Call to Action - Help our Healthcare Heroes Now!

Help our Healthcare Heroes NOW! 


 CHWN icons 1 Sign on to Call for Action 

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)




 Janet Cooper   Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada

    Association of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC (NNPBC) 

Alix Bacon  President Canadian Association of Midwives

Cynthia Baker

Executive Director

Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing

Melanie Bechard Chair  Canadian Doctors of Medicare

Lenora Brace


Nurse Practitioner Association of Canada

Barbara Brookins


PEI Nurses Union

Yvette Coffey


Registered Nurses Union of Newfoundland and Labrador

John-Paul Cody-Cox

Chief Executive Officer

Canadian Physiotherapy Association

Karen Cohen 

Chief Executive Officer Canadian Psychological Association

Ann Collins


Canadian Medical Association

François Couillard

Executive Director

Canadian Association of Optometrists

Joan Davis-Whelan


Canadian Association of Social Workers

Graham Dickson Principal  LEADS Global 

Paula Doucet  President  New Brunswick Nurses Union

Shawn C. Drake


Workforce Edge Advisory Services 

Paul-Emile Cloutier President & CEO HealthCareCAN

Pamela Farthing RN, BA, MSc, PhD(c) Saskatchewan Nursing Informatics Association

Cindy Fehr CEO, Nurse Practitioner Association of Manitoba 

Michael Feraday

Executive Director

Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance

Irving Gold

Chief Executive Officer

Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists

Emily Gruenwoldt Executive Director  Pediatric Chairs of Canada 

Shawn Haggerty  President  United Food and Commercial Workers, Locals 175 & 633

Janet Hazelton


Nova Scotia Nurses Union

Darlene Jackson


Manitoba Nurses Union

Stephanie Kavanagh

Executive Director

Canadian Dental Assistants' Association

Sharla King Chair Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative

Shelly Philip LaForest

Executive Director

Ontario Black Nurses' Network

Francine Lemire

Chief Executive Officer

College of Family Physicians of Canada

Caroline Lidstone-Jones CEO Indigenous Primary Health Care Council

Ondina Love

Chief Executive Officer

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

Arlene Lusterio CEO Embrace Health Foundation

Vicki McKenna


Ontario Nurses Association

Susan D. Moffatt-Bruce

Chief Executive Officer 

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Christine Nielsen

Chief Executive Officer

Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science

Allan O'Dette CEO  Ontario Medical Association 

Glynda Rees President Canadian Nursing Informatics Association

Meredith Rémy  Director of Communications  Black Medical Student Association

Alison Rushton Professor and Director School of Physical Therapy Western University

Hélène Sabourin

Chief Executive Officer

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy

Nathalie Savoie

Chief Executive Officer

Dietitians of Canada

Linda Silas


Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

Heather Smith


United Nurses of Alberta

Christine Sorensen


British Columbia Nurses Union

Natalie Stake-Doucet

Présidente Association Québécoise des infirmères et infirmiers 

Sharleen Stewart


Service Employees Union International (SEIU) Healthcare

Modupe Tunde-Byass


Black Physicians of Canada

John Van Aerde  Executive Medical Director 
Canadian Society of Physician Leaders 

Zoe Vernham  Director Healthcare Innovation Bayshore Healthcare

Mike Villeneuve

Chief Executive Officer

Canadian Nurses Association

Dawn Wilson  Chief Executive Officer  Speech-Language & Audiology Canada

Pauline Worsfold


Canadian Health Coalition

Tracy Zambory


Saskatchewan Union of Nurses

On behalf of an individual (in alphabetical order)




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 

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

Pamela Austman  Registered Nurse   

Michael Balas Medical Student University of Toronto
Lesley Barron  General Surgeon   

Chris Baumeister Registered Nurse   

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 

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 

Stirling Bryan  Professor UBC 

Denise Bryant-Lukosius

Associate Professor

School of Nursing and Alba DiCenso Chair in Advanced Practice Nursing, McMaster University

Judy Buchanan    

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

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 

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 

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
Tracey Frimpong Registered Dietitian   

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  
Dea Graessli Wise  Faculty  Saskpolytechnic

Michael E Green  Professor  Depts of Familty Medicine, Public Health Sciences and Policy Studies, Queen's University 
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

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 

Alan Katz  Professor and Director University of Manitoba & Manitoba Centre for Health Policy

Allan Katz


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


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

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

Amy Ma Patient Leader   

Danielle Macdonald PhD RN, Assistant Professor  Queen`s University 

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 

Maria Mathews


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

Kate Miller Assistant Professor, Dept of Family Medicine  McMaster University 
Heather Mills Registered Nurse   

Renee Misfeldt    

Lisa Morgan

Director / Professor

Laurentian University School of Midwifery

Danielle de Moissac


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 

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
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

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 

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


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

Meagan Spoerri RN CHEO 

Kelli Stajduhar Professor  School of Nursing, University of Victoria 

Jehanne St Coeur Infirmière Réseau de santé vitalité

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     

Bill Tholl


Former Senior Health Executive

Meaghan Thumath Clinical Assistant Professor  UBC School of Nursing 

Jessica Tombari    

Lee Toner    

Andrea Tricco  Director & Scientist Knowledge Synthesis Team  Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute 
Lynne Trottier


Peter Tugwell


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


Wilfred Laurier University, Balsillie School of Intl. Affairs

Karen Watts Registered Nurse   

Maegan Witherell  Registered Nurse   

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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