North West LHIN Senior Leadership Team


Rhonda Crocker Ellacott     

Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, Chief Executive Officer, North West LHIN

Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the North West Local Health Integration Network on May 14, 2018. As a seasoned health care executive with over 25 years’ experience in the health care field, Dr. Crocker Ellacott obtained a Baccalaureate in Nursing, Masters Clinical Nurse Specialist Degree in Nursing, and Doctorate in Human Services Administration (Health Care Administration). Most recently, she served as the Executive Vice President, Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Chief Executive Officer, Nipigon District Memorial Hospital.

A strategic and visionary Senior Health Care Executive, Dr. Crocker Ellacott is known as a collaborative, patient and family-centred, innovative, results oriented leader. She is a committed individual, passionate about placing patients and families at the centre of care, energized by new challenges and opportunities to improve quality care, and driven to support teams to accomplish results. She is passionate about the opportunity to transform health care across the Northwest region, drawing from her experience working in both large and small rural hospitals, community, and with local/ regional boards. As a life-long resident, she has a keen understanding of the unique needs of the people and communities across the Northwest region. In her role at the North West LHIN, Dr. Crocker Ellacott is committed to working collaboratively with partners locally, regionally and provincially, to build a stronger health care system, improving quality, access to care and reducing inequities, while strengthening health care service delivery in our region.


Brian Ktytor

Brian Ktytor, Vice President of Corporate Services

Brian Ktytor is Vice President of Corporate Services for the North West LHIN. He provides strategic leadership in system performance, funding, community engagement, eHealth, enterprise projects and change management. Put more simply, he works to optimize the performance of the health system in Northwestern Ontario in order to obtain the most value for the people who use the system and for the taxpayers of Ontario who fund the system.

Brian received his Master’s in Business Administration from Dalhousie after graduating from Lakehead University with a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) and an Honours Bachelor of Commerce. Prior to joining the LHIN, he was the Dean of the School of Aviation and Director of Marketing, Communication and External Relations at Confederation College and was a senior commercial banking account manager with RBC Royal Bank.

Brian says his experiences within the business and education sectors were the perfect preparation for the job he now holds. He works closely with team members and stakeholders across the region, bringing a decidedly business and systems point of view to a critical health care function – making the system high-performing and sustainable.

"I love this job because of the purpose that I have," he says. "I can't think of a higher contribution I could make than helping my fellow Ontarians be healthy, and helping sustain the health system for future generations."

chrysta burns


Chrysta Burns, Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development

Chrysta Burns provides strategic leadership, direction and oversight for the development, implementation and evaluation of human resources and organizational development strategies to promote alignment and enable employees to deliver client care. She brings substantial experience from the private sector with a portfolio that focuses largely on employee relations and organizational development, talent management, recruitment and retention, leadership development and performance management.

In 2007, Chrysta joined the North West Community Care Access Centre, and spent many years leading Human Resources and Organizational Development, with accountability for labour relations, employee relations, occupational health and safety, performance management and the development of an effective overall HR strategy.

Chrysta is passionate about Human Resources and Organizational Development. Chrysta believes in the strength and value of collaboration and in building strong partnerships.

“I have spent my entire career dedicated to Human Resources and the employees we serve,” says Chrysta. “It is so tremendously rewarding. It is a privilege to be part of a team dedicated to making Northwestern Ontario a healthier place to live!”


Dr. Sarah Newbery


Dr. Sarah Newbery, Vice President of Clinical

Dr. Newbery is an avid champion of rural medicine, and a well-known family physician in Northwestern Ontario. For the past 21 years, Dr. Newbery has been a family physician in Marathon, and has been part of the Marathon Family Health Team since it’s inception as a first wave FHT in 2007.She has been Chief of Staff at Wilson Memorial General Hospital for the past 12 years and is currently Chief of Staff of the newly integrated North of Superior Health Care Group (NOSH). She is an associate professor in the Division of Clinical Sciences at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and is actively involved in curriculum development and teaching. Dr. Newbery is also a member of several provincial health care related committees, and is a past president of the Ontario College of Family Physicians.

 Gord Porter    

Dr. Gordon Porter, Interim Vice President, System Transformation, Integration and Quality

Dr. Gordon A. Porter was appointed interim Vice President of System Transformation, Integration and Quality on November 12, 2018. Dr. Porter also serves as the North West LHIN Clinical Quality Lead.

Dr. Porter is a graduate of Queen’s University and obtained his Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (FRCS) in Orthopaedic Surgery from the University of Toronto. He has practiced as an Orthopaedic Surgeon for the past 30 years in Thunder Bay and Sioux City, Iowa, and currently practices as a part-time Orthopaedic Surgeon and Medical-Legal Consultant. Most recently, Dr. Porter served as the Chief of Staff at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

Dr. Porter’s passion for continuous quality improvement and developing a system-wide accountability culture (Kaizen culture), based on quality and safety and standardization, remains his top priority.


Adam Vinet, Interim Vice President, Home and Community Care

Adam Vinet was appointed interim Vice President of Home and Community Care for the North West Local Health Integration Network on November 12, 2018. As an experienced health care leader, Adam has spent over 17 years in the health care field. Most recently, Adam has been the Senior Director of Home and Community Care at the North West LHIN; Director of Surgery, and the Manager of the Emergency / Trauma department at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Center.

Adam provides strategic leadership in Home and Community Care operations, which includes Home Care coordination for short/long stay patients, Palliative Care, Long-Term Care placement, and Mental Health Assessment nursing. He also provides leadership and direction for the North West LHIN’s Patient and Family Advisory Committee and is committed to embedding patients and families in all opportunities to improve quality health care.

“I have focused my health care career on putting patients first, and developing health system quality improvements to achieve better patient outcomes.”


petronilla ndebele

Petronilla Ndebele, Director of Communications and Engagement

Petronilla Ndebele was appointed to the position of Director of Communications and Engagement on February 25, 2015. In her current role, Petronilla provides strategic leadership in communications and community engagement to ensure the people of Northwestern Ontario share their views and advice on health system delivery and transformation to better serve their needs.

“I’m passionate about a storytelling approach to communications,” says Petronilla. “In particular, stories that make a difference to the socio-economic well-being of the constituents we serve.”

Before joining the North West LHIN, Petronilla was Director of Communications for kidsLINK, a children’s mental health agency. Between 2012 - 2014, she was at the City of Guelph asthe Public Affairs Officer in the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer and Communications Assistant in the Office of the Mayor.And before joining the North West LHIN, Petronilla was the Communications and Media Relations Lead at the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network.

In addition to her Master’s in International Communications and Development, City University, UK, Petronilla holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing Communications from the Graduate School of Marketing, Institute of Marketing Management in South Africa. In 2014, Petronilla was Accredited in Public Relations by the Canadian Public Relations Society.

Rhonda Ferguson

Rhonda Ferguson, Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer

Rhonda Ferguson has worked with the North West LHIN for the past 6 years. In her previous role of Administrative Assistant to the Senior Director of Health System Transformation, she has been involved with many committees and program implementations. In previous years, Rhonda has worked in various types of administrative roles, such as Legal Assistant (family law, estate planning, litigation, real estate) and Engineering Office Manager. She enjoys reading, hiking and biking, but her true passion is her love for animals.

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