2018 CSPL Excellence in Medical Leadership Award
(Chris Carruthers Award)
The CSPL presents this award annually to a physician who has made an outstanding contribution to the development and mentorship of medical leaders in the field of health services leadership and management. Dr. Gillian Kernaghan
Dr. Kernaghan was appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Joseph’s Health Care London in 2010. St. Joseph’s is a multi-sited academic health care organization serving London and the region.
Dr. Kernaghan’s passion for integrated patient care, leadership and performance excellence has inspired the organization to focus on the vision to “earn complete confidence in the care we provide.”
Prior to assuming this role, she served for 17 years as the Vice President, Medical for various hospitals in London and led the medical staff during complex restructuring in which four hospitals merged to form St. Joseph’s Health Care. Through this restructuring and various program transfers between organizations, the roles of the London hospitals dramatically changed.
In 1984, Gillian joined the medical staff of St. Joseph’s, Parkwood Hospital and London Health Sciences Centre as a family physician. She completed her residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1984 upon graduation from University of Western Ontario and was awarded her Fellowship in 2000. She is an Associate Professor in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University.
Gillian currently serves on the Ontario Hospital Association Board, the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario, is the Vice Chair of the Catholic Health Association of Ontario Board, and is Co-Chair of the CHLNet. She served as President of the Canadian Society of Physician Executives for 2010-2012. She is a past Board Member of Canadian Resident Matching Service and the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. She has served on numerous regional, provincial and national committees.
She is a frequent speaker at conferences, a certified trainer in Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability and Influencer leadership courses and a faculty member of the Physician Leadership Institute.
She has been married for 37 years and is the proud mother of three sons, three daughters-in-law and one little grandson.
Gillian’s commitment to enhancing our roles as physician leaders has lasted through her long and distinguished career. In London, for example, she conceived the Talent Management Program for clinical academics which remains to this day, to many other organizations, a model to which they aspire. The program starts with the hiring of a new clinical academic and lasts for his/her career. At every stage it strives to develop the physician’s leadership capacity and offers resources and support to ensure optimal development of his/her skills. This remarkable concept has translated into Gillian’s success as a much requested speaker on talent management, including her being in constant demand to present Physician Leadership Institute courses on this and related leadership topics. She can reasonably be seen as the pioneer of comprehensive talent management for physicians in Canada.
Finally, this review of Gillian’s roles would not be complete if it did not mention her huge contributions to the CSPL. As we have grown from a small organization to the leading national physician leader society, Gillian has been a major builder of our Society. In her roles on the Board and eventually as CSPL President, she has immeasurably helped us build our influence and our membership. She is one of a very small group of Canadian physicians that has worked tirelessly to make the CSPL what it is and one only has to attend a CCPL conference to understand the excellence of the content and the enormous effect educating and supporting so many physicians in their leadership roles can have on our health system. We are a major force for health care progress and Gillian is one of the great builders of that success.
In summary, Gillian has demonstrated her absolute commitment to enhancing our leadership as physicians, has provided, regionally, provincially and nationally, great leadership of our health care system and has helped create the CSPL’s success as the national physician leader organization.
C Robin Walker, MB, ChB, FRCPC, FAAP, CCPE
Integrated Vice President Medical Affairs & Medical Education, St Joseph’s Health Care London & London Health Sciences Centre