Career Profile

Throughout her career, Bonnie demonstrated a leadership style and capacity to bring about strategic transformational change and measurable bottom-line results. Outcomes include building strong followership, nurturing lasting collaborative relationships, leading multiple successful innovation initiatives, fostering high performing learning cultures, partnering innovatively with private sector partners and successfully mobilizing human and financial capital. She is a strategic and systems thinker who successfully led organizations in various models of system integration in Ontario with sustainable outcomes.

Mrs. Adamson began her career as a bedside nurse and held every level of management role. Her career expands over forty years in health care leadership, including 25 years in senior management. For over 16 years, she assumed the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) role in rural community and urban teaching hospital environments and retired in 2014 as CEO of one of Canada’s largest and most comprehensive academic centres.  

A passionate learner, she demonstrated an unwavering commitment to patient-centred care, integration of care and services with system partners, continuous quality improvement, patient safety, leadership development, mentoring/coaching leaders, strategy design/execution and an academic vision. As a people-centred leader, Mrs. Adamson constantly drove change to facilitate healthy work environments characterized by engaged and empowered staff and physicians. Her reputation for excellence in health care leadership extends provincially, nationally and internationally.

Over her career, Mrs. Adamson held a number of academic appointments at both Western and University of Toronto. As well, she served in numerous governance leadership roles at local, provincial and national levels throughout her career. In addition, she contributed to the national health care agenda through the role of Surveyor with Accreditation Canada for over a decade and by actively participating as a Fellow in both the Canadian College of Health Leaders and the American College of Health Executives throughout her leadership career. As well, Mrs. Adamson authored numerous publications, received notable awards and accepted numerous invitations as a speaker locally, nationally and internationally.


  • Appointments and Awards:
    • Patient and Family Advisor, Patients Canada, April, 2016
    • Appointed to Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan Board of Trustees as Pensioner Observer, June, 2015
    • Honorary Life Member Award, Canadian College of Health Leaders, June, 2015
    • Appointed by Ontario Lieutenant Governor in Council to Cancer Care Ontario Board of Directors, May, 2015
    • Continue as a “Quality Expert” with the International Society for Quality in Health Care ( ISQua) since 2012
    • Appointed as Adjunct Assistant Professor, Arthur Labatt Scholl of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University, 2014-2017
  • Consulting Activities: 
    • Coach for Career Mobility to a Health Care Leader, 2015-2016
    • Chair, Expert Panel, Leamington & Area Obstetrics/Birthing Services, sponsored by the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network, December 2014- May, 2015
    • Facilitator, Strategic Planning Project, Westmount Presbyterian Church, London, Ontario, 2015
    • Invitation to join Bill Tibbo & Associates – Consultant in Crisis Leadership, 2014
  •  Speaking Engagements and Panels:
    • Speaker, Driving Transformation and Leading Change toward Patient and Family- Centred Care, Humber River Hospital, Toronto, May 2016
    • Speaker,  Driving Transformation and Leading Change toward Patient and Family- Centred Care,

School Council, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University, March, 2016

    • Panel Participant, Women in Motion Leadership Panel, Cancer Care Ontario, February, 2016
    • Speaker, View From the Top Series: Perspectives on Embedding a Culture of Excellence in Patient and Family Centred Care, Ontario Hospital Association, Toronto, February, 2016
    • Speaker, Driving Transformation and Leading Change toward Patient-Centred Care,  Leadership Management Team, North York General Hospital, Toronto, February, 2016
    • Panel Participant, Transformational Health Care Leadership. Canadian College of Health Care Leaders, Greater  Toronto Area Chapter AGM, May, 2015
    • Judges Panel, Health Care Challenge, Health Studies Students’ Association, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University, London, February, 2015
    • Guest speaker at National Leaders Forum, Aramark Canada, November, 2014
    • Speaker, Overcoming the Unexpected: Leadership in the SARS Crisis, Society of Psychologists in Management Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, 2014
    • Speaker, A Journey From Crisis Through Transformation and Renewal to Sustainability. Richard Ivey School of Business. Western, London, Ontario, September 2, 2014
    • Guest Panelist, Leadership for Sustainability in Health Care: Processes that Bridge Disciplines and Sectors. Symposium for Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, Deerhurst Conference Centre, Huntsville, Ontario, May, 2014
  •  Professional Association Membership:
    • Member, ISQua, Innovation and Systems Change Committee of the Board,  2014 - 2015
    • Co-Chair, Health Professionals Roundtable for Strategy Advisory Panel, Canadian College of Health Leaders, 2015
  • Continuing Education:
    • Governance Education Program. Canadian Board Diversity Council, Toronto, 2014


