A Message from Dale Schierbeck

By Dale Schierbeck, Vice President, Learning and Development


Dale Schierbeck is the Vice President of Learning and Development at CHA Learning/HealthCareCAN.
Dale is also the host of The HQ podcast series. The HQ focuses on the people that make up and lead our complex, adaptive system of healthcare.
Listen to The HQ here.

Since 1951, CHA Learning has had the mandate and privilege to develop healthcare professionals in critical areas of need. Some might ask why – why don’t we leave this to colleges and universities instead? The answer is because it’s in our DNA – it’s in our very name and it’s the reason we came to be over 70 years ago. I’m often asked what the “CHA” stands for when I meet new stakeholders. The “CHA” is part of our history and the legacy organization within which we were created:  the Canadian Hospital Association, created in 1931, later renamed to the Canadian Healthcare Association, and then becoming HealthCareCAN in 2015. CHA Learning was born out of gaps in training and development identified in the Canadian healthcare system by our member healthcare organizations. Through the years, we have prided ourselves as being not a “school” but a healthcare organization serving healthcare professionals by delivering relevant, quality, and leading healthcare education so that our healthcare system is better able to deliver on its own mission. 

CHA Learning is very unique in this. There are hundreds of colleges and universities – but none of them exist with the sole purpose to make healthcare better. While they have some healthcare programs in their large, disparate catalogues, healthcare education is but one part of their portfolios. And as we all know in life, if you try to do everything, you rarely do anything well, so we continue to focus on online healthcare, and our priorities and investments in programming are considered carefully. 

How do we determine our areas of focus? We are guided by a few beacons across the health system. We work alongside our HealthCareCAN colleagues who engage on the most important policy needs in healthcare which in turns informs our own work. Our faculty and experts who develop our curriculum, are healthcare professionals themselves – not life-long academics, but people who work in healthcare, trained in healthcare, who understand what it is to succeed and lead in healthcare.  

Most importantly, we are led by and connected with our members, Canada’s leading healthcare organizations, who both govern our organization and provide us with direction and insight. We find numerous opportunities to seek input from members. One such way is through our advisory committees, including our newest and largest: the Health Human Resources Advisory Committee (HHRAC), a committee of our Board, comprised of the VPs of People and Culture and Chief Human Resource Officers from across the country. These people are themselves responsible for the ongoing professional development of almost one-million healthcare workers across Canada. These amazing people keep us on the leading edge of what is happening in healthcare and the knowledge, skills and relationships needed to lead health system improvement.  

Today, we are working hand-in-hand with this group of leaders to address Canada’s current health human resource crisis, striving to enhance the health and wellbeing of our workforce, find solutions to our workforce shortages, and championing the advancement of equity, diversity, and reconciliation that will make our health system a safe, inclusive place for all. No doubt, this important work will have an impact not only on HealthCareCAN’s advocacy and policy work, but also on CHA Learning’s future programming as well. (Read more about HHRAC’s priorities in their Discussion Paper) 

As I hope you can appreciate, we still very much are the sum of our CHA legacy: we are uniquely Canadian, delivering Healthcare education, led by an Association of health organizations. As we were created, we continue to exist only to serve the health system; it is only with the input of our healthcare stakeholders that we can develop and deliver only the most relevant education to professionals across the country.  

Visit our Who We Are page to learn more about CHA Learning/HealthCareCAN.