As current President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Alex Munter is proud to be at the helm of one of only a few standalone pediatric hospitals in Canada. It is also a hospital that has doubled in size, added two new wings and quadrupled its research infra-structure and was named by Forbes Magazine as the best place to work in Canadian healthcare in 2016 and 2017 in the nine years of his steward-ship.
Alex graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Social Sciences and followed that with a Master of Science/Political Science from the London School of Economics.
With a growing interest in local politics, he was elected as City and Regional Councillor and led committees responsible for health and social ser-vices between 1991 and 2003. He then took a hiatus from politics, and was and was hired as a political reporter for the Ottawa Citizen as well as a visiting professor of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa and Concordia University in Montreal.
After obtaining professional designations and experience in the health field, Alex is now striving to expand services, improve access and make CHEO a digital health leader.
The father of a 20-month-old son believes personal happiness comes from a balance between finding purpose and pleasure in life, and for him, it has always come from working to improve things for the greater good.
How has your career path evolved? I started out creating and owning the Kanata Kourier monthly local newspaper at the age of fourteen, which began in my home basement. Journalism led to a career in local government where I was responsible for health and social services which ultimately led to this career.
What do you enjoy the most and what are the challenges? The ability to make a positive difference for kids is incredibly rewarding. There is more triumph when lives are changed and saved here. However, there is no greater tragedy than the loss of a child. It is critical to bring calm to difficult situations and remember that the children and their families are our first priority.
How are you handling the coronavirus issue at CHEO? Our response has rapidly evolved and changed through the pandemic. Today’s answer will be different than tomorrow’s. Whether creating Canada’s first pediatric virtual Emergency Department, providing emergency respite for families of children with special needs, or a developing a drive-thru diabetes clinic to ensure the best care for our children and youth, these kid-friendly ser-vices are a true testament to the concern and care everyone at CHEO has for the children, youth and families we serve.
And this is on top of safety. If anyone needs to come to CHEO, they should know that they are in the best hands—we know how to control dis-eases. We do it all the time, not just during COVID-19.
Some of Alex’s favourite things
Subject in school: Geography
Animal: Our Boston terrier Lola
TV Show: Homeland
Musician: Lady Gaga