Dr. Dawn Waterhouse, CHE, shares the importance of relationships in healthcare

June 29, 2022

Dr. Dawn Waterhouse developed an interest in health care at a very young age, partly because of family members in the area and partly because advances in surgical procedures saved her father’s life not once, but twice. “Experiencing this impact firsthand confirmed for me, a choice to enter the health system in some capacity,” said Dr. Waterhouse. 

Obtaining a Ph.D. from the UBC Faculty of Medicine, she focused early on cancer research and the development of novel therapeutics. Completing her MBA from Simon Fraser University, with a biotechnology emphasis, allowed her to take on a leadership position in this space. As her career progressed, she joined the research department at the Vancouver Island Health Authority and gained a broader understanding of the healthcare system comprising its plethora of complexities and nuances. Dr. Waterhouse also credits the Canadian College of Health Leaders in her journey by stating, “My membership with CCHL and completion of a CHE has supported that understanding and has resulted in an expansion of my relationships with health leaders across the country”. As she reflected on her greatest accomplishment as a health leader, she referenced championing the use of new software solutions to improve efficiencies and advocating for standardization in several areas at a provincial level in support of health research administration.  

Dr. Dawn Waterhouse has been inevitably drawn to her local chapter, the Vancouver Island Chapter, as they have consistently supplied numerous opportunities for growth for individuals working in the healthcare system. This includes speakers, journal club events, tours, and mentorship. She has found these opportunities to be quite beneficial to her personal development and general knowledge base, encouraging her to reciprocate to the community. In terms of personal preferences, Dr. Waterhouse has found journal clubs to be a fantastic prospect to connect with other health leaders and discuss articles at the leading edge of the industry. The dialogue at these events further establishes what health leaders need to strive for in their respective communities. By engaging in such conversations, she has notably changed the way she presents herself at work, and in personal interactions, consequently improving the relationships in her life. In recognition of her efforts and contributions to the Vancouver Island Chapter, Dr. Waterhouse was selected as the recipient of the 2022 Chapter Award for Distinguished Service. 

Dr. Dawn Waterhouse refers to a quote by Susan Cain as a philosophy to follow in the health industry: “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” By appreciating the opportunities to connect with health leaders locally, provincially, and nationally through chapter activities, Dr. Waterhouse is eager to experience many more years of engagement and growth.