Call to Action - Help our Healthcare Heroes Now!



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A call to action for better planning, better care and better work through better data  

Canada’s health workers have been here for all of us throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It is time for us to be there for them.  We call on the Government of Canada to support health workers by making significant and immediate investments to enhance the data infrastructure that provinces, territories, regions and training programs need to better plan for and support the health workforce.

We the following researchers, educators, associations, health care unions and network members, are united in expressing our gratitude to Canada’s health workers. We are also gravely concerned about their health and the future of health care in Canada.

Although COVID-19 has heightened our concerns, many health workforce planning issues predate the pandemic. COVID-19 has sharply exposed a lack of clear answers to the most basic questions about Canada’s health workers. What do we know about them? How well do they reflect the diversity of Canada, in terms of Indigenous or racial identity and language of service? What do we know about the scope of their work? How do and can they work together? How can they be recruited, trained and retained where they are most needed? In some critical sectors, such as home care, long-term care and mental health care, we don’t even know how many workers there are.

Pre-pandemic, we knew the health workforce was overstretched and that there was growing concern about accessing timely care close to home. Long wait times are largely caused by shortages of health workers.

The pandemic has exacerbated critical staffing shortages causing excessive workloads; these are a direct result of inadequate planning.  Health workers are carrying an enormous mental health burden, for which we risk unprecedented attrition from the health workforce. This will inevitably lead to less access to safe, high- quality care and increased wait times for patients.

Safe, high- quality care for patients is intricately tied to safe, high- quality work for health workers.

Until barriers to effective health workforce planning are addressed through better and more accessible health workforce data, we can expect inadequate planning for population needs now and into the future, inefficient deployment of health workers, persistent maldistribution of services, and a perpetuation of current inequities.

We can do better.

The time is now for Canada to take the lead in supporting provinces, territories, regions and training programs with enhanced and inclusive data and decision-making tools. These tools are needed to make informed staffing decisions, to optimize contributions of the available workforce, and to enable safer workplaces.

Without essential health workforce data, we will continue to make decisions in the dark, with incomplete, misleading and non-standardized information that is disconnected from the real-world experience of those at the point of care. 

Urgent Call to Action

We call on the federal government to play a stronger leadership role by establishing a dedicated coordinating body to address critical health workforce data gaps. Reflecting international leading practices, this could be a health workforce agency, akin to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

This should significantly enhance existing health workforce data infrastructure to standardize data collection and analysis across workers, sectors and jurisdictions, with links to relevant patient information, healthcare utilization and outcome data, for more fit-for-purpose planning at the provincial, territorial, regional and training program levels.

In the interim, we call on the federal government to provide targeted funding to the provinces and territories to begin to immediately address critical shortages.

Improved health system planning through better health workforce data can make a world of difference for health workers and the Canadian public.


On behalf of an organization (in alphabetical order)

