Dr. Krista Jangaard and Catherine Woodman: The Secret Sauce to a Strong CEO-Board Relationship

Cover art of Episode 41 with Dr. Krista Jangaard and Catherine Woodman, IWK Health Centre. Images of both guests.

(Access show transcript) At the IWK Health Centre in Nova Scotia, everyone from the board-level to the frontline is dedicated to making a lasting impact on the health of the community.

Show Summary

At HIROC, we recognize the critical importance of good governance in healthcare, and its impact on safe, quality care.

What makes for a positive relationship between a senior leadership team and their Board? This year, we are digging deeper on Healthcare Change Makers and talking all about governing with impact. 

Today HIROC’s CEO, Catherine Gaulton, sits down with Krista Jangaard, President and CEO of IWK Health Centre and Catherine Woodman, IWK Board Chair. 

Krista and Catherine W. open up about what makes for good governance at the IWK. The two agree that it’s about stewarding the organization, while respecting the boundaries between the roles of the board and the senior team. 

For Krista it’s critical to get to know the board, and what they each wish to contribute – honing in on the unique wisdom of their members helps the senior team make better decisions.

Since the start of the pandemic, Krista and Catherine W. have had to be nimble and work together to ensure staff are comfortable with change. Their work is also about positioning the IWK as part of the larger system, working collaboratively to meet the challenges brought on by COVID.

Underscoring their wisdom around governance, is a passion and love for the IWK – a place that is making a lasting impact on lives for years to come.

Mentioned in this Episode


Imagine you could step inside the minds of Canada's healthcare leaders, glimpse their greatest fears, strongest drivers, and what makes them tick. Welcome to Healthcare Change Makers, a podcast where we talk to leaders about the joys and challenges of driving change and working with partners to create the safest health care system.

Philip De Souza: Welcome to Healthcare Change Makers, a podcast produced by HIROC. From communications and marketing, I'm Philip De Souza joined by HIROC CEO, Catherine Gaulton.

Philip De Souza: At HIROC, we recognize the critical importance of good governance in healthcare and its impact on safe, quality care. What makes for a positive relationship between a leadership team and their board? What are some of the challenges? We want to find out. So this year, we are digging deeper on Healthcare Change Makers and talking all about governing with impact.

Philip De Souza: Today, you'll be hearing from two leaders from the IWK Health Center located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We're fortunate to spend some time with Krista Jangaard, President and CEO, and Catherine Woodman, IWK Board Chair.

Philip De Souza: Krista has been at the IWK since 1996, and her role has evolved ever since. Moving from Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to VP of Medicine and Academic Affairs, and ultimately to her current role. Krista is also an associate professor at Dalhousie University in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Philip De Souza: Catherine is a respected leader and business advisor with deep experience in human resources and public relations across private, public and nonprofit sectors. Catherine's connections with the IWK run deep and stem from holding progressive roles, including Vice President, Allied Health and Public Relations. She later served as Director, Corporate and Public Affairs, and then Vice President, Human Resources at Maritime Life Assurance Company. Catherine was President and CEO of the Halifax United Way before assuming the role of Deputy Minister, Department of Business in Nova Scotia.

Philip De Souza: In this episode, HIROC CEO, Catherine Gaulton, steps in as host and brings us an insightful conversation about the essentials of good governance in healthcare.

Catherine Gaulton: Good morning, Krista and Catherine. Catherine, can we start with you? Really, I was thinking about the governance role for not-for-profit organizations in Canada. It can be very difficult. It's not compensated, and some would say that it's really very under appreciated. You have such a wonderful history of volunteerism and so I expect you're going to say it's just bred-in-the-bone, but could you speak to us about what compelled you to be a board member for the IWK?

Catherine Woodman: Sure. I actually would disagree with the premise about underappreciated and not compensated because for me, and I think many, there is tremendous reward and fulfillment in the work that we do with not-for-profit. And a board role is really, in my view, the most fulfilling of the various opportunities you have just because you're at the core of the organization. I love strategy and I love people and the dynamics of the senior leadership contribution, so being close to that really jazzes me, and I love it. So I feel that there is definitely a soft currency in terms of compensation and the appreciation kind of flows through your own self worth, I guess.

