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August 22, 2005

Bärbel Hatje
LHSC Corporate Communications and Public Relations
519-685-8500, ext. 35947 Pager 15947

LHSC President and CEO announces retirement after 38 year distinguished career

(LONDON, Ontario) - After a 38 year career in the health care system in Canada, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) President and CEO, Tony Dagnone, announced today at a meeting of the Board of Directors his plans to retire effective December 31, 2005.

"This is a very emotional day for London Health Sciences Centre, " says Jeff Low, Board Chair, LHSC. "Tony Dagnone has been an outstanding CEO. He has provided exceptional vision and leadership. His unwavering commitment and dedication to this hospital has led us to national prominence. Tony is the founding President and CEO of London Health Sciences Centre and will always hold a special place in the history of this institution. On behalf of the Board of Directors I want to express our profound gratitude for his leadership. At the same time we want to wish him well in a very well deserved retirement. "

Dagnone first came to London 13 years ago as President and CEO of the former University Hospital. When University and Victoria hospitals merged in 1995, Dagnone became the President and CEO of the newly created London Health Sciences Centre.

"This decision was reached after months of reflection and planning. With our significant achievement of Milestone 1 of our redevelopment program, the timing is appropriate for my retirement," says Dagnone. "I look forward to spending more time with my family."

Under Dagnone's leadership, London Health Sciences Centre has achieved numerous advancements in patient care including five world firsts, three North American firsts and nine Canadian firsts.

During his tenure, London Health Sciences Centre has consistently rated high in efficiency and patient satisfaction. The hospital has been a leader in advancing technological innovations including the development of the world class CSTAR facility, the acquisition of state of the art diagnostic and imaging systems, and has served as a model for the rest of Canada in digital imaging and electronic patient record.

Alliances and partnerships have been a hallmark of Dagnone's leadership, from the successful merger of the two founding hospitals to the creation of revolutionary strategic alliances with regional hospitals, health care providers, industry partners and the development of the most integrated citywide hospital system in Ontario.

Dagnone is a highly respected leader across the province and across the nation. He is the past Board Chair of the Ontario Hospital Association and sits on several provincial and national health care committees. In June, he was awarded the Canadian College of Health Services Executives Chairman's Award for Distinguished Service. Dagnone has devoted countless hours to community service and professional organizations, including the United Way and a five-year commitment to the Canada Summer Games.

In 1992, Dagnone was granted the Order of Canada for his work in the community and leadership in health care. In 2003, he was awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal.

"Serving London Health Sciences Centre and the London community has been a great honour and a privilege," says Dagnone. "I am very proud to be a part of this great hospital. Above all, it has been a privilege for me to work with the staff, physicians and volunteers of London Health Sciences Centre who day in and day out provide exceptional, compassionate care to our patients and play a key role in developing the next generation of health care."

The search for Dagnone's replacement will begin immediately. The Board of Directors will be establishing a search committee within the next two weeks.

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is dedicated to excellence in patient care, teaching and research. LHSC has pioneered many national and international medical breakthroughs. Located in London, Ontario, LHSC has three sites - South Street Hospital, University Hospital, and Victoria Hospital, along with two family medical centres and the London Regional Cancer Program. LHSC is the home of the Children's Hospital of Western Ontario and CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics). The research arm of LHSC is Lawson Health Research Institute, which is also partnered with London's other teaching hospital, St. Joseph's Health Care, London. LHSC is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. Physicians and staff at LHSC number close to 8,000 and together they provide care for more than 600,000 patients each year.

Mr. Dagnone and Mr. Low are available for interviews today between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.