September 4, 2020
Today we sit down with Andrea Robertson. Andrea is the President and Chief Executive Officer of STARS. STARS is a not for profit organization that has provided helicopter emergency medical care to help save the lives of more than 45,000 critically ill and injured patients across Western Canada for over 35 years.
Prior to joining STARS, she served in a variety of leadership roles in health care. Andrea held the positions of Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Alberta Health Services; operational experience spanned roles such as the Vice President for the Foothills Medical Centre and Alberta Children's Hospital; and planning roles including the Vice President of the South Health Campus.
In a very candid conversation Andrea shares her experiences with Imposter Syndrome in the early days of her career and the strategy she employed to manage it. She tells us the amazing origin story of STARS, the impact they have on caring for the most critical ill and injured, and the current challenges they deal with as a result of COVID-19. She also shares with us her leadership approach for empowering a team of highly trained and committed professionals. Finally, she talks about how mental wellness is perceived, particular in a field that deals with tragic and traumatic events on a daily basis, and the steps we can take to support each other on our mental wellness journey.
August 19, 2020
Today we talk with influential leader Nick Thain. Nick is the Senior Operating Officer for the Community, Rural and Continuing Care Portfolio within the Calgary Zone, at Alberta Health Services. In his 26 year health care career, he has had the opportunity to practice in a variety of settings and system governance models. Nick started his career as a paramedic and has transitioned from a frontline practitioner into a number of leadership roles.
Nick is known for being an authentic, collaborative and inclusive leader and has a passion for team and leadership development. Nick shares his stories about leadership, from how on his first night in a leadership capacity he was responsible for the Pine Lake Tornado site command to his current role as Senior Operating Officer and leading the COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre for Alberta Health Services.
Through everything it has been important to Nick to stay true to his personal leadership statement and to ensure that he is showing up authentically everyday. As he says, "what you see is what you get." He shares his ideas on how you can be authentic even when things are challenging and why this makes the difference for connection and getting things done.
July 23, 2020
After completing her medical degree at McMaster University followed by residency training in ophthalmology at University of Ottawa, Dr. Ahuja began her surgical practice in Hamilton in 2003. Dr. Ahuja has held numerous executive leadership roles at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and is a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Dr. Ahuja founded Docs in Leadership to promote and deliver physician-developed leadership curriculum for all health professionals, with best practices relevant to the health system context.
Dr. Nina Ahuja share with us her passion for her work in ophthalmology and the impact she sees on a daily basis. She talks about her experiences with developing physician and healthcare leadership. Specifically, how to enhance health system literacy and emotionally intelligent leadership. She also shares with us how strong leadership influences the care and experience of the patient.
Finally, she tells us about her new book "Stress in Medicine: Lessons Learned Through My Years As A Surgeon, From Med School To Residency, And Beyond" which discusses the role of stress on physician wellbeing through personal stories and experiences. Finally, we close the conversation with Dr. Ahuja offering practical ideas on how to manage stress in healthcare.
July 3, 2020
Today we talk with Bonnie Beach, Director of Nursing Now Canada and COVID-19 Planning Executive Lead for the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of the Government of Canada. With an unconventional path into health service Bonnie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from her extensive time working abroad.
Bonnie is incredibly passionate about the work she does, and shares her lessons with embracing humility and making sure that all voices are heard. She also highlights how kindness is fundamental to leadership and in connecting people together, particularly in challenging times such as COVID-19. Her thoughts on this are so important for every healthcare leader and she encourages us to be mindful of kindness and to challenge ourselves to be a bit better, everyday.
June 4, 2020
In today's episode host Leah Wuitschik interviews her mother! Carol Gray is an incredibly experienced healthcare leader who has had a career working and leading in a number of unique areas. Hear about her time working as a nurse in a very rural Northern Alberta community, working as a public health nurse, and her leadership in both public/ population health and acute care. She also shares her experiences leading the H1N1 response and the parallels she sees now with COVID19.
Throughout all of this she talks honestly about the incredibly challenging situations which required her to find her courage to go forward. Faced with very vocal opposition over controversial decisions she has had to choose how to move forward and face that opposition. Finally, she shares suggestions as to how healthcare leaders can find their courage and draw on it to do the right thing.
May 22, 2020
Hear from Dr. Sandra Davidson, Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, on her thoughts on how leveraging entrepreneurial thinking is so important for making change in nursing and healthcare. As an accomplished academic and professional leader Dr. Davidson brings a unique perspective about how we respond to complexity and challenge in healthcare, dealing with ambiguity, and applying innovation in leadership.
May 7, 2020
Today I'm talking with Kandice Simser, Manager of Willow Creek Continuing Care Centre in Claresholm, Alberta. In our open and candid conversation she shares with us the challenges of being an emerging health leader, particularly in a rural environment and during a pandemic. She also shares the worries she has had a newer leader, the sometimes hard lessons she has learned, the scariest moment she experienced in her career, and the support that she draws on to get through the tough times.
April 22, 2020
Today I’m sitting down with Feisal Keshavjee, an accomplished health care leader who has worked in all facets of the health care system, including policy, public, private, corporate and early stage. A busy healthcare consultant and current Chair of the Canadian College of Health Leaders, Feisal has worked in both the private and public sector around the world.
In this episode he talks about how having a “personal board of directors” has been key to his leadership journey and how the LEADS Framework can be used a model for the COVID19 response. Additionally, he shares how the concept of optionality supports our ability to lead through change and uncertainty, while at the same time, opening doors for growth and development in leadership and our career.
April 9, 2020
Today I'm talking with Dr. Eric Wasylenko, a palliative care physician and clinical ethicist from southern Alberta. Currently he is the Medical Director, Health System Ethics & Policy for the Health Quality Council of Alberta, as well as holding appointments as clinical associate professor, division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Oncology, Coming School Medicine, University of Calgary, and clinical lecturer John Doster, Health Ethics Centre at University of Alberta.
In this episode Eric shares his unique path throughout his career and into leadership, experiences dealing with challenging ethical issues, his thoughts on how climbing the ladder may not be the best path to influence, the moments in which he knew he had an impact, and the value of thoughtful transparent communication.