As a devoted leader of the healthcare industry, Catherine Gaulton strives to support those in the country who work tirelessly to deliver safe and high-quality services to Canadians. In a direct quote, she shares, “I chose this career because it allows me to be of service in a greater cause,” highlighting an emphasis on the big picture.
Catherine began her career as a young, registered nurse who loved to work and interact with health professionals, leaders, and patients. As a life-long learner, she constantly searched for knowledge and work in challenging areas that provided growth opportunities. This outlook fueled her journey to practice as a corporate lawyer, self-insurance executive, efforts in worker’s compensation, senior solicitor worker for the government of Nova Scotia’s Department of Justice and Health, and finally as a leader in the healthcare system. Prior to attaining her role as the CEO of the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC), Catherine was Vice President for Legal, Quality, Safety, Privacy, Ethics, Decision Support, Emergency Preparedness, Policy, Infection prevention, and Control with the Nova Scotia Health Authority. By experiencing the multi-faceted functions of a business, such as leadership, legal, and healthcare, Catherine was well-prepared to transition into the role of CEO at HIROC.
Founded 35 years ago, HIROC is a not-for-profit insurance reciprocal that comprises over 700 healthcare entities across Canada as subscribers. The organization offers and arranges the full breadth of required insurance coverage and claims management services while maintaining a dedicated focus on patient safety and risk management. The organizational vision of “Partnering to Create the Safest Healthcare System” and its devotion to service are the primary principles that attracted Catherine to the group and motivated her to continue working with devotion.
As an industry leader, Catherine considers her greatest accomplishments to be the relationships she has built with people across the sector. This includes leaders, health professionals, governors, patients, governments, and fellow organizations within the nation who have a shared purpose. She commends these generous individuals for sharing their knowledge and genuinely caring for patients and consumers of not-for-profit healthcare in Canada. As a leader, she believes that trust is a cornerstone for relationships and a driving factor in achieving complex objectives in the healthcare industry.
HIROC has maintained an excellent relationship with the College for the past 25 years. The organization remains appreciative of the prominent role played by the College in providing developmental opportunities for leaders, supporting crucial peer interaction, and maintaining a clear lens on what leadership needs to be for the future of healthcare in Canada. Catherine shares, “As a not-for-profit corporate member of CCHL, HIROC encourages all members to collaborate with each other and leverage the benefits of our unique skill sets to improve healthcare for those we serve – Together we can turn the corner on patient safety.” Not-for-profit organizations are open systems and despite a crowded field of businesses involved in safety, HIROC maintains a sharp vision of the important roles that are played by the College in terms of leadership.
Catherine Gaulton advises new corporate members joining the College to take full advantage of all opportunities that membership provides and to be actively involved. As organizations become clear about what they want to achieve and where their commitments lie, it becomes easy to align strategy with what the College provides. She adds, “Collaborate, get involved and leverage all of the wonderful resources that are facilitated by College, you team won’t regret it.”