Catherine Woodman: The IWK has been close to me for years. I started my career very wet behind the ears as a telethon coordinator when it was, in fact, the first ever Children's Miracle Network telethon that the IWK had embarked upon. It wasn't even considered to be a permanent thing yet and I was really fresh out of school. So a very temporary job, I guess, and I stayed there for 10 years and ended up at the senior management table as a vice president and left as Vice President of Allied Health and Public Relations. Left because I figured I should move along in my career and seek new opportunities.

Catherine Woodman: But I stayed close to the IWK. I served the board in a previous round in my mid, late-30s, mid-40s. I'd had my three children born at the IWK. And then, as life would unfold, my youngest daughter was very ill with a chronic illness and we spent many, many weeks as inpatients, and then many, many afternoons and days as outpatients for her care. Now that young woman is a nurse at the IWK, nursing on the same unit where she was cared for. She was inspired to become a nurse because of her time at that hospital and witnessing the degree of care and support and the difference that the healthcare team made for her.

Catherine Woodman: So it's always been, since very early in my career, in my life, very close to me. I have a deep love for the organization, a deep respect for the purpose, and I guess you would say a passion for the organization and the people there.

Catherine Gaulton: That's phenomenal, Catherine. I'm thinking about all of the perspectives that you bring to this role. The IWK is so privileged to have you. You've really seen it from every corner, and so that perspective added through governance, it's just, I think, a true privilege for an organization to have. That's great.

Catherine Gaulton: It's interesting, I was thinking about this, but I will ask you both the question about what is a CEO and a board's respective lens about the relationship and what good governance means, particularly in the context of that relationship? It was certainly a question I was asked when I was joining HIROC about what do you see to be the role of the board and this relationship of board and management. So there's a question for both of you here, which is what does good governance mean from your different perspectives? Krista, perhaps we could ask you to start.

Krista Jangaard: Yeah, thank you, Catherine. It's an interesting question, and governance is not something that I spend a lot of time particularly thinking about in my training as a physician. So when I moved to a more administrative part of my role, I actually went to look up and talk about governance a little bit. And really, in my mind, governance is about understanding roles and responsibilities and understanding accountability, and making sure that there are articulated processes to help decision making. I think if I boil governance down, it's how do we work together to make the best decisions for the organization that we need to do? And it's about facilitating that decision making, because if people know what the roots are and who's responsible for what, understanding which parts of those decisions are theirs to make, which parts of the decisions can be made by others, and which parts need some input from someone else. So that to me is the core of governance.

Krista Jangaard: I mean, my main thinking about why we need to have good governance is because it allows the organization to function better. It allows us to function better, and in that way we then meet our goals and our objectives, which really are how we provide the best care for patients and how we pursue research and how we do in our teaching with our academic partners.

Krista Jangaard: My role in governance, I find when I try to delineate what my role versus the board role, is really I see myself as a pivot between understanding and being a very important part of the operations of the health center, and pivoting and being a very important part with the board of that strategic lens and looking at what's coming next and facilitating the board, having the information they need to be able to make the decisions they do. So that's kind of how I think of governance. It's something that I think we are well stood by if we talk about it and articulate it and make sure that the people actually understand what's in their ballpark and what they need to get assistance with.

Catherine Gaulton: Thank you. And Catherine, your thoughts on this and this crucial role between the board and the CEO?

Catherine Woodman: I concur with everything Krista has said. She doesn't give herself credit because she has extremely good instinct when it comes to governance and appreciation for its essential role. So it's the mechanics, it's the rules of engagement, as she says, the clearly defined processes and policies that really underpin a high performing board and enable the board to operate at the level of providing the right insight, oversight and foresight to effectively steward the organization, but respect the boundaries between the role of the board, the long-term view, the role the board must take to ensure the value of the organization and the respect and healthy role of the staff, the senior leadership team, right through the bedside professionals to operate the organization well.

