“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” Originally penned by Barack Obama, these words hold true for the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council (HQC) for the past year, first with the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and later with the steps the organization made towards our strategic goals.
We first saw evidence of these words ringing true when our Board of Directors announced we found our new CEO, Tracey Sherin. Tracey’s proven track record in health care improvement makes her a valued health system leader and partner. During her time as the CEO of HQC, she has demonstrated her commitment to continuous improvement, building effective partnerships, and forging strong and successful relationships. It has been a pleasure supporting her in her new role as CEO and we look forward to the great work that the staff of HQC will accomplish through her leadership.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to thank Dr. Dennis Kendel on behalf of the HQC board for graciously stepping up to the task as HQC’s Interim CEO. We could not have asked for a better leader to guide the organization while we searched for the right candidate to take on the role. Dennis, HQC greatly benefitted from your passion and dedication to quality improvement and health care during your time with us. For that, we thank you.
Upon finding our new CEO, we were able to shift our full focus onto contributing towards several health system priorities and progressing on our strategic focus areas. In terms of health system priorities, HQC staff contributed their skills towards projects such as improving team-based care in the community, improving mental health and addiction services, strengthening appropriateness of care, advancing continuous improvement efforts across the health system, and more. This was all done in addition to the great collaborative work the HQC team does with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA), eHealth Saskatchewan, and the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient Oriented Research (SCPOR), to name a few.
The 2019-2020 fiscal year also marked HQC’s first year into its strategic focus areas. The board has been so pleased that HQC has continued to help our existing system partners while forging ahead to improving the factors that contribute to good health. This work presents many challenges and has required a shift in scope to include new partners in different sectors as well as collaboration from many human resource sectors, community-based organizations, and communities. Collaboration is a staple of HQC’s work, and the board is confident that HQC will continue to help to accelerate improvements with their new partners in this upstream way of working. Whether HQC is collaborating to advance a piece of work or bringing partners together in the same space to cooperate towards a shared goal, this is an organization that is skilled at making that work happen in new and insightful ways.
We know from our roots in quality improvement that change, or improvement, doesn’t happen overnight – it happens in small, systematic increments. We also know that change is more impactful when we work together towards a common goal. This is a path that we will continue walking down and we’re excited to see the progress made next year.
Dr. Susan Shaw
Chair, HQC Board of Directors