Southlake Regional Health Centre has named its new leader as Dr. Paul Woods, who has early roots in Newmarket.
The new president and CEO is an integrated care expert and a “seasoned executive” with more than 25 years of experience, the Newmarket hospital said in a news release. Woods has practised throughout Canada and as a flight surgeon with the Canadian Armed Forces.
He also attended Huron Heights Secondary School in Newmarket, and Western University in London.
Woods said it is an honour to be chosen to head Southlake.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to contribute to the organization’s esteemed history having watched Southlake evolve from York County Hospital into the world-renowned institution it is today while growing up in Newmarket,” Woods said.
Today's announcement caps off a months-long search for a replacement for current president and CEO Arden Krystal. The hospital said back in July that Krystal would be departing the role she has served in since 2017, with Woods now due to take over Jan. 3.
The process has entailed going through more than 100 applications, with a public consultation process. Board chair Marilee Harris said the board is pleased with who it has found for the role.
“The board and I are beyond thrilled to have found someone of Paul’s calibre to help us fulfill the hospital’s growth plans to meet our communities’ needs,” Harris said.
Newmarket Mayor John Taylor welcomed the announcement.
"It will be great to have someone who knows and understands this community taking the helm at Southlake," Taylor said on social media. "I look forward to working with you, along with the region and province, to continue building a healthier community."
Woods has held numerous leadership roles across North America, including at the London Health Sciences Centre, Alberta Health Services, the University of Calgary’s Department of Family Medicine and Trinity Health in the United States.
Among many duties, Woods will have to help guide the hospital as it goes through planning toward a new, second hospital site. That second facility is meant to help address overcrowding happening at Southlake due to regional growth.
“His visionary thinking and collaborative approach is exactly what our organization needs to overcome the challenges facing Ontario’s health-care system,” Harris said.
Woods received his Master of Science degree from the Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at the world-renowned Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
A father of four adult children, Paul is married to Dr. Kristen Woods, a physician executive and business coach. He enjoys staying active with his two German Shepherds, cycling, and playing hockey.