Catherine Woodman: I love governance. I happen to have evolved a tremendous respect for the value of good governance through the board roles that I've held and the chair roles that I've held, to the point where I feel it's an essential element. In my day job, I work with organizations who struggle with their governance, and it is such an interplay between management and board. It's not the responsibility of one over the other… Krista's word of the pivot point is so true, and I would say the board chair also has the pivot point between the two. And the intersection is really, really vital, and managing that intersection well is really critical.

Catherine Gaulton: Thank you. Krista, I'll tell you when someone said to me, "What do you think of the board and the board's role?" And this whole piece about nose in, fingers out, all of those characteristics, certainly for me, I tried to express some balance of really pulling on what the board does and knows so well in their experience with, of course, allowing executives in the organization to get on with their job. Your thoughts around when you look at the board, and particularly that interplay of the relationship?

Krista Jangaard: So I am very fortunate, I would say, that I have had board members who, like Catherine, are interested in good governance and are very interested in having a correct role, I would say, to play in an organization like the IWK. Each and every one on the members on my board can talk about why they have a passion for being there. Many of them have family stories, if not close to them, at least distant family or community family roles.

Krista Jangaard: So one of the things that I find most interesting and most beneficial to me working with the board is actually getting to know the board members and getting to know what it is they wish to bring and how they wish to contribute, because that actually then allows conversations of getting to know what is their wisdom that they can provide to me and to the senior team that will help us make better decisions.

Krista Jangaard: Catherine talked at our last board meeting about the difference between board members being wise and management being smart. The smarts was with the operational part of the business. We knew how to do what we were doing. And I would say that goes all the way down to our teams as well, where our teams at the front lines know what they're doing and have expertise. Much like the board provides oversight and insight and foresight to me, our executive team provides that to the teams closer to the rock face who are doing the work.

Krista Jangaard: The thinking about high-reliability organizations, where the people who are doing the work know the work best and we need to listen to them and then provide wisdom and guidance is the same thing that I get in working for my board. So knowing who they are, have having a part in as we move and we look at recruiting to the board members, knowing what kind of skills we need on the board is really important. And then working with them and using their wisdom. So a smart person listens to the wisdom of a wise person.

Krista Jangaard: I, like I said, have been very fortunate in board members that we have had. They come from diverse backgrounds. In healthcare we can sometimes get a little insular and think there's only one way to do things, and it is good to have a wider worldview. That is one of the very valuable things that the board members bring to me on a regular basis.

Krista Jangaard: So I think it is about a respectful relationship, again, knowing responsibilities and knowing accountabilities, but sharing, at the same time, that core purpose, which is the purpose of the organization. For us, in healthcare we are purpose driven organizations because it's about making people better and keeping them healthy.

Catherine Gaulton: Excellent, thanks. And Catherine, I'm just always struck by the volume of materials that we bring to the board in this attempt to bring you the level of information that we as executives have. But also I feel worried so much of the time that we give you all of this stuff, important stuff, but just a lens of what do boards... All of that, of course, but what else do boards expect from CEOs and the senior leadership teams in their organization? What makes them feel comfortable with who they have as leaders?

Catherine Woodman: I'm glad, Catherine, that you referenced the information gap that is inevitable between the board and the executive leadership team. We appreciate, at the board level, everything that the executive leadership team can do to narrow that gap, recognizing that it's always going to exist between any board and volunteer board and the staff who are occupied with the organization 24/7. And providing the board with full information, but also concise summaries, I believe is essential. So straddling the gap with both the access to the details, but the precise and concise summation of key information, key decision criteria is important.

Catherine Woodman: In addition to managing that information, I think creating opportunities for the board to witness and engage with the culture of the organization. We do tours, we listen in on safety calls, we invite staff at various levels to come and speak to the board on key issues. We create opportunities when we can socially for board members to meet and mix with leadership teams. So there's lots of different touch points, lots of different learning opportunities. Essentially though you're building trust, you're ensuring that there is candor, safe and honest communication space for the dynamics that have to occur when there are tough conversations. You're creating shared values, you're illustrating strategy and bringing to life strategy.

