Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Alex Munter stepping down as CHEO president and CEO to lead Canadian Medical Association

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CHEO has announced that Alex Munter is stepping down as the president and CEO of eastern Ontario’s children’s hospital to take on a new role as the CEO of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).

Jo-Anne Poirier, chair of CHEO’s board of directors, made the announcement Thursday afternoon.

“Alex is the longest serving children’s hospital CEO in the country and longest serving hospital CEO in Ottawa. His thoughtful, effective leadership shepherded the organization through periods of financial austerity and a global pandemic. He will be leaving at an exciting juncture as CHEO transforms its programs and campus to right-size pediatric care in our region, the result of years of advocacy,” Poirier said in a news release.

Munter has been the head of Ottawa’s children’s hospital since 2011. He will leave the role in October.

“While we are sad to lose such an exemplary leader, we can only extend our deepest thanks for all we have accomplished together during this time,” Poirier said. “The CHEO Board of Directors will be actively recruiting a successor in the coming months. We want to wish Alex the best in his new role in helping to build a strong health system for everyone, something he was born to do.”

In a letter to CHEO employees, Munter said he is honoured to take on his new role with the CMA. 

“I have been part of Team CHEO longer than I have ever worked in any organization in my life,” Munter wrote. “Being here has changed me as a person, helped me develop skills I never knew I had and inspired me in ways I will never, ever forget. I will take that experience with me to my next role but a part of my heart will remain with CHEO forever.”

Munter has been a well-known figure in Ottawa for decades. He was a city councillor in the Ottawa area from 1991 to 2003, sitting as a councillor for Kanata and the Ottawa-Carleton region prior to amalgamation. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Ottawa in 2006. Prior to joining CHEO, he was the CEO of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).

“Founded the same year Canada became a country, the CMA has a storied history and has helped create much of the framework for healthcare in Canada – from the first public health regulations and launch of Canada’s leading medical journal over a century ago to more recent progress on healthcare funding, Covid response and combatting disinformation,” he wrote.

“In that same spirit, the CMA has set some pretty ambitious goals – for itself and for the future of healthcare. A healthcare workforce plan, including portable licenses. Improving physician wellness by reducing administrative burdens. Net-zero health systems. Indigenous-led health transformation. And much more. I am excited about working with doctors, medical learners, patients and caregivers, other healthcare professionals and governments to help advance these goals.”

Munter said he will still be closely involved with pediatric physicians, CHEO and other health-care organizations when he takes on his new position at the CMA.

“And, of course, I am the parent of a six-year-old. So like every other parent and caregiver in our region, I am deeply invested in CHEO’s success. I will always have CHEO’s back,” Munter wrote.

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