At the crossroads of children’s healthcare, system improvement, and leadership, this solutions-focused, interview-style podcast brings you engaging stories, reflections, and system improvement ideas from leaders in Canadian children’s healthcare.
Health System Leadership: Leading Beyond Complexities to Effectively Transform Health Systems
Health systems serving children and youth face numerous challenges and complexities. At the intersection of these challenges, health leaders recognize that the answers are not simple and they must be effective in seeing beyond these complexities and leveraging connections that will help them to intentionally drive their system. As health care becomes more integrated, the capacity to create connectivity and working with shared interests among stakeholders is key to building influence and creating active change. This is particularly important in health care due to the inter-twined responsibilities, interconnected decisions, and critical outcomes that are involved.
On this episode of SPARK: Conversations, we sit down with Dr. Michael Gardam to discuss how health system leaders can effectively mobilize stakeholders and resources to transform complex health systems and how to motivate and sustain large scale change. From the SARS outbreak to the current COVID-19 pandemic, infectious diseases physician Dr. Michael Gardam has been on the front lines of Canada's health emergencies.As the Chief Executive Officer at Health PEI, Dr. Gardam brings with him a distinguished track record of health system leadership and insight, both in Canada and internationally.
Speaker Names: Dr. Michael Gardam
Michael is the Chief Executive Officer at Health PEI, the health authority that delivers publicly funded healthcare in Prince Edward Island. He is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of HealthCareCAN, the national voice for healthcare organizations and hospitals across Canada. Michael is a pioneer of using complexity science-based approaches to improve patient safety, system transformation, staff engagement and other complex challenges. He has advised organizations in Canada and internationally, including the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, Hand Hygiene New Zealand, the Irish Health Services Executive and the Maryland Patient Safety Center, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, as well as numerous hospitals across Canada.
His interest in physician leadership and organizational culture led him to become Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee at UHN (2015-2017) and Chief of Staff and Humber River Hospital in Toronto (2018-2020). He is also currently the Program Director of the York University Schulich School of Business Healthcare Leadership Development Program, and an instructor for the Physician Leadership Institute of Joule (Canadian Medical Association).
Child Health in the Media: A Snapshot of the Media Representation of Child Health
Description: The news media shapes our collective mindsets about key issues and what needs to be done to address them. The unprecedented viral surge in the demand of young patients seeking emergency medical care faced by hospitals and healthcare systems serving children and youth across Canada highlighted the immense amount of pressure placed on the pediatric health system. Additionally, long wait times are another issue which can have lifelong impacts on children and are promoting a larger national conversation about how we need to rethink and reprioritize investments in children’s health. Other concerns include erosion in trust of health officials which may be spilling over into lack of routine vaccine uptake.
Recognizing the media’s impact on addressing children’s issues is essential in shifting mindsets and building support for the actions necessary to ensure the wellbeing of children. This podcast will address the role of the news media in influencing public thinking about children’s issues and its effects on the pediatric health system.
Carly Weeks is an award-winning national reporter who has been covering health for The Globe and Mail for more than a decade. Carly helped lead the paper's coverage of COVID-19 and its effects on the health system. She also writes about the intersection of misinformation and health.
Child Health Research: Thinking out of the Typical Health Care System Box
In a recent op-ed published in the Ottawa Business Journal, Dr. Jason Berman spoke about the importance of research innovation and cross-industry collaborations in tackling today’s healthcare crisis. “To improve healthcare meaningfully, we need the business community, the hospital community and the academic community to break down traditional silos and press fast-forward on promising innovations. The CHEO RI established a new Innovation Core, the purpose of which is to create a rich support ecosystem designed for healthcare innovators who aim to improve the lives of children and youth by actively working to expand the innovation core and its services at the CHEO RI.
This podcast will address how research and partnering with stakeholders across the spectrum- from high tech to business partners to patients could be an important aspect of reshaping tomorrow’s health care. Additionally, the importance of involving patients and families in research initiatives at the RI and how any type of reform needs to be informed by the patients and families involved will be discussed.