Catherine Woodman: One thing that comes to mind immediately is touring recently a birth unit with Krista and posted on the walls were staffs’ interpretation of work that they were doing that linked directly to the strategy that we had been working at the board table. So the staff were populating a large visual with the realities of what they were facing in day to day decision making that aligned perfectly with the strategy that had been co-created by board and senior leadership team. For me, that just raised the hair on the back of my neck with excitement because I thought this really shows the alignment as well as brings to life what the team is facing at the rock face versus what we're seeing at the board table, and showing the continuous lines between the two.

Catherine Woodman: So I think it's being creative and being open to exploring and trying new things. How many times, Krista, have we rolled something out and then we find it's too much or too little? And then we recreate it and then we try something different. And just being willing to continually change and adjust how you exchange and share information with the board is really important.

Catherine Gaulton: Thank you, Catherine. I'm so thrilled you're thinking about, and excited by, how strategy translates at the front line. We've been working very hard on that at HIROC. Probably one of the best things we've done out of our strategic work is to actually make a staff strategy council. Create a staff strategy council where peers actually are in the business of ensuring that the strategic plan is understood and at that it's translated really well for the organization. So I agree with you, that's just so fundamental to the effective execution of strategy at all levels in the organization. So thank you for mentioning that.

Catherine Gaulton: Getting to give you an opportunity now to talk about your true passions, i.e., to get back to the IWK itself. Tell us how it has been impacted in both leadership and governance by the pandemic. And Krista, can we start with you on that one?

Krista Jangaard: Yeah, the pandemic has been an interesting challenge because, although it is facing everyone in Canada in all walks of life, it has a double impact on those of us working in healthcare because not only do we face what everyone else in the community does, we also are the place where those who are ill come for care. We're the source of the information as it changes to try to make things better.

Krista Jangaard: So I would say the one word that has characterized the pandemic in a way that has been challenging for healthcare providers is uncertainty. At the very beginning, everybody was uncertain. We didn't know what it was going to look like. We didn't know what the path was going to be. We had some general thoughts from previous pandemics, but we didn't really know where we were going to be. In healthcare, as healthcare providers, we're not terribly comfortable with saying, "We don't know, and we have to wait and we have to see." So that was difficult.

Krista Jangaard: As we've gotten more information about COVID and about where it was going to go, and it's played out much like other pandemics in the past have, the focus is really then shifted on the uncertainty of knowing when things are going to end, and the public perception of we're all in it together too, now you must know better. So one of the biggest stresses in the pandemic, other than providing the care itself, has been being able to keep up with all of the change, keep up with the uncertainty. Have our healthcare staff that went from being healthcare heroes at the beginning to now being people who in some places are having to walk with their heads down to get around protestors and are feeling doubly upset by a community that seemingly now is no longer supportive of them. So supporting our healthcare workers has been a really big deal.

Krista Jangaard: The other thing for the IWK is that most people think of us as children's hospital or women and children's hospital, but thinking in the pandemic more as part of the system. So where could we help out more generally with the system? How could we help out our public health colleagues? What was our role in vaccination? That's something that, as child providers, we do all the time. How do we think about our staff, who many of them want to do the right thing, being able to have opportunities to help out in that system? So that was also really important. As leaders, you were juggling all of that, plus the usual pressures of how do we make sure we don't get so far behind in the regular care that we do that people get more sick and that our children get more sick?

Krista Jangaard: Probably the last thing I would say that's a little bit different for most of us in healthcare was the rapidity with which we had to make changes. So you didn't get to roll out a policy, take it through every council, wait three weeks, get somebody else to look at it. Policies needed to be changed in real time, and we really had to put action cycles into place and be comfortable with the fact that something that we did on Monday might change by Friday. It might even change by Monday afternoon. And how we would then communicate that to all of the folks that we had to work with. So change, rapid change and uncertainty have really been the points of pressure for us in the healthcare system as we tried to do our regular work plus meet the challenge of the pandemic.