Organization Name  Position
Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada Geneviève Moineau President and CEO
Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada Janet Cooper  
Association of Nova Scotia Midwives CJ Blennerhassett President
Association of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC    
Association Québécoise des infirmères et infirmiers   Natalie Stake-Doucet Présidente
Bayshore Healthcare Zoe Vernham  Director Healthcare Innovation
Black Medical Student Association of Canada Meredith Rémy  Director of Communications
Black Physicians of Canada Modupe Tunde-Byass President
British Columbia Nurses Union Aman Grewal Vice-President
Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists Irving Gold Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Association of Midwives Alixandra Bacon  President
Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy Hélène Sabourin Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Association of Optometrists François Couillard  Executive Director
Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing Cynthia Baker Executive Director
Canadian Association of Social Workers Joan Davis-Whelan President
Canadian Black Nurses Alliance    
Canadian Dental Assistants' Association Stephanie Kavanagh Executive Director
Canadian Dental Hygienists Association Ondina Love Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Doctors of Medicare Melanie Bechard  Chair
Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions Linda Silas President
Canadian Health Coalition Pauline Worsfold Chair
Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative   Sharla King Chair
Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance Michael Feraday Executive Director
Canadian Medical Association Ann Collins President
Canadian Medical Protective Association  Lisa Calder CEO
Canadian Nurses Association Mike Villeneuve Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Nursing Informatics Association Glynda Rees President
Canadian Phlebotomy Technicians Group Inc Sharif Khan Director
Canadian Physiotherapy Association John-Paul Cody-Cox Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Psychological Association Karen Cohen Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science Christine Nielsen Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Society of Physician Leaders John Van Aerde Executive Medical Director
College of Family Physicians of Canada Francine Lemire Chief Executive Officer
Dietitians of Canada Nathalie Savoie Chief Executive Officer
Embrace Health Foundation Arlene Lusterio CEO
HealthCareCAN Paul-Emile Cloutier President & CEO
Indigenous Primary Health Care Council Caroline Lidstone-Jones CEO
LEADS Global Graham Dickson Principal
Manitoba Nurses Union Darlene Jackson President
New Brunswick Nurses Union Paula Doucet President
Northern Ontario School of Medicine    
Nova Scotia Nurses Union Janet Hazelton President
Nurse Practitioner Association of Canada Lenora Brace  President
Nurse Practitioner Association of Manitoba Cindy Fehr CEO
Ontario Black Nurses' Network Shelly Philip LaForest Executive Director
Ontario Medical Association Allan O'Dette CEO
Ontario Nurses Association Vicki McKenna President
Pediatric Chairs of Canada Emily Gruenwoldt Executive Director
PEI Nurses Union Barbara Brookins President
Registered Nurses Union of Newfoundland and Labrador  Yvette Coffey President
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Susan D. Moffatt-Bruce Chief Executive Officer 
Saskatchewan Federation of Labour Lori Johb President 
Saskatchewan Health Coaltion  Karen Wasylenko  Chair 
Saskatchewan Nursing Informatics Association Pamela Farthing President
Saskatchewan Union of Nurses Tracy Zambory President
Service Employees Union International (SEIU) Healthcare Sharleen Stewart President
Société Santé en francais  Eve Laframboise  
Speech-Language & Audiology Canada Dawn Wilson Chief Executive Officer 
United Food and Commercial Workers, Locals 175 & 633 Shawn Haggerty President
United Nurses of Alberta Heather Smith President
Workforce Edge Advisory Services Shawn C. Drake Chair
World Education Services  Shamira Madhany  Managing Director

On behalf of an individual (in alphabetical order)