  • President and Chief Executive Officer – London Health Sciences Centre, 2010-2014
  • President and Chief Executive Officer – North York General Hospital, 2002-2010
  • President and Chief Executive Officer - Huron Perth Hospitals Partnership, 1998-2002
  • Vice-President, Patient Networks and Alliances; Patient-Centred Care, LHSC, 1995-1998
  • Vice-President, Patient Services and Pastoral Care; Nursing, Victoria Hospital, 1989-1995


  • Ontario Hospital Association - Elected Member, Board OHA, 2012-2013
  • Canadian Health Information Management Association - Board Member, 2009-2013
  • Child Health Network Greater Toronto Area - Chair 2008 to 2010, Board of Directors, 2003-2010
  • Plexxus  (12 Toronto Area hospitals Shared Service Organization) - Board Member, 2010-2012
  • Canadian College of Health Service Executives (CCHSE) now Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL)
    • Chair, CCHSE National Board, 2006-2008
    • Vice-Chair 2005-2006, Board Member 2001-2008
  • Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences  - Vice Chair, 2003-2007; Member 2001-2007
  • Fanshawe College Health Sciences Advisory Board - Member, 1995-1997
  • London Hospital Linen Services Board of Directors - Member and Vice-Chair,1991-1997


  • Director, Nursing; Head Nurse; Clinical Educator; Victoria Hospital, London, 1978-1989
  • Instructor, Fanshawe College, London, 1977-1980
  • Staff Nurse/Supervisor – Sunnybrook Medical Centre, Toronto, 1970-71; 1974-1977
  • Staff Nurse – Wellesley Hospital, Toronto, 1971-1974
  • Instructor – Centennial Community College, Scarborough, 1974-1977
  • Occupational Health and Safety Nurse – Eaton’s Department Store, Toronto, 1971-1974
  • Clinical Instructor – North York General Hospital and Seneca College, 1971-1974
  • Staff Nurse – Leamington District Memorial Hospital, Leamington, 1969-1970


  • Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), 2007
  • Fellow, Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL), 1995
  • Master of Science in Nursing (Administration), the University of Western Ontario, 1984
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of Toronto, 1974
  • Graduate Nurse Diploma, Public General Hospital. Chatham. Ontario, 1969


  • Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award (Public Sector Leaders) Women’s Executive Network, 2012
  • Canadian College of Health Leaders, National Award of Distinguished Service, 2011
  • Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing Distinguished Service, University of Toronto, 2010
  • American College of Health Executives, Regents Award, 2008
  • Iota Omincron Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International, Honour Society of Nursing, Award of Excellence – Nursing Administration, 1993


1. Seasoned Executive Leadership and Management Expertise
As CEO, consistently demonstrated ability to create strategy-driven organizations balanced with major operational/fiscal turnarounds, balanced budgets and organizational restructuring. The leadership model demonstrated consistently throughout her career was a people-centred style. Feedback from staff described the attributes as authenticity, humility and stewardship. A strong commitment to the empowerment and engagement of all staff and physicians in the leadership of change and the creation of healthy work environment was a priority leadership practice in every leadership role.

2. Reputation for Expertise in Coaching and Mentoring
In addition to formal academic involvement, she has demonstrated a passion for building leadership capacity for current and future leaders. This included CEO-led leadership development programs at NYGH and LHSC, formal talent management programs, and individual succession planning for executive leaders, many of whom have advanced to more senior roles in the health care system. Throughout her career, she has personally mentored leaders at all stages of development across the public and private sectors.

