Wait Time Strategy Working Group


  • The Wait Times Work Group provides directional leadership and content-knowledge and expertise in planning and implementing specific initiatives within a collaborative forum in accordance with Central East Local Health Integration Network priorities and strategies (e.g. IHSP) as well as with current Wait Time Strategy. 
  • The aim is to improve priority area wait times across the Central East LHIN, while easing patient flow and maintaining quality along the broader continuum of care. 
  • Also, in parallel, members utilize their role to identify and examine current emerging issues and/or anticipated future items.  Based on this assessment, efforts are focused on the development and implementation of innovative solutions addressing the perceived opportunities for the integration/coordination of more streamlined and efficient healthcare services. 


The activities of the Wait Times Working Group will be results-oriented and evidenced-based. The Members will:

  • Work collaboratively with Central East LHIN and other participating Hospitals to identify, advise and/or support specific initiatives to reduce priority area wait times
  • Provide informational reports (quantitative and qualitative) to better direct or focus on key areas of interest
  • Leverage and align wait time initiatives with other LHIN-wide priorities
  • Address emerging local health care needs and future health care system priorities within the context of Wait Times; and
  • Explore opportunities for improved wait time efficiencies and cost effectiveness across the continuum of care.
  • Participate in a Quarter 2 re-allocation process to ensure that an appropriate risk mitigation strategy is developed and implemented to address identified emerging issues and opportunities.


  1. Cancer Surgery
  2. Selected Cardiac Procedures
  3. Cataract Surgery
  4. Hip & Knee Total Joint Replacements
  5. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)/Computed Tomography (CT)
  6. General Surgery
  7. Paediatric Surgery
  8. Colorectal Screening 


The following individuals are members of the Wait Time Strategy Working Group: 

Helen Brenner

Helen is the Vice President Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive at Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg.  

Helen in a Registered Nurse by profession and in 2001 completed a Masters of Business Administration through Athabasca University.  She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ontario Institute Of Technology and fulfills the role of Faculty Advisor for 4th year Baccalaureate Nursing Students and is the current chair of the Renal Administrative Leaders Network of Ontario.

Helen has 20 years tertiary and community administrative experience, responsible for the strategic, financial, quality, human resource, and utilization management of a number of programs that include Nephrology, ICU/CCU, Acute Medicine, Complex Care, Palliative Care, Rehab, Day Hospital and Pharmacy.  She has played a critical role in the successful development of a number of clinical programs and has had extensive experience working with and creating partnerships with a number of community partners to support the smooth transition of patients from the acute care setting back to the community.  Inherent in her experience, Helen has extensive experience in formal/informal team/group facilitation skills, committee experience both as chair/member and has prepared and presented at various professional conferences.

Varouj Eskedjian

Varouj Eskedjian is currently Vice President, Diagnostics & Support and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Ross Memorial Hospital. He has been at RMH since July 2006. He held a similar VP position at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital for 6 years prior to arriving in Lindsay. Varouj has also worked in senior management positions in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and London Psychiatric Hospital.

Apart from his executive employment in healthcare administration, Varouj Eskedjian has been involved with numerous community organizations. He is currently a Director on the Board of United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes and is Chair of the Board of Directors for the Village Housing Corporation that is about to break ground to build a 71 unit supportive housing complex for seniors and persons with special needs in Lindsay. He was also Board Vice Chair and Treasurer for the Simcoe County Association for the Physically Disabled while residing in Barrie from 2000-2006.

Varouj is married to Karol Eskedjian and has three children attending university.

Laszlo Cifra

Laszlo Cifra is the Regional Manager of Intake, Information & Referral and Central Ordering Services for Central East Community Care Access Centre.  He is responsible for the ongoing management, planning development and evaluation of services under his portfolio.

Laszlo is a Registered Nurse with over 10 years of experience as Staff Nurse, Case Manager, Business Consultant and a Manager in Long-Term Care, CCAC and Hospital settings.  His primary interests are in the areas of Organizational Development, Process Engineering and Health Informatics as they relate to the provision of health care services.

Laszlo holds a degree in Health Administration – Health Services Management from Ryerson University.

Cara Fleming

Cara Flemming is the Vice-President Performance and Chief Information Officer at The Scarborough Hospital.    Included within her portfolio are the departments of Information Services, Decision Support, Risk Management, Privacy, Health Records, Transcription Services and Coding and Abstracting.  Cara is collaborating with others at TSH to ensure the hospital becomes a leader in using information and technology to improve patient outcomes

Until February 2009, Ms. Flemming held a variety of senior leadership positions at the University Health Network, one of Canada’s largest teaching hospitals in Toronto, Ontario.  These included Senior Director of Risk Management and Decision Support, Chief Privacy Officer, Patient Safety Officer, Controller and Director of IT Operations. 

Cara is a graduate of Acadia University’s Bachelor of Business Administration program and received a Master degree in Health Services Administration from Dalhousie University.  Prior to joining UHN, she was the Chief Financial Officer for the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.  During her tenure as CFO, she received a Certified Management Accountant designation.

