Seniors Care — Garry Singh
Alumnus Story — Garry Singh
Although his initial education and work experience was in electrical engineering, Garry Singh had always been passionate about nursing and seniors care. In addition to working in technology and education, he also worked as a care aide at a long-term care home.
“When I discovered the MHLP in Seniors Care, I realized it was the degree for me,” he says. “It would enable me to get a master’s education in a field I loved and I saw it as a beautiful marriage of business and clinical classes, which is precisely what the health-care industry needs.”
A balanced curriculum
Students in the MHLP in Seniors Care complete a range of specialized courses that deepen their understanding of the contexts of seniors care and the evidence-based practices used by leading organizations to provide high-quality patient-centred care.
Garry says that he enjoyed the fact that many of the classes included visits to health-care facilities, including hospitals and long-term care homes. “We had the opportunity to listen to and talk with health-care leaders about the challenges they face in their roles,” he says. “These interactions helped me understand what personality traits are needed to be effective when leading teams.”
He also says he benefitted from the many opportunities offered to students to get involved in academic and professional conferences. Garry participated in the Safety Den Competition and received a student bursary to attend the BC Care Providers Association conference in Whistler, where he was the second runner-up in the competition. He prepared a poster presentation for the John K. Friesen Conference Series in Gerontology at Simon Fraser University on the impact of widowhood on the mental health of seniors, and he also presented a study on burnout amount health care providers at a 2020 virtual conference hosted by the Gerontological Association of BC.
“I loved the business classes, particularly the first-semester course on organizational leadership,” says Garry. “This class laid the foundation and introduced us to a range of leadership strategies and the importance of clear communication, effective delegation, transparency and ethics. Another big takeaway for me from this class was the importance of emotional intelligence and being empathetic to your team and listening to their needs.”
Students also complete an intense full-time three-week business bootcamp in August. Garry says this was a rich learning experience that covered content related to accounting, finance, human resources and marketing.
Leading a team at Community Living BC
In February 2021, Garry was hired for a position that he says has been a great fit for his experience, skills and interests. As a manager at Community Living BC, Garry oversees the day-to-day operations for two homes lived in by adults with developmental disabilities, autism and mental health disorders.
He’s responsible for leading teams, scheduling staff, managing programs and budgeting – as well as making sure that the diverse mental health and physical needs of the residents are met.
Garry is dedicated to creating an environment where staff feel supported and residents receive high-quality care. He’s restarted an employee recognition program to honour the dedication of frontline workers and pushed to digitize practices to reduce paper use and improve efficiencies. He’s also constantly looking for ways to provide patient-centred care by tracking data to identify chronic challenges and then implementing new practices to ensure client safety and improve quality of care.
“When I applied to the program, the tagline was that ‘one year can change your life,’” he says. “That was definitely true for me. Going to UBC and doing the MHLP in Seniors Care changed my life. It helped me build my skills and knowledge to be a more competent leader within the health-care field. Reflecting back on my experience, I also see that the program teaches you to be a leader rather than a manager – rather than just being able to control resources you have the ability and confidence to lead the team.”
Take the steps to join the next cohort of healthcare leaders. If you haven’t already, assess your eligibility and sign up for the upcoming information session to learn how to submit a strong application. Learn more about this innovative master’s program:
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