Alumni Q&A: Joanne Shum

Joanne Shum

Joanne Shum

Class of 2008

Director, Child & Youth Services at Fraser Health
Joanne holds the position of Director for Child & Youth Services at Fraser Health. She provides the vision and leadership for pediatric services across twelve acute care hospitals, ambulatory and subspecialty clinics, and the pediatric emergency at Surrey Memorial Hospital. In collaboration with provincial leaders, program medical directors, and clinical experts she creates opportunities to advance clinical care for over 40% of the pediatric population in BC.

She credits her fast-moving career to the MHA program. Since graduation, she has worked in leadership positions at Providence Health Care, Vancouver Coastal Health, and Fraser Health which gives her a unique province-wide perspective on healthcare. The program has propelled her learning from being a cardiac rehabilitation Kinesiologist to developing strategic multi-hospital visions that impact the population.

What aspects of the MHA Program stood out for you?

The program provides a range of topics that can be put to immediate use. Having the ability to interact with exceptional faculty members in the Sauder School of Business and Faculty of Medicine gave me the opportunity to challenge ideas, create a deep understanding of private vs. non-profit sector, and compelled me to look at my own perspective on the health care system. It’s fascinating to participate in health policy discussions with world renowned researchers, clinical experts, and operational administrators.

In what ways did the program set you up for your current role in healthcare?

The MHA program gave me the breadth of understanding that is required for my Clinical Director role. Fraser Health is one of the largest health regions in BC serving more than 1.6 million people from Burnaby to Hope to Boston Bar. Any decision requires careful review as it impacts many communities. Having the awareness of the principles and processes that drive strategic HR management, Canadian health policy, and organizational change leadership allow me to know who to go to when I need help. There are numerous experts around me and it’s my job to connect the dots.

Read more stories about our alumni and where the MHA can take you