Dominic Giroux to step down as Health Sciences North president

Health Sciences North president and CEO Dominic Giroux is stepping down from the role in June.

Giroux took over as Health Sciences North president and CEO in 2017

A man in a suit smiling.
Health Sciences North president and CEO Dominic Giroux is expected to step down from the role on June 15. (Submitted by Health Sciences North)

Health Sciences North president and CEO Dominic Giroux is stepping down from the role in June.

Giroux, who took over the top role at the Sudbury, Ont., hospital in October 2017, has accepted a new role as the president and CEO of Hôpital Montfort in Ottawa. 

"It has been an honour to serve the people of northeastern Ontario over the past five and half years at HSN and HSNRI," Giroux said in a press release. 

In addition to his role at the hospital, Giroux is also the head of the president and CEO of the Health Sciences North Research Institute (HSNRI).

Giroux grew up in the Ottawa area, and said in a press release that he could not pass up a role at a francophone hospital.

"I was born at Montfort and  served on its board in the late '90s. I was a volunteer at the historic rally of 10,000 people at the Ottawa Civic Centre in March 1997, to oppose the planned closure of Montfort, which was overturned by the  Ontario Court of Appeal in 2001," he said.

"With my aging parents living in Ottawa and me being their only child, the chance to see them more regularly at this stage in life is simply a gift."

'Big shoes to fill'

In a statement hospital board chair Daniel Giroux (no relation) said the hospital president will "leave big shoes to fill."

He listed a number of milestones the hospital reached under Giroux's tenure, including a new 52-bed unit that is expected to be completed soon, and how the Shirley and Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre ranks first among Ontario cancer centres on quality improvement indicators.

"Hôpital Montfort is very fortunate to be recruiting him," he said.

"With the HSN accreditation site visit in early June, and the development of our next strategic plan starting this fall, the timing is right for a CEO transition." 

Student with helmet walking into Laurentian University
Before leading Sudbury's hospital, Dominic Giroux was president of Laurentian University. (Erik White/CBC )

Leading Laurentian University

Before joining Health Sciences North, Dominic Giroux was the president of Laurentian University. He was in that role from 2009 to 2017. When he was hired he was Canada's youngest-ever university president, at 34.

In her special report on Laurentian University, which announced it was insolvent in February 2021, Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk said the university's financial health started to deteriorate during Giroux's tenure as president.

The report did not specifically name Giroux, however, when referring to financial mismanagement at that time.

From 2009-2010 to 2019-2020, Laurentian pursued six major capital projects that cost $168 million, including building the East Residence, a cardiovascular and metabolic research lab, the school of architecture, and campus modernization without adequate evidence or analysis to justify the investments.

"As the university began to amass more than $87 million in debt to pay for this capital expansion, the senior administration exacerbated the situation by making a series of questionable financial and operational decisions, including amending its internal policies to allow it to incur even more debt and increasing its senior administration's costs," Lysyk wrote in her report.

"The poor management of the university's financial affairs and operations was allowed to continue because of weak board governance and ministry oversight."