Building Evidence-Based Capacity for Health Workforce Planning


The key issues examined in this theme will include the impacts of, for example, new models of care delivery, evolving Health Workforce (HWF) education practices, and changing population health needs on the supply of and requirements for HWF. This theme will also leverage, facilitate access to and link existing HWF planning and modeling data resources to help better address modeling/planning projections and engage with stakeholders to enhance understanding of needs-based approaches to HWF planning. These activities are well-aligned with the mandate of the Dalhousie University/WHO Collaborating Centre to build local and global capacity to support needs-based HWF planning.

Theme Lead:

SarahSarah Simkin is a family physician with enhanced skills training in Anaesthesia who holds a Master of Science in Health Systems from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. Her thesis focused on physician retirement; using data from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, she delineated retirement patterns of Ontario primary care physicians from 1992 to 2013, thereby filling an important gap in health workforce research. She brings experience working within the healthcare system and expertise in the use of quantitative data to address health workforce planning challenges to this project. During CHWN’s previous engagement with the Toronto Central LHIN, Dr. Simkin led the environmental scan of available datasets, and the development of the toolkit’s quantitative primary care workforce planning model.

LindsayLindsay Hedden is an Assistant Professor of Learning Health Systems in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and is the Assistant Scientific Director of BC’s Academic Health Science Network. As a post-doctoral Health System Impact Fellow, she worked with BC’s Ministry of Health on an improved strategy for physician workforce planning, supporting physician recruitment and retention efforts, and the development and evaluation of new models of primacy care delivery. Her current work focuses on advancing the theory and application of the learning health system model, using workforce planning data, tools, and approaches as a high-level application of the model. Her work is grounded in partnerships with the BC Ministry of Health, regional health authorities, health care professionals and patients.


Health Workforce Research in Progress: 

Bourgeault, I., Simkin, S., & Chamberland-Rowe, C. (2020). Crisis underscores that health workers are backbone of health system. Hill Times, April 7. Reprinted in French Créer-une-banque-de-donnees-des-effectifs-en-sante for IRPP April 27th

Bourgeault, I., Simkin, S., & Chamberland-Rowe, C. (2019). Poor health workforce planning is costly, risky and inequitable. CMAJ, 191(42), E1147-E1148. DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.191241

Health Workforce Planning to Promote Equitable Access to the Full Range of Maternity Care Providers Across the Champlain Region

Moving beyond headcounts: improved physician workforce planning for primary care in BC