New regional hospital lead for local COVID-19 response announced

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Waterloo Region & Wellington County | Guelph General Hospital’s President and CEO, Marianne Walker has taken over the role as hospital lead for Waterloo Wellington’s COVID-19 response. Her appointment follows the recent departure of St. Mary’s General Hospital’s Lee Fairclough.

“I’d like to express my appreciation for the great work Lee did in helping keep the community well informed about the pandemic’s impact on local hospitals,” says Walker.

Her sentiment was echoed by Susan deRyk, Chief Regional Officer, Ontario Health West.

“As we continue to work together as a system to respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of good communication cannot be overstated. I am confident that Marianne will ensure that information flows seamlessly across partners, and continue to build on the timely and easy to understand communications that Lee could be counted on to share previously.”

A first order of business for Walker in her role was sharing the news the province has extended its required mask mandate for high-risk settings. “This is most welcome,” says Walker. “Hospitals are still being challenged by both the number of COVID patients and high number of staff off either with COVID or suspected COVID. We know that masks help protect against COVID along with other preventable measures such as vaccination. We are committed to follow the science and continue masking and vaccination mandates.”

Walker says the community still has a large role in supporting hospitals. “Vaccinations and masking continue to be important in reducing the risk of getting COVID and possibly having to come to hospital.”