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Celebrating women at PHSA

International Women's Day is March 8. We're celebrating by speaking to some of the women who joined our workforce in the past year.
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​Women make up almost 70 per cent of all staff at PHSA and almost 70 per cent of the executive leadership team. In celebration of International Women's Day and all women, including trans women, non-binary and gender non-conforming people at PHSA, we spoke with a few of the women who joined our workforce in the past year to find out what drew them to our organization and who inspires them!

aKathy Farrelly, booking and administrative clerk, Trans Care BC

What drew you to PHSA?
I wanted to work somewhere with a patient-centred focus. I was drawn to PHSA because every decision made has the patient experience and outcome at its core.

Name a woman who inspires you and why?
My mother is my inspiration. She worked full time as a teacher and in the evenings assisted my dad in setting up their bus company, all while raising three children. Superwoman!

Dr. Réka Gustafson speaking at a microphoneDr. Réka Gustafson, vice president, public health and wellness, PHSA

What drew you to PHSA?
The potential to improve the health of the population by leading a provincial population health program that is nimble, responsive and relevant to the population and public health system of B.C.

Name a woman who inspires you and why?
Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand for a few reasons! First, she brought her baby to a meeting of the United Nations in New York. Second, she responded to gun violence not with thoughts and prayers, but by introducing gun control legislation, and third, she recognizes that people are more important than economic growth and she leads a government that prioritizes human welfare over profits.

Darlene MackinnonDarlene MacKinnon, chief operating officer, BC Emergency Health Services

What drew you to PHSA?
I was drawn to PHSA because it is an organization charged with provincial leadership in collaborating with the health authorities to find opportunities, innovations, and efficiencies for a sustainable and accessible health system for all British Columbians.

I was also drawn to PHSA for the unique opportunity to work alongside courageous leaders and staff, tasked with leading/providing highly specialised care with our health authority partners.

Name a woman who inspires you and why?
My mom. She is a very practical and hardworking person who managed the hardships of raising a large family in rural PEI with patience, kindness, integrity and determination.

She had high expectations. Her guidance to us was to plan now for where you want to be in the future. She tackled challenges head on and always stressed the importance of education, equality, doing your part and never giving up.

Shannon MalovecShannon Malovec, chief digital innovation officer, PHSA

What drew you to PHSA?
My goal is to enable improved health care and health system efficiency in the province through the use of digital health and information technology. Having worked at PHSA in the past, I know as an organization we have an opportunity to be a leader in health in B.C. 

Name a woman who inspires you and why?
My female inspiration is my amazing mother. My mom is always there for me, offering optimism, trust and sound advice. She is also an esteemed leader in our industry in BC and I know quickly gains the respect of everyone she interacts with. I definitely look up to her work ethic and approach.

Johanna VienJohanna Vien, CST clinical informatics adoptions lead, BC Cancer – Kelowna

What drew you to PHSA?
The opportunity to work for an organization that has such a broad reach across the province and an impact in the lives of so many in British Columbia.

Name a woman who inspires you and why?
Madeline Bell – CEO and President of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She started her health care career in nursing, as did I, and has moved on to serve in significant leadership roles and has been able to make a large impact in the lives of the patients that her organization serves. Through her career she has mentored and supported women’s leadership and continues to do so now through her work, blog and podcast -  of which I am a fan.

This is only a snapshot of the many achievements and contributions of women across PHSA. Thank you to all women across the health care spectrum for your hard work and dedication. Happy International Women's Day!

BC Cancer; BCEHS; Trans Care
SOURCE: Celebrating women at PHSA ( )
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