Difference Maker – Maura Davies, FCCHL

May 6, 2020

In our 50th anniversary year, the College will profile a few long-term members and health leaders. Meet Maura Davies. Maura comes from a medical family where higher education and community service are core values. Her father was a surgeon, her mother a dietitian, her sister a nurse, her oldest brother a cardiologist, and has three other siblings in different professions. Health care and health economics were regular dinner time conversation. Maura has received several awards, including the Bluenose Chapter Award for Excellence and Innovation in 2001, the Dalhousie University School of Health Services Administration CCHSE Mentorship Award in 2002 and the CCHL Award for Distinguished Servicesin 2013.

Maura began her career as a clinical dietitian and held several progressive leadership roles. She completed a Master of Health Services Administration at Dalhousie University in 1987. Maura’s career started in Halifax at a time when many hospitals and health facilities were beginning to merge, providing an opportunity to develop expertise in strategic planning, health system integration and system performance measurement. Maura served as vice president and interim CEO of Capital Health, then became President and CEO of the Saskatoon Health Region, a position she held for more then 9 years. In 2015, Maura returned to Halifax and established a private consulting practice serving a broad range of organizations, agencies, and governments from the Northwest Territories to Newfoundland. The most significant changes she has seen in healthcare is the recognition of patients, residents, clients, and their families as partners in care, working with care providers to better understand client needs and to improve safety, appropriateness, and effectiveness.

Maura has also served on volunteer boards and committees, including the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (board chair), Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She’s currently on the board of the Health Standards Association, has been an accreditation surveyor for 17 years, and has been involved in various research organizations including six years on the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She hopes that one of her legacies has been to influence a passion and commitment to quality and safety. She is proud of helping create a more patient and family-centred culture in the Saskatoon Health Region at a time when most health care organizations in Canada were just beginning down that path.

Maura became involved with the College in 1992 as a member of the Bluenose Chapter Executive, becoming the provincial director and a member of the Board. Maura became a Fellow of the College in 2002, completing a thesis on measuring performance of integrated health systems in several Canadian and international jurisdictions. She has served on several College committees including the Fellows Council from 2008-2011. Maura is currently the Chair of the 3M Quality Award Selection Committee. She values the wide network of colleagues that CCHL provides and enjoys reviewing the 3M Award applications to learn about and celebrate leading practices across the country.

Maura reflects on the college’s 50th anniversary; “it is an important reminder that we belong to a noble profession. We need to continue to model ethical leadership practices and strive to improve health care and health outcomes in Canada. I encourage aspiring health leaders and new College members to seek experienced practitioners who can advise and mentor them, help you learn from our mistakes and our successes.”