With the current state of healthcare in Canada, there is no greater time than now for exceptional leadership. Quality should be amongst the key skills embraced by leaders for today’s healthcare challenges – and certainly tomorrow’s.

—Samantha Hamilton


Community Spotlight

Each month, we profile a special member of our community: a student, alumni, faculty member, or partner. Check out this month’s inspiring story below.

Samantha Hamilton, B.Sc., MHA, CPHQ, LSSBB

Director, Quality Management System
The Ottawa Hospital

Co-Director and Faculty Telfer, University of Ottawa

Faculty – The Canadian Patients Safety Program
CHA Learning / HealthCareCAN


Role / Partnership with CHA Learning: 

I have been pleased to partner with CHA Learning on the development of two key programs – the Health Quality Innovation Program, where our internationally recognized Innovation Framework is showcased, along with the new Canadian Patient Safety Officer Program. I consider both of these programs to be foundational to health quality practitioners and leaders in healthcare. CHA Learning holds a critical space for professional adult education in Canada through their asynchronous, self-study programs leveraging the best of technology platforms to enable continuous development.

Social Media: LinkedIn

Website: https://www.ottawahospital.on.ca/en/ 

Location: Ottawa, Ontario



From an early age, I knew I wanted to help others. I was brought up to work very hard, be kind, practice humility, and contribute to making the world a better place. This, coupled with my natural inclination to make things better and my insatiable need to keep learning, drew me to healthcare and to quality and safety in particular. I am someone who takes great personal fulfillment in working with others to continuously improve. Ongoing learning and development is ingrained in my DNA – so all facets of operational excellence in healthcare are where I flourish.

I specialized in Microbiology during my undergraduate degree and commenced a career in the pharmaceutical industry as the facility Microbiologist. I quickly expanded into quality management, which took me to an expanded role within a global medical devices firm. Seeking a greater connection to healthcare, I was recruited to the newly created Canadian Blood Services, where I spent a decade studying under exceptional leaders, completing a master’s in health administration along with several professional studies. There I further honed my operational excellence, strategic planning, and risk management skills.

I then moved into the healthcare delivery sector, heading up the quality, risk, and operational excellence program for a national home care and long-term care organization. This was a time of incredible learning for me, where resources were tighter, my scope of contribution much broader, and where every ounce of effort had a more significant impact. I heightened my operational leadership skills during this time with the opportunity to more directly apply these efforts to day-to-day operations and also at the strategic level. I was then recruited to direct the new focus on quality and patient safety at The Ottawa Hospital. This came at a time when the hospital was looking to really excel in terms of health quality outcomes for their patients and look to a future of healthcare where quality was an essential skill and focus of every provider and leader. It was an outstanding opportunity to further develop my skills in quality and patient safety. Throughout the past decade, we led the development of an internationally recognized QI and Innovation Framework, developed internal and external educational programs, and led organizational-wide efforts to build a comprehensive quality management system. This has included efforts involving a cultural change management program, along with heightened processes and improvement methods and education.

I have continued to learn and grow with every opportunity I’ve had – for which I count myself incredibly grateful. Quality improvement won’t fix all aspects of healthcare – sometimes it requires a major investment in resources; sometimes, major system redesign is necessary. I would advocate, however, that ongoing quality improvement should be a skill that all healthcare professionals hone and use in their day-to-day work. If we are not continually learning and advancing, we are, in effect, declining.

A Little More About Samantha Hamilton


What is something you have accomplished or worked on that you are proud of?

Recent work with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada to incorporate quality improvement into recognized continuing medical education and professional development for all Fellows across Canada is something I hold very dear. This was novel effort in Canada and critically important. In this collaboration with many skilled professionals at the Royal College, I have helped to shape improvement in care for all Canadians.

What are some of your favourite hobbies outside of work/professional development?

I have a passion for interior design…just as is my professional life, I approach each day with a desire to continuously improve – which includes our home. Every weekend is an opportunity for home improvement! I also spend as much time as possible with our daughters and their hobbies, and also try to squeeze in three hours per week at the gym for personal health and fitness.

Who do you admire in healthcare and why?

There are a few leaders I have worked with over my entire career which I hold in high regard and consider these individuals my mentors. These are incredibly special people who exemplify values-based leadership and people who truly care for others irrespective of position or role. We need more leaders like this in healthcare; fundamentally healthcare is people caring for others in their time of need. Those working in healthcare irrespective of their role and position must never lose sight of this.

What would you want someone to know entering a program or course with CHA Learning?

Taking some time for new learning and continuous professional development is always time well spent.  The self-study pace and learning technology offered by CHA learning makes learning as easy as possible for individuals irrespective of their current situation – the format enables learning tailored to one’s own situation. Further the faculty members are outstanding and the CHA Learning team is very responsive to all inquiries. Use of discussion forums also enable learners to connect with another.

My best advice however, is to try and set a schedule for yourself to help keep motivated and moving through the coursework. Self-study, distance delivery is ideal but does require the learner to consider personal methods to keep moving.

How do you make room for continuing to learn while working/leading/living?

I regularly seek out new learning opportunities as much as possible. For me it is energizing and motivating. Learning something new can activate different parts of our mind and may actually serve as a break from our routine. Balance is always key however and being conscious to not overcommit to the point where risk of burnout is real.

Samantha on The HQ Podcast

Samantha joined CHA Learning/HealthCareCAN‘s podcast serial The HQ as a special guest to discuss the role and importance of quality improvement and innovation in healthcare. The HQ podcast is where we explore and discuss the topics relevant to healthcare today. The HQ focuses on the people that make up and lead our complex, adaptive system of healthcare. Have a listen!



The Canadian Patient Safety Program

The Canadian Patient Safety Program is Canada’s only comprehensive, flexible online learning program for patient safety professionals.

This program equips aspiring, new and existing patient safety and quality specialists with the required knowledge and skills to improve safety for and with patients, families and staff and to enable safety culture change. Supported by expert patient safety coaches from across Canada, learners will also benefit from regular opportunities for engagement, sharing and support amongst peers and faculty as well as case examples and practical activities throughout.


Learn More & Enrol