The Dorothy Wylie Health Leaders Institute was established in 2001 when the designers and facilitators Julia Scott, Bev Simpson and Judith Skelton-Green, became aware of a pressing need to strengthen nursing leadership.

Prior to the establishment of the Institute, few accessible programs existed for health care professionals, particularly those in mid-career. Thanks to Kathleen MacMillan’s visionary leadership, and her relationship with then Ontario Minister of Health Elizabeth Witmer, the Nursing Secretariat at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care recognized this need and provided seed funding through the Nursing Effectiveness, Utilization, and Outcomes Research Unit at the University of Toronto.

Sue Munro and Doug Rosser of First Stage Enterprises have provided excellent conferencing services to the Institute since its inception.

In 2005, recognizing the importance of leadership in inter-professional collaboration, the Institute was expanded to include individuals from all health care disciplines.

Significant changes in health care systems and structures, new models of care and accountability, impending retirements and a need to attract and keep different cohorts of healthcare professionals with complex retention requirements remain major challenges. New kinds of leaders are required; individuals with strong interpersonal skills, the ability to inspire and engage others and achieve results in highly complex environments are increasingly critical to the success of healthcare organizations.

Leadership development is both an investment in the present – by helping system leaders step up to new requirements and challenges – and an investment in the future – by providing for necessary leadership succession.

To date over 2300 healthcare professionals from across Canada have attended the leadership institutes, coming together to learn, to develop and to refresh in a stimulating and welcoming environment.

Although programming is constantly refreshed to reflect changing times, the Institute’s core goals have remained essentially the same:

  • To inspire and support health care leaders across sectors and disciplines to move toward more collaborative and integrated practice;
  • To develop a deeper understanding of leadership principles and skills appropriate to today’s dynamic and complex environment;
  • To apply key concepts in real-life situations through experiential learning, and to advance a project of importance to the participants and their sponsoring organizations;
  • To expand leadership networks across healthcare sectors, roles and relationships; and
  • To assess personal leadership competencies and develop individual learning plans.
Sue Munro, Bev Simpson, Julia Scott, Judith Skelton-Green

Sue Munro, Bev Simpson, Julia Scott, Judith Skelton-Green