Name         Position                               Organization
Tracey L. Adams Professor The University of Western Ontario 
Monica Aggarwal Assistant Professor University of Toronto 
Karyn Agyepong Registered Nurse  
Nabeelah Ahmed Data Analyst Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Ahmednur Ali PhD Candidate McMaster University 
Debra Andersen  Site Manager Bethany Sylvan Lake 
Ruolz Ariste Adjunct Professor Laval University
Cheryl Armistead RN, MScN, Faculty Lecturer McGill University 
Hugh Armstrong   Carleton University 
Pat Armstrong    
Jelena Atanackovic Senior Research Associate University of Ottawa & CHWN
Katie Aubrecht CRC Health Equity and Social Justice, Assistant Professor StFX University
Pamela Austman Registered Nurse  
Michael Balas Medical Student University of Toronto
Lesley Barron General Surgeon  
Chris Baumeister Registered Nurse  
Pamela Baxter Associate Professor  McMaster University
Sheila Bear    
Jacinthe Beauchamp PhD, Professeure Associée Centre de formation médicale du NB
Jean-Luc Bédard Professeur agrégé Université TÉLUQ & CHWN
Jean- Christophe Bélisle-Pipon Assistant Professor Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
Cecilia Benoit Professor & Scientist University of Victoria, CHWN Member
Beverley Biggs Primary Care Social Worker  
Aline Bogossian Assistant Professor Université de Montréal, École de travail social
Lady Bolongaita RN, PhD Graduand University of Toronto
Susan Bondy   University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health 
Allyson Booth  Registered Midwife  
Roxane Borgès Da Silva Associate Professor School of Public Health, University of Montréal
Barb Boucher Registered Nurse  
Ivy Bourgeault Professor & Research Chair University of Ottawa and CHWN lead
Dina Brooks Vice Dean McMaster University 
Sylvain Brousseau Inf. PhD Professeur UQO
Stirling Bryan Professor UBC 
Venise Bryan Assistant Professor Athabasca University
Denise Bryant-Lukosius Associate Professor School of Nursing and Alba DiCenso Chair in Advanced Practice Nursing, McMaster University
Judy Buchanan    
Barbara Byers C.M.  
Eric Cadesky MD CM CCFP FCFP 
Erin Cameron Associate Professor Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Paula Cashin-Kennedy Radiologist  
Caroline Chamberland Rowe Phd (c) Health Systems Management University of Ottawa & CHWN Co-Lead
Ming-Ka Chang Pediatrician and Clinician Educator  
Leigh Chapman Registered Nurse  
Janice Chisholm Professor and Head Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine, Dalhousie University
Kathleen Clements  Principal Clements Consulting
Marjorie Griffin Cohen Professor Emeritus Simon Fraser University
Krista Connell Retired  
Gail Creaser Lecturer Dalhousie University 
Rob Crisp  Former Director Studen Health University of Victoria 
Natasha Cromwell Registered Nurse New Brunswick (Horizon Health Network)
Valorie Crooks Professor & Canada Research Chair Simon Fraser University 
Edward Cruz Assistant Professor University of Windsor 
Tamara Daly  Professor of Health Equity  York University 
Jean-Louis Denis Professor & Canada Research Chair Université de Montréal-CRCHUM
Faith Donald Professor Emerita Ryerson University 
Raelynn Douglas  Founder Raesoleil Consulting 
Susan Drouin  Associate Professor  Ingram School of Nursng, McGill University 
Marie Earl Assistant Professor, Physiotherapist Dalhousie University
Aderemi Ejiwunmi MSc, RM Mississauga, Ontario  
Dana El-Mughayyar Clinical Trials Lead Horizon Health Network 
Kim English Professor Trent/Fleming School of Nursing 
Josephine Etowa Professor University of Ottawa
Jennifer Farnham RB-BScN Health PEI
Lucie Filteau MD, Vice-President Canadian Anesthesiologists`Society 
Alana Flexman Clinical Associate Professor Department of Anesthesia, St-Paul's Hospital/Providence Health Care, University of British Columbia
Colleen Flood University Research Chair in Health Law & Policy University of Ottawa
Jodi Found Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program; co-director of Education Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatchewan Collaborative; CNIA; CASN Chair, Digital Health Interest Group
Angela Freeman  Registered Midwife   
Tracey Frimpong Registered Dietitian  
Susan Fryer-Keene BScN, Chair GTA Chapter CCHL 
Laura Funk Professor of Sociology University of Manitoba
Brenda Gamble Associate Professor Faculty of Health Sciences, Ontario Tech University & CHWN
Rebecca Ganann Assistant Professor School of Nursing 
Leslie Gaudette MSc Epidemiology 
John Gilbert Professor Emeritus University of British Columbia & Founding Chair, Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative
Marie-Andree Girard Anesthesiologist and Law Doctoral Candidate  
James Goertzen Associate Dean Continuing Education Professional Development, Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Christine-Anne Goodyer    
Cindi Gould    
Mike Gould    
Sarah Gover Family Physician & Chair Maternal & Newborn Committee Society of Rual Physicians of Canada
Dea Graessli Wise Faculty Saskpolytechnic
