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Kitchener hospital president resigns to run in Ontario election

St. Mary's General Hospital in Kitchener. Google Maps

Lee Fairclough has resigned her post as president of St. Mary’s General Hospital and is shifting gears as she is set to be a candidate in June’s provincial election.

In a statement posted to the hospital’s website, hospital board chair Marion Thomson Howell says vice-president of human resources and culture Sherri Ferguson has been named as acting president.

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“In addition, plans are underway to begin our search for a permanent president,” Thomson Howell stated. “We will keep you posted on these developments. Ontario Health will provide information on the transition of regional lead responsibilities.”

Fairclough is expected to receive the Liberal nomination to run later this spring in the Toronto riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore.

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She has only been in charge of SMGH since 2020 but has been at the forefront of the local effort to battle COVID-19 as the regional lead for COVID-19 response at the hospitals in Waterloo-Wellington.

“During the pandemic, it’s been a constant effort to respond to this challenging and ever-changing virus,” Fairclough said as she was introduced as a candidate by the Liberal Party on Monday.

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“It’s a formidable foe, that is for sure. Pulling together as a team at St Mary’s following wave after wave of COVID, each with its own characteristics and devastating impacts has made the last two years some of the most challenging I have seen in my career.”

Fairclough will be on the ballot against Progressive Conservative incumbent Christine Hogarth and NDP candidate Farheen Alim when Ontarians go to the polls on June 2.

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