Julie’s choice to pursue a career in healthcare was influenced by her mother, who is a retired nurse. Her mother worked many weekends and holidays, impacting the lives of patients when they are at some of their most vulnerable moments. Julie was inspired by how her mother could anticipate patients’ needs and take actions to make them feel better. Learning how our bodies worked and the amazing advances on the horizon made Julie want to be part of a team that made a difference and informed her tireless advocacy for putting the patient first. Last summer, Julie was named recipient of the 2019 Award for Distinguished Service from the CCHL Southwestern Ontario Chapter.
Julie has had a varied career and is a life-long learner. Following her completion of Health Sciences and Business undergraduate degrees, she accepted a position as a Regional Manager in cooperative housing where she provided leadership to 19 different housing units and management staff. She also became Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada and completed her MBA. Julie’s interest in healthcare never left and, on recommendation from a senior leader, she completed her BScN and Master in Nursing, graduating as a Nurse Practitioner.
Julie’s current position is leading the medical assistance in dying program for the South West Local Health Integration Network and the Provincial Care Coordination Service. One of Julie’s biggest accomplishments has been the development of the MAiD program (Medical Assistance in Dying). This program aims to support everyone, from patients seeking access to conscientious objectors and, in navigating this controversial topic, empower patients to make their own informed choices.
A senior leader in healthcare recommended Julie attend the local CCHL chapter. Julie found the first meeting welcoming with many inspiring people and joined that very day. Since then, Julie has held several roles in her chapter including the Chair of the executive committee from 2015 to 2018.
From all her experience, Julie offers this advice to aspiring health leaders: “Get involved, get to know people and embrace opportunities… Our roles and our organizations are one part of a large network that makes up health care. Learn about it and then work for continuous improvement. Always, always focus on the patient and remember that our patients don’t always fit in boxes. When this happens, build a new box”.