Not Goodbye, But See You Soon

Photo of Polly Stevens and Greg King
Polly Stevens and Greg King, HIROC's VP of Finance & Operations

This month Polly Stevens will be retiring from her role as Vice President, Healthcare Safety & Risk Management at HIROC. Over the course of Polly’s 35-year career in clinical operations, quality, patient safety and risk management, she has made an incredible impact on healthcare in Canada.

Luckily Polly won’t be going too far, as she shifts to a new role dedicated to strategy, learning and leadership development at HIROC.

“We are incredibly privileged to have had Polly’s expertise, compassion and her focus on strategy, best practice, research evidence and learning,” said Catherine Gaulton, CEO of HIROC. “Along with our leadership team, Polly has helped strengthen the organization as we look to the future of healthcare safety. We are equally lucky to have the benefit of Polly’s continued leadership into the future as we action our 2020 to 2023 strategic plan.”

As of June 30, subscribers and partners may contact Arlene Kraft, interim Vice President, Healthcare Safety & Risk Management (

We will be taking the opportunity to more formally celebrate Polly’s contributions in the fall. Stay tuned for your invitation to an event to honour Polly’s commitment to learning in the interest of improving care for those we serve.

We sat down with Polly to chat about where she’s been and what’s next. 

Can you tell us about your most memorable moments during your time at HIROC?

Polly: The people have been the most memorable part of my time at HIROC – including the wonderful team at HIROC, those at subscriber organizations who I have been privileged to interact with, and those working at partner organizations.

If I had to pick a specific moment (or two) I would have to say:

  1. the decision we made as an organization to ‘open source’ our knowledge and resources, making them freely available on our website; and,
  2. when we officially launched our Risk Register application after an agile co-creation process with our subscriber steering committee and IT partner Datix. It is not often you can be first in the world at something, and this was it for us – the first shared platform for managing top organizational risks across the healthcare system. Who knew?

What’s one thing you learned about our subscribers over the course of your career?

Polly: This is something that I was reminded of time and time again during my career. Healthcare is a challenging industry to be in with its unrelenting demand for services, lightning fast pace of change, extraordinary levels of complexity, and chronic lack of resources. Amidst all of this, I am so impressed by the optimism shown by subscriber leaders and the laser focus they have on making the system better for the patients and families they serve.

We hear you’re moving into a new role at HIROC, starting fall 2019.

Polly: Yes, I am. My new role will focus on two things I love: developing and implementing strategy, and teaching and developing leaders. The two come together well as HIROC moves to become even more subscriber focused – supporting cross-functional teams undertaking rapid cycles of learning and innovation.  I’m excited to see what’s in store.