Fall 2011 Newsletter


It is hard to believe that the summer is pretty much behind us, and that we are all gearing up for another busy work year. We hope that each of you was able to enjoy some special time with family and friends over the summer, and found ways to re-charge your batteries.

What’s happening at the Dorothy Wylie Nursing and Health Leaders Institute?
1. Still going strong
In May 2011 we welcomed 103 participants to our combined Nursing and Health Leaders Institute. This was our largest yet registration, and an enthusiastic group who engaged fully in both the serious and fun aspects of the program.

Thanks to your ongoing support, we are pleased to report that we will be offering another combined program in 2012 – with the 4 day session May 22-25, 2012 and the 3-day follow-up October 10-12. We expect that the 2012 brochure will be ready shortly, and we will send you an e-copy as soon as it is available. Of course, you will also be able to find it on the Health Leaders website.

2. Want to take your personal Leadership Development Plan to a new level?
Over the years, we have had several enquiries from participants about whether and how they can enrich the information for their personal leadership planning by engaging in a 360° Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI). In our consulting practices, we have arranged such assessments for a number of leaders in various organizations with whom we work. As a result of some recent discussions, we are pleased to advise you that we are now able to offer this service to individual alumni. Learn more about your Personal Leadership Development Plan.

3. Don’t forget the project database
This is just a reminder that the project database is updated annually, and it is now available on the website in two versions: the project database full list and the project database abbreviated version, which only contains projects since 2005. Both files are now in PDF format, which appears small on your screen, but directions are provided for enlarging the font, and for searching in it. We encourage you to go the database any time you are starting a new project at your organization. The odds are good that some other DMNHLI alumni will have already done something similar, and would be pleased to share their experience and lessons learned with you.

What else is new?
1. Publications of Interest
Barry Posner and Jim Kouzes have just released a new edition of Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It; Why People Demand it. Credibility was Jim and Barry’s first book, and has been valued by leadership readers for many years. We know you will enjoy this updated version, which is available in most bookstores or online at Amazon.

2. Change Leadership Framework
Over the years, many people have told us that they use the Change Leadership Framework for projects with which they are involved. Some have asked for a link to the paper we published a while ago about leading change in healthcare organizations. Please use it if is helpful to you.
An Integrated Approach to Change Leadership.

3. An empowerment framework for nursing leadership development: Supporting evidence
Judith has recently co-authored an article entitled An empowerment framework for nursing leadership development: Supporting evidence in the Journal of Advanced Nursing (April 2011). This paper is a report on a descriptive study of nurse leaders’ perspectives of the outcomes of the British Columbia Nursing Leadership Institute – a program which uses many of the features of the DWNHLI – and which was described in our Summer 2010 Newsletter.

4. The Health of our Nation – The Future of our Health System
In 2011, the Canadian Nurses Association launched a National Expert Commission entitled, The Health of our Nation – The Future of our Health System. Timed so that its recommendations will be released during the lead-up to negotiations on the successor to The First Minister’s 10-Year Plan to Strengthen Health Care (2004-2014), commonly called “the Health Accord”, which expires in 2014, the Commission will recommend ways in which the system can be transformed to put the patient and family first, with a renewed focus on quality care in both community and institutional settings. The National Expert Commission website is one that all healthcare leaders will want to follow closely.

5. Transitions
We are always pleased to receive and share messages telling us of changes or accomplishments for our alumni. Here are a few recent ones:

  • Barbara Mildon (who assisted in a number of nursing research presentations at the earlier Nursing Institutes) has been named VP Professional Practice & Research & Chief Nurse Executive, at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (formerly Whitby Mental Health Centre). Barb is also President-Elect of the Canadian Nurses’ Association.
  • Bea Mudge (who attended an early Nursing Leadership Institute; sponsored numerous nursing and health leaders to attend our Institutes when she was VP Patient Services at Cambridge Memorial Hospital, and has served as an alumni coach for many projects over the last several years) has just been appointed VP, Best Practices, Education and Research and CNE at VHA Home Healthcare.
  • Nancy Fram (who also attended an early Nursing Institute, and who sponsored dozens of nursing and health leaders to attend our Institutes when she was Vice President Professional Affairs & Chief Nursing Executive at Hamilton Health Sciences) has recently retired. She will be greatly missed!

