Chris is an experienced entrepreneur and senior leader that combines strategic thinking with an action-oriented approach to drive large change and transformation initiatives. Chris is a certified project management professional (PMP) with a proven track record of successfully delivering projects and has led numerous IT system implementations (50+) in various clinical settings across Western Canada. Chris has spent the majority of his career in the healthcare sector working with both public and private organizations and has built significant expertise on the implementation of Electronic Medical Records, Hospital Information Systems, and other digital health technologies. Chris is an active member in his local health innovation community and has a strong interest in identifying and validating how emerging digital health solutions can be successfully integrated into our current healthcare system. Chris has also worked as a mentor, advisor, and investor within many health start-up, scale-up and established businesses and organizations and is known as a community builder dedicated to advancing the health innovation ecosystem through commercialization efforts.
How long have you been a member of Digital Health Canada?
Why do you want to join the Digital Health Canada Board of Directors at this point in your career?
I have been working in the Digital Health space for over 15 years and believe that I have the appropriate level of knowledge and experience to meaningfully contribute to the DHC Board. As a long-standing member of DHC I have experienced first-hand the value that the organization brings and am now in a position to contribute my time, network, and experience to continuing to further the DHC mandate. Over the past few years, our industry has made significant advancements and I want to do whatever I can to ensure that the momentum we have can be used to further advance the digital health industry. I have current and relevant experience working in both the public and private sectors and believe that this view can assist in developing novel ways of forming needed partnerships to further advance our sector.
How does your experience align with the Digital Health Canada strategic plan and mandate?
The DHC vision and mission are grounded in the collaborative spirit that is required to grow the Digital Health industry in Canada. The current strategic plan outlines three key priorities that are well aligned with my past and current experience: Empowering Individuals – I pride myself on the network that I have established and the relationships that I have been fortunate enough to build in the digital health industry in Canada and internationally. Much of the work that I am currently involved in focuses on bringing the right partners together to solve complex problems through the implementation or introduction of digital health innovations into the healthcare setting. Understanding and identifying what each partner can bring and empowering them to contribute, ensures that buy-in is achieved resulting in shared success. I also believe it is important to empower individuals at all levels of their careers to ensure we collectively have a balanced approach to all initiatives and activities. Fostering confidence in all members of our digital health community will not only empower members as individuals but will help to strengthen our DHC community. Knowledge sharing and life-long learning – There are a number of interesting initiatives in our sector that demonstrate the power that our DHC community can have. Ensuring these experiences and lessons learned are shared will enable our sector to continue to grow. In many of the projects that I am currently involved in, it is a core belief that an evaluation be completed to ensure that knowledge and experience gained can be shared as broadly as possible. The environment and culture of DHC promotes this sharing and has allowed me to distribute my own learning far beyond specific projects and initiatives. A position on the board would allow me to more formally encourage this continuous sharing across the community so we can all continue to learn and grow together. Advancement and advocacy – as a Digital Health Canada member, it is our collective responsibility to continue to innovate and push the boundaries on transforming our health care system. I have spent the last 5+ years working specifically in the innovation space and with digital health entrepreneurs to assist with the introduction of novel products into our ecosystem. I was involved in multiple virtual care projects prior to the pandemic to help build a case for new models of care. I have been involved in Home Health Monitoring projects that introduce and support alternatives to traditional primary care delivery models, and have supported numerous leading-edge projects to enable innovators to have more readily available access to data through synthetic data initiatives and integration programs. All of these initiatives enable members of our community to see the possibilities that digital health innovation can bring. A more formal role with DHC would further support my efforts to continue to be a catalyst for bringing organizations together, recognizing my experience in this field and further augment my efforts to support others coming into the sector as well.
What unique skills, perspectives and contributions would you bring to the Digital Health Canada Board?
