National Health Leadership Conference, Ottawa

Strong Royal Roads Presence at the National Health Leadership Conference, Ottawa

The National Health Leadership Conference had strong representation from Royal Roads University, in Ottawa on June 5-7, 2016. The high profile conference, which was opened by the Honourable Jane Philpott, MP, the federal Minister of Health, was attended by current Director of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research, Dr Elizabeth Hartney, as well as both past Directors, Dr Ron Lindstrom, and Dr Graham Dickson. Shauna Fenwick, Associate Faculty in the School of Leadership Studies, and Andrea Torres-Lopez, Education Advisor, were also strong representatives of Royal Roads. Numerous Royal Roads alumni and past and present partners and collaborators were also in attendance.

Shauna presented the preliminary findings of a study she is in the process of completing in collaboration with Dr Sylvia Vilches, Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellow of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research, and Dr Brigitte Harris, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, alongside co-presenters Ray Racette, President and CEO of the Canadian College of Health Leaders, and Brenda Lammi, Director of Leads Operations in the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Fenwick's presentation reported on the positive findings of five case studies of the implementation of LEADS, which was developed in the Centre for Health Leadership and Research, in five healthcare organizations across Canada. Watch this space for the upcoming final report.

Professor Emeritus and past Director of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research, Dr Graham Dickson, co-presented on building health leadership capacity, alongside partners Dr Chris Eagle, who is the Royal Roads Executive-in-Residence for the MA Leadership Health Specialization, Kelly Grimes, Executive Director of the Canadian Health Leadership Network, and Gillian Kernaghan of St Joseph's Health Care London, Ontario. The enthusiasm for the LEADS framework, and its uptake across the country was reflected by the strong turnout of delegates at all four sessions, including two breakfast sessions at 7.30am, and the appetite for more research and training in this modality was clearly apparent throughout these sessions.

Key emergent themes of the conference included Aboriginal health and wellness, and patient and family-centred care. For the first time, a large group of First Nations Chiefs were in attendance, and there was resoundingly strong support for the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Health Related Recommendations, winning a total of 72% of the votes in the Great Health Debate, over 14% of votes for the implementation of the Naylor Report, and 13% of votes for the Public Reporting of 15 Never Events- threats to patient safety resulting from inappropriate medical care. The presence of the federal government at the conference instilled a sense of excitement and hope in the new political era to address all of these most important issues in healthcare.