March 23, 2023 – Arnprior & District Family Health Team’s (ADFHT) Executive Director, Karen Simpson, has announced her upcoming retirement in July 2023 after an exemplary forty-year career in healthcare administration.
“Karen has had a remarkable impact on the Arnprior & District Family Health Team, our community, and the regional health system during some extraordinarily challenging periods,” said Jay Johnston, Chair, Board of Directors, ADFHT. “We have been fortunate to have Karen’s steady hand, collaborative leadership, and innovative systems thinking that has, and continues to, enhance primary care in the Arnprior area and across the region.”
After leaving the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as the Director of Long-Term Care Inspections to return home and to work locally, Karen joined the ADFHT as Executive Director in 2018.
Under Karen’s leadership over the past five years, the ADFHT has created and expanded partnerships, programming, and services in response to the community’s health needs and the urgent demand for improved primary care access in Renfrew County. For example, Karen and the ADFHT have:
- Played a leadership role in establishing the Renfrew County Virtual Triage Assessment Centre (VTAC).
- Co-led the operations of the Arnprior Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics and Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Sites.
- Expanded mental health services (e.g., E Walk-In Counselling Clinic) to provide more patients and community members with access to counselling and group programs.
- Established the ADFHT as an anchor partner in the Ottawa West Four Rivers OHT and the Ottawa Valley OHT.
- Supported the upcoming launch of the Renfrew County Pap Clinic.
- Collaborated with Arnprior Regional Health to launch COPD and diabetes programming to connect acute care patients to appropriate community programs via the ADFHT.
- Co-led the upcoming launch of the Renfrew County Primary Care Strategy to address the 20,000 patients in Renfrew County who do not have a primary care provider.
The ADFHT Board of Directors will begin a competitive recruitment process in the spring.
“Karen has been the driving force behind our many successes, and we have some big shoes to fill,” said Jay. “We are well positioned with sufficient time to conduct a competitive search to ensure a smooth leadership transition for our patients, staff, and physicians. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we thank Karen for her invaluable leadership and guidance over the past five years, and we wish her the very best in her well-earned retirement.”