Find a mentor and get involved – Jennifer Proulx, CHE, shares her story and advice for emerging health leaders

July 5, 2019

Jennifer Proulx, CHE, has recently joined CCHL’s Board of Directors as the new Ontario Co-Director. Her advice for emerging health leaders: find a mentor. “Seek out someone that you can have honest conversations with regarding your leadership skills, areas for development, and how to achieve your leadership goals” believes Jennifer.

Throughout her career, as a health leader, Jennifer found mentoring aspiring and emerging health leaders, and building cohesive, high performing teams to be particularly rewarding. This is evident through her involvement in the CCHL Eastern Ontario Chapter where she works hard to create opportunities for health leaders at all stages in their careers to learn from other leaders, to build supportive connections, and to influence healthcare service delivery, policy and priorities. Her hard work and involvement with her chapter has earned her the CCHL Chapter Award for Distinguished Service.

She began her career by getting an undergraduate degree in Psychology. After completing her undergrad, she knew this was a field she was interested in and subsequently, completed a Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology specializing in Social and Personality Psychology.

Upon completing her M.A., Jennifer began working as a Research Assistant in the First Episode Psychosis program at The Ottawa Hospital. During the next 5 years, she discovered a strong interest in healthcare administration and leadership. Jennifer’s natural affinity for building relationships, thirst for ongoing learning and continuous improvement, and passion for supporting others in need was well suited to pursuing a career in healthcare leadership. 

She returned to school to complete her master’s in health administration and following that got her Improvement Advisor certification. With her new education and certification, Jennifer slowly began taking on progressively more senior positions, and after 12 years in an acute care setting, she accepted a director position within home and community care at the Champlain Community Care Access Centre. During the 4 years working in that role, Jennifer gained an appreciation of the complexity and the importance of home care services to patients and families and built new knowledge, leadership skills, and competencies. In 2019, she joined CHEO as their Director, Integrated Care Delivery and is currently working with health service providers and community organizations to co-create an integrated health service model for children and youth in the Champlain region.

Another piece of advice Jennifer has for emerging leaders is about Emotional Intelligence (EI). “EI is critical to leadership” states Jennifer. “Ensure that you have insight into your own EI, how you can refine it, and the impacts it can have on leading effectively.” She believes it is important to take initiative and ask to be involved in projects, committees, or working groups that you are interested in or which may provide you with opportunities to expand your knowledge and your network.