Education at

St. Michael's Hospital

Collaboration • Innovation • Integration



VICE-PRESIDENT, EDUCATIONAt St. Michael’s Hospital, we are all teachers and we are all learners. We consider everyone at St. Michael’s to be both a learner and a teacher: our students, our staff and physicians, our patients and their families. We learn with, about and from each other.The Education portfolio works towards improving the student experience, our teaching effectiveness and institutional learning opportunities. We do this with an overall goal of improving patient care. Under our themes of collaboration, integration, and innovation, we have redefined how we educate and support our students, staff, physicians, patients and their families to provide a better patient experience and to improve our health-care systems. We have embraced technology to make teaching and learning more feasible and accessible for all of our learners and we understand the need to continuously evaluate what we do and disseminate what we have learned.We are innovative.All of our students are managed through a first-of-its-kind electronic Student Registration System (SRS) which has improved the onboarding experience, and has now been adopted amongst our peer organizations across the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TAHSN). We’ve also led the development and implementation of a learner engagement survey that helps us continually improve the student experience here at St. Michael’s, as well as across the system.We have integrated programs processes and systems.For our staff and physicians, we have partnered with the Leadership and Organizational Development team within the Human Resources portfolio, as well as the Hospital Quality Program to implement many initiatives that support continuing education and professional development goals. This includes launching an online learning website, which serves as a portal to all educational opportunities at St. Michael’s, and the development of tools and resources to aid staff and physicians in the design and implementation of education sessions and materials.For our patients and their families, we have an extensive library of online resources to improve their knowledge of specific health issues and we have provided health literacy training to our staff to ensure our health professionals are equipped with the right tools to support our patients and their caregivers. Our achievements in supporting the learning needs of our students, staff and physicians, and our patients and their families has positioned St. Michael’s as a nationally recognized leader in health professional education.

Dr. Patricia Houston, Vice-President of Education, St. Michael’s Hospital, headshot and signature

Where We Were

2009 Education Strategic Plan

Education is a priority at St. Michael’s Hospital. Our goals and objectives reflect the hospital’s vision of achieving excellent patient outcomes through leadership in health professional education. St. Michael’s commitment to excellence in education extends to all health professionals, hospital staff and students within all levels and departments throughout the organization.

In the fall of 2006, the executive team at St. Michael’s decided that the education directives in the 2004 corporate strategic plan were no longer sufficient to provide education direction for the hospital. Internal and external review subcommittees were formed to explore the future of education at St. Michael’s and to critically examine its strengths and weaknesses with respect to education and to gather expert opinion about the education environment externally. The findings were reviewed by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and as a result, a comprehensive Education Strategic Plan was developed in 2007.

Twelve strategic themes emerged from the planning process representing areas where St. Michael’s had significant opportunities. One of the opportunities identified was the need for a new strategic vision focusing on the investment in strong education leadership with an eye on the whole institution, accountability to the board of directors and visibility and recognition within the institution and beyond. As a result of this recommendation, a specialized and distinct vice-president for Education position was created in January 2009, which was identified as a core member of the Executive Committee. With the support of the VP Education, the education council initiated the planning process to implement the new Education Strategic Plan in March 2009.

As a result of the 2009 Invitational Education Summit, working groups were formed to develop and implement the short-term priorities that emerged from the discussion. The working groups included:

Student Experience

Focused on activities delivered by the medicine, nursing and health disciplines. The top priority was to develop an integrated education administration centre. The centre was created as a hub of activity where students from all professions are able to register, seek advice, address administrative issues and interact with each other. It provides a common area with resources for learners at St. Michael’s Hospital, streamlined registration process with web-enabled registration and up-to-date schedules of educational activities that benefit learners.

Continuing Education and Professional Development

Focused on activities delivered through the Centre for Faculty Development, Leadership and Organizational Development and existing continuing education and professional development programs. New programming opportunities were developed with a focus on team performance, research opportunities and partnerships with external institutions.

Technology-Supported Resources

Focused on supporting the creation and delivery of tools required to implement key priorities. The group reviewed emerging trends, implemented integrated learning solutions, and provided advice from an educational perspective on technologies essential to the Education portfolio.

Where We Are Now

Where We Are Headed

Education Strategy: Mission, Vision and Principles

In September 2014, the Education portfolio released its new three-year strategic plan. The plan is the culmination of an extensive internal and external scan, including individuals within the Education portfolio, the hospital and external academic partners, and builds off of the great work the portfolio has accomplished to date. This includes enhancing the student experience, increasing continuing education and professional development opportunities and creating a new model for patient and family education.

Embedded in the plan are five strategic directions: Learning Collaboratively, Engaging the Patient, Advancing Academic Practice, Developing our People and Driving Quality through Education.

Technology and infrastructure are also key components of the plan and the portfolio will continue to leverage its cutting-edge tools and resources to enable groundbreaking impact across all its strategic directions.

30 Bond Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1W8, Canada

E-mail: education@smh.ca

Copyright © 2016 St. Michael's Hospital. All Rights Reserved.


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Dr. Patricia Houston, Vice-President of Education, St. Michael’s Hospital, headshot and signature

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30 Bond Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1W8, Canada

E-mail: education@smh.ca

Copyright © 2016 St. Michael's Hospital. All Rights Reserved.


Read the full report in PDF