Retiring Halton Healthcare CEO forever ‘grateful’ for support she received

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Published March 23, 2023 at 12:16 pm

Denise Hardenne is retiring after spending the last 23 years with Halton Healthcare, including the last nine as President and CEO. Her final day is Friday. HALTON HEALTHCARE PHOTO

Her 23-year chapter with Halton Healthcare coming to a close, President and CEO Denise Hardenne feels there are so many reasons for her to be grateful as she prepares for her final day on the job on Friday (March 24).

“Together we have written a great history – one that we can take great pride in,” Hardenne, who is retiring after spending the last nine years at the helm of Halton Healthcare, said in a farewell letter.

Hilary Rodrigues, Senior Vice President, Corporate Services, Performance & Chief Financial Officer, will lead the organization until Melissa Farrell officially takes over as President and CEO on June 5.

“At the cornerstone of our communities are the hospitals and healthcare services that touch the lives of each and every one of its residents,” said Hardenne. “It has been an honour to be entrusted with the profound responsibility of leading an organization that touches so many.

“I am privileged to have led Halton Healthcare as President and CEO for the last nine years and to have been a part of a team that lives its values of compassion, accountability and respect for the last 23 years.”

Hardenne praised her “amazing team” who faced exhausting challenges and made big sacrifices to ensure that patients, families and communities were always cared for.

That, she says, was never more true than over the last three years with the pandemic.

“I will always be grateful for all the support I have received over the years,” said Hardenne, who took the time to thank staff, physicians, volunteers, Board of Directors, the hospital foundations, donors, the greater community and the many partners for helping transform Halton Healthcare into the high-performing healthcare team and organization it is today.

Hardenne has spent 37 years in healthcare and she said early in her career she learned that few things can be achieved alone.

“The many incredible memories that I take with me are wrapped in the accomplishments of our teams,” she said.

Hardenne point to the opening of the new Emergency Department at Georgetown Hospital and renovation of its Diagnostic Imaging department.

She also will fondly remember the opening of the new Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital and welcoming patients through the doors of the Milton District Hospital expansion project.

How, in the midst of the pandemic, they launched a new strategic plan, Inspiring Care, which positions Halton Healthcare with a shared purpose, TO CARE.

“That is woven in all that we do,” she said.

Other accomplishments she takes pride in with her “team” include the successful launch of their upgraded electronic health information system and new Digital Roadmap.

“We have moved the organization into the next digital horizon in care delivery and are enhancing high-quality, safe, patient care by empowering inter-professional collaboration and transforming the staff and physician experience,” said Hardenne.

“Crucial” work has also begun in clinical service planning, allowing Halton Healthcare to be even more responsive to the evolving needs of the communities and as a founding member of the Connected Care Halton Ontario Health Team

“I will be forever proud of the leadership we continue to show in broader health system transformation,” said Hardenne.

Hardenne says she has also been recently reflecting with pride on the amazing culture they nurture at Halton Healthcare. Halton Healthcare was recently recognized as one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures by Waterstone Human Capital.

“While we come from different backgrounds and experiences, we are an organization that embraces diversity and we are empowered to excel through our commitment to well-being and belonging,” said Hardenne.

“Together our teams care for each other in as many ways as we care for our patients, families and our communities.

Hardenne says she is leaving her position with full  confidence in the Board, senior leadership team, physicians, staff and volunteers.

“Halton Healthcare and its dedicated people will always hold a special place in my heart and I know that I am leaving it in good hands,” she said.

“I will be cheering you on as you continue to evolve and grow,” added Hardenne.

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