Strategic Priorities

Empowering People

Select one of the Strategic Priorities below to learn more.


Strategic Goal: We will enhance our thriving, inclusive environment where wellness is fostered and the potential of everyone is fully mobilized. We will build a shared understanding that everyone’s voice matters and that staff, physicians, volunteers and learners have a significant role in improving the experience and care outcomes of those we serve.

What We Heard from Stakeholders

We heard from participants in the strategic planning engagement sessions that the St. Joseph’s family – staff, physicians, volunteers and learners – is valued throughout the organization. At the same time, their input in this area was to ensure that we build on the people focus. From their perspective, we need to strengthen the “leadership from where you serve” philosophy where everyone who works and volunteers at St. Joseph’s is emboldened to improve care and share knowledge. As part of this approach, participants would like to see a spirit of inquiry and co-leadership throughout St. Joseph’s where staff and physicians would be supported to work to full scope and generate and initiate action on improvement ideas across the organization.

We also heard that there is a real need to advance our safety and wellness frameworks to improve physical and psychological safety and resilience, create structures to support continuous professional development for staff, build on our leadership excellence to include talent management and succession planning programs, and create and embed a framework for sharing knowledge and innovation across all programs.

What we will
accomplish By 2021
  • We will be known as a leading work environment where staff, physicians, volunteers and learners are engaged and feel they are physically and psychologically safe.
  • Staff and physicians will be supported in generating and initiating action on improvement ideas across the organization.
  • We will continue our focus on leadership excellence to achieve the vision and strategic goals.

A Commitment to Psychological Health and Safety

“Work is an important aspect of a person’s life,” says St. Joseph’s President and CEO, Dr. Gillian Kernaghan. “People should be treated with respect, feel valued for their contributions, and be allowed to develop to their full potential. Having a psychologically healthy work environment is critical for our staff, physicians, students and volunteers.”

Focusing on employees’ psychological health and safety is strategically important at St. Joseph’s Health Care London, where staff and leaders alike are striving to make the working environment one that is supportive of everyone’s ability to be and feel their best at work.

“Our organizational value of excellence speaks to giving our best each day. As CEO I am committed to creating an organization that allows people to live that value,” adds Dr. Kernaghan.

To advance our culture and practices in effective engagement and safety in the workplace, St. Joseph’s has made a commitment to adopt the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard on Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace. While the CSA standard applies to all industries, it has a unique role in health care, as workers in this sector face higher rates of burnout, fatigue and sleep deprivation than other sectors, which in turn can impact the care they provide.

To drive our efforts, a working group was formed, comprised of staff representatives from all areas and disciplines of the organization, with a wide variety of perspectives that contribute to meaningful planning. Group members embarked on extensive engagement with their colleagues, and from their feedback, distinct themes emerged, allowing priority areas of focus to be identified. The group develops annual work plans, ensuring ongoing engagement and progress is made towards a psychologically healthy workplace.

St. Joseph’s has formally committed to advancing the protection and promotion of mental health in the workplace by signing the Declaration of Commitment to Psychological Health and Safety in Healthcare, as established by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and HealthCareCan, the national voice of Canada’s hospitals and health care organizations.

“There is a growing concern about the impact of professional burnout on physicians and its negative impact on quality of care, patient satisfaction, productivity and retention within the profession. The declaration is an important commitment to our physicians and other staff, volunteers and trainees that we recognize the essential need of a healthy work environment, and will work collectively to implement the standards and improve the environments in which we work.”
-Dr. Sarah Jarmain, Chair, Medical Advisory Committee and Director of Medical Quality

“It is important to understand why we are taking this step and why it is important,” says Karen Stone, Vice President of Human Resources and Facilities. “Signing the declaration helps St. Joseph’s translate its commitment into improved staff well-being and increased patient satisfaction. It moves us forward to being our best selves and an organization that we all want to come to every day.”

Staff members eating lunch

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