Homewood Health Centre executives announce retirements

GUELPH, Ontario, March 30, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - James Schlegel, CEO and President, Schlegel Health Care, today announced the upcoming retirements of Edgardo Pérez, MD, CEO and President, and David Sands, Chief Operating Officer, Homewood Health Centre. Edgardo Pérez will complete his duties as CEO and President of Homewood Health Centre on May 31, 2011; David Sands will remain as Chief Operating Officer until September 30, 2011. Both plan to formally retire from their current positions, but remain connected to Homewood post-retirement.

Dr. Pérez came to Homewood in 1993 as Executive Vice-President and Chief of Staff. Over the past 18 years, he has served as CEO and President, of Homewood Health Centre and Homewood Corporation; CEO, Homewood Employee Health; Director, Centre for Health at Homewood; and Director General of the Homewood Research Institute. Under his leadership, Homewood has achieved national recognition, winning a number of awards, including the National Quality Institute's Canada Awards for Excellence Order of Excellence Award in the Quality and Healthy Workplace categories, the Institute's highest award. Homewood has also been honoured by the Ontario Hospital Association with the Healthy Hospital Innovators Award and recognized by Your Workplace as one of the Top Ten Places Where Employees Thrive Award.

He is also Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa and McMaster University, and a Clinical Professor of both Psychiatry and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Co-author of Mindsets, a book dealing with the inter-relationship of emotional well-being and productivity, he has had more than 40 articles published in peer review journals. His commitment to excellence is reflected in his long-term involvement as a director and surveyor for Accreditation Canada. One of his priorities as CEO and President has been the development of international linkages with the Pan American Health Organization and health care providers in Latin American countries and China.

"I have admired Edgardo from afar for years and more closely in the last few months," said Mr. Schlegel. "He is passionate about the clinical excellence of our programs and is deeply committed to the quality of the workplace at Homewood. The challenge for all of us is to celebrate, reflect on and to move forward together."

Dr. Pérez will continue to maintain his medical appointment at Homewood and provide leadership to a revitalized Homewood Research Institute as it builds research capacity and gains increased emphasis within Homewood.

"Although it is difficult to go after such a long time, I am confident that Homewood is in good hands with the Schlegel family," said Dr. Pérez. "I am pleased that I will continue to be involved in Homewood, working directly with patients. I have a passion to help people; that is my purpose in life. A new owner will bring in new ideas, but what is, and what will continue to be critical to the success of Homewood is the day-to-day contributions of individual employees and volunteers. The work they do each day will have the greatest impact on our patients and these day-to-day contacts are what patients will remember about Homewood."

David Sands began working at Homewood in 1972 as an Accountant, taking on roles of increasing responsibility. Over his 38-year career, he has served as Director of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Homewood Health Centre and Homewood Corporation.

"David has been an extraordinarily committed, deeply loyal and effective leader in his various roles and his efforts have been key in achieving and maintaining financial stability and sustainability," said Mr. Schlegel.

"The decision to retire was a difficult one, but having made the decision, it feels right for me," said Mr. Sands. "Homewood has been a big part of my life and an enjoyable part of my life. This is not just a job. Whatever we do at Homewood has an impact on someone's life and I have a good feeling about what we have accomplished. Homewood is in good hands with Jamie and his family. The leadership under the Schlegel family will be excellent."

The Homewood Board of Directors has begun a process of identifying the next generation of leadership at Homewood. No decision has been made at this time.

Schlegel Health Care is a wholly owned subsidiary of RBJ Schlegel Holdings Inc., a three-generation family company, which owns and operates long-term care and seniors retirement home facilities. The company was founded in 1967 and is based in Kitchener, Ontario. Schlegel and Homewood have been partners in Oakwood Retirement Communities for about 14 years, and have enjoyed a positive and productive working relationship. In December 2010, Schlegel Health Care announced that it has successfully acquired 96.2 per cent of the shares of Homewood Corporation.

Homewood Health Centre is a leader in mental health and addiction treatment, providing specialized psychiatric services to all Canadians. Located in Guelph, Ontario, in a beautiful setting on the banks of the Speed River, Homewood has been improving lives since 1883. Unique in Canadian health care, Homewood is a highly specialized provincial and national resource. A fully accredited facility, Homewood has always achieved the highest standards in quality care. It is a recipient of the prestigious National Quality Award.

Programs and services include:

...Addiction treatment - drug and alcohol (in-patient and out-patient)
...Integrated Mood and Anxiety Program - depression and anxiety
...Eating Disorders Program - anorexia and bulimia
...Program for Traumatic Stress Recovery - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
...Substance Abuse and Trauma Safety Program - concurrent treatment of PTSD and addiction
...Program for Older Adults - mood disorders and dementias
...Comprehensive Psychiatric Care Program - persistent mental illness
...Crisis, Assessment and Stabilization Program
...Homewood Outreach and Support Program - case co-ordination, transitional care