Meet Board Candidate Zen Tharani

Name: Zen Tharani
Title: CEO
Organization: Xenex Consulting Inc.
Region: BC

How long have you been a member of Digital Health Canada?
Approximately 8 years.

Why do you want to join the Digital Health Canada Board of Directors at this point in your career?

I have built a successful 22-year career in Digital Health and eHealth.  During this time, I have supported numerous organizations and mentored countless professionals to join the cause to enable better health care through digital enablement.  I have also seen changes at Digital Health Canada that have created a better space for engagement from professionals of diverse backgrounds. I am excited about this ongoing journey and want to play and active role in this ongoing change.

How does your experience align with the Digital Health Canada strategic plan and mandate?
I hold a BSc. (Canada) and MSc. (UK) in Health Informatics. I have worked in this field for 22 years both in the public and private sectors in Canada and internationally. I am deeply committed to actively use my experience, influence, and passion to make a positive and lasting difference in advancing healthcare through information, technology, and data management. I also believe Canada has the potential of being a true leader in Digital Health and look forward to playing an active role in achieving that.

What unique skills, perspectives and contributions would you bring to the Digital Health Canada Board?
I am proud to be an immigrant to Canada where I pursued my education as a teenager and completed my higher education. Through my lived experiences of being a person of colour, I understand what it takes to create a space that encourages belonging. Throughout my career, I have been guided by my personal values of authenticity, trust, and empowerment, and my leadership is deeply rooted in these values. I will bring these values to all that I do with Digital Health Canada. I am passionate about healthcare not only due to my education and work experience but because I have experienced deep engagement with the health sector over the last 5 years for my child with additional needs. This has given me a unique perspective that I have integrated into my knowledge as a Digital Health professional. Aside from this, I have led and been part of numerous not for profit organizations where I have played a significant role in transforming how services are delivered. I will bring a unique perspective to the board; guided by my passion to give and grow those around me.

Do you or have or have you ever had any direct patient care experience (clinical)?
While I have worked in acute care settings enabling the delivery of health care, I am not a clinician by training.

What segments within the Digital Health Canada community do you feel you will best represent?
Executives/CIOs; Emerging Professionals; IM/IT Practitioners; Leaders; Healthcare Institutions; Digital Health Entrepreneurs

With which Digital Health Canada committees, task groups or activities have you volunteered in past five years? Describe your most significant contributions to Digital Health Canada’s mission.
After a thriving career in both public and private sector, and internationally, the past five years of my life have been dedicated to supporting my son who has additional needs. During this time, I completed my MSc. in Health Informatics with focus on Patient Empowerment within the Digital Health space. Though in the last five years my priority was my family, I continued to remain active as a facilitator through Digital Health Canada for CPHIMS-CA training modules, receiving excellent reviews. Over the last 5 years, I have also mentored many grads and emerging professionals in addition to countless one-on-one sessions for professionals breaking into the digital health space. Over the last few years, I have built a strong following on LinkedIn of nearly 12,000 professionals, majority of whom are actively engaged in the health space across the globe.  Through my engagement and content on platforms like LinkedIn, I have created a solid reputation as one of Canada’s digital health influencers.

I have lectured at the post-secondary level in Health Informatics and Health Information Management courses both in BC and Saskatchewan. I was inducted into the hall of fame for the World Association of Cooperative Education for my contributions to support students. Beyond the last 5 years, I have been a big supporter of Digital Health Canada and the eHealth Conference through sponsorships, presentations, and research. All this to say that for over 20 years all my professional efforts and a large part of my volunteer efforts have been to make our industry stronger, more vibrant, pluralistic, and sustainable.

What other board appointments or relevant leadership experiences have you had in the past five years?
Although my focus has been my family over the last 5 years, my commitment to giving back was as strong as always. Here are some highlights:

  • Board member of Headway Victoria (an organization supporting people living with Epilepsy and Parkinson’s). In addition to my role as a board member, I was able to help the organization implement a patient record system and helped them hire a co-op student to provide eHealth expertise, business analysis services, and implement the system. This digital enablement effort as well as engagement of health informatics expertise were firsts for this organization.
  • I was the Chair of the World Partnership Walk, in Victoria for three years, raising over $700,000 over the course of 3 year and organized a charity walk attended by 1,400 people annually with a focus to eliminate poverty.
  • For the last two years, I have been the National Director for the World Partnership Walk – Participant Experience portfolio supporting 10 walks, 40,000 walk participants, and raising over $8 Million dollars annually to eliminate global poverty.

Please tell us why you feel Digital Health Canada members should vote for you.
I am a prime example of a professional that the past Digital Health Canada leadership team has created through their work and mission. I am trained in this field, have worked in this field, I have supported and grown the digital health footprint in Canada and internationally. Now I am ready to be part of an organization that leads the digital health mission in Canada. I represent the voice of the current professionals and the future leaders who we are nurturing through our work.

Do you currently hold the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems – Canada (CPHIMS-CA) credential?
I am committed to achieving my CPHIMS-CA (renewal).

What is your educational background? Please list all degrees and designations.

  • Certificate from Harvard Medical School for Leading Digital Transformation in Healthcare
  • MSc. Health Informatics (UK)
  • BSc. Health Information Science (Canada)
  • CPHIMS-CA (requires renewal)

Please include a brief biography including highlights of experience and expertise in health informatics/digital health. 

Zen is a Digital Health professional with 22 years of experience in the social services sector across Canada and internationally. He holds an MSc. (University of Central Lancashire, UK) in Health Informatics with focus on Patient Empowerment in Digital Health and a BSc. (University of Victoria) in Health Information Science. He also holds a certificate from Harvard Medical School for Leading Digital Transformation in Healthcare. Currently, he is enrolled in a Data Analytics course to focusing on applying this education within the health sector.

He has worked nationally and internationally in both the public and private sectors. As an active Digital Health professional, he is committed to the sustainability, prosperity, and evolving role of our field both locally and globally. Zen has continued to play an active role in supporting many health sector professionals through coaching, mentorships, Co-op placements, and employment opportunities. For his ongoing commitment to coaching the future leaders, he inducted into the World Association of Cooperative Education’s Hall of Fame. Professionally, he is passionate about the positive impact that digital health can have on patients, providers, and all who are engaged in the health care system.

His commitment is to champion the interests of our field and bring forward a diverse point of view that continues to shape this sector. On the personal side, he calls Victoria, BC his home with his wife and five-year-old son. He is an avid believer in collaboration and strives everyday to create an environment based on values of trust, authenticity, and empowerment.

Meet the other candidates for election here.