2020 CHIA Award Winner Pooja Patel

December 16, 2020 – Today we are pleased to announce that Pooja Patel (Provincial Health Services Authority) is the winner of the 2020 Emerging Leader Award. The Emerging Leader in Health Award recognizes individuals who are in the first five years of a digital health career and have demonstrated leadership and achieved early success.

Pooja works with a variety of clinical teams across the Provincial Health Services Authority thus far, this includes working with over 10 clinical teams in 15 locations across BC. Pooja demonstrates professionalism and a friendly and respectful demeanor with all partners and achieves results in response to the clinical teams and their needs. Her current focus is Clinical Digital Messaging, enabling text communication between patients and their clinical providers. Current projects focus on using SMS text messaging to facilitate this—specifically between clients with complex concurrent mental health and substance use challenges who are receiving treatment from BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services. This work has become a framework for the broader Clinical Digital Messaging work to address multiple clinical use cases in diverse clinical programs. Pooja is well positioned to lead the upcoming project with clinical teams to enable text messages and automatic responses using Natural Language Processing.

Pooja has been working with OVH team members to establish an intake process for the Office of Virtual Health that is driven by clinical priorities and likelihood of success in adoption of virtual health. This includes application of an evidence based tool to understand and build on the readiness of a team and patient population to maximize success in adoption of virtual health as a clinical service delivery model .

Pooja is consistently recognized for her leadership and health system improvement vision, and is recognized both on our team, and with our partners for her passion for virtual health, her exceptional project management skills and her willingness to respond to patient and program needs. She is also recognized as a principled and socially aware leader.

Along with recently completing graduate studies at the University of British Columbia, Pooja continues to engage in various professional development opportunities within our organization, including the Core Linx program, for which she was selected to participate in leadership training among other leaders at PHSA.

From January to May 2020, Pooja will be attending six day-long sessions that are grounded in the LEADS Canada program, which focuses on informative and practical leadership development, specific for health care. With the Core Linx program, Pooja will also be completing another capstone project. Pooja aims to focus on how all industries can contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change – in the case of health care, using Virtual Health as a method that the health care industry an actively work towards mitigating the effects of climate change – especially since the health care industry will feel the repercussions of climate change through a decreases in general population health status and the increase in climate-related diseases.

Pooja is also an active participant and contributor to our ongoing team education activities, by participating in conferences, webinars and reading.

Before beginning her undergraduate studies, Pooja was selected for the 2010 Tommy Douglas award through Unifor National – contributing to health care system improvement has been a goal of Pooja’s for many years. Continuously demonstrating leadership skills is a core trait Pooja has held for many years prior to working with the PHSA team.

Congratulations on your award, Pooja!

Learn more about the 2020 Canadian Health Informatics Awards here.