Meet 2023 Board of Directors Election Candidate Lorraine Blackburn

Candidate name: Lorraine Blackburn
Title: VP Professional Practice, Chief Nursing and Allied Health Officer, Chief Clinical Information Officer
Organization: Vancouver Coastal Health

As Vice President, Professional Practice, Chief Nursing & Allied Health Officer, and Chief Clinical Information Officer, Lorraine Blackburn oversees professional practice, clinical education, clinical informatics and virtual health across Vancouver Coastal Health and provides leadership to nurses and allied health professionals to achieve best practice and clinical transformation through digital health initiatives. A Registered Nurse with over 23 years of experience, Lorraine began her career as a frontline nurse on acute surgical and medical units, and then as a transplant coordinator. She was responsible for building the first clinical informatics team within her organization, a group that is now critical to the implementation and sustainment of digital solutions across the organization. Passionate, strategic, and effective, Lorraine is a values-based leader who brings a strong track record of building high-performance teams while promoting integrated systems and processes to foster sustainability and best practices that achieve organizational objectives and improve the quality of patient care.  Lorraine holds a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of British Columbia (UBC,) a Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Calgary and a Post-Master Certificate in Health Informatics from the University of Colorado, Denver.  She is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Nursing at the UBC.  When not at work, Lorraine enjoys living with her family on the west coast, camping and enjoying the outdoors.

How long have you been a member of Digital Health Canada?

I first joined Digital Health Canada in 2018 and then became a member of the Chief Executive group in 2021.

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

We are at a pivotal time in Canada related to the adoption and integration of digital technologies into healthcare.  The current healthcare climate, with limited resources and intense HHR pressures, has created an even stronger call to action.  More than ever it’s critical that we collaborate, share, and innovate toward solutions that will make a difference in solving the right problems.  How we successfully integrate digital technologies into our ecosystem, while existing in a severely stressed system with HHR and fiscal challenges, will be critical to our future and achieving success in all aspects of the quintuple aim. As a vibrant, active and connected organization which represents professionals from diverse backgrounds, I am excited about the role that Digital Health Canada can play to advance and influence this future, and I look forward to being a part of this work.

How does your experience align with the Digital Health Canada strategic plan and mandate?

During my own career growth within the digital realm, I have recognized the generosity of peers, mentors and other professionals in sharing their wisdom and expertise. Likewise, as we developed capacity within our organization in terms of clinical informatics and digital health more broadly, learning from other organizations and then sharing back has been critical to our successes. This continues to be part of the culture that I strive to build amongst teams, along with a commitment to continued growth and learning. This is aligned strongly with the key priorities of Digital Health Canada of empowering individuals, knowledge sharing and life-long learning, and advancement & advocacy.

What unique skills, perspectives and contributions would you bring to the Digital Health Canada Board?

Working as a nurse and senior leader in a large, integrated health organization that crosses geographically diverse areas (urban, rural and remote) and that covers the continuum of care (acute, long-term care, public health, primary care, home health & home support and mental health services) has allowed me to gain experience within diverse clinical contexts.  At the same time, having a role that stretches across all areas allows a holistic view of the opportunities where digital solutions can support an integrated experience for both those experiencing care within the system and the clinicians providing care.  Within my current portfolio that includes professional practice and clinical education support for nursing and allied health professions, and clinical informatics and virtual health, I am positioned well to understand the impact of digital technologies on individuals and clinical teams in the public healthcare context.

Do you or have or have you ever had any direct patient care experience (clinical)?

I am a Registered Nurse with over 23 years of experience in the public health system in both Alberta and British Columbia.  I started my career in medical surgical nursing (orthopedics, cardiac, renal) and also solid organ transplant (post-transplant hospital care and pre-transplant ambulatory care).  I have spent a portion of my career in professional practice, which means I have had exposure to diverse practice settings across the continuum of care and worked with teams to apply practice standards including in the digital realm, revise or create models of care, and understand the regulation and legislation related scopes of practice.

What segments within the Digital Health Canada community do you feel you will best represent?

  • Executives/CIOs
  • Telehealth
  • Clinicians
  • Leaders
  • Healthcare Institutions

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.

I have participated as a panel presenter at regional conferences. I have supported my team to be fully integrated into Digital Health Canada.  With nearly fifty memberships, our organization has hosted several Webinar Wednesdays, are frequent presenters at the eHealth Conference, and have representation on the CHIEF advisory board. As part of the CHIEF Executive Forum’s partnership with CHIME, I recently participated in the inaugural offering of the CHIME Certified Healthcare CIO (CHCIO) program.  

What other board appointments or relevant leadership experiences have you had in the past five years?

In my current role, I am a member of the senior executive team within my organization and I also sit on several provincial tables.  These include the Provincial Nursing and Allied Health Council, the Provincial Chief Information Officer Digital Committee, and the Pharmaceutical Care Provincial Advisory Committee (PCPAC).  I work closely with other BC health organizations, the Ministry of Health and academic partners to drive forward shared digital health interests.

Please tell us why you feel Digital Health Canada members should vote for you.

As an experienced, clinical leader in the public healthcare sector, I am excited by the perspective I could bring to the Digital Health board along with the other members in driving forward the strategic priorities of the organization for its members. My colleagues describe me as dedicated, thoughtful, collaborative and strategic; I will bring this lens to the Digital Health Canada Board.

Do you currently hold the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems – Canada (CPHIMS-CA) credential?

Committed to achieving my CPHIMS-CA 

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

I have a Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Calgary and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of British Columbia.  In 2021 I completed a Post-Master Certificate in Health Informatics at the University of Colorado, Denver. I also hold the Certified Healthcare Chief Information Officer certification through CHIME.