(John Yip, pictured above on the right-hand side, will be officially beginning his position as CEO of SE Health in Spring of 2022. He’s been the President and CEO of Kensington Health since 2015)
Picture this: It's January 2022. What would have been a normal start to the new year, with the worst of COVID-19 behind us, was faced with a huge challenge: stopping the spread of the Omicron variant across the Ontario healthcare sector.
Within a month, The Gardens had more than 170 people away due to the virus, and was faced with staffing shortages, needing extra hands around the home. Many staff and essential caregivers stepped up to the plate and were re-deployed, even Kensington’s President and CEO, John Yip.
Many people would be shocked to see a CEO assisting staff with resident’s needs, like helping them with their meals and sitting for a friendly visit. But for John, this was one of the many times he has stepped up to support The Gardens, especially during the beginning of the pandemic. Kensington is his community; and he was dedicated to helping his colleagues, boosting morale, and supporting residents. In his mind, it was the right thing to do.
Growing up in the Kensington Market community, John always had a strong interest in healthcare and wanted to contribute to better health outcomes for patients. John took on many roles before he became the President and CEO of Kensington, he managed his own consultancy, focusing on social services and healthcare, and led the Corporate Services for Health Quality Ontario as the Vice-President. John is also an active fitness enthusiast who enjoys a good run, competitively or for leisure. (Check out his project: #RunEveryStreet)
(You can sometimes find John in a local coffee shop, meeting with staff, colleagues and families)
John’s leadership at Kensington will not only be remembered for its people-first approach, positivity and transparency, but also for its vision, grit, and entrepreneurial spirit. Some marquee examples of his leadership include:
- Accelerating growth in Kensington’s programs and services to fill unmet healthcare needs in the community including the expansion of our core ambulatory care services and the future expansion of our hospice.
- Enhancing research, education, and innovation with our academic partners;
- Establishing a health equity, diversity, and inclusion program for the organization;
- Anchoring the organization as a system leader in the Mid-West Toronto Ontario Health Teams;
- Tackling surgical backlogs by developing strategic partnerships with organizations like Unity Health; and
- Articulating Kensington’s new brand strategy and identity alongside the Kensington Health Foundation
Throughout the two years of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, John successfully navigated Kensington through the storm prioritizing safety, mental health, and staffing support. His approach helped to position Kensington Health as a leader in pandemic response in long-term and community care. “Speaking personally, John has been a great partner in our efforts to steer Kensington through the challenges of COVID-19,” says Jim Nelles, Board Chair of Kensington Health. “On behalf of the Board, I’m deeply grateful for his energy and enthusiasm through this difficult time.”
Naturally, what makes John so unique is his kindness and care for the Kensington team and community. His personality and approach can make any family member or colleague easily engage with him in a conversation. “In my short time at Kensington, I have witnesses how John brings out the best in the organization,” says Terry Caputo, CFO (Chief Financial Officer), Interim, President and CEO of Kensington Health. “He empowers staff to be their best selves, using their talents to the fullest, while still providing the right oversight to avoid serious risks.”
Although his time at Kensington has ended, the Kensington community will miss John’s kindness, his positive presence, courageous leadership, and his consistent advocacy for Kensington Health. “I am conflicted with John’s departure,” said Terry. “While I am happy and excited for him to embark on this great opportunity, I was looking forward to working with him and learning how to be a better leader.”
As Jim Nelles happily shares: “I wish John sincere best wishes for success in his new position. We will sincerely miss him. In the spirit of lifelong learning, John leaves us with the knowledge that he has grown through his Kensington experience while Kensington will be forever changed by the talented and thoughtful contribution he has given to us all.”
Thank you for everything you have done for Kensington John. We know you will make momentous changes within Ontario’s health-care system and beyond as the new President and CEO of SE Health.
(John Yip playing 'KPONG' during Kensington's collaborative community event with Fancy Franks, celebrating National Hot Dog Day in summer of 2019).