innovation, and evidence-based policy and practice throughout the Region.

The net effect of the new organizational structure includes:
– one less layer of management
– one fewer vice president
– nine fewer director positions
– more balanced workloads
– creation of new roles to support system integration and lead continuous improvement throughout the Region.
– a continued commitment to our shared dyad leadership model, with physicians and administrative directors jointly leading all our clinical services.

This change in structure is designed to support the Region as we continuously improve our care and services. Quality improvement is part of everyone’s job, and always has been. The new lean-based approaches and tools will support this important improvement work, involving patients, families, physicians and care providers in new and meaningful ways. You can see the full report at:

The Region is committed to no loss of employment for anyone as a result of the change in our organizational structure. However many roles may change to enable us to work in different ways to achieve better care, better health, better value and better teams with the people and resources we already have. Redesigning our region will help us break down silos, improve relationships, respond to situations with agility and nimbleness and implement new leadership and work philosophies.

More details about our new structure will be provided through a variety of forums over the coming weeks. Although the short-term impacts are minimal for most people, any change can be stressful. We all need to support each other and live our core values of respect, excellence, collaboration, stewardship and compassion during this transition. We will evaluate and modify this structure as needed to ensure we improve the health of our community, transform the care and service experience of our patients and families, enhance the work experience of everyone working in the Region, and create a more sustainable and integrated health system.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions regarding these changes. You can contact me at

Maura Davies
President and CEO
Saskatoon Health Region