December 4, 2017

Leading Change from Day One

Today marks the beginning of a new era in healthcare in our province with the official launch of the Saskatchewan Health Authority. While there are many unknowns that lay ahead, and likely not everything will be plain sailing, registered nurses must be ready to embrace and lead change – our patients are relying on our leadership.

Leadership in health is something registered nurses have all always shown, and I’m particularly proud of the role we have played in shaping healthcare in our province for the better. As the largest group of direct care providers in the system, we have a unique perspective on what is and isn’t working and where opportunities might exist to make improvements.

SUN and our membership have a strong history of seeking out new and innovative partnerships to address common challenges. The most recent demonstration of this leadership was this past November at the 2017 Health Innovation Summit: Inspiring Tomorrow’s Healthcare.

In preparation for the move to a single provincial health authority, registered nurses acted as the catalyst to unite stakeholders from across the province with the goal of inspiring dialogue about how we can work together to advance the quality and safety of healthcare in Saskatchewan.

This summit was a provincial first and I am so proud that our union and membership played such a pivotal role in bringing this groundbreaking initiative to fruition. It created a space for stakeholders that traditionally wouldn’t be together in the same room, at the same time, to unite around our shared goal of building a strong, sustainable health system that will safely meet the needs of all patients in our province, no matter where they live.

The purpose of the summit was to motivate innovative thinking and creative problem-solving through collective community involvement. It was about inspiring big-sky thinking, partnership building and knowledge-sharing, and I certainly think that all of this was achieved. It’s important to remember, however, that this was only the first step in forging new partnerships that will drive continuous healthcare improvements both now, as we embark on our new journey under the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and into the future.

If we look at today as “day one” in our shared journey to a better health system for everyone, I think it’s vital we, as registered nurses, remind ourselves of a few things: We are and always have been a constant and steadfast pillar of safe patient care. We have the ability to influence and promote health and well-being across the entire continuum of care, whether it be for individual patients, their families or communities. We are on the frontlines every minute of every day, in every corner of the system and we are healthcare experts. These are undeniable truths and strengths we must leverage to the benefit of our patients, especially during times of change.

My advice: Embrace change because we cannot stop it from happening. Demonstrate your leadership by engaging in health conversations at every level. And never stop striving for nursing excellence, no matter how insurmountable a challenge may seem. Our patients are relying on us now more than ever.

Tracy Zambory, RN