Wisdom of the Past

What others have said about life and leadership....


Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Developing Emerging Leaders In Health Care

Vernissage Health focusses on the inner work of leadership in health care.   Through self reflection, storytelling and deep listening, emerging leaders are invited to cultivate the mindsets and awareness required to lead positive change in health care.  Together, with established leaders later in their careers, we learn the ‘art and craft of leadership’.

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Health Leaders Dialogue Series

The exploration of leadership is undertaken during a series of dialogue sessions between emerging (graduate students and early career leaders) and established leaders (mid to late-career leaders) in health care. Woven together, these sessions form a “conversation” about leadership - with one another and within ourselves. 

During sessions, each participant is invited to listen, share stories and reflect.  Poetry, mindfulness, and affirmations are just some of the unique offerings used within the series to deepen learning and long-term impact.  Using our Touchstones of Dialogue, Vernissage Health hosts create a safe and trusting environment where people feel invited to speak from the heart about leadership. 

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Built to Lead Podcast Series

The Built to Lead podcast series is an annual student-directed companion initiative augmenting the Dialogue Series for Health Leaders.  Built on the leadership tenets of Vernissage Health, this podcast profiles a diverse range of health leaders in reflective conversations about their leadership beliefs and journeys.  Each episode is an engaging conversation, hosted by emerging leaders, exploring contemporary aspects of health care leadership.  Built to Lead is available on all major streaming platforms.


Leadership Coaching and Mentoring

The Vernissage Health project team of established leaders provides a variety of innovative mentorship and coaching offerings to support graduate students and alumni early in their career in health care leadership. Preferential access to coaches and mentors is given to alumni who have completed the Health Leaders Dialogue Series.


Special Sessions

For those emerging leaders who want a dive deep into different aspects of their leadership practices, Vernissage Health hosts tailored sessions for small group learning.  Topics have included Deepening the Art of Storytelling in Health care, Leadership During Crisis, and Exploring the Mindsets of Leadership.  Registration is required.  To request a small group session for your health team or organization, please contact the Project Lead directly.


Project Team

The Vernissage Health Project Team consists of University-affiliated, established leaders with significant leadership experience at the executive level in the health system in Canada.  In particular, all have focused on leading or facilitating positive health system change and transformation.   The Team also possesses a firm commitment to mentoring future leaders in health care and providing guidance for their personal and professional development.   All members of the Vernissage Health Project Team possess a proven track record of respecting, promoting, and appreciating diversity in health care and its leadership practices.


Wendy Nelson

IHPME Senior Fellow
Founder and Project Lead, Vernissage Health


Malcolm Moffat

IHPME Senior Fellow
Project Co-Lead


Dr. Isser Dubinsky

IHPME Senior Fellow
Project Co-Lead


Rosemary Hannam

Director, Sandra Rotman Centre for Health Sector Strategy
Project Co-Lead, IHPME/Rotman Series


Arlinda Ruco

PhD Candidate, IHPME, Health Services Research
Project Co-Lead, DLSPH Series

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Dr. Michael Anderson, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Project Advisor, Vernissage Health

PhD Candidate and Senior Research Associate

Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health, DLSPH


Our Values and Teaching Touchstones

Leadership is a Garden to be Tended and a Labour of Love

Here at Vernissage Health, we are driven by a single goal - to do our part to develop and support future emerging leaders in health care who will make the world a better place for all. Our approach to leadership development is informed by evidence but emanates from empathy and compassion that grew out of our own leadership journeys. We strive to develop leaders who are self aware, listen deeply to others, are empathic and resilient.  They are also leaders who approach the world and their work with appreciation and gratitude.


Gratitude to our Partners

A Shared Aim:  Developing the Future Success of Emerging Leaders in Health Care

The Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH), the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME), and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, together, in partnership with Associated Medical Services (AMS), are pleased to support Vernissage Health.