Wayfinder Consulting
Guidance and Solutions

Susan E. Smith

I have been providing strategic and operational leadership to support health care, the life sciences, and communities for almost twenty years. Committed to evidence based practice, I am attuned to identifying opportunities and gaps, and to formulating practical solutions to complex system issues. Building relationships and developing collaborative consensus among diverse groups has been a hallmark of my career.

My expertise in melding cultures and leading the management of change has been developed from practical application: I have guided large-scale physical plant reconstruction and transition projects for clinical departments; developed and implemented models of governance for medical staff of large health authorities; negotiated alternate funding models for diverse groups; developed health human resource plans for multiple health authorities and practitioner groups; and supported the development of innovative life science research proposals.

While the early years of my career were focused in an academic health science setting, my client base now spans rural and urban, academic and community-based.

I offer my clients strong leadership and strategic management expertise, and a unique combination of political and business acumen, people skills, and extensive operational experience in the health care/life sciences environment. My growing cadre of repeat clients assures me that I am bringing value to their organizations.

My formal education includes a BSc (Hons), and an MBA. I am a fellow of both the Canadian College of Health Service Executives and the Canadian Health Service Research Foundation EXTRA Program.

Highlights of my early career in the Department of Ophthalmology at Capital Health/Dalhousie University include the development of a Clinical Research Unit in 1994, and the complete redevelopment and construction of Atlantic Canada’s state of the art regional Eye Care Centre in 1998 — work processes were redesigned, patient care was refocused, and a new standard for hospital facility design was established in Halifax. This area of expertise was further developed in 2000, when I provided high-level direction to the development of a new ophthalmology clinic for the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

My role as Director of the Medical Services portfolio at Capital Health permitted me unique opportunities to develop the governance model and structures to support the 1100 members of the medical community as it merged from 13 facilities to a single organization. In 2001-02, I led the consultation and development processes resulting in the ministerial approval of the Capital Health Medical Staff (General) Bylaws, and the Capital Health Medical Staff Rules and Regulations in 2004. As Director, I was responsible for the provision of strategic physician human resource advice to Capital Health’s senior management team.

I developed and implemented the Capital Health Physician Resource Planning framework, and created an innovative methodology for Impact Assessment that has been implemented across the province of Nova Scotia. Using strategic communication tools and a sensitive approach to cultural development, I guided the development of the framework to support Alternate Funding Models and sat as a member of the Capital Health AFP Negotiations Team for several years.


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(902) 457-2433
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