A healthy fellowship
Christel Mueller is the second recipient.
Katie McDonald - July 4, 2011
On paper, Reece Bearnes meets all the qualifications of a health administration fellow. In person, he exceeds them.
Capital District Health Authority (CDHA) and Dalhousie University School of Health Administration celebrated recently the first recipient of the CDHA Health Administration Fellowship, Reece Bearnes, at the Centennial Building in the QEII hospital, Halifax, N.S.
The CDHA Health Administration Fellowship, intended to provide advanced training in health administration, was created in 2010 as a collaborative effort between CDHA and Dalhousie University. The one-year post-graduate program offers the selected fellow the chance to learn about complex health systems by working first-hand with senior hospital administrators.
Expect the unexpected
Mr. Bearnes graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science (Neuroscience) from Dalhousie University before continuing his education in the Masters of Health Administration (MHA) program. He says most of his aspirations for wanting to continue working in health care come from his upbringing and education.
“Growing up with an Intensive Care Unit RN mother, I was inspired to think about a rewarding career in health care. Shortly after I began my undergrad degree at Dal, I ‘discovered the unexpected,’” he says. “Stepping into student leadership positions like resident assistant, teaching assistant and student council president afforded me the opportunity to develop and realize a previously untapped personal passion-leadership! It was, in that sense, an easy decision to enroll in the MHA program at Dal because it combined both my areas of interest.”
After completing the MHA program at Dal, Reece heard about the launch of CDHA’s Health Administration Fellowship via the School of Health Administration and was immediately intrigued.
“I recognized this as a one-of-a-kind opportunity. I knew having the chance to be mentored and inspired by recognized leaders in health care transformation was unique,” says Mr. Bearnes. “Enhanced skill development through extended formal mentoring and learning about decision making at the highest level of governance really resonated with me.”
Luckily, the selection committee saw something in Mr. Bearnes that landed him the first recipient of this prestigious Fellowship.
"We chose Reece as the first candidate because he had an enthusiasm for learning and mentoring. He's very goal-driven and we knew he would help us further define and grow the Fellowship in its inaugural year,” explains Barbara Hall, vice-president People Health Care at CDHA.
After Mr. Bearnes was informed of his acceptance, he immediately began work with the senior leadership team and several others at CDHA. Reece says the transition couldn’t have gone smoother.
“I walked in to such a welcoming environment. Everyone was so inviting and eager to lend a hand.”
His responsibilities at the hospital were broken into four categories; observational learning, participatory learning, formal learning, and personal and professional development. He took part in provincial VP meetings, patient safety leadership rounds and patient safety case review. He also participated in monthly VP mentoring conversations, the CDHA United Way campaign and delivering some of the School of Health Administration workshops.
Mr. Bearnes’s predecessor, Christel Mueller, is the second recipient of the Health Administration Fellowship and began her position June 16. So far, Ms. Mueller is enjoying her new role.
“The opportunity to be mentored by health executives is a big stepping stone in getting my career started in the right direction. I’m ecstatic to be selected for this position and grateful that such a learning, training and development opportunity exists,” she says.
Mr. Bearnes has accepted a management position with Performance Excellence at CDHA as a quality and patient safety leader and although his Fellowship is complete, Reece has some advice for Ms. Mueller.
“Look at every day as potential learning opportunity. Cherish the program as it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”