Shirlee M. Sharkey, President & CEO


Shirlee Sharkey is president and chief executive officer of Saint Elizabeth, a leading national health care organization known for its social innovation, strong financial performance and pioneering practices. As an award-winning and diversified not-for-profit, Saint Elizabeth delivers more than six million health care visits annually and employs 8,000 people providing nursing, rehabilitation, personal support, research and consulting services.

With a century of experience and powerful vision for the future, Saint Elizabeth is committed to empowering clients, families and staff; championing compassion; and pursuing high value and quality. As an organization firmly fixed on honouring human experiences in health care, Saint Elizabeth pursues innovative and exemplary practices to make a wider societal impact.

Shirlee’s commitment to community advancement is evident in her leadership and involvement on many boards, ranging from health to education. In January 2014, Shirlee was appointed to chair the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, a standing committee for Health Quality Ontario. She also serves on the Ontario Health Innovation Council. She is a past chair of George Brown College in Toronto and a former president of the Canadian Home Care Association. In 2007, the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care appointed Shirlee as an expert advisor on staffing and care standards for long-term care homes in the province.

Academically, Shirlee is cross-appointed to the University of Toronto’s Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation as an adjunct professor. She has appeared on a number of media panels and is widely published on home and community-based health care, health transformation, social innovation and breakthrough leadership.

Her insights and belief in unleashing people’s potential and creativity have generated achievements and accolades from across Canada and beyond. In 2012, Shirlee received the Diamond Jubilee Medal of Queen Elizabeth II, and accepted the Order of Excellence from Excellence Canada in organizational innovation, quality and wellness.

Shirlee was honoured with the Innovation Award for Healthcare Leadership from the Canadian College of Health Leaders in 2010. Additionally, she has received the University of Toronto’s 2008 Graduate Leadership Award, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation; Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women, Women’s Executive Network in 2007; Award of Excellence in Nursing Leadership, Ontario Hospital Association in 2005.

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