Chris Green Assistant Professor University of Manitoba
Michael E Green Professor Depts of Familty Medicine, Public Health Sciences and Policy Studies, Queen's University
Kelly Gregory BPH, MSc Candidate University of Waterloo
Alisa Grigorovich    
Jeremy Grimshaw Senior Scientist; Professor Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; University of Ottawa
Sarah Groom Registered Nurse  
Neeru Gupta Associate Professor University of New Brunswick & CHWN Co-Lead
Gloria M Gutman PhD Professor Emerita & President Gerontology Dept Simon Fraser University &  North American chapter International Society for Gerontechnology
Gayle Halas Rady Chair in Interprofessional Collaborative Practice University of Manitoba & CHWN Co-Lead
Jane Hampson    
Sarah Hanafi Resident Physician McGill University 
Lorian Hardcastle Associate Professor University of Calgary 
Brenda Hardie Family Physician Vancouver, BC
Sarah Hewko Assistant Professor University of Prince Edward Island 
Lindsay Hedden Assistant Professor Simon Fraser University & CHWN Co-Lead
Kathryn Hollis Pharmacist and Director CHEOWorks & Operations Support CHEO
Sheila Holden    
Natasha Hubbard Murdoch Interprofessional Care Researcher Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Emilie Hudson PhD Student McGill University 
Damilola Iduye   Dalhousie University 
Jennifer Jackson RN,PhD, Assistant Professor University of Calgary 
Sandra Jalonen    
Alan Katz Professor and Director University of Manitoba & Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Allan Katz Principal Health System Planning and Consulting Services, Inc.
Satinder Kaur Advanced Practice Nurse  
Kin Kelly Associate Clinical Professor University of Alberta 
E. Kevin Kelloway Canada Research Chair in Occupational Health Psychology Saint Mary's University
Dennis Kendel Health Policy Consultant Self-Employed
Amy Kirubakaran MLT B.Sc. 
Jennifer Kitts Vice-President, Advocacy and Policy Canadian Medical Association
Manal Kleib Assistant Professor School of Nursing, University of Alberta
Karl Koziura Shift Coordinator-Masters Student Interior Health Authority (BC) & Masters of Science: Executive Nurse Leadership and Health Policy at Walden University Candidate
Ron Labonte Distinguished University Research Chair University of Ottawa
Alika Lafontaine Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine University of Alberta
Margrieta Langins Health Services Management Centre School of Social Policy
Julie Ann Lawrence  Nurse Practitioner  London Health Sciences Centre 
Martin Lauzier  Professeur Titulaire Université du Québec en Outaouais 
Joseph Leblanc    
Kathy Leblanc Registered Nurse Public Health NB
Debra Lefebvre Podcaster, 2RN1MD Brockville General Hospital & Limestone City Mental Health
Kate Leslie Assistant Professor Athabasca University & CHWN
Chantal Longobardi    
Joam Lopez RN HSC
Michelle Lui MLT Educator College of New Caledonia
Amy Ma Patient Leader  
Danielle Macdonald PhD RN, Assistant Professor Queen`s University 
Johnathan MacDonald   Canadian Forces Health Services
Andrew MacDougall Executive Director  Health PEI 
Kathleen MacMillan PhD FAAN, FCAN, Retired Nurse
Stan Marchuk Nurse Practionner and Adjunct Professor  
Emily Gard Marshall Family Medicine Dalhousie University 
Bernadette Martin UAlberta Rehab Med  
Donna Martin Professor, RN University of Manitoba 
Gina Martin Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Disciplines Athabasca University
Maria Mathews Professor Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University
Leatitia Mbassegue Chair of English Communications BMSAC
Colin John Lindsay McCartney Professor and Chair Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Ottawa
Karen McCoy RN Bargaining Unit President - CHEO 
Rita McCracken MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Family Practice UBC
Allan McDougall Qualitative Research Canadian Medical Protective Association 
Dolores McKeen Professor & Chief Dept of Anesthesia IWK Health Centre 
Lori McKenzie Registered Nurse  
Eileen McMahon    
Kim McMillan Assistant Professor School of Nursing, University of Ottawa
Barb Mildon CNA Past President and CEO Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes
Kate Miller Assistant Professor, Dept of Family Medicine McMaster University
Heather Mills Registered Nurse  
Renee Misfeldt Scientific Director Work Wellness Institute
Sandra Moll  PhD, OT Reg (ON), Associate Professor  School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University 
Lisa Morgan Director / Professor Laurentian University School of Midwifery
Rosemary Morgan  Associate Scientist Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Publuc Health 
Danielle de Moissac Professor Université de Saint-Boniface
Alex Munter President and CEO  CHEO (Children`s Hospital of Eastern Ontario/Ottawa Children`s Treatment Centre
Sue Murphy Head, Department of Physical Therapy University of British Columbia 
Maisam Najafizada Assistant Professor Memorial University of Newfoundland 
Elena Neiterman   University of Waterloo
