In our 50th anniversary year, the College will profile a few long-term members and health leaders. Meet Mark Neskar. Mark has been a CCHL member since 1981 and received his CHE designation in 1994. He received his Certificate in Health Care Administration at the University of Saskatchewan in 1980 and his BGS degree at Brandon University in 1998. Mark is married to Annette and they have four children and six grandchildren. In 2014, Mark received the College Award for Distinguished Service from the Canadian College of Health Leaders and in 2016, the Honorary Life Member Award.
Mark is very pleased to have been involved in the College very early in his career. It facilitated the development of long-standing relationships with many colleagues who helped mentor him through his career. Later, Mark had the opportunity to give back through his local chapter and then through the National Board of CCHL. Mark also served as Chair of the Audit & Finance Committee. These positions allowed Mark to influence policies on a National level and continue to build and strengthen relationships with colleagues. Many of these relationships continue to exist long after leaving the health care sector.
Mark started his career in business but soon realized the purpose and mission of working in healthcare organizations was his greater vocation. Mark retired from RANA Respiratory Care Group in September 2012 where he had served as Chief Operating Officer since 2009. Prior to 2009, Mark worked in various capacities in health care institutions across Manitoba. Mark was CEO of Seven Oaks Hospital & the Wellness Institute for 10 years, retiring in 2009. Through his tenure at Seven Oaks, the hospital underwent substantial growth, seeing significant cultural change in becoming a value-based organization, all the while becoming a leader in the field of wellness and health promotion. Mark joined the Manitoba Blue Cross Board in 2003 and has served as Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee. In May 2015, he assumed Chair of the Board. Mark is proud of building organizations that focused on employee well being which fostered exceptional care for our patients.
Mark believes that, while there has always been growth and contraction in the health care system, the current contraction is now much more pronounced and significant than it has been in the past. As a result of this contraction, CCHL has played a more significant role with the development of LEADS as well as the provision of educational opportunities. For Mark, CCHL’s 50th anniversary is a significant achievement. He can’t help but think back to the visionaries that built an organization which has grown and transformed into what it is today. Mark’s advice to young leaders entering the health care field is that “If your personal values align with the values of your organization, you will have a rewarding career for life. Reach out and embrace the collegiality that CCHL offers. You will find a true vocation and not have to work a day in your life!”