Congratulations all!

We are also deeply saddened to tell you of the passing of Joan Lesmond. We had the pleasure of learning more about leadership with Joan during the week she was a DWNHLI participant in 2003, but she is likely better known to many of you as Past President of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. We knew Joan as a tireless leader, a visionary for a better world, a kind and gentle humanist and a dedicated scholar. Not long before her death, Joan’s many accomplishments were recognized with the 2011 YWCA Toronto Woman of Distinction Health Leadership Award. She has left an indelible legacy in the healthcare community.

If you have a change in your professional life (change of job, new degree, etc) or if you change your contact information – or if you know of changes for your fellow alumni – please let us know! We are anxious to keep our database current so that we don’t lose contact with you, and are happy to share good news with your fellow alumni.

6. Update on our Strategic Alliance with the Canadian College of Health Leaders
Congratulations to Cheryl Williams (2004) who this year successfully completed her Certified Health Executive (CHE) through our strategic alliance with CCHL. She joins several other distinguished alumni who took advantage of this program previously.

We know that several more alumni are working towards their CHE, and we look forward to celebrating their success in the future. For more information about how you too can get involved, please link here Certified Health Executive (CHE) Program.

7. Special Thanks to our Sponsors
Johnson and Johnson Logo
Johnson & Johnson Medical Products has been a steadfast supporter of the Dorothy Wylie Nursing Leadership Institute and the Health Leaders Institute for the last 9 years providing a generous donation that enables participation in the Institutes by graduate students and by small hospitals and agencies with modest education budgets. We are delighted to tell you that they have continued this support for 2011!

We are very pleased to advise you that we have this year also received sponsorship donations from the Nursing Leadership Network of Ontario (NLN), a large and very active interest group of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and from the Professional Practice Network of Ontario (PPNO), a voluntary group that brings together professional practice leaders from across the province for networking, collaboration and sharing.

Spotlight on a Speaker
Kathleen M. MacMillan, RN, BSc, MA, MScIn this issue we are featuring Kathleen MacMillan, whose career has spanned nursing education, administration, education, research and policy. DWNHLI is forever indebted to Kathleen for obtaining the seed funding for the development of the Nursing Leadership Institute when she was Chief Nursing Officer for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Over the years, many of you have heard Kathleen’s insights on leadership, from her own journey. This talk is always an engaging mixture of wry humour and profound take-aways.

Some things that you may not know about Kathleen include:

  • Kathleen served as Executive Director, Office of Nursing Services, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), Health Canada
  • the branch of the federal government responsible for health care delivery to Aboriginal communities south of the 60th parallel in Canada. In the time that she was in this position, Kathleen led the development and implementation of an ambitious and sophisticated Transformation Strategy, to ensure the sustainability of nursing services to First Nations, and was successful in obtaining millions of dollars of ongoing funding commitments.
  • From 2005 Kathleen was the Dean, School of Health Sciences, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, the position from which she retired this past August. We were delighted to be present at a number of farewell gatherings where Kathleen’s contributions to healthcare leadership were celebrated by friends and colleagues.
  • Kathleen is a Past-President and Honorary Life Member of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, and the recipient of a Centennial Achievement Award from the Canadian Nurses Association.
  • Kathleen’s has now retired to her home in rural Prince Edward Island where she hopes to spend more time on other pursuits such as social history; reading; gardening; water colour painting; and writing. She also hopes to be the summer destination for her beloved grandchildren, so that they too can experience Canada’s “gentle island”.

Some closing thoughts
We often like to close our newsletters with some sort of thought-provoking message. This time, it seemed timely to include a quotation from Kouzes & Posner’s new release of Credibility (p. 201):

”The more we study leadership, the more we’re persuaded that leadership development is not simply about skill development. It’s also about character development. Consider what one sage wrote:

“Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words;
Be careful of your words, for your words become your deeds;
Be careful of your deeds, for your deeds become your habits;
Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character;
Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

And we would humbly add:
Be careful of your leadership, for your leadership becomes your legacy.”

We hope that you have a stimulating and satisfying autumn. Please keep your notes and updates coming in.

Judith, Julia , Bev