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Chief Communications and Engagement Officer

Ontario Health

Job Description

Ontario Health is the provincial agency responsible for ensuring Ontarians receive high-quality health care services where and when they need them.  Since it was established in June 2019, Ontario Health has brought together the strengths of many existing health care organizations to work together to build a better health care system for all Ontarians. Building on the expertise and knowledge of our people, we are committed to applying the best of what we collectively do, and in partnership with others, to transform the health system and improve the quality and delivery of care for patients, families and health care providers. For more information, visit .
Reporting to the President and Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Communications and Engagement Officer will build our strategy for impactful, effective communications and engagement. You will provide strategic direction, priority setting and leadership for the planning, development and management of key foundational communications, public relations and stakeholder engagement frameworks, programs and policies and for the provision of expert advisory services across Ontario Health. 
  • Sets the vision, strategies, priorities and plans for Ontario Health’s Communications and Engagement Department, responsible for patient, stakeholder and community engagement; internal and external communications, media relations and issues management and public affairs to ensure clear, consistent and quality messaging on Ontario Health’s culture, mandate, programs and services; to engage and inform patients, families, partners and other stakeholders; and to further develop, enhance and protect Ontario Health’s brand and reputation.   
  • Acts as a key member and decision maker on the executive team, providing influence and input on the development of the agency’s vision, mission, values and culture, and leads strategies and timely decision making for their delivery at the department level.    
  • Champions and supports Ontario Health’s transformation, leading these change management efforts across the Department.
  • Acts as a strategic leader across the agency to define and drive communications and engagement programs, policies, systems, services and models within the broad framework of the agency’s vision, mandate and values.
  • Provides leadership, expertise and support across the agency to plan, develop and implement innovative and impactful communications approaches, processes and products across multiple channels and platforms. Works with the Human Resources Department on internal communications. 
  • Champions and leads effective government liaison in support of governmental priorities and relations and the development of solutions to health policy challenges. 
  • Oversees a highly effective media relations and issues management function, including liaison with partners, proactive media outreach and engagement, timely response to inquiries, spokesperson training and preparation, media monitoring, and acting as the Ontario Health spokesperson when required. 
  • Provides leadership, expertise and support to ensure a strong, impactful patient and family voice in shaping a quality health system through consistent, aligned and integrated strategies, plans, programs, and initiatives for effective patient, stakeholder and community engagement across Ontario Health.   
  • Leads the provision of effective, efficient and innovative event management services to support proactive engagement and information sharing with all audiences.
  • Ensures the development of evidence-based, customer-focused guidelines, performance measures, standards and best practices.   
  • Provides strategic issues and crisis communications expertise and advice to the Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Health executive team and the Board of Directors in the management of Ontario Health’s reputation and reputational risk.  
  • Directs the department and its staff, within Ontario Health’s talent focused organization, designed to attract, retain and engage its employees. Accountable for building a strong team which respects diversity and inclusivity including hiring, orienting, training and coaching of staff, determination of performance standards, conducting performance reviews and managing performance and employee relations matters.   
  • Works with the Chief Executive Officer in developing, managing and reporting on operational plans, budgets and performance metrics, program effectiveness, risks and impacts.
  • Represents Ontario Health and the department by leading consultations with stakeholders impacted by programs, services and initiatives.


  • Masters’ degree in an area of communications such as journalism, public relations, public affairs, English or a related field. 
  • 10 years’ relevant leadership experience within the health care sector or similarly complex service delivery environment (e.g., government, broader public sector, not-for-profit, for-profit)
  • Minimum of 5 years’ leadership experience within a large communications or stakeholder relations department with expertise in developing, implementing and managing diverse communications plans, programs, policies, advisory services and support in the areas of internal and public communications, stakeholder engagement, issues management, reputation risk management and media relations.
  • Proven expertise in developing and implementing meaningful and impactful patient, stakeholder and community engagement strategies for a wide range of audiences. 
  • Proven experience in leading significant change for system wide efficiency and quality measurable outcomes.
  • People leadership expertise and proven experience in the delivery of strong results through innovation and a high performing team.  
  • Proven results in leading the development and implementation of multiple programs, services and high-profile initiatives with a broad organizational mandate, values and vision.
  • Knowledge of the Ontario Health’s legislated stakeholders (e.g., Ontario Health Teams, health service providers, clinicians, partners) and their requirements for effective engagement. 
  • Knowledge of communications theories and principles and innovative and creative communications methods, practices and techniques including digital communications.  
  • Knowledge of and skills in stakeholder engagement methods and techniques as well as crisis and issues management unique to the health care sector.
  • Superior professional writing, editing and media skills.   
  • Superior oral communication skills to act as a media spokesperson. 
Location: the successful candidate can be located anywhere in Ontario, with a potential for some travel to Ontario Health and/or stakeholder locations.

How To Apply

Ontario Health is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive workforce that reflects the communities we serve, to ensuring our services and communications are accessible to all individuals, and to embedding equity into our employment practices. Accommodation is available under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
To express your interest or submit your cover letter and resume, in confidence, email
Contact For This Position
Ontario Health

Company Website: View
Job Location
Ontario ON
Job Level & Type
Senior Level
Listing To Be Posted Until
July 12, 2020
Apply on company website