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Senior Specialist, Systems Change

Heart & Stroke is a special type of organization. We’re a foundation, a place that values championing health and has a bias for action as we tackle heart disease and stroke. Our mission is to promote health, save lives and enhance recovery.

Who we need

Reporting to the Director, Systems Change and Stroke, we are looking for a Senior Specialist, Systems Change. Based in Toronto, this is a role for someone who wants to play an active role in improving care, outcome, and quality of life for people with stroke, heart conditions, and vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) across all provinces and territories. We need someone who will fight to make space for the voices that might not otherwise be heard - those in rural, remote, transient communities, indigenous people and women across the country. This is an exciting opportunity to work with researchers, members of Provincial-Territorial Advisory groups, and people with lived experience to initiate, plan, and execute our strategic actions.  

Who you are

You want to play an instrumental role at the grassroots level. You want to help implement our strategy, research, and knowledge in real and tangible ways within our communities; not just with healthcare providers, but with people who have lived experience with stroke, heart conditions, and VCI. You want to generate, gather, and synthesize the knowledge and evidence needed to drive our systems change agenda forward with credibility and expertise.

How you will make an impact every day. You will focus on:

  • Inform the development of a framework for assessment and monitoring of provincial systems of care to support people with heart conditions, stroke and vascular cognitive impairment
    • Participates in development of a comprehensive strategic framework for our approach to systems change, enhancement and advancement that crosses H&S disease groups, expands beyond the healthcare system, integrates our organizational priorities of women’s and indigenous health,  is evidence-based and dynamic, responsive, flexible, and scalable. 
    • Conducts ongoing assessments and updates of information on provincial heart, stroke and VCI system models, organization capacity, resources and priorities for related initiatives; including critical appraisal and gap analysis; updates information and assessments regularly.
    • Conducts and coordinates literature reviews on systems change and related topics
    • Participates in the development and dissemination of reports on system activities 
  • Develop and conduct resource inventories to measure current capacity to deliver evidence-based health services in Canada for people with heart conditions, stroke and VCI
    • Work with a resource inventor task group and data team to create a database to collect all resource inventory information
    • Develops resource inventory tools in collaboration with internal teams and external experts
    • Develop, review, report analysis plans and conduct remedial actions as necessary
  • Support implementation of strategic priorities across provinces and territories
    • Participates in development of comprehensive plans to implement key strategic initiatives from Mission Critical Area councils and other Mission inputs
    • Identifies and establishes relationships with key stakeholders internally and externally to support system change initiatives and implementation of projects on strategic priorities;
  • Subject matter expertise and information management related to health systems change
    • Builds and maintains up-t-date knowledge of trends in health systems, management, prevention and public health fields as they relate to H&S priorities;
    • Liaises with the Senior Manager Data and Knowledge and their team to respond to requests within the Foundation for information related to health systems work
    • Ensures accurate and effective translation of knowledge on systems and stroke into easy to understand materials for non-technical audience (e.g. donors, people with lived experience, caregivers, corporate partners).
  • Capacity building and communication within and beyond the Foundation
    • Be a leader f systems change management insights that help drive strategic and tactical business opportunity, and be an educator for  systems work as an integral part of the mission at H&S;
    • Provides and participates in education and training to others in the Foundation and disseminates regular news letters about systems work within H&S and to our stakeholders and partners.

What you bring:

  • The education. You have a Master’s degree in health administration, public health, health policy, life sciences, applied science or social science. You have coursework or related education in best practices for systems change.
  • The experience. You have 3+ years in the health sector. Also experience working with ministries of health and other government departments and agencies is a bonus. You have experience:
    • Designing and developing systems change frameworks and in implementing systems initiatives.
    • Working with people who have experienced heart disease, stroke and vascular cognitive impairment. (Not required but a significant benefit.
  • The communication skills. You have clear verbal communication and presentation skills to position and advance our health systems change, and provide advisory services and education to internal staff and the heart and stroke community.
  • The relationship building skills. You can adapt approaches in light of stakeholder needs/priorities and develop appropriate strategies. You can work effectively with other members of the stroke and heart program teams, as well as other teams across the organizations and to interact with all stakeholders using a high degree of discretion and diplomacy.
  • The analytical skills. You have strong problem solving and critical thinking skills. You have the ability to synthesize, interpret, analyze, and critically appraise and report on data and scientific evidence.
  • The technical skills. You are comfortable with MS Office, SharePoint, CRM and workflow tools to support and advance the work of the team.
  • The language. You are fluent in English and ideally in French as well.




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