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Apply NOW - Early Career Health Leaders Program - Starting in January, 2025

"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn." – Benjamin Franklin

Continue to deepen and refine your own leadership practice after completing your graduate studies. Encourage interested staff, friends and colleagues in health care to apply to this unique immersive experience in health leadership.

Applications are open until October 30, 2024 from early career health leaders:

  • who have completed a graduate degree in health care in the past 5-7 years (including graduate programs in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, Rotman School of Management, IHPME and DLSPH) and other universities and colleges with graduate program in health;

  • are currently in leadership roles in health (leadership roles are broadly defined to include leadership positions or roles in health organizations as well as leadership in health advocacy or community development).

For more information about this initiative, please contact Wendy Nelson, Founder and Project Lead at To listen to the experiences of past participants or to book a 1:1 conversation about the program, please visit

Overview of the Program

The Early Career Health Leaders Program brings together two leadership groups in a "circle of trust" for dialogue about leadership: leaders embarking on careers in health leadership (early career leaders/mentees) and mid- to late-career leaders with experience across broad sectors in health (established leaders/mentors). Dialogue sessions provide a unique opportunity for early career leaders to self-reflect, share experiences, and exchange ideas about leadership in an intimate, small group setting. 1:1 coaching sessions with mentors allows an opportunity to turn reflections about health leadership into action. Breakout groups provide an opportunity for networking and relationship building between peers and mentors.

Ultimately, this experience supports and develops early career health leaders after completing graduate studies to successfully navigate the complexities of leadership and create positive change within Canada’s health system.

Program Aims

The program is designed to provide a positive learning environment that achieves the following objectives:

  • facilitates reflection and formal assessment related to the values, competencies and skills of effective leadership in health in early career stages

  • fosters practical insights and authentic conversation about inclusive leadership and leading positive change in health organizations and the broader health system,

  • allows networking among and between participants and includes 1:1 coaching and mentorship to augment leadership development;

  • provides the opportunity to examine diverse experiences, thoughts and insights about contemporary health leadership

Core Offerings

1. Personal Leadership Assessment: Proven leadership tools designed specifically for early career leaders assists individuals explore current leadership practice and create leadership development goals at the outset of the program. These instruments approach leadership as a learnable set of behaviours and helps early career leaders examine their current leadership behaviors and competencies today. All participants will complete a leadership self-assessment as part the programme and review results individually with Program Faculty.

2. Dialogue Series: The foundation of Vernissage Health™ is a series of eight small group sessions — or “hosted conversations” – scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays from January to April, 2025. There is one introductory in-person session in January and other sessions are held online (using Zoom).

3. Individual Coaching and Mentoring: All participants will be assigned to work with an established leader/mentor who will provide personal coaching and mentorship in achievement of a primary leadership development goal. (See the bios of mentors in the 2024 program. Mentors for 2025 are being finalized.) During the program, each participant will be eligible to receive a minimum of three 1:1 coaching sessions with their mentor, scheduled at dates/time convenient to all parties.

4. Leadership Development Action Plan: By the end of the dialogue series, participants will be asked to create a leadership narrative and leadership development action plan to improve and deepen their leadership practices. At the Summation Session, a celebratory dinner held six months after the series ends, all participants come together to check in on their leadership journey, to celebrate achievements and offer encouragement on the "journey of leadership".

Course Fees:

A fee to cover out-of-pocket expenses will be payable in full upon acceptance into the program. Participants may be eligible for continuing education credits from professional colleges. A receipt for fees paid will be available for tax purposes.

Application Process and Deadline: October 30, 2024 To apply to the program, please complete the following:

  1. Schedule a brief exploratory conversation with Wendy Nelson, Founder and Project Lead at or attend an information session later this fall.

  1. Send cover letter and curriculum vitae to

  2. Complete the application survey

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