Joint Centres

About Joint Centres

The Joint Centres for Transformative Healthcare Innovation (Joint Centres) is a partnership between large community hospitals with a goal of sharing innovations focused on improving quality and value in healthcare. Member hospitals include: Mackenzie Health, Markham Stouffville Hospital, Michael Garron Hospital, North York General Hospital, Southlake Regional Health Centre, St. Joseph's Health Centre and Humber River Hospital. 

As a platform for innovation and collaboration, the Joint Centres is guided by five strategic directions:

  • Seek and share innovative ideas that improve service delivery and/or value across the healthcare system

  • Serve as a living laboratory to demonstrate innovation

  • Provide a forum for the rapid execution of new ideas, technologies, products and processes to improve system performance

  • Provide a test environment for Ministry of Health and/or Local Health Integrated Network (LHIN) sponsored innovation and demonstration projects

  • Create opportunities for shared innovation, learning, and knowledge transfer among the member organizations, their staff and physicians

Partner Hospitals

Michael Garron Hospital is an award-winning community teaching hospital that has served the diverse population of East Toronto since 1929 when it opened as a 110-bed general hospital. The hospital consists of its primary site on Coxwell Avenue and two satellite offices that provide community-based mental health and withdrawal management services. MGH is proud of its strong community, clinical, research and academic partnerships, including the University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Centennial College, George Brown College, Michener Institute, Ryerson University and York University.

Southlake Regional Health Centre is a full-service hospital with a regional, clinically advanced focus. Southlake offers almost 400 patient beds and accommodates more than 90,000 visits to the Emergency Department, 22,000 in-patient admissions, and 600,000 out-patient visits each year. As a regionally designated site, Southlake is responsible for developing and providing advanced levels of care to the more than one million people who reside in York Region, Simcoe County, and in some cases, as far north as Muskoka

Mackenzie Health is a dynamic regional healthcare provider serving a population of more than a half million people across York Region and beyond. Nationally recognized for its commitment to safety and quality patient care, Mackenzie Health is a healthcare leader with a wide variety of academic partners. Mackenzie Health includes Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital, the future Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, as well as a comprehensive network of community-based services in Richmond Hill, Vaughan and the surrounding communities.

North York General Hospital, affiliated with the University of Toronto, is one of Canada's leading community academic hospitals. The hospital offers a culturally diverse community a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and long-term care services across three sites. Through partnerships, collaboration and academic endeavours, North York General seeks to set new standards for patient- and family-centred care. 

St. Joseph's Health Centre is a community teaching hospital, affiliated with the University of Toronto, serving the healthcare needs of the city’s west end. The hospital’s vision is to advance the health of their community by being Canada’s best community teaching health centre. And their people – staff, physicians, volunteers and students – live their vision and values every day, and are committed to serving patients and their local community with compassion.

Markham Stouffville Hospital is a progressive, two-site community hospital with leading diagnostic services and clinical programs in acute care medicine and surgery, addictions and mental health and maternal and child rehab/transitional care; all of which are focused on the needs of their rapidly growing communities. Partnering with other specialist providers, the over 450 physicians, 17 midwives, and 1,900 staff of the hospital make it the centre of community care for the almost 400,000 residents of Markham, Stouffville and Uxbridge.

Humber River Hospital is one of Canada’s largest acute care hospitals, serving a catchment area of more than 850,000 people in the northwest Greater Toronto Area. North America's first fully digital hospital, it is located at Keele Street and Highway 401 in northwest Toronto. With a capacity of 656 acute inpatient beds, including 48 critical care beds, the hospital has 3,400 staff, approximately 600 physicians with privileges, and over 500 volunteers. The hospital has formal affiliations with the University of Toronto and Queen’s University Medical Schools.


