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Dr. Thabane begins his new dual role of VP Research (SJHH) and Scientific Director (RSJH) on April 1, 2021.


Dear Members of the St Joe’s Community,

Everything that we do at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) is directed towards providing the best clinical care for our patients. We do this through our Commitment to Excellence and our Dedication to Discovery. Our research activities, from basic discoveries in the lab to delivery of care at the bedside, are fundamental to our mission of “Living the Legacy: Compassionate Care, Faith, Discovery” and our Strategic Plan. As one of our colleagues, Margaret McKinnon (Homewood Chair in Mental Health and Trauma at McMaster University and Research Lead, Mental Health and Addiction at RSJH), often puts it, “Clinical work helps the one; research has the potential to help the many.” The key role of The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton (RSJH) is to facilitate and support the conduct of scientifically and ethically sound research, and to be a catalyst of scientific innovation. In our pursuit of these goals, we are guided by the SJHH values of Dignity, Respect, Service, Justice, Responsibility, and Enquiry. 

We have many strengths and achievements to celebrate at St. Joe’s, including our unique culture of collegiality; our personable atmosphere; our people; our collective humanity; our unified sense of purpose; our team-oriented approach; our passion and compassion for our patients; the excellence of our patient care guided by our commitment to research; the solid foundation of our Research Institute; our community support; our local partnerships with McMaster University; and the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph that guides everything we do.

One popular Chinese proverb reminds us that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” We have taken the first steps already, and now have opportunities to build on these achievements and strengths. As we look forward to the future, there are vast opportunities to shift our collective research strategy to the next level. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Reinforcing our public campaign to highlight St. Joe’s contributions to COVID-19 research;
  • Branding of The Research Institute of St. Joe’s;
  • Building the next generation of clinical and basic science researchers through development of formal mentorship across all areas;
  • Re-enforcing our areas of strength and building areas that require support;
  • Establishing a strong framework for meaningful community engagement;
  • Celebration of research excellence;
  • Supporting our trainees;
  • Integration of best evidence into clinical care through quality improvement studies;
  • Taking care of our people;
  • Strengthening our partnerships, particularly with McMaster University; and
  • Fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion across all aspects and operations of The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton.

I look forward with great enthusiasm to extended discussions with every one of you, one-on-one and in groups, to discuss how to best approach these issues. Together, we’ll create a blueprint of our collective strategy, with measurable goals and metrics for evaluation – which are aligned with our global Strategic Plan.

With thanks and boundless hope for what we are yet to achieve together!



Lehana Thabane, PhD, FSCT, FASA, FCAHS, MASSAf (Hon Assoc Foreign)
Vice President Research, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
Scientific Director, The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton

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