Krista Jangaard: With regards to governance, it also meant that I, along with keeping the people in the health center up to date with what was going on and how we were changing things, it was something that I also needed to do with the board so they were aware of what was going on. They were aware of the changes, they had the best information that we could give them about the pandemic and how it was affecting the health center that we could. So it meant that we spent a lot more time together, but it meant we did not spend any time together in person.

Krista Jangaard: So our board meetings largely, quite quickly, flipped to virtual meetings. I have board members who've never met each other in person. Some of the things Catherine's talking about, having opportunities to have a social event and get to know each other and bring different people together, have been much more difficult. So finding ways to do a strategy session virtually was a challenge.

Krista Jangaard: But as with everything else in the pandemic, you learn that you didn't have to be perfect. You needed to start someplace and you needed to go back and be flexible and be willing to reevaluate and change what worked and what didn't work. So both from a clinical and a service delivery point of view and from the governance and leadership point of view, those are the two biggest things; flexibility and change.

Catherine Gaulton: Thanks Krista. I'm struck by the fact that we haven't even been able to get HIROC and the IWK together in the ways we usually do. That plays out so much more locally, of course, when you're looking at your relationship with the board and the ability to get together with the board. Catherine, anything you'd add on this question?

Catherine Woodman: I think Krista has covered it really well. The restrengthening our people, dealing with the fatigue and the burnout, and just the raw exhaustion is really critical. I know that that's at the top of her mind and the top of mind of the leadership team. From a board perspective however, there's been some silver linings. Working remotely has definitely expanded our toolkit and deepened our impact with our regional board members. There's less of a sense of an inside crowd and an outside crowd by virtue of our location now, so it's an equalizer, and an efficient equalizer, which is something we can leverage and gain from.

Catherine Woodman: However, we have lost connection in terms of the culture and the place from our inability to be on site. And it's delayed some of the elements of our strategy while accelerating others. This system leadership that's Krista speaks of has been an important learning for us, the value and role that the IWK can play across the healthcare system, the importance of our government relations. We've changed government with the new mandates, focused on healthcare during this pandemic… in Nova Scotia. So that's definitely created a stronger need to be very well connected with our other provinces, New Brunswick and PEI we serve as well, focusing on the important relationships that exist broadly across this region.

Catherine Woodman: Organizations have talked about being nimble for years, but I don't think we've learned how to be nimble until this pandemic arrived. As long as we can continue to benefit from those new learnings, as we hopefully engage in a more traditional way of working together, then it'll be all good.

Catherine Gaulton: Final question before we really dig deeply into what you're thinking today in our lightning round, the IWK is so very important for healthcare in Nova Scotia and the Maritimes. What excites you and makes you most proud in relation to the IWK? Catherine, let's keep going with you on this one.

Catherine Woodman: Well, you spend time in Halifax and you know that the IWK is, quite frankly, a magical place. We commonly refer to the secret sauce. That there's something really inherent to the core mission and purpose of women and children that excites everyone and focuses everyone who is part of the IWK community. We certainly know how to lead with the heart, how to work as teams focused on making things better constantly for children, families, women. Tackling tough challenges with great deal of energies, promoting a sense of belonging and community and participation. And seeing, at the end of the day, that there's just a tremendous potential in the work that we do. So taking care of young lives and new lives and women's lives is inspiring, and it's optimizing for the future.

Catherine Woodman: There is nothing more exciting and more unifying than that sense of purpose. We're really for fortunate to have this organization at the heart of the Maritime community. And as Krista mentioned, when you go around the board table, we just recently had the opportunity to do this as we welcomed a new board member, every single board member spoke of their personal connection, as well as their commitment to the strategy and future of the organization. So it reaches deep into the heart and souls of our community.

Krista Jangaard: The passion that you just heard in Catherine's voice would be echoed in the voices around our board table of our executive leadership team, when they're not exhausted, for most of our staff. The IWK is a magical place. Children make up about a quarter of our population, but they are 100% of our future. So if we can give them a good start and can address health, not just health services, but really address health, including social determinants of health and how we keep people healthy, which is one of that excites me about our current strategy at the IWK, is that we will make an impact. We'll make a lasting impact on lives for years and years to come.

