Our Team

Healthcare IT solutions - by Healthcare IT experts

Our team of more than 100 customer support representatives, analysts, designers, technicians and project managers can help healthcare organizations transform the capacity and functionality of their information technology.

Our clients each have a dedicated account manager and we pride ourselves on a high level of one-on-one attention. We recognize that every organization will have varying healthcare needs because of their size, scope of services or location. Our approach focuses on understanding a client's healthcare IT challenges, then presenting solutions to close the gaps. We offer a turnkey solution - we don't just stop at great ideas - we implement the solutions and maintain them every step of the way. Our team is available 24/7, we're close by and most importantly, we are healthcare IT experts providing healthcare IT solutions.

Management Team



Duane Bender

Chief Technology Officer

Duane is a strategic technology executive with over 22 years of practical experience in private and secure systems development. His work has primarily involved the design and construction of large-scale digital health systems for jurisdictions throughout the world. Mr. Bender is a trusted advisor to health systems and is a regular contributor to international standards development and conferences in digital health. Mr. Bender joined HITS in Summer 2018 from his most recent assignment as the Director of Canada's national Technology Access Centre for Digital Health at Mohawk College in Hamilton. Previously, Duane also worked for Bell Canada, IBM Canada, AT&T Canada, and with several management and technology consulting firms. Mr. Bender holds a bachelor's degree in engineering and is pursuing a master's degree in health technology from McMaster University in Hamilton. Mr. Bender is a licensed Professional Software Engineer (P.Eng.) in Ontario.

Kareem Toni

Director, HITS Client Services

Kareem brings more than 20 years of experience in Engineering and Information Technology in various technical, consulting, and management roles. As Director for HITS, Kareem is responsible for executing the vision and leading the strategic direction for HITS, and ensuring that we deliver quality and value for all IT-related services for the various business and clinical units, internally and externally. His skill sets include negotiating, developing and nurturing vendor relationships and software contracts to achieve operational efficiencies and cost savings. Kareem brings expertise in advancing strategic initiatives, conducting operational reviews, and recruiting, leading and building teams in a rapidly changing environment.

Christine Probst

Director, HITS Informatics

Chris leads a dedicated group of Informaticists and Systems Professionals in advancing the adoption of the Electronic Health Record within the organization and across the LHIN. Chris has significant experience leading complex healthcare change initiatives. She is a Registered Nurse, and also holds graduate degrees in Education Science and Business Administration. She has a Clinical Faculty appointment with the McMaster University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor.

Catherine Armes

Manager, HITS Business Office

With over 15 years of progressive healthcare experience, Catherine has worked on a variety of multifaceted projects. She is a Process Improvement Manager with a consistent track record of identifying and executing cross functional efficiencies. Results-oriented leader skilled in project management, Lean Six Sigma methodologies, business case development, and stakeholder relationship management. Catherine oversees the day-to-day operations that effect HITS service delivery for the Division of HITS.

Jackie Crews

Manager, Applications

Jackie has worked at Hamilton Health Sciences for more than 20 years. She began her career as an Applications Specialist at the Hamilton General Hospital, then worked in outpatient clinics for a number of years, then moved back to an Applications Specialist role at St. Mary's General Hospital in Kitchener. Today Jackie is Manager of Applications for HITS and is responsible for leading 4 distinct and talented teams of application support analysts, technical specialists, integration specialist and web application developers to meet the information systems needs of the organization from a support, and development perspective. She possesses extensive knowledge of the Meditech system and how it integrates with all the other information systems in our complex healthcare environment.

Tim Cummins

Manager, Operations

Tim leads a team of more than 30 experts who are responsible for core systems including servers, data centres, network and account management. His team is primarily responsible for the overall health, maintenance and availability of most of the computer systems in the hospitals including all the servers, network and access to the applications. Tim began his career in healthcare IT at St. Peter's Hospital in 1996 and joined Hamilton Health Sciences as Manager of Operations in 2008.

Robert Ricci

Manager, Customer Services

Robert brings 29+ years of experience in Information Technology providing excellent leadership, strong team oriented skills, a vast technical background, a service oriented attitude, and an energetic friendly manner. Robert is an ITIL Practitioner with a wide range of knowledge and experience ranging from managing, supervising and leading technical desktop, hardware and helpdesk teams. He has lead, developed and delivered technical solutions for many projects. Robert's greatest strengths are creativity, drive, leadership and focus on our Clients by developing relationships that make a positive difference. Robert began his career at Hamilton Health Sciences in October of 2010 as the Helpdesk Team lead, became the Technical Group Lead and is currently the Manager of the Customer Services Team.

Brenda Barton

Manager, Telecommunications

Brenda is responsible for all telephony systems and services including switchboards, answering service, pocket paging infrastructure, and mobile devices. Brenda has been managed the HHS for twelve years and St Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton for 18 years. Brenda is proud to manage a dynamic team that contributes significantly to the successful IT operations of these healthcare organizations. Prior to joining St. Joseph's, Brenda worked for Royal Ottawa Healthcare Group in its IT department supporting telephony and clinical applications. She has been in the IT industry for more than 40 years.

Rob Lloyd

Chief Medical Information Officer

Rob Lloyd MD, FRCPC is Chief Medical Information Officer at Hamilton Health Sciences. In this role, and previously as Medical Director of Clinical Informatics (2008-2016) he provides medical and administrative leadership and direction in the planning, delivery, and implementation of all informatics initiatives at HHS. He also serves as HNHB LHIN / HHS Medical Informatics Liaison, since 2009.

Dr. Lloyd is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster University and a member of the Division of Pediatric Critical Care. From 2003 to 2008 he led the development and expansion of the service as Medical Director and Division Head of Pediatric Critical Care at McMaster Children's Hospital. .

Dale Anderson

Director, HITS eHealth Office

Dale has over 30 years of diverse technology experience and has held a number of senior management positions in healthcare, insurance and government. He has directed significant multi-hospital information system and eHealth initiatives, including the development of ClinicalConnect, a project that originated at Hamilton Health Sciences and grew to become one of the largest HIE's (Health Information Exchanges) in North America and the definitive clinical viewer for thousands of healthcare providers in south west Ontario. Dale's leadership has also extended to the launch of the MyChart patient portal, using data integrated from ClinicalConnect to give patients a comprehensive view of their health records online. As Director of eHealth, Dale has been instrumental in securing multi-million dollar funding support and regional agreements. He has been recognized as an eHealth Champion and has presented at several national and international digital health conferences, and is a member Digital Health Canada's Health Informatics Association and CHIEF: Canada's Health Informatics Executive Forum. He is a Canada Health Infoway partner and a past member of the National Change Management Reference Group.

He is also a Special Olympics Alpine Ski Board member and past board member the Therapeutic Equestrian Association for the Disabled.

Gary Rankin

Chief Information Security Officer

Gary has over 20 years experience working in the public and private sectors. The majority of that time has been with Hamilton Health Sciences, where Gary has led key security, infrastructure and policy initiatives that have made Hamilton Health Sciences a leader in security in the healthcare sector. He oversees a dedicated team of security staff that understands the unique requirements of healthcare security. With HITS, Gary and his team will use innovative solutions to bring local and regional requirements together to fulfill the security needs of today, ensuring our clients' environments are safe and secure.