It’s being hailed as a premier space for advancing societal health and well-being, and the best is yet to come.
On Thursday afternoon, McMaster’s new Health Leadership Academy was formally unveiled to a large and enthusiastic crowd at Burlington’s Ron Joyce Centre.
The 4,150-square-foot Academy, located on the fourth floor of RJC, is a collaborative effort between the DeGroote School of Business and the Faculty of Health Sciences.
The primary goal of the new space is to provide a pathway for healthcare students and professionals to earn an accelerated MBA. The Academy will also offer a number of certificate and diploma programs, with a general focus on developing world-class leadership capabilities in the health sector, and a particular focus on emerging health leaders.
The HLA is co-led by Michael Hartmann, Professor of Human Resource Management at DeGroote and Principal of The Directors College, and Dr. Del Harnish, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Health Sciences Education and a Professor of Pathology and Molecular Medicine.
Hartmann spoke passionately about the “transformative impact” the space will have on the future of healthcare in Canada. “The HLA is a big tent, under which we hope to offer a suite of interdisciplinary programs and support collaboration,” he explained.
“McMaster is the only place where one can build a partnership like this,” said Leonard Waverman, Dean of the DeGroote School of Business. “This type of collaboration is path-breaking. Nobody else in the world is doing it.”
The inaugural cohort of 25 undergraduate students was in attendance during the unveiling. The group recently completed the two-week Emerging Health Leaders Program at the HLA, which focused on personal leadership development, design thinking and change management capabilities. MBA students, as well as DeGroote’s first Executive MBA cohort, will begin using the space full-time in the fall.
“I’m very excited about what’s taking place here, and exited to see the work students get up to,” said William Charnetski, the province’s new Chief Health Innovation Strategist. Charnetski was on hand Thursday to tour the space and provide a keynote address. “There’s a growing need to compete in the knowledge-based economy, and innovation is key,” he offered.
Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring was also in attendance during the event, along with Frank McKeown, Executive Director of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation; David Wilkinson, McMaster’s Provost and Vice-President (Academic); Dr. Susan Denburg, Associate Vice-President (Academic) in the Faculty of Health Sciences; and several other leaders in government, academia and healthcare.
“This innovative approach to health leadership would not have happened without an additional generous gift from Michael G. DeGroote,” said Dr. John Kelton, Dean and Vice-President of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Dean of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.
Michael G. DeGroote’s landmark $50 million gift to McMaster in 2014 included $10 million earmarked for health leadership programming at the University. The development of the HLA represents a major step forward in this area.
“Mr. DeGroote’s strong vision for establishing this academy will yield generations of better prepared health leaders for Canada,” Kelton continued. “This joint enterprise by the DeGroote School of Business and the Faculty will provide an optimum environment for interdisciplinary learning.”