Krista Jangaard: The IWK has that unique niche. It is not just a hospital that people in Halifax think of as being their own. It's a hospital that the Maritimes think of as their own. I went grocery shopping with my mother in New Brunswick and there was the IWK, please give to our hospital box at the cashier. So it is part of people's families. And once you're part of the IWK family, we never let you go.

Krista Jangaard: I've been here over 30 years now. I have the same enthusiasm and passion for what this organization can offer to Nova Scotians and Maritimers as I did when I started. We offer it not only in clinical care, but we also offer it an exciting research that can change and move things, and by training the next group of healthcare providers that are going to come out and want to provide the healthcare that we will need in the future. So it is an exciting place to be for all of those reasons.

Krista Jangaard: I would reflect on Catherine's conversation about being nimble. One of the things that the pandemic has given us has been a... It has forced upon us some nimbleness. And it is one of those things that we need to work hard to retain as we move out of the pandemic and go back to regular life is that we can do things together in a much more positive kind of way, rather than doing it as something that has to go through a bunch of hoops. We can do something because you see the end goal and we can do it more quickly for the benefit of the people we're taking care of.

Krista Jangaard: The IWK is a place of magic. It is the place that has the secret sauce. And it is a place that we can try things out that can then be moved to the bigger system and scaled up for others that don't have the small size that we have to their advantage. So that's another way we can contribute to the system

Philip De Souza: Before you all go, this is excellent conversation. I was riveted. I was taking so many notes throughout. I'm going to ask Catherine a question. Catherine, you joined HIROC, it'll be five years February 1st, so you joined in 2017. I guess a piece of advice, I think listeners would love to understand better, either new emerging leaders or just leaders in general. When they transition to a board, what's something you think is important to do when you, as a new CEO, meeting this new board and working together with them? Krista, Catherine, you can also jump in after Catherine.

Catherine Gaulton: Krista's point about really getting to know your board to know what drives their passion. What makes this governance piece... What would make it successful for them? So what do they need in governance, I think, is extremely important.

Catherine Gaulton: And then while I am very much of the we need to be clear on operational and governance respective roles, I think you build the best relationships with your board by finding out just where their wisdom truly is and making sure that you don't lose the opportunity to pull on it. Good boards really do inject that into the conversation always. And the respectful relationship between management and boards allows management then to really execute on what they've gained from that wisdom. Krista and Catherine, Catherine, what would you say?

Catherine Woodman: I think that focus on the individual relationships and the value and the intentions that each board member brings to the opportunity is really important. I'm so glad you underscored it. Sometimes we just leave that aside. We make assumptions and we don't take the time to be very strategic in our alliances with our board members. And there's nothing shameful in that. I work with a lot of women in leadership roles and we talk about developing political human and really striving to appreciate the value of understanding purpose and intention in order to find alignment. That's exactly what you're speaking of Catherine, and it's very, very essential.

Krista Jangaard: I would add to that, that I know that people don't give the amount of time that you need to give to be on a volunteer board without wanting, in fact, to be giving something to that organization. So it would be really a waste on my part not to look and say, "How do I make this successful for the board members so that they, after their term on the board, can feel that they've contributed to this gem that we call the IWK?"

Krista Jangaard: I actually am a board member on a couple of other organizations I have a passion for, and appreciate when my assistants or my insights are actually sought by the CEO to say, "Hey, I know that you've done this in your organization. Can you give me some tips that I might be able to integrate into what I'm doing?" I think we are all better as organizations when we have that ability to truly touch base with a different kind of member from the community in a different kind of role. That's one of the things that the board brings in a very special way to the organization.

