April 5, 2022

Precision Health Program gets boost, adds executive credential

Early bird deadline for applying to second program cohort is April 15
Precision Health Program gets boost, adds executive credential

The University of Calgary is seeking entrepreneurial changemakers — people like Leah Kennedy, who are drawn to the university’s Precision Health Program by an internal drive to lead health-care improvements.

The pharmaceutical sales representative was interested in the program at first by chance. While catching up on social media, she came across a compelling post from one of her pharmaceutical clients.

Leah Kennedy

Leah Kennedy.

“Yeah, it was a client who mentioned she was accepted to the program. We ended up talking about it and she encouraged me to take the leap as well,” says Kennedy. “Just a week or so left until the next application deadline and I decided to go for it.”

Kennedy is about to finish her first-year graduate certificate in innovation and entrepreneurship. Students can choose from four specializations that were designed to enhance their potential as health-care leaders in the areas of precision medicine, quality and safety leadership, health professions education leadership, and innovation and entrepreneurship. 

“What I appreciate the most is the health-care focus on coaching, empowering us to think entrepreneurially and lead with a mindset that promotes innovation.  Most importantly we can then use all these tools and support to change and improve health care for patients, health-care providers and the system,” says Kennedy.

With evening classes, the program is designed with the working professional in mind. It’s also stackable, meaning that students who complete the one-year graduate certificate program can earn credit toward the graduate diploma and then move on to a master’s degree in the third year.

Partnering with health leaders

The Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) boosted the transdisciplinary program through a three-year partnership with the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL) to further promote excellence in health leadership. The partnership incorporates CCHL’s LEADS framework into Precision Health Program curriculum. Learners are also eligible for the Certified Health Executive designation.

“There is tremendous opportunity in precision medicine for entrepreneurs and health leaders who are driven to move new ideas from discovery to implementation,” says Dr. Dave Anderson, PhD, academic director of the Precision Health Program.

This partnership is exciting for our learners because it provides an advantage by matching our innovative curriculum with their sought-after executive leadership credential.

Krista Chapman

Krista Chapman.

Krista Chapman is a community health-care executive who knows both CSM and CCHL as well as almost anyone. A learner in the Precision Health Program, she is about to finish year one in the innovation and entrepreneurship specialization. She is also on the CCHL Southern Alberta chapter executive and enrolled in the CCHL Certified Healthcare Executive (CHE) program.

“For me the partnership perfectly aligns with what I was already working toward,” says Chapman. “I appreciate how the LEADS framework further supports my understanding of who I am as a leader and how to best lead myself, how to effectively engage with others to work toward shared goals, and how we might best navigate the system and collaborate to support quality outcomes.”

Apply by April 15 for fall cohort

The program is recruiting for its second cohort to begin studies in September 2022. For more information or to apply for the April 15, 2022 early bird application deadline, please email prehgrad@ucalgary.ca or visit the Precision Health Program website.

Dave Anderson is a senior instructor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is the director of UCalgary’s transdisciplinary Bioinformatics program in the Bachelor of Health Sciences and a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. He is also the academic director and an instructor in the Precision Health Program.