Canadian Healthcare Association recognizes health system leaders

    OTTAWA, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Garnet Burns, Chair of the Canadian
Healthcare Association, today announced the recipients of two awards
recognizing individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Canada's
health system. Rick Roger is the recipient of the 2007 Award for Distinguished
Service and Sandra Pitters is the recipient of the 2007 Marion Stephenson
Award for Outstanding Contribution to Community Care.
    "As Chair of the Canadian Healthcare Association, I am pleased to
recognize individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the Canadian
health system," said Mr. Burns. "Rick Roger has been a lifelong advocate for a
strong, publicly funded health system, working at the regional, provincial,
national and international levels. Sandra Pitters has demonstrated community
care leadership for thirty years in management, program delivery, research,
policy development and education."
    The Award for Distinguished Service recognizes: outstanding contributions
in advancing administration and governance in the health sector; noteworthy
service and leadership over the years, particularly at the national level;
personal efforts to advance the efficiency and performance of Canadian health
organizations; and personal efforts to foster public policy and legislation
related to health care. First presented in 1949, notable recipients of this
annual award have included: the Honourable Emmett M. Hall, Chairman of the
Royal Commission on Health Services that led to the establishment of Canada's
medicare system; and Claude Castonguay, a former Quebec health minister and
architect of the province's health system.
    Mr. Roger was appointed CEO of the Vancouver Island Health Authority in
2001, shortly after the province of British Columbia restructured the delivery
of health services under five regional health authorities and one provincial
authority. He designed VIHA's original organizational and program delivery
structure and recruited a committed executive team to lead a comprehensive and
integrated service delivery system, meeting the needs of 750,000 people. He
also served on the provincial leadership council, helping to implement
significant reforms in funding and delivery systems on a province-wide scale.
    Mr. Roger played a significant role in the reform of continuing care,
wait-times management, and the development of innovative housing options,
while strengthening specialized services and developing a population health
approach. He was similarly innovative in his previous role as CEO of the
Vancouver Richmond Health Board.
    At the national level, Mr. Roger served for seven years as a director of
the Canadian Institute for Health Information during its formative years. As
well, he was Co-Chair of the first two research grants awarded to the Canadian
Patient Safety Institute, initiating ground-breaking efforts for this
    Mr. Roger served as a volunteer on numerous boards and committees
addressing issues ranging from quality to e-health to skills development. He
has been a reviewer and panel participant for the Canadian Health Services
Research Foundation. Currently, he is the Senior Editor of the Healthcare
Policy Journal, a significant voluntary commitment to a newly formed
peer-reviewed Canadian Journal on health policy issues. He has also functioned
as a World Health Organization consultant.
    The Marion Stephenson Award was established by the former Canadian
Association for Community Care which has now been integrated with CHA. It
recognizes an individual who, for ten or more years, has made an outstanding
contribution to the development of the community care sector, which includes
home-based care, facility-based long term care and community support programs
such as meal services. The award is named for Marion Stephenson, the first
recipient, in recognition of her contribution to community care education and
her long-standing commitment to the former Canadian Association for Community
Care. Ms. Stephenson also had an eighteen year distinguished career with CHA
in its education department. In a fitting tribute to Ms. Stephenson's
influence as an educator, Ms. Pitters - the recipient of the 2007 Marion
Stephenson Award - studied under Ms. Stephenson through CHA Learning distance
education programs early in her career.
    Sandra Pitters has demonstrated community care leadership for thirty
years in management, program delivery, research, policy development, and
education. She has held senior positions in both nursing and administration.
In her current role as General Manager of the City of Toronto's Homes for the
Aged Division, Ms. Pitters is responsible for the effective operation of ten
homes for the aged, meals-on-wheels programs, four adult day programs, a
multi-site supportive housing program and a homemakers and nurses services
program, providing services to eligible clients living in the community.
    Ms. Pitters has also served as President of the Ontario Association of
Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors and is a past recipient of their
leadership award.
    Ms. Pitters has played a leadership role in Ontario's policy development
and planning in the broad long-term care sector, serving on a number of key
committees. She has worked to enhance collaboration and promote an integrated
approach to health services in the Toronto area. She has been a member of the
Long Term Care Expert Panel of the Ontario Health Quality Council, Co-Chair of
the Ministry of Labour's Committee for the Health Care Sector - which works to
improve worker safety- and a leader in the development of appropriate ethics
and protocols to guide research in Toronto's Homes for the Aged. Her
contributions to boards, committees and task forces, influencing policy
development in the long-term care sector, are too numerous to outline.
    Ms. Pitters' contributions on the national scene, as a surveyor for
CCHSA, a mentor to new surveyors and an educator for CCHSA are similarly
distinguished. Moreover, she: was a contributing author to Continuing the
Care, a CHA Press title; served as an educational consultant for CHA Learning,
where she has passed on her considerable knowledge; and has presented at CHA
Learning's intramural sessions.

    Founded in 1931, the Canadian Healthcare Association is the federation of
provincial and territorial hospital and health organizations across Canada.
Through its members, CHA represents a broad continuum of services provided
through regional health authorities, hospitals, facilities and agencies that
are governed by trustees who act in the public interest.
    CHA is a leader in developing, and advocating for, health policy
solutions that meet the needs of Canadians and is committed to a publicly
funded health system that provides access to a continuum of comparable health
services throughout Canada.
    For more information on CHA, visit

For further information:

For further information: or to schedule an interview, contact: Graeme
Wilkes, Communications Advisor, Canadian Healthcare Association, (613)
241-8005 x 205, Cell: (613) 282-6003

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