Faculty & Staff

Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc

Director of UBC School of Nursing
Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc

Students in the Master of Health Leadership and Policy (MHLP) programs broaden their professional knowledge in one of two areas — seniors care or clinical education — in the School of Nursing, while strengthening their leadership, management and business skills in courses taught with UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School.

The MHLP in Seniors Care and the MHLP in Clinical Education were created in response to pressing needs in the community. For example, the Seniors Care program responds to the increasing demand for people with clinical and policy expertise in geriatric care and the need for programs designed specifically for the growing numbers of Baby Boomers who are now retiring. The situation is made more challenging as people are living longer, often with more complex health conditions.

Similarly, there’s a growing demand for clinical educators. As practice disciplines, nursing — and other health care professions — need clinical educators who can help educate the next generation of practitioners, but who also know how to support change in a practice setting. This can include developing and overseeing onboarding programs for new staff, and supporting practitioners who are adapting to new programs, practice changes or new technology.

Professionals working in health care settings have in-depth knowledge in clinical practice areas, but they may not have training in how to manage staff, develop policy, lead teams or oversee a service or program. Knowing key concepts in leadership and management is fundamental to career advancement, and the courses that make up about 40 per cent of our program are specifically designed to help students develop the business skills that will be essential to their leadership growth.

MHLP students are part of a small cohort. We’ve deliberately kept our classes at the optimal size to allow for strong connections between faculty and students and to foster a real sense of community. Students join the MHLP from many different professional backgrounds, including nursing, medicine, and social work. This diversity of experience creates a rich learning and networking environment for those who join us for the 12-month program.

The MHLP in Seniors Care and the MHLP in Clinical Education offer exciting opportunities for health-care professionals to take their careers to the next level. UBC’s School of Nursing is the top-rated school in Canada, and our students learn from clinicians and experts who are doing leading-edge research. When you combine this with the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills that will enable our graduates to move confidently into management and leadership roles, you have professional graduate programs that are innovative, practical and uniquely attuned to the needs of today’s clinicians.


Dr. Saewyc is a professor and director of the UBC School of Nursing, and she is also executive director of the multidisciplinary Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre at UBC (www.saravyc.ubc.ca). For more than 20 years, Dr. Saewyc’s research and clinical practice has focused on how stigma, violence and trauma influence adolescents’ health, coping and risk behaviours, and what protective factors in relationships and environments can foster resilience and health equity for marginalized youth, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and Two Spirit (LGBTQ2S) adolescents. She held one of the first national CIHR-PHAC Applied Public Health Chairs from 2008-2014, focused on population health interventions for young people, and she is a Canadian co-investigator on the WHO-sponsored international Health Behaviours of School-Age Children Survey. She regularly provides consultation on adolescent health and policy to governments and national and international agencies, including the World Health Organization. Dr. Saewyc has been named a Fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, the highest academic honour for health researchers in Canada, as well as a Fellow in the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and in the American Academy of Nursing.