2 health data institutions: Same but different

June 2017

Expanding your horizons. Working on the other side of the world. It’s an exciting notion — and one that’s been made possible by CIHI’s partnership with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Last fall, AIHW director Barry Sandison visited CIHI’s Ottawa office. His presentation underlined the similarities in both organizations’ work and provided a unique opportunity to share policies and best practices, while also highlighting areas for collaboration.

David O'Toole, President and CEO, CIHI and Barry Sandison, Director, AIHW


One of those collaborations has taken the shape of a secondment exchange program. 2 CIHI employees have moved to Australia and started working at the AIHW in January 2017. Eric Pelletier and Candace Sheppard are representing CIHI down under for a year. They’re learning from the AIHW team, but they’re also teaching them about CIHI’s work.

Eric Pelletier, Barry Sandison and Candace Sheppard

In exchange, the AIHW’s Mark Petricevic arrived in CIHI’s Toronto office in March and is working as a senior analyst with our Health System Research team. Petricevic has never been to Canada before, so we asked him for his first impressions.

“Canada is a very friendly, open place. It’s very similar, but slightly different to home. I’ve had a great first couple of months. I’m working across a couple different projects at the moment, working on topics like dementia, emergency department data, mental health and First Nations health.”

Petricevic has been with the AIHW for more than 6 years, most recently as a senior analyst with the Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Drugs unit, and previously with the Housing and Homelessness Reporting and Data Development unit. He has also worked as a research assistant at the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University.

Similarities and differences

As is the case with the 2 countries, CIHI and AIHW can be described as — to quote Petricevic — very similar, but slightly different.

“CIHI produces high-quality, technical reports and statistics,” said Petricevic. “At CIHI, I’m looking to improve and expand my own statistical knowledge, as well as my own knowledge of health systems and health reporting.”

This year-long exchange allows CIHI and AIHW to continue the conversation from opposite ends of the globe, collaborating on topics like these:

  • Public reporting functions and health system performance
  • Intersections between CIHI’s and AIHW’s mandates and directions, and areas for future collaboration
  • CIHI’s data/information strategies and organizational performance metrics
  • Organizational governance structure
  • Strategic communications and its role in public reporting

CIHI aims to continue to collaborate and communicate with organizations relating to public information, both from inside our Canadian borders and from abroad.