Louise Grosjean

Louise Grosjean joined Campbellford Memorial Hospital in February of 2008.   Louise is responsible for Finance, Payroll, IT and Materials Management.

Prior to joining the hospital Louise was with a home health care agency as CFO and with VON Ontario for five years last holding the position of Director of Corporate Services – Ontario. 

As Director of Corporate services Louise worked with counterparts to establish three corporate service centers to support VON branches in Ontario.  Louise was responsible for the Finance functions for Ontario including financial, reporting and budgeting for 14 branches with hundreds of Community Support Service programs and dozens of CCAC contracts among others.

Louise ran a successful Chartered Accountant Practice for 10 years prior to joining VON and has taught at both the College, University and MBA levels. Louise has a Bachelor of Commerce (honours) and is a Chartered Accountant.

Jeff Hohenkerk

Jeff Hohenkerk has over 18 years of progressive management experience in both public and private health sector operations.  In August 2003, he joined Rouge Valley Health System (RVHS) as the Director of Medical Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratory Services to provide full strategic and operational oversight over all aspects of diagnostics services, with a focus on providing the leadership necessary to position RVHS as a Centre of Excellence.  

Jeff's recent work experience also includes secondments to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as a lean methodology coach for MRI wait times efficiency, a process improvement position for the Provincial Wait Times Strategy. He presently serves as a council member of the Clinical Education Leadership Council of the Michener Institute for Applied Sciences.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Charles Sturt University and has completed most of the requirements for a Master's in Health Sciences (Health Administration) from University of Toronto and a Health Executive Certification with the Canadian Council of Health Services Executives (2010).  Prior to joining RVHS, he spent the last decade working in various teaching  health care organizations in Montreal, Quebec.

Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson is the Patient Care Director for Diagnostic Services at The Scarborough Hospital.  Trained as a Radiographer, he began his career at The Scarborough Hospital in 1982 before moving to the Ontario Ministry of Health & Long Term Care as an inspector with the Radiation Inspection Service.  Returning to The Scarborough Hospital in 1986 he held positions of Quality Control Technologist and Manager within Diagnostic Imaging before assuming his current role as Director in 1990.

Over the past two decades, he has lead the implementation of several major clinical and technology programs within Diagnostic Imaging including mammography, magnetic resonance imaging, radiology information systems and the picture archiving and communication system (PACS).

Mr. Jackson holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Diploma in Radiography from The Toronto Institute of Medical Technology (The Michener Institute).  He is certified as a Quality Control Technologist from the Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Technologists and holds a certificate in Departmental Management from the Canadian Hospital Association.  He is an active member of The College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario, The Canadian & Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Technologists and the Ontario Association of Radiology Managers.

Linda Jussaume

Linda Jussaume joined Rouge Valley Health System in September 2006.  Linda is responsible  for the Surgical Program at Centenary and Ajax/Pickering sites.  Linda was responsible for the Cardiac Program responsibilities in 2008-09.

Prior to joining the hospital, Linda was with the University Health Network for over 20 years. Holding the position of Manager of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care unit,  Linda was involved with the merger and expansion of the Cardiac Surgery Services. Linda developed and implemened new programs such as Critical Care Course, Heart Transplantation, Early extubation, Ventricular Assist Device and Point of Care Testing (POCT).
Linda has presented to both National and International conferences. 

Prior to joining RVHS,  Linda also  ran a consulting service and some of her work includes the Trillium Health Center (Mississauga), St-Mary’s Hospital (Kitchener) and Laval Hospital (Quebec City) for their Cardiac Surgery Program development. Internationally, she consulted in China for the China Health Care Group.

As Program Director, Linda has developed and implemented many projects and initiatives in both the Surgical and Cardiac Programs:

  • WTIS Program
  • ORBC program
  • CIRT Program
  • Pre-operative Assessment clinic (PAC) (Lean initiative)
  • World Health  Organization (WHO)Surgical Checklist
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI)
  • Electrophysiology Program
  • Regional Cardiac Rehabilitation

Since 2008, Linda has been working as a Faculty Advisor at the UOIT Faculty of Nursing.

Linda has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (honours, McGill University) and a Master of Business Administration (University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management). 

Leslie Motz

Biography to be supplied 

Nurallah Rahim

Nurallah Rahim successfully completed his Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing at the University of Phoenix and is currently working on his Masters in Health Administration. He will graduate in 2010.

His career began in Nursing in 1981 at the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) in the Burns and Plastics Unit. During his tenure, he developed, along with his colleagues, a School Visiting Program.  This entailed visiting the school and sharing with the students information on what happened to their classmate and how to prepare for his/her return to class. This was the first step in reintegrating the patient/student back into school system. Nurallah also assisted in setting up the Burn Unit and Burn Program at the Hospital Del Nino in Guayaquil, Equador.

In 1990, he transferred to the Operating Room at the HSC where he became the Assistant Manager of General Surgery and Plastic Surgery Operating Rooms.  He was the project lead in the construction of 12 Operating Rooms at the HSC.