3. Recognized Leader for Adopting Leading Edge Quality/Patient Safety Change
Throughout her career, she has positioned this area as a professional priority with significantly positive and award winning outcomes. Some examples include major reduction of mortality rates, increased hand washing rates, reduced infection and organizational wide process improvements. Patient experience and community engagement resulted in empowerment of the voices of patients and their families into design, implementation and evaluation of care and service. Staff and physician engagement have contributed to the sustainability of many change initiatives. Significant involvement with the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQUA) has resulted organizational profile in the quality improvement leadership network.

4. Leadership of Strategy-Driven Organizational Transformations
In the CEO role, led successful organizational transformations utilizing customized models based on assessment of readiness for change and uniqueness of each environment at NYGH and LHSC. The shared vision was a Learning Organization creating a culture of empathy, collaboration and continuous learning .The cascading leadership development program contributed to the sustainability, success and growth of the organization.

  • Strategic Leadership Of Innovation And System Integration
  • LHSC (2010-2014)

As CEO, led the renewal of regional partnerships focusing on improvement in patient flow between LHSC as a tertiary referral system and Southwest Ontario (SW) hospitals in alignment with the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Strategic Plan and theLHSC Clinical Services Plan. To support this strategic direction, new information technology initiatives between LHSC and health care agencies were undertaken. Two comprehensive projects were the electronic health record in London hospitals and ten regional hospitals, and cSWO, an eHealth Ontario project, which will connect LHSC with health care agencies across four LHINs in southern Ontario.

  • NYGH (2002-2010)

Through collaboration with public and private sector partners, led this multi-site urban community teaching hospital in the creation of innovative care models, resulting in dramatic improvement in patient experience, patient safety, high quality of patient-centred care and reduced costs both within NYGH and the regional care continuum.

  • Huron Perth Hospitals Partnership (1998-2002)

In 1998, appointed as the first CEO to lead a voluntary integration of eight independent rural community hospitals to a single high performing integrated hospital system, an early model in Ontario. This partnership model of governance and administration resulted in enhanced quality of patient care, technology connectivity, resource efficiencies, academic integration with London academic partners and support service integration.

  • LHSC - Strategic Alliances within an Academic Framework (1996-1998)

As Vice President Patient Networks and Alliances led a shared vision between LHSC and forty hospitals in SW Ontario implementing multiple strategies improving patient flow between LHSC and regional hospitals.

  • Early Adopter Of New Innovative Models With Private Sector

Partnerships resulted in significant improvement in quality of care and safety, increased patient satisfaction, efficiencies and leading edge programs.

  • Crisis Leadership in SARS Outbreak, Toronto, 2003

After six months of tenure as CEO at NYGH, faced with the crisis of SARS lasting over six months including being the epicenter of SARS II. Over one hundred and twenty SARS patients were diagnosed with the virus including large numbers of staff and physicians. It was a moving human story of compassion, dedication and heroism.

  • Life Long Commitment to Academic Work

Extensive participation and a committed passion to academic work and programs have been consistently demonstrated in all leadership roles. Numerous academic appointments have been received. The implementation of evidence based guidelines and the creation of formal partnerships between hospitals and academic institutions have benefited the quality of care, the enhancement of educational programs and research initiatives across many organizations.

  • Extensive Professional Contribution to Health System Leadership

Throughout her career, Mrs. Adamson has engaged in a significant number of professional activities locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. She was been a member of six governance Boards, (national and provincial) and assumed leadership roles. As well, she has demonstrated a dedicated commitment to several professional associations, academic institutions and associations, consulting requests, and government committees.

  • Experience in External Organizational Reviews and Government Committees
  • Reviewer for Operational Review at Quinte Health Care at invitation of the Government Supervisor, 2009
  • Chair, Ministry of Health Clinical Review, Ajax-Pickering Hospital, Rouge Valley Health System, 2000-2001
  • Reviewer, Acute Care, In-Patient Medical Coverage, Regina and Saskatoon Health Districts, Department of Health, Saskatchewan, 1997
  • Hospital Standardization Committee (OMA/MOHLTC Joint Committee), 2005-2006
  • Hospital Advisory Committee at invitation of Minister of Health, 2001-2002
  • Provincial Working Group on Critical Care, at invitation of Minister of Health, 1987-1990

Revised:  March, 2016