Seniors Care — Alex Chui
Alumnus Story — Alex Chui
Alex Chui always wanted to work with seniors. That was one of the reasons he chose to do a minor in gerontology as part of his undergraduate degree in kinesiology, and it contributed to his decision to join the inaugural Seniors Care program in 2016 after having worked for a few years as a registered kinesiologist at a physiotherapy clinic.
During his master’s degree, Alex began volunteering with the Alzheimer Society of B.C., and before graduation he was offered a job as the Provincial Coordinator of Advocacy and Public Policy – a position he “simply couldn’t turn down.”
In this role, he led the creation and implementation of a three-year advocacy plan to build relationships with policymakers and other stakeholders. This included organizing an annual event to bring together the Minister of Health, other ministry representatives, MLAs, people living with dementia and his colleagues at the Alzheimer Society.
“Working at the Society deepened my understanding of the interconnections of advocacy, policy and health care delivery. Policy development can be a slow moving process unless there is political will for change, and that often only comes through advocacy.”
Throughout this period, Alex began serving on the executive leadership team of Emerging Health Leaders, an organization that offers events, professional development and mentoring opportunities to young professionals in health care. He also continued to advance his skills by pursuing a project management designation – a credential that helped him land his next job as the Project Leader in Patient Transitions at Providence Health Care.
“I had always wanted to do project-based work within a health care setting, and Providence has a very strong and well-respected seniors care program, making this position a great fit. Kudos to my boss for taking a bit of a chance on me and allowing me to grow in this role.”
He explains that the Patient Transitions portfolio encompasses shared care and virtual health. As Project Leader, Alex oversees five to seven projects at a time, with much of his work focusing on quality and process improvement projects. In his position as Project Leader, Alex manages multiple stakeholders – which can include physicians, other health authorities, patient partners and non-profit groups – to make sure projects are delivered on time, budget and according to scope.
While the virtual health component of his portfolio was originally smaller, it has grown significantly following the COVID-19 pandemic. Providence Health Care, like other health care organizations, has transitioned many in-person services to the virtual realm, and with it come required changes to workflow processes.
“I think the MHLP helped launch me in the direction where I have ended up today,” he says. “I have always been very self-directed and good at identifying and filling in gaps in my knowledge. That’s part of the reason I did this degree, as it brought me up to speed on best practices in seniors care. The business classes provided some structure to my leadership strategy and development, and gave me an introduction to project management from which I have since expanded my skills.”
Alex says that people who come to the program from a clinical background, as he did, benefit from the exposure to the business and leadership content in the curriculum. “It helps you switch your viewpoint to see things from more of a business focus, which is important if you want to move into leadership roles. I also think it’s important to keep an open mind about where you might end up over the course of your career – seniors care is a large field with many different roles attached to it. You can work in a health authority, private care, public health care, a not-for-profit organization and more. There are many opportunities.”
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