Julia’s Blog: This is Day 1

Julia_2015Who I am. 

This is my first day as President and CEO at Holland Bloorview. What a way to kick off 2015! I am thrilled, honoured and excited to join the incredible team at Holland Bloorview.

Today’s blog is my chance to introduce myself: to tell you a bit about who I am, why this role is so important to me and what I hope we can accomplish together.

The fact that I have this blog is a good introduction to who I am and what I think is important. I truly believe in openness and communication. I try never to miss an opportunity to share knowledge and to create a window into what I’m doing and why.

But communication has to be more than a window. I value dialogue: meaningful two-way communication. It’s for this reason that I have embraced what some call social leadership, using social media tools such as blogs, Twitter (@hanigsberg) and LinkedIn, as vehicles for dialogue. I will also be using lots of other more traditional ways of being in touch.

Another related value that is important to me is honesty and integrity. What I say reflects what I think and what my intentions are. I expect the same in others especially when it comes to giving me feedback on my ideas and asking the tough questions.

A final value to mention for this blog is a belief in equity, diversity and inclusion. Holland Bloorview embodies this value in its very vision–creating a world of possibility for kids with disability. All my experience confirms to me that by bringing together people of different abilities, backgrounds, and experiences we create a more innovative, intelligent, and creative organization.

How I got here. 

A few people have asked me how I came to this role.

As a prior chair of the board, I often talk about Holland Bloorview, its strengths, legacy, commitment to client and family centered care and the incredible contribution it makes to the lives of children living with disabilities.

I am also a parent of a child with a developmental disability.

The knowledge and passion for Holland Bloorview that I have developed as a parent and volunteer further my confidence in the organization, its people and mission. The knowledge I had as a trustee and member of the Holland Bloorview Foundation Board of Directors all led me to an inevitable conclusion: this is an extraordinary opportunity and one that I wanted to pursue.

I feel incredibly honoured to be offered this opportunity.

Where we can go together. 

The simplest way to answer this question is that everything I’ll be doing will be done in partnership with you…the team at Holland Bloorview.

I’m coming to a place I believe in and one that has an amazing history, renowned for its quality care and leadership in childhood disability.   It is leading the way in disability research, teaching and learning with an exceptionally talented, committed and award-winning staff. It is a gem among Canada’s leading healthcare institutions.

The hospital is on course to fulfill its incredible 2012-2017 Strategic Plan: Leadership in Disability. Working together, we will continue to accomplish extraordinary things making an incredible impact on the lives of kids.

I have a lot to learn, but I will have the best teachers in the world around me each day: our clients and families and the Holland Bloorview team.

This is Day 1. It’s an amazing day!

2 thoughts on “Julia’s Blog: This is Day 1

  1. Congratulations Julia,

    Maybe, with a parent at the helm, we can finally make greater in-roads in providing extended services to former clients of Holland Bloorview? Although the Lifespan Clinic is a good start, if future generations are to prosper, easing the minds of parents and families everywhere, so much more is needed.

    I also understand that resources are scarce, as we require all sectors of society to work together, but Holland Bloorview must take the lead. For, the place that so many love, and consider a second home, was not built in a day, or even by a single contribution.

    “May we never stop turning disability into possibility –at any age!”

    Thank you, and once again, “Congratulations!!!”


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