“Life is rarely a straight line and that is certainly the case for me”. Randy’s healthcare career started clinically for 18 years as an Advanced Life Support Paramedic and Flight Paramedic. His leadership journey began with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)—both Reserve and Regular Force service—that spanned 38 years and saw confluence as a health leader for his last 25 years. He feels very fortunate to have had several senior leadership positions and experiences in Canada and internationally that increased his understanding and respect for local and global challenges that affect all of us. He later retired from the CAF in 2015 and began another career in British Columbia as a Corporate Director with Providence Health Care and subsequently as a Regional Director with Vancouver Coastal Health. These opportunities have allowed him to collaborate with and learn from extraordinary leaders. He has also worked as Associate Faculty at Royal Roads University since 2005 on master and doctorate programs, with many of his students working as health leaders.
Dr. Gilbert retired in March 2021 as the Regional Director of Informatics for BC Lower Mainland Medical Imaging. He continues working as the President and principal consultant for Sage Consulting & Academia Services Ltd., specializing in change leadership, organizational transformation, clinical informatics, and implementing digital technologies in healthcare delivery. “My clinical, leadership, and academic opportunities have allowed me to appreciate multiple perspectives and inform the decisions I make every day”. Speaking with him, his passion to share this knowledge and his experiences with others is evident.
He chose to pursue a career in healthcare as he considers himself to be in the caregiver and sage archetypes. “At the risk of sounding cliché, I genuinely wanted to help others and that desire has been a thread throughout my life.” Although there is a gratification component when helping others, he believes the motivation behind actions needs to be about others and not oneself. “It is something I reflect on every day. I would like to believe I have helped some people along the way” he said.
When asked about advice that he would give to a new College member, he replied “the College and its members are there to support you along your professional and personal journeys. Find your passion, explore ideas, develop your plan, and work your plan. Take full advantage of the opportunities and resources the College has to offer. Plans are only ideas to help guide you and they need to be flexible if you want to achieve your goals in a constantly changing environment. Find mentors to support you and be a mentor to others because mentorship benefits everyone and the College has great mentorship programs.” In recognition of his efforts, Dr. Gilbert was selected by the CCHL BC Lower Mainland Chapter for the 2020 Chapter Award for Distinguished Service.
Randy’s favourite quote and one he lives by to this day is one by Lao Tzu that states “do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Like mentioned previously, life is rarely a straight line according to Randy as it is filled with positive experiences and opportunities for personal and professional growth. “What we choose to do with that knowledge defines who we will be.” He continues to be amazed by the energy, innovative ideas, and volunteer spirit the executive and chapter members display. They reinvigorate him constantly and motivate him to want to be better at everything he does. “They are truly inspirational. Their efforts confirm for me there is a bright future ahead for the CCHL and my local chapter.”