Discuss and illustrate how research can be leveraged to bring much needed, innovative change to the health care system and Canada requires further investment in research to be a leader.Talk about how we need to start thinking “outside the box” of what a traditional research institute does and how we can collaborate with stakeholders across the spectrum – breaking down traditional silos between the research, hospital and business communities. We need to work across sectors and form partnerships to find creative solutions and close healthcare gaps.Promote the work of the innovation core at the CHEO Research Institute.
Speaker Name/Bio: Dr. Jason Berman is the CEO and Scientific Director of the CHEO Research Institute and the Vice-President Research at CHEO. He is also a Full Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Ottawa. Previously he served as Associate Chair, Research, Department of Pediatrics, and Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology & Immunology and Pathology at Dalhousie University and interim Vice President Research, Innovation and Knowledge Translation for the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has overseen the pediatric leukemia program for the Maritimes since 2005 and chairs an international clinical trial for children with Down syndrome and myeloid leukemia. He is internationally recognized for pioneering research using zebrafish to study childhood cancers and rare inherited diseases. His laboratory has served as the Atlantic node of the Centre for Drug Research and Development and a national hub for zebrafish modeling of orphan diseases. He has been co-chair of the C17 Childhood Cancer Network Developmental Therapeutics Committee and Director of the Clinician Investigator Program and Medical Research Graduate Program at Dalhousie. He is president of the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation, vice president of the Canadian Hematology Society and a founding member of the Canadian Rare Disease Models and Mechanisms Network.
Spirit Bears Guide to Reconciliation: Utilizing Jordan’s Principle and the Spirit Bear Plan to achieve culturally based equity for First Nations Children
Description: January’s SPARK: Conversations monthly podcast is on Indigenous child health with our podcast host, Dr. Katharine Smart in conversation with special guest, Dr. Cindy Blackstock. As an internationally recognized First Nations scholar and child welfare expert, Cindy has been the driving force behind promoting reconciliation to ensure culturally based equity for First Nations children and families. Cindy is the Executive Director and co-founder of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, Associate Professor & Director of First Nations Children’s Action Research and Education Service at University of Alberta and Professor in McGill’s School of Social Work. In this podcast, Cindy will be exploring the utilization of Jordan’s principle and the Spirt Bear Plan to achieve culturally based equity for First Nations Children. She will be providing guidance to non-Indigenous system leaders and health care professionals working in pediatrics to support them in promoting reconciliation within their practice to better serve Indigenous children, youth, and their families.
Speaker Name/Bio: Cindy is the Executive Director and co-founder of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, Associate Professor & Director of First Nations Children’s Action Research and Education Service at University of Alberta and Professor in McGill’s School of Social Work. As a nationally and internationally respected advocate for the rights of Indigenous children and a member of the Gitksan First Nation, Cindy has 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous children’s rights. Further, her research spans the identification & remediation of structural inequalities affecting First Nations children, youth & families. An author of over 50 publications & a widely sought after public speaker, Cindy has collaborated with other Indigenous leaders to assist the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in the development and adoption of a General Comment on the Rights of Indigenous children. Recently, she also worked with Indigenous young people, UNICEF & the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues to produce a youth friendly version of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child. Her promotion of culturally based and evidence informed solutions has been recognized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. Frontline Defenders and many others.
Health Systems Transformation: Learning from Experts on Ways to Inform System Change
December’s SPARK: Conversations monthly podcast is on health systems transformation with our podcast host, Dr. Katharine Smart in conversation with special guest, Helen Bevan. Helen is a Strategic Advisor and leader of large scale change within the National Health Service (NHS) in England, the largest public healthcare system in the world. Helen will be discussing her experiences and expertise in large scale change and providing guidance to system leaders in health care on addressing complex issues in child health and how to redesign and strengthen our child health systems in Canada to better serve children and youth.
Children's healthcare in the community
October’s SPARK: Conversations monthly podcast is on child health in the community with our new podcast host, Dr. Katharine Smart in conversation with special guest, Alison Quigley. Alison is the Senior Vice-President, Patient Care Services & Master Plan Clinical Lead at Trillium Health Partners. Alison will be discussing her experiences at Trillium Health Partners, systems consideration for community-based hospital services, leveraging virtual care supports, and how her front-line experiences have shaped her current leadership role.