Kids Health Alliance appoints interim Executive Director, Larissa Smit

Toronto/Ottawa – September 13, 2019 – Kids Health Alliance (KHA), founded by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Holland Bloorview) and CHEO, today announced Larissa Smit as the interim executive director while Lauren Ettin, executive director of KHA, is away on maternity leave. Larissa brings extensive policy, stakeholder engagement and collaboration experience most recently from her role as the senior health advisor in the Premier’s Office.

Infants, children and youth are not little adults – their health-care needs are very unique, and KHA is a model to make tangible improvements in front line care. Considering the transformation underway, I couldn’t be more excited to help move its mission forward so kids have access to better health care close to home,” says Smit.

KHA is a non-profit collaborative network focused on creating better outcomes and a high-quality, consistent approach to health care for children, youth and their families in the province.

Children and their families are accessing care beyond specialized pediatric hospitals. Community hospitals, treatment centres, child and youth mental health addiction programs, patients’ schools, and their homes all play a valuable role in the challenging task of ensuring kids’ health-care needs are consistently met at an individual level,” says Dr. Ronald Cohn, chair of KHA and president and CEO of SickKids. “Currently, there are too many hurdles for families already dealing with so much. The system transformation underway is an opportunity to focus on the delivery of high-quality pediatric care, and KHA is a vehicle to support this.”

The Ontario Ministry of Health is currently in the process of introducing Ontario Heath Teams that will help to organize and deliver care that is more connected to people in their local communities. “KHA is doing very complementary work by focusing on front-line, evidence-based improvements to care, in partnership with community hospitals, and in the future, in other sectors,” Cohn says, “On behalf of Julia Hanigsberg, president and CEO of Holland Bloorview and Alex Munter, president and CEO of CHEO and Lauren Ettin, we welcome Larissa to team.”

In addition to her role in the Premier’s Office where Smit led the health system transformation file including development of Ontario Health and the early rollout of Ontario Health Teams, she has also worked at the Ontario Real Estate Association and Tarion.

Larissa joins KHA effective September 24, 2019.

KHA Accomplishments

KHA has made tangible improvements in the delivery of health care to children and youth close to home:

  • Improved the child, youth and family experience – supporting the rollout of tailored approaches and tools to improve child and family centered care
  • Built capacity to deliver high-quality, safe pediatric care – over 350 interprofessional team members in the emergency department and neonatal intensive care units have participated in KHA education programs
  • Reduced variation and improved health outcomes through the implementation of evidence-based care
    • Improved transitions across care settings
    • Developed shared scorecards for emergency department care and asthma care
    • Shared evidence based practices and policies
    • Implemented a common asthma clinical practice guideline
  • Focused on efficiency through identification of shared back office opportunities

About KHA

KHA is a not-for-profit network of health care organizations that collaborate to make tangible improvements in care for children and youth. The network currently includes the three founding specialty pediatric hospitals and six community hospitals.

Underpinning the network are a number of key guiding principles, including a commitment to patient-centred care that helps ensure children and youth are able to access the best care when they need it and where they need it. We are committed to leveraging the unique expertise of all of our partners, facilitating the spread and scale of what we know works, making evidence-based decisions and planning for sustainability from the start to ensure we are using resources efficiently and effectively.

For media interviews, photos or impact stories:

Sasha Babakhanova
Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)
(416) 813-7654 ext. 228469

Ashley Cruz
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Holland Bloorview)
(416) 425-6220 ext. 6409

Paddy Moore
(613) 737-7600 ext. 3536

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