Philip De Souza: That's fantastic. And I want to tap into something earlier you said, Krista, when you talked about having that open willingness to change and adjust throughout, and obviously the pandemic brought that out. Some might say in healthcare there may be some hesitancy to do that, to do that change and adjust, not on the fly, but you mentioned before that sometimes there's lots of hoops to go through. So I guess for you, as a CEO, how do you... Because perhaps there are board members who may be unsure, or sometimes some do like the hoops, how do you, I guess, balance that out and navigate the complexities of getting people comfortable with the willingness to change and adjust?

Krista Jangaard: I think it is looking at what it is that we need to do and what do we need to get done and what are the risks of doing it? But equally what are the risks of not doing it? When you look at healthcare, sometimes some of the slowness in how we've changed is because we have come from a world where evidence informed change is really important. So you have to actually know that you're not going to be doing harm by doing something. It's the balance of how do we think about the risks of responding versus the risks of not responding. And what do we need to actually then mitigate or think about to make sure that those risks on either side of it, we're taking care of?

Krista Jangaard: I find when we can talk in the way in which we're balancing, because no situation, and particularly a new one where you're uncertain, doesn't have risks in it. But how do you balance those risks and how do you make sure that you've got your vision in line to make sure that you're going to be looking at those if they arise and then you're going to change course again? So that, I think, helps with the board.

Krista Jangaard: It also helps with healthcare providers who are used to waiting until they've gotten all the proof in, it's all been peer reviewed and everything is perfect before you start. Not doing something, you've made a decision. If you're not doing something, you've made a decision. It's not that you're waiting a decision, you've made a decision and there's risk with that. So it is around thinking about risk, articulating it and watching for it.

Catherine Gaulton: Thank you for bringing that risk lens into our conversation. It's interesting, recently we gave some advice and confirmations of security that of our subscribers at HIROC really needed. A message I got back was, "Thank you because what you said means that our perceptions of risk shouldn't stop us from doing what we need to do." So I really appreciate you bringing that back to risk.

Catherine Gaulton: Your comments about being on other boards, perhaps for another day and a longer conversation, but I find the same thing that my role as board members I hope allows for even a more thoughtful relationship or more consideration of where the board is coming from as I interact with my board. I imagine it's the same for you.

Catherine Woodman: If I could just add to that, it's Catherine Woodman, I think that one of the most important professional development opportunities every CEO should take on is to serve another board. It's very critical in order to have that exposure, that level, that lens, that appreciation. It's just vital. We are really delighted that Krista has chosen some very important boards in our community. And we know that's enriching the healthcare center that she leads because of that added perspective and exposure that she has.

Catherine Gaulton: We'll impose on you for a very short lightning round. Book you're currently reading, Krista.

Krista Jangaard: I've just started a series by a British author called Catherine Aird. I'd like to say I read really lofty things, but I don't. I read golden age mystery and police procedures. She wrote books from 1966 all the way up to 2021, which I think is pretty amazing for an author. But they're much like the Agatha Christie golden age. So the one I'm reading, just finished yesterday actually, was called Henrietta Who?.

Catherine Gaulton: Oh, cool, cool. And Catherine, what about you? What are you reading?

Catherine Woodman: Well, I generally have two books on the go. One to learn from and one to just get lost in. I'm actually finding that I'm learning and getting lost in both of them. The first is Five Little Indians by Michelle Good, who I just learned is one of Canada Reads recommended top five books. It's just a beautiful story of five different lives. And it's so engrossing, and I'm learning from it as well as enjoying it.

Catherine Woodman: And I'm also reading Impact, which I also heard about on CBC. It's women writing after concussion. I suffered a concussion a number of years ago. It really changed the trajectory of my life, and it's fascinating to read these women authors each explaining very different and distinct personal experiences after concussion.

Catherine Gaulton: Yeah. I'm reading Five Little Indians as well.

Catherine Woodman: Are you?

Catherine Gaulton: Yeah, yeah.

Catherine Woodman: Very good.

Catherine Gaulton: First job ever, Catherine?

Catherine Woodman: Tour guide, Parks Canada.

Catherine Gaulton: Okay. Krista?

Krista Jangaard: Playground supervisor for the recreation and parks department in my hometown.

