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Meet Marie Pinard, C-QuIPS associate director for Women’s College Hospital

One of Marie Pinard’s top goals as the new associate director with the Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (C-QuIPS) for Women’s College Hospital is no secret: she wants to get more interprofessional health care leaders involved in quality improvement (QI) and patient safety. As a nurse by background, Pinard has spent her career engaged in quality improvement at SickKids and Women’s College Hospital, and now she’s helping inspire others.

“Quality and safety need leadership in both the academic and operational worlds so part of our work is helping create a bridge between the two,” she said. “When you have more interprofessional providers trained in QI, you get more of those critical QI skills into the front lines of the health system which leads to meaningful changes and safer care.”

Pinard has been affiliated with C-QuIPS for almost a decade, providing support as a mentor to students and an instructor for the Centre’s certificate course. When Women’s College became part of C-QuIPS earlier this year – joining established partners Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children (‘SickKids’) and the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine – it was a natural fit for Pinard to take on the associate director role, said Dr. Brian Wong, C-QuIPS director.

“C-QuIPS is focused on accelerating and deepening the work of people and organizations that are passionate about enhancing quality and patient safety,” he said. “And Marie has been involved with this work for years – initially as a front-line nurse and then in a variety of hospital-based leadership roles. And it’s the wealth of experience that Marie has accrued over the years that we are so excited to draw upon as we attempt to better align the work we do with the organizations we partner with.”

Working at Women’s College where a significant focus is on ambulatory care, one of Pinard’s other goals is to expand the quality lens to capture areas beyond inpatient practice.

“C-QuIPS provides access to so much knowledge and expertise that we can leverage, and education programs that can help develop more health leaders,” she said. “I drank the Kool-Aid; QI has been my whole career and I’m so passionate about getting more people involved – I’m excited to help build our QI community by getting more of my colleagues at Women’s College involved in this important work.”

Dr. Amanda Mayo is C-QuIPS’ new associate director for Sunnybrook

Dr. Amanda Mayo recognizes that COVID-19 has brought countless challenges to the health system. At the same time, she also sees hope – that the pandemic will lead to more innovative care models for better person-centred and equitable care. This year, health care has adapted and evolved much faster than ever before and magnified disparities in outcomes.

“Virtual care innovations have accelerated in the pandemic, enabling access to care for patients sheltering at home and creating collaborative care models between providers,” she said, “ We have had virtual care technologies for years – there was just no urgency to do high quantity and quality virtual care until now. At the same time, it’s become clear that these resources don’t work for everyone – there are patients without access to technology, so we still have work to do.”

Dr. Mayo has been involved in making necessary changes – she’s currently working on creating a virtual orthopaedic consult care pathway for long-term care residents with fractures, preventing elderly patients from having to wait long hours in Emergency Departments and having to quarantine after acute care hospital visits. And now, as the new Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (C-QuIPS) associate director for Sunnybrook, she’ll be able to get more people involved in quality improvement work to shape better, safer care.

C-QuIPS – a joint partnership between the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine and three of its major teaching hospitals, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, the Hospital for Sick Children (‘SickKids’) and Women’s College Hospital – focuses on research and education to accelerate and deepen the work of people and organizations that are passionate about enhancing quality and patient safety.

“Amanda brings a unique perspective to the Centre with her background in clinical engineering and human factors,” said Dr. Brain Wong, director of C-QuIPS. “She has been deeply involved in our two major certificate courses and has been instrumental in training the next generation of quality leaders. We’re thrilled she’s coming on board in this role to continue supporting this important work.”

Dr. Mayo first became involved with C-QuIPS five years ago as an instructor in the Excellence in Quality Improvement Certificate Program (EQUIP).

“I’m excited to be taking on the associate director role because quality improvement work is close to my heart,” she said. “One of the things we’re trying to is build a community of QI practice within the health care community – both physicians and interprofessional providers. We’re blessed in Toronto and at Sunnybrook to have a strong QI background, so I see my work as supporting the Centre to bring these individuals together to collaborate on bigger projects that lead to significant system improvements.

