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10 min with Mr Jeff Mainland, Executive Vice-President of the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Katherine Bailey1,2,
  2. Jeff Mainland3
  1. 1 Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2 Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3 The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Katherine Bailey, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada; katherine.bailey{at}

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What are the key leadership messages you want to get out to the BMJ Leader readership?


Mr Jeff Mainland, BSc, MBA is the Executive Vice-President at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has nearly 20 years of experience in leadership at Canadian paediatric academic health centres. Starting his career in Nuclear Medicine, Mr Mainland gained invaluable clinical experience working with patients and their families. He has since held several leadership roles in the public sector, including Executive Officer at the Office of the Chief Coroner, and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Premier for the Province of Ontario. Mr Mainland is an accomplished healthcare leader with extensive experience in quality improvement, patient safety, strategy, operations and communications.

My key leadership messages are: (1) pursue and embrace the power of partnerships and collaboration, (2) strive for progress over perfection, (3) become comfortable leading through ambiguity and (4) consider data as one of your biggest assets in decision-making. Leaders have had to become more comfortable with ambiguity throughout the pandemic. For example, policy directions and the science around COVID-19 have been at times unclear. With the prevalence of social media, there is constant speculation and innuendo circulating. What we have had to learn is that decision-making needs to remain flexible and processes need to remain nimble. We will not always have perfect solutions and answers readily available during these times of uncertainty. We have had to make decisions based of the best information and data that are available at the time and recognise that things may not be perfect. The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is striving to become a data-driven enterprise. When possible, I use data to inform my decisions and ensure they are communicated transparently to our staff. For example, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was significant uncertainty over personal protective equipment (PPE) supply. We developed a dashboard of …

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  • Author note Interview Date: 30 June 2021.

  • Contributors KB drafted the manuscript based on the interview. JM edited the manuscript. Both authors approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.