Conversation nationale 2023

(Cette conférence est présentée en anglais seulement.)

Inspiring healthcare system change to support the growing population of older adults

How do leaders organize the healthcare system and its resources to care for the aging Canadian population? The focus of the conversations included the roles of community care, social services, home care, long-term care, family caregiver support, levels of care (primary, secondary, tertiary), as well as the impact of equity, diversity and inclusion, to explore the role of health leaders in driving change. The topic was further explored during the CCHL National Conference titled Inspiring healthcare system change to support the (Intermediate) growing population of older adults. 


Part 1 – National Virtual Conversation

Hosted May 10 from 12 pm – 2 pm Eastern Time

The first part was a 2-hour virtual session including a panel of experts followed by small group discussions with support by the Chapters and sponsor representatives. Small group discussions focused on health leadership priorities and skill requirements. Perspectives and insights shared during the discussions were synthesized and will inform an executive summary that will inform Part 2. 

Download the White Paper

We were privileged to have as panelists:

Dr. Samir K. Sinha, MD, DPhil, FRCPC, AGSF

Dr. Samir Sinha is the Director of Geriatrics at Sinai Health System and the University Health Network in Toronto and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and the Director of Health Policy Research at Toronto Metropolitan University’s National Institute on Ageing. A Rhodes Scholar, Samir is a highly regarded clinician and international expert in the care of older adults. In 2021, he was appointed to serve as a member of the Government of Canada’s National Seniors Council and also recently led the development of Canada’s new National Long-Term Care Services Standard.

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO, CanAge

Laura Tamblyn Watts is the founder and CEO of CanAge, Canada’s national seniors’ advocacy organization. Laura is a passionate advocate on a variety of urgent issues affecting older Canadians, including long-term care and home care, financial security, elder abuse, health care, ageism and inclusion of marginalized communities. Laura previously served as Chief Public Policy Officer at the Canadian Association of Retired Persons before establishing CanAge at the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic. Since then, CanAge has emerged as a go-to media commentator and trusted voice for Canadian seniors, underscored by Laura’s more than 20 years’ experience defending the rights and dignity of older people as a lawyer and thought-leader.  She is a member of the CSA National Long-Term Care Standards Advisory and Technical committees, and an expert in long-term care and residents’ rights.

Ron Beleno, Caregiver Advocate

Ron is an experienced family caregiver to his late father who lived well with Alzheimer’s for over 10+ years while partnering with his senior mother during their journey to help them age at their home and community. He is an advocate in the dementia and aging communities with expertise in technology, aging in place, caregiving, and patient engagement. Ron is the co-chair for AGE-WELL’s Older Adults and Caregiver Advisory Committee, which is Canada’s aging and technology network where he received their honorary fellows award for 2020. He is an advisor and presenter for groups such as the Alzheimer and Dementia Societies across Canada, an advisor with the Centre for Aging & Brain Health Innovation at Baycrest, a Coach with  Healthcare Excellence Canada, a Patient and Family Advisory Member with the  Toronto Dementia Research Alliance, a Board Member with the Ontario Strategy in Patient-Oriented Research Unit (a Provincial SPOR) and many more.

Part 2 – In-person Conversation as a concurrent session

Hosted June 6 – 1:45pm Concurrent session at the CCHL National Conference  

The second part was hosted as a concurrent session during the CCHL National Conference – the executive summary report was used as the starting point of this dialogue with the intention to go deeper into the conversation with the support of sponsor representatives and Chapter members. The executive summary report will be updated and shared broadly across CCHL and partner networks following the in-person dialogue. 

The conversation included, but was not limited to, the continuum of care and the variety of roles, services, and resources; the required attention for equitable access to care for all populations; the leadership skills and knowledge required to effectively drive change.


Arden Krystal – President & CEO, Southlake Regional Health Centre

Arden Krystal is the President and CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario. Southlake serves a population of almost 1.5 million people in York Region and Simcoe County, with regional cancer and cardiac programs and a full slate of services from surgery to mental health to children’s and women’s care.

Prior to her arrival at Southlake, Arden held senior executive operations roles at two of the largest health authorities in British Columbia – the Fraser Health Authority and the Provincial Health Services Authority, with responsibilities spanning the full continuum of care, including public health, acute community, tertiary and quaternary research, and academic organizations. Her portfolios also included responsibility for non-clinical services, such as quality, risk, and human resources; and she has overseen, as clinical executive sponsor, major public-private partnership (P3) capital projects in the hospital sector.

Arden started her career as a registered nurse in medical and surgical oncology. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (hon) and a Master of Health Administration, both from the University of British Columbia, and completed the Managing Health Delivery certificate program at Harvard University.

Lesley Myles, CHE – Executive Director, Seniors Palliative and Continuing Care, Alberta Health Services

As an Executive Director for the Calgary Zone Seniors, Palliative and Continuing Care Portfolio with Alberta Health Services (AHS), Lesley can leverage her years of progressive clinical and operational experience within the community and continuing care system.

Originally graduating from the University of Stirling, Scotland with a Sociology degree, Lesley immediately switched career paths and studied to become a Registered Nurse. She enjoyed a 20-year frontline nursing career that has spanned Scotland, Libya and Canada enabling her to gain a broad and varied experience across the health care continuum. While working with the AHS Home Care Program, Lesley became curious about health care system change, seeking to support the creation of a system that promotes choice and respectful, client-centred care. This curiosity led to her completing a master’s in leadership at Royal Roads University, Victoria in 2014 followed by a Fellowship in Health System Improvement at the University of Alberta and awarded the CHE designation in 2019.

Her passions remain advocacy for inclusive, holistic client, and family centered approaches to safe, quality care. Lesley’s successes have included transforming the delivery of care through engaging, leading, and supporting the needs of diverse, and interdisciplinary workforces in Home Care and in Long-Term Care. She loves to learn and continually strives for mastery in the LEADS capability framework; using self-reflection, as well as, coaching and engagement skills to build high-performing teams that can better support a complex continuing health care system.

Jasneet Parmar – Professor, Dept of Family Medicine (Lead Caregiver Centered Care Initiative), U of Ab

Dr. Jasneet Parmar is a Care of the Elderly physician and has worked for the Specialized Geriatrics Program, in Edmonton, since 1992. She is a Professor, Department of Family Medicine, at the University of Alberta. She currently works in the Homeliving Care of the Elderly Services and provides assessments to homebound seniors. Jasneet has been very active in developing and implementing clinical programs for the care of the elderly. Her research is focused on supporting family caregivers by the healthcare system.

Jillian Alston – Geriatrician, St. Michael’s Hospital and Unity Health

Jillian Alston is a geriatrician and clinician teacher practicing at St. Michael’s Hospital. She is passionate about caring for vulnerable and isolated older adults, establishing a geriatric outreach program at two shelters and incorporating home visits into her practice. Her clinical work also includes inpatient geriatric consultation, attending the acute geriatric ward and a general geriatric medicine clinic. She aims to advance the geriatric curriculum in undergraduate medicine by supporting the Geriatric and Care of the Elderly Theme Lead. She is a co-faculty rep for the Geriatric Interest Group at Temerty Medical School.

Part 3 – Local Chapter Conversations

Part 4 –  A year later: What has changed?

Contact Us

To stay informed of all the activities offered by the CCHL or to participate in the next edition of the national conversation, contact:

Josiane Mercier
Member Support & Program Coordinator
Canadian College of Health Leaders