Introducing Dr. Olivia Ostrow, new C-QuIPS associate director for SickKids

Dr. Olivia Ostrow is here to break down silos in health care. As a staff physician in the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, a medical safety leader at the Hospital for Sick Children and an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto, her focus is on bringing people together to find innovative ways to keep patients safe, and use resources more wisely to provide high quality care.

And as a newly appointed associate director with the Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (C-QuIPS), she has a bigger platform to do exactly that.

“In this role, I hope to continue building quality improvement capacity at SickKids while also creating a bridge between the hospital and C-QuIPS to help tackle our quality and safety priorities,” she said. “The pandemic has made quality and safety even more relevant and there’s plenty of opportunity to grow these spaces, especially for pediatrics.”

C-QuIPS, a joint partnership between the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine and three of its major teaching hospitals, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, the Hospital for Sick Children (‘SickKids’), and Women’s College Hospital, focuses on research and education to accelerate and deepen the work of people and organizations that are passionate about enhancing quality and patient safety.

Dr. Brian Wong, C-QuIPS director, said Dr. Ostrow’s experience fits in perfectly with C-QuIPS’ mission.

“Dr. Ostrow is a well-established quality improvement and patient safety leader whose work has had an impact at institutional, regional and national levels,” he said. “Prior to taking on the role of associate director, she served as our C-QUIPS certificate course co-director and was instrumental in building capacity amongst clinicians and fellows to lead quality improvement work at SickKids. We are thrilled to welcome her in her new role, and certain that her expertise in health system improvement and focus on patient safety and resource stewardship will elevate the Centre’s ability to impact even more change in the years to come.”

Dr. Ostrow’s work as a course director for C-QuIPS’ co-learning curriculum in quality improvement program has already led her to help create unlikely teams focused on improving the health system – in the program, faculty members and trainees from eleven divisions in the Department of Paediatrics learn about quality improvement and work on real projects together.

“What I really like about quality improvement work is that you can have a pediatric emergency doctor and a urologist in the same room and, when you’re talking about quality and safety, it often doesn’t matter that we practice in very different fields of medicine,” she said. “We all share the same goal of striving to see change and a willingness to tackle complex problems to develop sustainable improvements so we can support better outcomes for patients.”

Congratulations to C-QuIPS Members: Jerome Leis, Yulia Lin and Christine Soong on getting a spotlight for their QI work in the recent report by Health Quality Ontario.

According to a new report released earlier this week by Health Quality Ontario and Choosing Wisely Canada, Ontario health care providers are successfully working to provide and improve quality care by reducing unnecessary care to patients across Ontario.


This report showcased leaders that are implementing Choosing Wisely Canada Recommendations to Improve Quality of Care and featured examples of successful programs led by clinical leaders some of which are successful QI projects implemented by C-QuIPS Members:Dr. Jerome Leis on Using Catheters Wisely at Sunnybrook Health Science CentreDr. Yulia Lin on Ontario Transfusion Quality Improvement Plan at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre and Dr. Christine Soong on Reducing Unnecessary Sedative-Hypnotic Use In Hospitalized Patients at Mount Sinai Hospital.


To learn more about these projects and Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations being implemented by Ontario’s clinical community, click here to read the full report.

Latest News: Congratulations to C-QuIPS Certificate Course former grads for receiving Joan Lesmond Quality Excellence Award

Congratulations to the C-QuIPS Certificate Course graduates, Drs. Tara O’Brien and Sam Sabbah and their team on receiving the Joan Lesmond Quality Excellence Award from Women’s College Hospital (WCH) for their Acute Ambulatory Assessment to Avoid Inpatient Admission (5-Alpha) initiative.


The Joan Lesmond Quality Excellence Award offers an opportunity to highlight quality improvements and innovations across WCH that improve care and outcomes, engage patients and families, redesign systems and processes, utilize new technologies and/or support innovation and spread knowledge.


The Acute Ambulatory Assessment to Avoid Inpatient Admission initiative is a system redesign offering patients visiting the University Health Network emergency department rapid follow-up in WCH’s Acute Ambulatory Care Unit. These patients would otherwise be referred to general internal medicine (GIM) and potentially admitted to hospital, leading to longer emergency department wait times and increased costs. The 5-Alpha team was able to provide urgent GIM assessment and management to patients with acute internal medicine conditions in an ambulatory setting.


Congratulations to the winners!

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