Bringing quality health care to Ontarians requires the coordination of numerous care providers and supporting services. With over 200 critical care units in hospitals across the province, a significant amount of system integration is needed to ensure that not only optimal care is provided, but also that patients have access to high quality care in an efficient, effective and coordinated manner.

Critical Care Services Ontario’s role in interfacing with the critical care system and implementing the provincial Critical Care Strategy is a crucial element in making this goal a reality. Since the inception in 2006, CCSO has made contributions to the system through a diverse range of initiatives, including the introduction of Critical Care Response Teams (CCRTs) throughout the province; empowering hospitals with planning mechanisms such as Surge Capacity Management Plans; and utilizing the provincial Critical Care Information System (CCIS) to track data related to critical care unit performance and leveraging this data to make informed decisions related to areas such as capacity investments.

As the leadership of CCSO, we are fortunate to collaborate with many committed partners—both within hospitals—such as physicians, nurses, and administrators—and those at the system-level, such as CritiCall Ontario, transport service partners, the LHINs, and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Through our partnerships, we are able to develop strategies that not only result in quality care for patients, but also capitalize upon the unique capabilities of various partners across the province to result in a more integrated critical care system for Ontarians. Our commitment to the continued pursuit of this vision will drive us forward in the years to come.

Warm regards,

​Dr. Bernard Lawless

Provincial Lead  

Critical Care Services Ontario      

Linda Kostrzewa

Senior Director Strategy and System Transformation

Critical Care Services Ontario      

Dr. Bernard Lawless, Provincial Lead, Critical Care Services Ontario

Bernard Lawless's Photo

Dr. Bernard Lawless practices general surgery, traumatology and critical care medicine at St. Michael's Hospital and is also the Provincial Lead for Critical Care and Trauma at Critical Care Services Ontario. In this role he oversees activity under the provincial Critical Care Strategy, work being done on provincial trauma systems organization and is actively involved in policy and strategy development in other program areas such as Wait Times, Surge Capacity Planning and Transplantation. He has a special interest in program evaluation as it relates to initiatives of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as well as in areas of health policy development, and holds a Master’s degree in Health Science (Health Policy, Management and Evaluation) at the University of Toronto. Dr. Lawless’ other appointments include Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, University of Toronto and Assistant Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.

Linda Kostrzewa, Senior Director Strategy and System Transformation, Critical Care Services Ontario

Linda Kostrzewa's Photo

Linda Kostrzewa, brings over 30 years of experience in health services management in both community hospitals and academic health sciences centres. Her previous positions include: Program Director for the pediatric acute care and critical care programs for McMaster Children’s Hospital (Hamilton Health Sciences); Hospital Consultant, Health Care Programs, Toronto Region, Ministry of Health and Long Term Care; Operations Director, Humber River Regional Hospital; and Program Administrator, the Hospital for Sick Children. With a strong background in planning and implementation of regional services and provincial networks, stakeholder engagement, and systems change, Linda is dedicated to continuous improvement and works strategically to improve access and patient flow, and to support family-centered, evidenced-based care. Linda holds a Master’s Degree in Health Science/Health Administration from the University of Toronto.