Catherine Gaulton: That's a big relief. I have a friend who, when we asked him what his first job ever was, he said, "Physician." What do you do to unwind when you have free time, Catherine?

Catherine Woodman: I move a lot. I walk, I run and I've taken up rucking, which is when you actually put some weights on to walk with. I learned a long time ago that my emotional health is really derived directly from my physical health, so I move a lot.

Catherine Gaulton: Excellent. And Krista?

Krista Jangaard: So that would be why we asked Catherine to be part of our fit February steps team. She's our ringer. She's putting all the rest of us to shame. My free time is spent in the garden. I have a large garden at my summer place and I grow lots of vegetables, and pulling weeds is really good when you want to think. Audrey Hepburn said something I think is really important for gardeners. It says, "To plant a garden is to believe in the future." It keeps you humble, but it's lots of fun.

Catherine Gaulton: Krista, if you could have a lunch meet up with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Krista Jangaard: I would want to meet Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. The reason I would like to do that is because everything that Dr. Seuss writes about, it gets to the real meaning of what's important in life. Be it families, equity, thinking about the importance of people, thinking about community. And so I actually have a number of his quotes that I use regularly when I'm thinking about things because I always like to quote smarter people than me. So I'd love to meet and have coffee with him.
Catherine Gaulton: Perfect. And Catherine?

Catherine Woodman: I love that, Krista. I would love to spend two hours with my mother. She's passed a number of years ago, and 10 years before she passed we lost her to Alzheimer's. So the opportunity to have a deep and full conversation with her has long since passed. I turned 60 at the end of January. And when you take on this age, which is a beautiful time in life, you do reflect more on your parents and what they must have experienced as they aged. I would love to just revel in her company and ask her all sorts of questions that I didn't ask her, as well as there are a few recipes I'm dying to get.

Catherine Gaulton: Yeah, that's fantastic, and a good and a good lesson to have those conversations while we can, for sure.

Catherine Gaulton: Okay, best piece of advice, let's end with that, that you've received from a mentor. Krista, do you want to start?

Krista Jangaard: So the best piece of advice I think I've received, I've received lots and lots and I've had great mentors, was something that Dr. Doug McMillan, who's a neonatologist I worked with, said to me. He said, "Krista, hire people smarter than you are and leave things better than you found them."

Catherine Gaulton: Perfect. And Catherine?

Catherine Woodman: So I couldn't call her a mentor, a personal mentor, but I did get to hear Hillary Clinton speak here in Halifax when she received an honorary degree at Mount St. Vincent University. I was in my early 30s, two children, one more on the way, and she talked about seeking an integrated life, not necessarily a balanced life, but an integrated life. For me, it was like getting oxygen because I was trying so hard to be 100% in one direction and 100% in the other direction and constantly striving for balance. I find that's a very difficult pursuit. But striving for integration, experiencing the fullness of all aspects of your life and recognizing that they integrate and that they can overlap and they can draw from each other and build from each other has really been a healthy and helpful way to look at life.

Catherine Gaulton: Thank you, that's phenomenal. And a phenomenally great place to start. To end, sorry. To start and end as it happens. It's been a true pleasure to have this opportunity to touch base with you this morning. Thank you both very much. We at HIROC are thrilled for the opportunity to have this closer relationship with the IWK. And thank you again. Have wonderful weeks.

Philip De Souza: You've just been listening to our interview with Krista Jangaard and Catherine Woodman from the IWK Health Center in Nova Scotia. If you like what you heard, please leave us a review. Don't forget to hit the subscribe button so you'll be notified when new episodes are released. For more information about HIROC and to listen to other episodes of Healthcare Change Makers, please visit hiroc.com, and favorite the show on your preferred podcasting app. Thank you for listening.

Thank you for listening. You can hear more episodes of Healthcare Change Makers on our website HIROC.com and on your favourite podcasting apps. If you like what you hear, please rate us or post a review. Healthcare Change Makers is recorded by HIROC's Communications and Marketing team and produced by Podfly Productions. Follow us on Twitter at @hirocgroup or email us at communications@hiroc.com. We'd love to hear from you.