Health Workforce Canada’s interim CEO outlines what’s in store for 2024

A new year holds so much promise, and Health Workforce Canada is committed in 2024 to working closely with all health system stakeholders to plan, build and support a strong, healthy workforce to enhance health outcomes for all people in Canada.

I began my career in health care as a Registered Nurse and spent 15 years in front-line nursing and clinical leadership roles in rural and urban areas and in various specialties from medicine and surgery to emergency and critical care. I deepened my understanding of the health care system in the latter half of my career through leadership roles at Alberta Health Services, most recently as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

I’ve seen first-hand how Canada’s health care system can improve outcomes for patients. I know how deeply health workers care, and how challenging their roles can be. I have also witnessed the pressures on the system and the need for stakeholders to come together to gather and build the information needed to support short- and long-term health workforce planning

That’s why I’m excited to have taken on the role of interim CEO of Health Workforce Canada, charged with setting up the new independent organization and launching its early work.

People across Canada value their health care. Demands for care have been growing. And, at the same time, the workforce has been under increasing pressures, exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The challenging environment has developed over time and will take many groups working collaboratively to resolve. The right information and tools needed for planning will be critical – as will sharing information on solutions.

Health Workforce Canada has been created to work closely with the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and all health system stakeholders to improve the collection and sharing of health workforce data, and share practical solutions and innovative practices to address health workforce challenges, now and in future.

In setting direction for our work, CIHI and Health Canada engaged broadly with partners including provinces, territories, and existing networks about the role Health Workforce Canada can play in supporting improved workforce information and planning.

Right now, our Steering Committee is weighing all of that input to develop a set of early strategic objectives. To make sure we’ve got it right, we will be consulting with stakeholders on those objectives in the first few months of 2024.

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