Sarah Newbery Assistan Dean Physician Workforce Strategy, NOSM 
Stephanie Ngo    
Jason Nickerson Respiratory Therapist and Investigator; Adjunct Professor Bruyere Research Institute; University of Ottawa for Health Law, Policy and Ethics
Wendy Nicklin Healthcare Consultant  
Behdin Nowrouxi-Kia Assistant Professor Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto
Kathleen O'Grady Research Associate Concordia University 
Julianah Oguntala Ontario Regional Director Black Medical Students' Association of Canada
Brieanne Olibris   University of Ottawa
Beverly Orser Professor and Chair Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Toronto
Kyla Oshanek Registered Dental Hygienist   
Gigi Osler Assistant Professor University of Manitoba 
Nathalie Pambrun Advocacy for the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives  
P. Alison Paprica    
Sophia Park Clinical Associate Professor Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia
Martha Paynter   Dalhousie University 
Lisa Pawlowski Registered Nurse-Emergency Trillium Health Partners-M Site
Meghan Perrin    
Deborah Petrie Registered Nurse Prairie Mountain Health
Mitch Podworny RNBN Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Lorraine Poirier RN Manitoba
Nathaniel Pollock Research Associate Labrador Institute, Memorial University
Paul Preston Physician  
Kaylynn Purdy Resident Doctor University of Alberta, MSc Health Policy- Stanford University
Adria Quigley Postdoctoral Fellow McGill University Health Centre
Mateen Raazi Provincial Head Anesthesiology University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Health Authority 
Helen Ramirez    
Mike Ravenek  Health Sciences Manager Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Mateen Raazi  Provincial Head Anesthesiology  Saskatchewan 
Danyaal Raza Family Physician & Assistant Professor University of Toronto
Ann Rhéaume Professor Université de Moncton 
Julie Richardson Professor, Assistant Dean School Rehabilitation Science McMaster University
Nicole Roach Registered Midwife Association of Ontario Midwives
Charlene Esteban Ronquillo Assistant Professor Ryerson University
Emily Rowland Nursing Student and PhD Candidate Dalla Lana School of Public Health 
Alan Ruddiman Rural Generalist Physician Oliver, British Columbia; Co-Chair BC Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues; Director, Rural Coordination Centre of BC
Derek Rutherford Associate Professor Dalhousie University 
Bukola Salami Associate Professor School of Nursing, University of Alberta
Reetu Sharma Sogani   Public Health 
Jay Shaw Assistant Professor Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto 
Sarah Simkin Physician CHWN Health Workforce Planning Co-Lead
Chantal Singh Clinical Educator & Registered Nurse LHSC Children's Hospital 
Steve Slade Director of Research College of Family Physicians of Canada
Anna Socha RA Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Meagan Spoerri RN CHEO 
Kelli Stajduhar Professor School of Nursing, University of Victoria 
Jehanne St Coeur Infirmière Réseau de santé vitalité
Jennifer Stephens FHD Associate Dean Undergraduate Programs Athabasca University
Javeed Sukhera Associate Professor Western University 
Arthur Sweetman Professor and Ontario Research Chair in Health Human Resources School of Economics, McMaster University
Amy Tan Palliative Care & Family Physician, Clinical  Associate Professor  University of British Columbia
Marta Tataryn    
Justin Tennant     
Lorraine Thirsk Assistant Professor Faculty of Health Disciplines
Bill Tholl Author Former Senior Health Executive
Meaghan Thumath Clinical Assistant Professor UBC School of Nursing 
Carla Tilley RN, MN, PhD, EDD, Professor of Nursing Vancouver Island University, BC
Jessica Tombari    
Jennifer Tran  Primary Care Advisor  Ontario Health Central Region 
Lee Toner    
Andrea Tricco Director & Scientist Knowledge Synthesis Team Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
Lynne Trottier    
Peter Tugwell Professor University of Ottawa
Meredith Vanstone Associate Professor McMaster University 
Molly Verrier Associate Professor Emeritus Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto 
Deborah Viel    
Monic Vokey    
Mark Walker Interim Dean Globalization and Internationalization University of Ottawa
Margaret Walton Roberts Professor Wilfred Laurier University, Balsillie School of Intl. Affairs
Karen Watts Registered Nurse  
Dorothy Wigmore Occupational Health Specialist  
Maegan Witherell Registered Nurse  
Tracy Wolbaum  Executive Director of Human Resources Health PEI 
C. Ruth Wilson Professor Emerita Department of Family Medicine, Queen’s University
Kathi Wilson Assistant Professor Midwifery Education Program, McMaster University 
Tanya Wilson   NBASW
Sabrina Wong RN, PhD, Professor Centre for Health Services and Policy Research and School of Nursing, UBC
Brianne Wood Postdoctoral Fellow Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Katherine Zagrodney PhD Candidate University of Toronto

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