In 1998, Nurallah was recruited by North York General Hospital where he worked in partnership with the Manager, Clinical Coordinator and the Educator to develop an environment of professional practice and team construction.  Within a year, Nurallah was promoted to Manager where he continued to work at integrating two hospitals into an acute care and an ambulatory site.  He was also instrumental in designing 17 new surgical suites of which 5 were renovated and brought up to standard. 

In May of 2005, Nurallah joined The Scarborough Hospital where he’s been successful in integrating services and standardizing nursing practices in the Operating Room at both of the hospital’s two campuses. He also created an Eye Centre that is admired by many organizations.  He currently works as the Director of Surgical Services, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation.

Nurallah has attended many conferences where he’s presented on a variety of topics during his career as a Nurse and as an Administrator.

Jan Raine

Jan is a graduate of the RN diploma program at Sir Sandford Fleming College. She has had the opportunity to manage several surgical suites over her 20 year career.

Jan’s first managerial position was at St. Michael’s Hospital where she assumed the position of Manager of the Operating Room. Jan went on to manage several other surgical suites that included Ajax/Pickering, Peterborough Regional Health Centre and Scarborough Centenary.

While working in her various positions, Jan completed her BA in Health Studies. While past positions have had primarily a surgical focus, Jan is currently enjoying her position as Chief Nursing Executive at Campbellford Memorial Hospital.

Lisa Ruston

Lisa Ruston is the Corporate Director, Surgical Services and Quality Lead at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. Lisa has been with PRHC since 2000 where she has also held the positions of Director of Pharmacy and Director of Surgical Services.  Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Degree from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Schulich School of Business, York University.  Lisa is also a surveyor for Accreditation Canada. 

D. Sharma

Biography to be supplied 

Carol Smith Romeril

Carol Smith Romeril is currently Vice President Patient Care and the Chief Nursing Executive at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay. Prior to joining the Ross, Carol was a senior planner with the District Health Council for Durham Haliburton, Kawartha & Pine Ridge. Carol’s background includes community and social services as well as hospital-based direct acute and continuing care and governance experience.  Carol has experience in the health systems of both Alberta and Ontario.  Her formal education includes a degree in Nursing Science and a Master of Health Service Administration.  Carol lives in the Kawartha Lakes area and is looking forward to the new and extended partnerships across the LHIN geography.

Marilee Suter

Marilee Suter is a Decision Support Consultant at Peterborough Regional Health Centre.  She is responsible for providing corporate leadership in information/utilization management and decision-making to the Board, Administration, Management and Patient Care teams. 

Marilee is also the Wait Time Coordinator for Surgery & Diagnostic Imaging, Colon Cancer Screening program, Surgical Efficiencies Target Program (SETP), Emergency Department Reporting System (EDRS) and ALC/ER Wait Time Strategies.

Marilee is involved at Fleming College providing instruction to 2nd  year Health Information Management (HIM) students.  She has been with the college since the program was introduced and was responsible for the development and preparation of educational material for the Decision Support and Utilization Management course.

Marilee holds a Bachelor of Arts (Health Studies theme) degree from York University and graduated from the HIM program at Fanshawe College, London.  She is a member in good standing with the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA).  She is currently on the executive board of the Utilization Managers Network of Ontario (UMNO) and is the past chair of the CE LHIN Hospital Performance Managers Group.

Cheryl A. Turk

Cheryl Turk is the Vice President Finance and Information Services, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Privacy Officer for Northumberland Hills Hospital located in Cobourg, Ontario.  She has been a member of the Northumberland Hills Hospital management team for 12 years, joining in June 1997 as the Director of Finance. 

In her current role, Cheryl is responsible for the planning, organization and coordination of the following administrative services: financial management, information management and decision support, and privacy oversight. In addition, the portfolio includes responsibilities relating to supply chain activities and food services.

Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with Honours degree from the Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business and Economics and a Chartered Accountant designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario.

Prior to joining Northumberland Hills Hospital, Cheryl was a senior manager at a local accounting firm, primarily responsible for the audits of several not-for-profit organizations.

Susan Wojdylo

Currently, Manager, Case Costing & Ministry Affairs at Lakeridge Health, Susan reports to the Director, Finance. Her responsibilities include co-ordination, data analysis and data submission for Case Costing.  She is also responsible for co-ordination, analysis and submission of all MOH data on behalf of Lakeridge, including wait time data. As MIS coordinator, she is accountable for MIS / OHRS standards compliance and the integrity of the statistical General Ledger.
Susan is a Registered Nurse, and her previous experience includes Clinical Systems Consultant in the IT department, Project Manager for the implementation of Case Costing, and Emergency nursing.  Thoughout her career, she has been provided a fairly broad spectrum of healthcare opportunities.  The transition from the clinical environment through information systems to finance has been both enjoyable and educational.  There are still many challenges that face our healthcare system, and business performance (including wait time performance) in healthcare, like any other business, is defined by informed decision making.