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Dominic Giroux to leave Laurentian University for CEO's job at Health Sciences North

The new president and CEO of Health Sciences North is Laurentian University president Dominic Giroux.
Laurentian University president Dominic Giroux is leaving to be the new president and CEO of Health Sciences North (Roger Corriveau/CBC)

Dominic Giroux will leave Laurentian University this August, but will keep the title of president as he moves to be the new head of the Sudbury hospital, Health Sciences North.

The university and hospital made the announcement in a joint release Wednesday.

Giroux, who has been president of Laurentian since 2009, will officially move to a new president's office down the road at the hospital Aug. 18.

He admits he gets regular calls from headhunters offering him jobs down south.

"Because our family loves Sudbury and wanted to stay in the community, we haven't pursued any of those opportunities."

Opportunity too good to pass up

The 41-year-old Giroux says he wasn't looking for a new job, but the opportunity to learn the health system and keep his family in Sudbury was too good to pass up.

He does plan to learn and listen, before leaping into what he wants Health Sciences North to become.

Hospital presidents have traditionally come from a medical background, but Giroux says professional administrators like himself are more commonly filling the top jobs across the province.

"Ultimately to me a successful CEO needs to develop strong relationships and engage and that's what I'll be doing, engaging with physicians from day one," says Giroux.

"We can't be everything to everyone, but we have to have a clearly laid out strategic plan."

Dr. Peter Zalan sat on the selection committee and says he was surprised to see Giroux apply for the top spot at the hospital.

"If he can bring to Health Sciences North what he did for Laurentian University, we'll be very excited," says Zalan.

Some doctors will be unhappy with the choice

Zalan says he expects some doctors will be unhappy with the choice for president since it's unusual for someone without a medical background to head a hospital.

"I suspect it can work out very successfully, but I imagine initially we'll hear some criticism. And then we'll see how it works out," says Zalan.

Zalan says the selection committee was also excited by Giroux's connections at Queen's Park and his ability to land major government funding and private donations, especially in light of HSN's financial challenges.

Laurentian's current vice-president, Pierre Zundel, will become the school's interim president, with a permanent replacement expected to be named in December 2018.

In October, Giroux will replace Dr. Denis Roy, who is retiring as CEO of Health Sciences North, after eight years in the top job.