HealthCareCAN and the Province of Nova Scotia’s health system partner on provincial leadership academy

HealthCareCAN and Nova Scotia’s health system have collaborated to develop a new provincial leadership development program – the Health System Leadership Academy. This program is designed to enhance leadership development opportunities for health system leaders throughout Nova Scotia.

“We are extremely proud to be bringing CHA Learning’s decades of experience in healthcare leadership development, training and coaching work to support the professional growth of health system leaders in Nova Scotia,” said Dale Schierbeck, Vice-President of CHA Learning, the professional development division of HealthCareCAN, the national association representing Canadian hospitals, health authorities, healthcare and health research organizations. “Canada’s growing and aging population, along with the severe impact of the COVID pandemic, has led to a serious shortage of healthcare leaders in the system and the Academy is focused on providing training and support to help address that need.”

Between July and December of 2023, CHA Learning, HealthCareCAN’s professional development division, worked closely with a small team to co-design, develop, and deliver the innovative, multi-modal leadership development Academy, which takes a coaching approach to leadership development. The Academy also embeds capability-building in the areas of equity, diversity, inclusion, reconciliation, accessibility, and anti-racism and anti-oppression across the program.

“The goal of the Academy is to implement an integrated system-wide leadership program to support and train health system leaders as they navigate the evolving healthcare landscape and improve healthcare for Nova Scotians today and into the future.”  said Anna Marenick, NS Health VP of People, Culture and Belonging. “Whether it is at the emerging, experienced or executive level, the Academy provides all levels of leaders with a consistent approach to health leadership capability building.”

Officially launched in January 2024, the academy currently has 100 leaders participating from six sponsoring organizations – Nova Scotia Health, IWK Health, Health and Wellness, Office of Addictions and Mental Health, Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment and Seniors and Long-Term Care of Nova Scotia. The first group of leaders will be in the program until approximately January 2025 and discussions about year two are underway.   

Working with Nova Scotia’s program design team, it was evident that this program be one of support and enablement of sustainable long-term change and leadership learning and growth. The program design team in collaboration with the various health system partner organizations, have begun discussions on post program support and sustainment of capability building. Aligned informal professional development components such as peer mentorship and on-the-job leadership training will serve to keep the momentum going and assist leaders in furthering their leadership growth and development. As part of the project partnership, CHA Learning and Nova Scotia’s Health System Leadership Academy team designed the Academy to allow for adaptation to different and unique organizational and jurisdictional contexts, enabling pan-Canadian spread.

“Healthcare organizations across Canada contend daily with workforce shortages, worker wellness issues and organizational culture challenges affecting everyone, including frontline health workers, health leaders, patients and families” said Paul-Émile Cloutier, HealthCareCAN President and CEO. “That is why HealthCareCAN has made supporting the development of current and future health leaders across the country a strategic priority.”

Year one of the Academy is a development and evaluation year, designed to ensure the program is sustainable for future years to benefit health system leaders in Nova Scotia and ultimately healthcare organizations across Canada.

Principles of the Academy’s design include: 

  • Communities of learning: Different leadership audiences learning together, building relationships and networks, and applying learning through small group activities.
  • “Blended learning” approach: a blend of individual eLearning courses, leadership assessments, experiential learning/application, in-person workshops (small and large groups), and both group and individual coaching.
  • Scaffolded curriculum: components build on one another, allowing for consolidation and application of learning over the duration of the program.
  • LEADS-aligned curriculum.
  • Embedded principles of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Reconciliation, Accessibility and Anti-Racism and linked to the province’s existing work and Health Equity Framework.
  • Leadership development backed by a 360-assessment process with coaching support
  • Thorough evaluation of all program components to support continuous improvement and expansion in year two.
  • Program accreditation/recognition by professional bodies and continuing education credits as part of continuing professional development.

For more information on the Health System Leadership Academy please see our program fact sheet or contact:

Health System Leadership Academy Team

This announcement was originally posted on the HealthCareCAN website and can be found here: Click Here