We are very pleased to inform you that Minnie Downey is joining the BC SUPPORT Unit in the new position of executive director starting September 12. In this position, Ms. Downey will provide operational leadership and oversee the implementation of the Unit’s business plan. This will include working in partnership with our scientific director, Dr. Stirling Bryan, and leading the Unit’s operations team. She will report to our interim leader, Dr. Bev Holmes, in Dr. Holmes’ role as an interim executive lead of the BC Academic Health Science Network (BC AHSN).
“I’m delighted to welcome Minnie to the BC SUPPORT Unit,” says Dr. Holmes. “Minnie’s skill set and experience position her very well to carry the Unit forward, and the timing is excellent as we make our final preparations for introducing initial services. Our team looks forward to working with her as both the Unit and BC AHSN continue their development.”
Ms. Downey has held diverse and progressive leadership roles in health care leadership, informatics (designing and studying health data to improve patient care), post-secondary instruction and strategic projects. She is known for championing evidenced-informed change and applying innovative solutions to improve the quality of services and increase value. In her most recent position with the Fraser Health Authority, she worked in the strategic projects division of the Office of the CEO. In this role, she championed Community Action and Resources Empowering Seniors (CARES), a collaborative project that spanned BC and Nova Scotia and proactively engaged with seniors to delay or reverse frailty.
Previously, she was program director for Fraser Health’s Cardiac Services, providing leadership for the development and execution of services across the health authority’s 13 facilities and community programs. This work led her to receive the 2015 Golden Apple Innovation award from the Health Employers Association of BC for her leadership in the regionalization and standardization of the Implantable Cardiac Electrical Devices (ICED) project.
“I’m very excited to become involved with Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research and to be taking on this leadership role in helping to advance patient-oriented research throughout BC,” says Ms. Downey. “The BC SUPPORT Unit is helping to transform the way the province takes on the challenges of health care. By working with all of the regions of the province, engaging patients in planning, and bringing together key partners spanning health research, care and policy, we are creating an unprecedented coordinated approach to advancing health research and passing on research knowledge to patients and the health care system.”
Ms. Downey’s educational credentials will be an asset to the BC SUPPORT Unit: She holds a Master of Arts in Health Leadership from Royal Roads University, Bachelor degrees in Technology and Business Administration from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology Science from the College of the North Atlantic. Also, she has completed a fellowship in Executive Training in Healthcare Improvement with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, and is a Certified Healthcare Executive with the Canadian College of Healthcare Leaders.
The BC SUPPORT Unit (Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials Unit) is a multi-partner organization created to support, streamline and increase patient-oriented research throughout BC. We define patient-oriented research as research that engages patients as partners and focuses on patient-identified priorities with the goals of improving patient experiences, health outcomes and the health system. The Unit is one of several SUPPORT Units established across the country as part of Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). It is also part of the developing BC Academic Health Science Network (BC AHSN) with the network’s interim board providing governance and oversight.