As we reflect on the recent 2023 inaugural CCHL National Conference, the dominant feeling from the staff of the national office and all of our partners and collaborators is one of relief and gratitude. After a four-year absence, we were successful in gathering approximately 500 health leaders from across the country in person in an atmosphere of collaboration and community. It was indeed a great feeling to be REUNITED finally! I should also mention that we also gathered for our Honouring Health Leaders awards gala and two awards luncheons for the first time since 2019. Congratulations at all the award winners and thank you to our award sponsors. Finally, we recognized 244 new Certified Health Leaders and 2 new Fellows of the College. What a week!
In order to share the takeaways and main lessons of the conference, I think I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. Those of you who attended will recall that each of the plenaries was visually recorded in real time and shared with everyone.
Linda Edgecombe’s Breaking Busy opening keynote was a high energy affair that got us off to a great start. One idea I was struck by and retained was the notion of trying to intentionally be quiet enough to hear ourselves think. It is evident that many of us have not mastered this skill.
In the afternoon of day one, our Director of Research and Leadership Development, Dr. Jaason Geerts, talked about the pandemic as our shared story and the defining epic of our time. His takeaway is that the landscape of work and leadership has changed and that leaders and leadership integration across organizations are more important than ever.
The random encounter at the Healthbucks Café, hosted by yours truly, featured a compelling conversation between a patient voice, a nurse voice, a physician voice, and a health executive voice. One of their conclusions was that we need to create work environments where people feel safe to try new things and make mistakes.
Lastly, our conference MC Gregory Charles wrapped things up with a singing exercise that showed us that not all leadership qualities are obvious. He concluded that maybe the way to recruit and retain people in healthcare is to start a huge choir!
There was a fifth knowledge wall infographic that was populated by the delegates during the breaks and networking sessions. We answered the question: “What new skills and capabilities do leaders need for the post pandemic world to address the challenges of the health system today?” I will let each one of you take a look and pick out the word or concept that resonates the most with you.
Thanks again to all our delegates and a very heartfelt thank you to our sponsors, partners, presenters, and supporters. A big high five to our national office team for pulling all this together.
We look forward to seeing you in June 2024 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Until we are REUNITED again, take care.