Dr. Peter Pisters
President and CEO, Dr. Peter Pisters, says it has been a “difficult” decision to leave UHN. (Photo: UHN)

Dr. Peter Pisters, UHN's President and CEO, sent out this message to the UHN community yesterday:

By now most of you have seen Brian Porter’s message to the UHN community on Friday​ regarding my return to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as President. This news needed to be communicated as soon as possible given that the University of Texas Board of Regents made their decision public in an open meeting on Friday afternoon.

I want each of you to know how difficult a decision this has been. As I shared with UHN Board members in the weeks leading up to the Regents Meeting, there is simply no other organization and no other role that I would leave UHN for. Regrettably, these types of professional opportunities, especially the timing of them, cannot be predicted with the certainty and precision of solar eclipses or tropical storms. Indeed, I was looking forward to spending many years here at UHN with all of the amazing and dedicated colleagues I have come to know. However, the unexpected opening of the Presidency at MD Anderson, an organization that contributed so much to my career development, was something I felt I could not ignore when I was approached about the role.

Leading UHN through our journey of organizational renewal has been extraordinary and one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional life. This is intrinsically linked to UHN’s unique role as Canada’s premier academic health science centre, our relationship with a world-class academic partner in the University of Toronto, and a strong partnership that we have developed with government who see and understand the role of UHN in the evolution to the knowledge economy. Most of all, my experience has been enriched by the remarkable commitment of nearly 30,000 UHN members who support our mission of discovery, education and world-firsts in clinical care. I have had the good fortune of working alongside a tremendously talented cadre of educators, researchers, clinicians, caregivers and staff who together make UHN one of the world’s leading academic health science centres. Together we have strengthened a work environment that fosters respect, inclusion and diversity – characteristics that define us here at UHN and define our society.

I have been so impressed and amazed by the spirit, energy and commitment to our shared purpose of transforming lives and communities through excellence in care, discovery and learning. UHN has been set upon a new path with our organizational compact of Purpose, Values & Principles. This, combined with the creation of UHN Digital and other key decisions puts us on a remarkably secure and stable trajectory that is enhanced by a very strong, capable and engaged Board of Trustees.

Leadership transitions are important inflection points in the evolution of organizations. I am very confident in the momentum and direction we have set for UHN on our journey of renewal. Indeed, I have every confidence that our Board of Trustees will find a highly qualified and very experienced leader to continue the great work we have begun together.

I anticipate a transition period of three - four months and this gives us time to plan for the future. I have committed to the UHN Board and our senior leaders to ensure a very smooth and seamless transition.

More details on our transition plan will be communicated in early September.

Dr. Peter Pisters,
President and CEO, University Health Network

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