I have been fortunate to be part of a diverse set of projects and initiatives in healthcare and in other sectors across Canada and internationally. These projects have allowed me to work with all types of organizations (e.g., public sector, industry, post-secondary institutions, non-profit, start-ups, etc.) and play different roles within each organization. This diverse experience allows me to look at topics from a variety of perspectives and allows me to be balanced in my approach and thoughts. Although most of my experience is in the health sector, I am also able to bring ideas and insights from other sectors and jurisdictions that I have worked in. Much of my career has been spent in project management roles allowing me to develop a solid methodology and approach to any challenge. I have and am currently actively involved in many different digital health and innovation communities, allowing me to stay current on emerging trends and topics impacting our industry. Involvement in these communities/groups also ensure that various perspectives are represented.
Do you or have or have you ever had any direct patient care experience (clinical)?
I have not had any direct patient care experience. However, I have been responsible for leading projects and implementing systems in a variety of clinical settings and am keenly aware of the need to engage the right people to bring that perspective as I thoroughly understand that the patient and provider voice are key in the success of any digital health Initiative.
What segments within the Digital Health Canada community do you feel you will best represent? Select all that apply.
- IM/IT Practitioners
- 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.
Over the past five years I have been able to increase my involvement in the DHC committees and activities. I am currently a volunteer Advisory Committee member of the Alberta DHC Chapter and am actively involved in the facilitation of Chapter meet-ups and events. This year I have presented at multiple DHC Webinar Wednesdays to showcase and share learnings from innovative projects. I have also volunteered as a planning committee member for the Western Region Virtual Conference, as an e-Health abstract reviewer, as well as participated on the 2021 DHC Awards Task Force and award review committee. In previous years I have participated in the DHC Virtual Care Working Group and participated in the development of the Virtual Care Lexicon as well as on in the round table discussions on the 2020-2023 DHC strategic plan. I have thoroughly enjoyed my involvement in these activities and discussions and although they contribute to the growth of DHC, I believe my most significant contribution to the DHC mission is the work done outside of these organized groups to connect and empower digital health professionals or those that may be interested in what DHC has to offer. I prioritize promoting the benefit of these connections across our industry by building and supporting partnerships that demonstrate the impact of digital health projects. I have been involved in mentorship and networking events focused on the digital health community (e.g., Emerging Health Leaders) and have participated as a speaker and guest lecturer to help promote what a career in digital health can look like.
What other board appointments or relevant leadership experiences have you had in the past five years?
Over the past 5 years I have held a number of leadership positions on a variety of initiatives that will assist in working on the DHC Board. Some specific examples include my role as the Working Group Co-Lead for Health Cities, a Canadian not-for-profit that works with clinicians, innovators, philanthropic organizations, and companies to develop new pathways of care that can drive better health outcomes and economic development in the health sector. This role included forming and recruiting key community members into each of the four Working Groups (i.e., Talent, Financing, Access to Data, Commercialization) that were the four pillars key to addressing and accelerating health innovation in Alberta. Each working group was responsible for discussing key issues in their respective stream and then determining key actions that could help to make positive contributions to the space. My role was to facilitate these working group discussions and assist in the development of tangible plans to ensure that action was taken and change was made. I have also led initiatives that span multiple organizations and jurisdictions and understand the importance of collaboration and consensus building to achieve common goals.
Please tell us why you feel Digital Health Canada members should vote for you.
By voting for me, members can expect to have a Director that is well-positioned to draw on a diverse work-experience. Having worked across the continuum from public and private sector, both within the country and internationally. These experiences have allowed me to have a more fulsome understanding of the many critical aspects of digital health. I have also had the privilege of working on digital health projects from the point of inception to implementation, but have also worked through the sustainment and evaluation for continuous improvement. I would bring this broad range of experience and perspective to the board. I would also regularly check in with my own network and those within DHC to gain further insights and ensure my role and decision-making reflects the membership where required. I would be a valuable member of the Board as I am always open to hearing from others across the organizations and beyond to promote its efforts and grow the network even further. I am also open to meeting with any current or future member of DHC to discuss the vision, hopes, and ideas for DHC and better understand how I can represent and communicate this input as a Board Member. Please feel free to reach out or book a meeting to discuss (https://calendly.com/chris-carvalho/dhc).
Do you currently hold the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems – Canada (CPHIMS-CA) credential?
No. Committed to achieving my CPHIMS-CA.
What is your educational background? Please list all degrees and designations.
I graduated from the University of Victoria with a B.Sc. in Health Information Science and am a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).