Senior Leadership Team

Safehaven Senior Leadership Team

Susan Bisaillon | Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Susan Bisaillon is a healthcare executive with over 30 years of experience in academic and large community healthcare organizations as well as the community. She has expertise in leading health system transformation and providing a coordinated approach across systems to improve organizational effectiveness. As a healthcare leader, Susan has overseen operations in various clinical programs, patient flow, infection prevention and control and implementation of strategic priorities associated with a hospital merger. Currently, she is Chief Executive Officer at Safehaven.

As a healthcare leader, Susan is recognized for her strategic and operational experience, focus on quality and leading system change. Prior to Safehaven, she was Chief Operating Officer at Oakville Trafalgar Hospital. At Trillium Health Partners she was Associate Vice President, Operational Coordination and pre-merger at Trillium Health Centre held the positions of Executive Director of Clinical Operations and Director of Neuroscience / Musculoskeletal Health System and Complex Care. At the University Health Network, she assumed several leadership positions including Clinical Educator in Critical Care, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Cardiology, and Nurse Manager for the Coronary Intensive Care Unit and Cardiac Catheterization Labs in the Peter Munk Cardiac Program.

Susan holds a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Nursing from Memorial University in Newfoundland, and a Registered Nursing diploma from Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Susan is a surveyor with Accreditation Canada and Accreditation Canada International.

Larissa Smit | Director, Strategy & Systems Innovation

Larissa Smit joined Safehaven in January 2021 as Director of Strategy and Systems Innovation. She has held previous leadership roles in the health sector as Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Trillium Health Partners, Strategic Advisor at SickKids and Executive Director of Kids Health Alliance. She has extensive experience in government and politics as the Director of Health Policy to the Premier of Ontario where she was involved in the development of the health care transformation that established Ontario Health and Ontario Health Teams. Larissa has a BA in Political Science from Brock University and completed her Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Ivey Business School (Western University) in 2022. Larissa’s expertise in strategy, policy, government relations and communications will support Safehaven’s future planning and growth.

Juliet Rodrigo | Director, Operations & Performance Excellence

Juliet Rodrigo joined Safehaven in January 2021 as Director of Operations and Performance Excellence. Juliet joins Safehaven from University Health Network where she was the Business Operations Manager in the Centre for Mental Health. Prior to this role, she worked at Sick Kids as an Administrative Research Coordinator in the department of Pediatrics and has worked with the Arthritis Society as Administrative Coordinator. Juliet has completed her Masters of Business Administration from Athabasca University, Network Administration System Specialist Technician from CDI College and Business Administration from Clarke College. As well, Juliet has completed many certifications in leadership, Project Management, LEAN and Six Sigma. In addition, Juliet has expertise in digital strategy and operational informatics that will be invaluable as we advance our strategic priorities for the future.

Kimberly Hunter | Director, Clinical Programs, Quality and Safety

Kimberly Hunter joined Safehaven in December 2023 as the Director of Clinical Programs, Quality and Safety. Kimberly has 20 years of experience working in the healthcare system at Bridgepoint Health (now Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital) and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). At CAMH, she took on progressively senior roles over her 17 years there supporting a large portfolio and was most recently the Director of Quality, Safety and Patient/Family Experience.  

Kimberly is an occupational therapist and has a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto. Kimberly brings her expertise in advancing client- and family-centred care, and a culture of continuous quality improvement, innovation, and safety to Safehaven.

Rachel Truant | Director, Philanthropy

Rachel Truant joined Safehaven in October 2023 as Director of Philanthropy. Rachel is a seasoned fundraising leader with over 15 years of experience fundraising for children and youth causes. Prior to joining Safehaven, Rachel was the Director, Resource Development at Abiona Centre for Infant and Early Mental Health and she also spent eight years fundraising for Geneva Centre for Autism. Her entrepreneurial spirit has enabled her to build successful fundraising programs from the ground up. Her expertise lies in strategic fundraising plan development and execution, major gift fundraising, donor stewardship, and annual campaigns.

Rachel has a BA in International Development from Trent University.

Nichola Higgs | Associate Director, Clinical Programs, Quality & Safety

Nichola started her journey as a care provider at an agency called Preferred Health Care, but eight years ago, Safehaven’s inspiring mission and promises guided her toward her position with Safehaven.

Not only did she have a desire to work within paediatrics, but she was seeking to work alongside a team as passionate and diligent as her. Safehaven checked all the boxes on her list – which has kept at Safehaven for these eight years and counting. 

She began her journey at Safehaven as a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN), and was then after two years was promoted to Client Care Coordinator (CCC). 

In November of 2023, Nichola was promoted to Associate Director, Clinical Programs, Quality & Safety.