If you’re an early riser, like Georgina MacDonald, you might catch sight of her walking along the ocean with her golden retriever. It’s where she likes to spend the first hour of every day.
Originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, she has lived in Victoria since 1998.
She’s the most recent executive to join CIHI’s ranks. As the new vice president of Western Canada and Developmental Initiatives, Georgina will provide strategic leadership and oversight for CIHI’s presence, products and services in the western provinces and territories.
We had a chance to speak with her shortly after she started at CIHI and learned of her first impressions of CIHI and goals for this position.
A source of truth
Georgina was attracted to CIHI in part because of its culture and the way the organization truly values the people who work here.
It’s one of the traits that she feels sets CIHI apart. She also sees the analytical work and evidence that CIHI can provide as critical for the health industry and a “source of truth” she has relied on often as a senior leader in health care.
Before joining CIHI in October 2014, Georgina served on the executive leadership team at the Vancouver Island Health Authority (Island Health) as the vice president of Planning and Improvement. She has a background in strategy development, performance monitoring, advanced analytics and process improvement.
But the common thread throughout her career has been the use of data to inform decision-making and the future direction of health care. It’s a thread that will likely continue in this new role.
Magnitude of change
“There is little doubt that health care is going to look very different in the future than it has in the past,” says Georgina, as she lists the significant challenges facing the Canadian health care system in the next decade. Among these: an aging population, extreme disparities in health status, the shrinking workforce, evolving technology and a challenging economic context as health care continues to consume a greater share of provincial budgets.
“I believe the magnitude of these challenges will create opportunities to rethink how we provide care—placing the patient and the family at the centre of decision-making.”
One of Georgina’s first and ongoing tasks in her role will be to foster strategic relationships with partners and clients to understand their evolving health information needs and to provide insight and direction on the solutions required to meet the challenges of health care delivery in the western provinces and territories.
Her initial priority is to meet with as many staff and stakeholders as possible to better understand future challenges and opportunities.
Sitting down with stakeholders to hear their perspective is something she’s done in the past. “I am most proud of the work I’ve done with communities to understand the health status of the community and the factors that influence it,” she says.
Learning into the future
“I really enjoy seeing the health system from the 100,000-foot level and thinking about what the future might look like.” She’s looking forward to exploring the opportunities for the next decade, including the role CIHI will play in that future.
“I see CIHI as a national and international leader in health data analyses with products that are strategic, innovative and actionable by those who can effect change in the health system.”
We’re certainly glad to have her aboard!
To learn more about Georgina MacDonald, read the Q & A .