TORONTO -- The Ontario government named a new patient ombudsman on Thursday.

Cathy Fooks will assume the role on July 13 for a five-year term, according to a government statement.

The patient ombudsman investigates complaints about hospitals, long-term care homes and home and community care.

The ombudsman also makes recommendations to the government to prevent issues from reoccurring.

Fooks will also oversee an investigation into the experiences of long-term care residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government said.

She previously served as the executive director of the Health Council of Canada.

The ombudsman role has been vacant since current Health Minister Christine Elliott resigned in 2018 to pursue the Ontario Progressive Conservative party leadership.

"Cathy Fooks brings over thirty years of experience advocating for change to improve the care Ontarians receive," Elliott said in a statement.

"Having served as Ontario's first Patient Ombudsman, I know how this role can directly help people by shining a spotlight on how we can improve the quality of care for all Ontarians."