Altaf Stationwala, President & CEO, Mackenzie Health

Arden Krystal, President & CEO, Southlake Regional Hospital

Barb Collins, President & CEO,  Humber River Hospital

Jo-anne Marr, President & CEO, Markham Stouffville Hospital Chair of the Joint Centres

Karyn Popovich, Interim President and CEO, North York General Hospital

Sarah Downey, President & CEO, Michael Garron Hospital

Tim Rutledge, President & CEO, St. Joseph’s Health Centre


InnovationEX is an annual event held by the Joint Centres. The inaugural event, held at North York General Hospital in 2014, had over 500 attendees and included remarks from the Honourable Deb Matthews. Innovations ranged from technological advances, to operating room practices, and the inclusion of patient and family advisors across hospital practices. The event now acts as a catalyst to spread ideas and innovations across the six hospitals and is an important venue for knowledge exchange, one where hospitals can learn from each other and leverage their collective size to achieve greater impact across the healthcare system.

InnovationEx 2018 took place on Friday, May 4. Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) showcased three innovative projects at the annual event:

The Right Fit: Engaging Patients in Recruitment
Engaging patients in recruiting point-of-care has resulted in richer information for making hiring decisions. Playing the role of a patient in a simulation exercise gives patients a voice and enables the testing of a candidate’s clinical skills and their ability to build a trusting relationship with a patient.

Creating and Fostering a LGBTQ Inclusive Environment
MGH formed a unique partnership, one of the first within Ontario health care, with The 519 Church Street Community Centre (The 519), an organization dedicated to advocacy for the inclusion of Lesbian Queer Bisexual Trans Queer (LGBTQ) communities. MGH’s involvement ensures the hospital provides and inclusive and supportive environment for members of the LQBTQ community.

Checking in Daily for Patient Safety
Daily safety checks that occur early in the day allow senior leaders to strategize, collaborate and share information about the safety concerns in their area. A high-level summary of the past 24 hours and potential safety concerns bring awareness to allocate resource and work proactively to ensure organizational safety.

Read more about InnovationEx 2018

For more information, please visit

Spread Projects

The Joint Centres hospital members are collectively working on several projects aimed at improving quality, value and safety in health care. By pooling resources and talent, all seven hospitals can benefit from lessons learned and individual best practices. These projects can later be used as a model for other health care institutions to emulate.

Reducing C.difficile Infections
Hospital acquired infections, including C. difficile, impose a significant strain on the recovery of patients and on resources within the health care system. Notably, C. difficile is recognized to be a heavy environmental contaminant and measures must be taken to mitigate transmission of disease via healthcare worker hands, shared equipment, and the hospital environment. As the lead site for the C. difficile spread initiative, Michael Garron Hospital has been collaborating with the Joint Centre hospitals since 2014 to develop and improve C. difficile control measures. Together, the Joint Centre hospitals are sharing best practices and identifying emerging practices to assist in the reduction of the burden of C. difficile in health care.

Reducing C-section Rates
The Joint Centres are spreading Markham Stouffville Hospital's strategy to reduce the rate of C-Sections through patient/client education and awareness, a tracking and reporting process and change in unit policy. Recommended practice changes for consideration and adaptation by other hospitals include early maternal education on options (for example, Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) classes), review of policies and procedures (for example, induction), supportive care during labour and delivery and development of midwifery programs for low-risk births. 

Spreading Choosing Wisely
Choosing Wisely Canada is a campaign to help clinicians and patients engage in conversations about unnecessary tests and treatments. Since 2014, North York General Hospital (NYGH) has been working to implement Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations and spread its success to the Joint Centres Hospitals. Significant reductions in unnecessary testing have been demonstrated at NYGH and Michael Garron Hospital. Moving forward, efforts will be focused on supporting the implementation of Choosing Wisely campaigns and recommendations across participating Joint Centres sites. Choosing Wisely: And Idea Worth Spreading received two-year funding through ARTIC (Health Quality Ontario, HQO and Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario, CAHO) to extend the project to other Joint Centre hospitals and primary care practices affiliated with Joint Centres' hospitals. This project has included the identification of physician champions and a selection of top tests that will be targeted for reduction by each organization. 

Workplace Violence Prevention
The Joint Centres are collaborating on a spread project focused on prevention of violence in the workplace that is being co-led by Michael Garron Hospital and Southlake Regional Health Centre. The project will build on strategies developed by all hospitals to create safe and secure workplaces that help achieve the objective of zero tolerance for violence. Leading practices will be identified and developed into a “spread playbook” that can be shared and adapted by each hospital in areas such as risk assessment, training, flagging, reporting and leadership and staff engagement.


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