Bluewater Health has named Paula Reaume-Zimmer as its next president and CEO, the hospital announced Monday.
Reaume-Zimmer, currently the hospital’s vice-president of Integrated Services, was appointed by the hospital’s Board of Directors and will take over Jan. 1, 2023, succeeding Mike Lapaine who has served as president and CEO since 2016.
In a news release, Bluewater Health said Reaume-Zimmer “was identified and vetted by a select committee of the board,” after Lapaine made his intention to retire known, earlier this year.
“Paula is a transformational leader who is best suited and prepared to lead Bluewater Health through both the current strain that the healthcare system is facing, but also as someone who has the vision and determination to evolve what a hospital can and should provide to the Sarnia-Lambton community,” said Bluewater Health board chair Margaret Dragan.
The hospital said Reaume-Zimmer will transition from her current, dual role as VP of integrated services at Bluewater Health and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Lambton-Kent.
She is also currently the CEO of Lambton Elderly Outreach (LEO).
“I am excited and motivated to lead Bluewater Health, a place where each day I witness an environment where kindness is not a slogan, but rather a way of life,” said Reaume-Zimmer, who began her career as an inpatient psychiatric nurse, before taking on various roles in mental health and addiction services, as well as emergency department leadership. She earned her Doctorate in Health Administration from Central Michigan Univeristy, and is an alumna of the University of Toronto’s Rotman Advanced Health Leadership Program.
Lapaine first joined Bluewater Health in 2008 as VP, operations and chief operating officer, and helped oversee the 2010 opening of the new Norman building and the amalgamation of Sarnia’s two hospitals.
“It has been my greatest privilege to proudly serve as President and CEO for Bluewater Health over the last several years,” said Lapaine. “I have been inspired by our staff’s unwavering commitment to patient and family-centred care, especially their dedication over the last few challenging years.
“I leave knowing that Bluewater Health is in excellent hands in the continuing leadership.”