Achieving as a High Reliability Organization System Leadership,Partnership & Advocacy Research &Innovation ResponsibleStewardship Our purpose is guided by people centred care. Patients and families, in all their diversity, underpin everything we do.

1
2017-2019

As we set the goals within the existing ambitious strategy, we realized that we needed to fine-tune our approach, connect it to the frontline and to prioritize. As we worked with our teams the original six aspirations became four themes and within each theme we focused in on eight strategic priorities that would have the most positive impact on our patients and families, staff, partners and health system.

2
2019-2020

We began a new process with our staff and physicians, creating Strategic Placemats within each of our nearly 150 teams. We asked them what they were already doing to support the strategic priorities, and what they felt was important to address moving forward. We continued to measure our progress and set the stage for our next iteration of our strategy informed by the information from the placements, best practice reviews, government priorities and input from our stakeholders. The arrival of COVID-19 detoured our plan of launching our new strategic planning approach, but did not stop our journey.

3
2020-2021

While the pandemic continued, our people and their response showed how quickly we could adapt to ensure continued safe care of our patients and families. We innovated daily, meeting the pandemic head-on by creating a testing centre and a vaccine clinic, going out into the community to help our colleagues where they were needed, and continuing to move new initiatives forward, in spite of COVID.

4
2021

We continued to respond to the ebb and flow of the new pandemic landscape, however, IWK leadership never lost sight of the future. We pooled information from our placemat sessions, patient and staff virtual focus groups, and recommendations from surveys with patients and families as well as staff. Guided by these voices we developed our new, more agile approach to strategy and a three-year framework to guide us on the road forward.
The Road Forward
A message from the President & CEO and Board Chair

In 2021, in the midst of the global pandemic, IWK Health launched its new 3-year strategy The Road Forward, articulating existing priorities while at the same time ensuring long-term aspirational goals were identified. Our intention was not just to talk about what we wanted to achieve for positive impact but determine what we saw emerging as future opportunities. The new way of thinking about strategy included thoughtful discussions about our purpose, values, and future directions as the first step in the process. To balance agility and responsiveness with long-term vision, a more iterative approach using the principles of continuous improvement was adopted for ongoing informal engagement with staff, physicians and researchers and coupled with an annual review cycle to identify or re-confirm priorities and objectives.

And achieve we did! Our new Emergency Department began emerging from the ground, funded by government and donors through the IWK Foundation and will provide state-of-the-art family-centered care. Our new research and innovation strategy was rolled out with a focus on implementation science — getting new and improved ideas for patient care. Emerging from the pandemic we focused on supporting leadership through courses on psychological safety and leadership development. We renewed and rolled out our staff recognition program to recognize the amazing work done by staff every day. Working with our partners in the wider provincial system we began the transformation of processes and services to address wait-times for surgeries and specialty care. A great beginning on the road to excellence.

In 2022 the Nova Scotia government released Action for Health, a bold new plan for transforming healthcare delivery in the province. Our agile strategy approach allowed the rapid alignment and integration of the priorities within the provincial plan, in many cases reinforcing work already underway at IWK Health and extending the impact for women and children. As we continued integrating our priorities with provincial plans, and saw the substantial achievements we made towards our objectives in spite of the pandemic's difficulties, we decided in fall 2023 to pursue the path we started in 2021. We recommitted to an agile strategy approach, responsive to the here and now but focused on the future. Leveraging strengthened relationships built during the pandemic, we worked with multiple partners to develop national healthcare priorities to right-size the system for patients and families. It was clear that a system-wide, responsive, and priority-based approach to resetting healthcare delivery was needed.

As we launch the IWK Strategy 2024-2027: The Road Forward we look forward to delivering on our priorities as a future-focused, responsive and agile organization and continue our journey on the path toward our purpose “To passionately pursue a healthy future with women, children, youth and families in all their diversity though excellence in care; research and innovation; and applied learning”.

Dr. Krista Jangaard
President & CEO
Sonya Fraser
Chair, Board of Directors
Krista Jangaard Sonya Fraser
Dr. Krista Jangaard, President & CEO
Sonya Fraser, Board Chair
Array of photos of patients and staff

Our Purpose

To passionately pursue a healthy future with women, children, youth and families in all their diversity through excellence in care, research and innovation and applied learning.
Illustration of a compas

Our Values & Commitments

Making things better
We’re here to make a difference. We are invested in listening, reflecting and working together. We are fully committed to excellence and having a positive, meaningful impact.
Acting from the heart
Generosity, empathy, and kindness are the core of who we are. We are fueled by connection, warmth and compassion, positivity and friendliness.
Driven by learning
Our drive to learn and be our best comes from a spirit of collective curiosity and imagination. We’re motivated by excellence and big ideas. We dare to dream and see the possibilities.
Tackling our challenges
Our commitment, dedication and resilience guide us through adversity. We use flexibility, creativity and adaptability to find solutions to our challenges. No matter how difficult the path, we lead by persevering and helping each other weather any storms.
Optimizing our potential
We realize greatness as we work together to co-create our present and our future. Recognizing the contribution we all have to offer, we build upon one another’s strengths toward achieving our shared vision and goals. As we work collaboratively, we share our uniqueness and our diverse perspectives as a beacon to improve and move forward.
Cultivating belonging
We co-create the conditions for belonging so all of us can thrive. Committed to equity, fairness and diversity, we accept and value all people. As we nurture safe and brave cultures, we develop open and inclusive relationships where everyone is invited to meaningfully contribute.

Priorities & Objectives

System Leadership,
Partnership & Advocacy Leading as a system partner
and advocating for women, children
and families
Partner with Communities to Improve Health
  • Create a shared understanding, and top-to-bottom alignment on the future of IWK Health’s age mandate
  • Develop a province-wide plan for the implementation of transformational health services across the continuum of MHA intensive services
Enhance Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Reconciliation & Accessibility
  • Create an equitable, respectful and welcoming IWK Health that cultivates belonging for all
Advance program development in priority growth areas
  • Improve equitable access to care for women and gender-diverse populations
  • Begin to establish IWK Health as Canada’s Maritime Hub for precision medicine

Research, Innovation
& Applied Science Transforming care through integrated,
internationally recognized research
Build innovation capacity & accelerate research while establishing a learning health systems approach
  • Strengthen the system to support capacity building with the Research & Innovation teams
  • Create a coordinated approach that supports our learning health system

Responsible Stewardship Using resources wisely, adding
value and managing risk
Optimize Capital Infrastructure
  • Implement a principles-based operational program for space and equipment
Reduce our Impact on the Environment
  • Prepare the organization to respond to the climate crisis and to champion Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth

Achieving as a
High Reliability Organization Providing safe, high quality care
through connected leadership and
robust quality improvement
Transform the delivery of safe, high-quality care
  • Increase access to care by reducing organizational wait times in priority areas
  • Adopt a system that enables teams to identify and monitor their own outcome measures connected to IWK Health’s strategic priorities
Modernize our supports for people and culture
  • Engage our team members to understand today’s concerns and creating a plan for change

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Performance & Updates