Chief Laboratory Science and Operations Officer – Public Health Ontario

Dawn Liddell Opportunities


Public Health Ontario (PHO) is a government agency dedicated to protecting and promoting the health of all Ontarians and reducing inequities in health.

Established pursuant to the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion Act, (2007) and overseen by a Board of Directors, Public Health Ontario links public health practitioners, front-line health workers and researchers to the best scientific intelligence and knowledge from around the world.

Chief Laboratory Science and Operations Officer

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Laboratory Science and Operations Officer will provide executive and scientific leadership, strategic direction and accountability for the planning and priorities of the laboratory science and operations portfolio including quality, medical and clinical oversight and decision-making for public health and reference microbiology programs and service delivery at Public Health Ontario (PHO), setting and delivering on the PHO microbiology research agenda, leadership of the laboratory infrastructure and bio-safety programs, and clinical services at (PHO) central and regional laboratory sites.

Key Accountabilities

  • Be a strategic leader, specialist, advisor, and thinker across the organization to drive sound, innovative, scientific, research and technical support programs in the areas of laboratory science, operations and laboratory infrastructure, safety and service, which are integrated with clinical, research and public health initiatives across PHO.
  • Lead PHOs microbiology and laboratory science including support to Ontario’s public health system, health promotion intermediaries, and partner ministries through knowledge generation, synthesis and evaluation, exchange and dissemination, capacity building, and the timely delivery of relevant, high-quality knowledge products and services.
  • Serve as the Laboratory Director under O. Reg. 45/22 of the Laboratory and Specimen Collection Centre Licensing Act, providing oversight for laboratory compliance with applicable legislation, PHO and government policies, standards, rules and ensuring required quality and biosafety programs and accreditations are maintained.
  • Provide strategic executive leadership in the delivery of a range of laboratory services across Ontario and all aspects of laboratory infrastructure, biosafety and services including the provision of clinical and environmental testing, consultation, technical and customer service support, education and training programs for laboratory professionals and evaluation of new laboratory technologies and methodologies, quality assurance/management, performance monitoring and reporting, technical validation, supply chain, logistics and warehousing, biosafety, biological waste.
  • Provide and foster strategic and high-quality medical and clinical leadership to public health laboratory programs, including medical advisory specialty and reference services, and identifies or anticipates potential public health threats; drives the development, dissemination, delivery and evaluation of a range of initiatives including laboratory educational and professional development programs, quality assurance, best practices, tools, protocols, guidelines and resources to support and build capacity across the health system.
  • Provide expertise and advice in ensuring the development and implementation of quality standards and of new/revised province-wide laboratory standards and guidelines to support the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disease and to aid in the protection, promotion, and maintenance of public health.
  • Oversee the development of laboratory program-specific research priorities, promotes and supports research grant applications and identifies and nurtures new projects that fit PHO’s mandate.
  • Provide strategic executive support to PHO’s laboratory research and related scientific and technical work related to the PHO mandate at a level consistent with an internationally recognized scientist, including through partnerships with academic and public health organizations at Provincial, National and International levels, peer-reviewed scientific publications, and participation in Provincial, National, and International Advisory and Expert Committees.
  • Provide authoritative medical/clinical advice and consultation with respect to laboratory aspects of disease outbreaks and serves as the executive lead for the laboratory science component of response to an emergency, pursuant to PHO’s role to support Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
  • Act as a strategic partner to the President and Chief Executive Officer and Executive counterparts, to define, action and model the agency’s vision, mission and values and actively contribute to developing and articulating a vision for PHO’s role in the public health sector.
  • Lead the development of portfolio budgetary strategies and implements strategic investment decisions that are effective and aligned with the agency’s vision/mission.
  • Provide executive leadership in establishing accountability standards, risk and quality management systems that track the portfolio and agency’s effectiveness and impact and ensures risk mitigation strategies are developed and implemented.
  • Ensure adherence to government directives, policies, and standards, rules, in conjunction with the President and Chief Executive Officer and Executive colleagues.
  • Develop collaborative partnerships with other public and private sector organizations and maintain strong working relationships with senior government officials, health system leaders and academia to advance PHO’s agenda.
  • Work with peers inside and outside the organization to advance and promote a one-PHO culture and the LEADS model for effective leadership in the modern Canadian health environment and all levels of the health system.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with other members of a senior leadership team to develop overall business strategies and build agreement on laboratory science and operations strategy and tactics.
  • Highly effective presentation and facilitation skills, capable of conveying sophisticated concepts and processes into clear language—both verbally and in writing.
  • Success with continuous improvement initiatives, resulting in improved operational performance.
  • Demonstrated understanding of/competence working with culturally diverse populations.
  • Ability to build appropriate rapport using tact, diplomacy, and discretion.
  • Ability to manage competing priorities while remaining competent in strategic thinking and systematic planning.
  • Proven ability to resolve complex problems impacting people, processes, and programs.

Career Experience & Core Competencies

  • A minimum of 15 years of progressive leadership experience in a highly specialized and complex scientific laboratory environment with formal scientific or public health professional training at a postgraduate level, and at least 5 years of experience at the executive level.
  • Membership with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in medical microbiology or a relevant branch of laboratory medicine, OR a person who has obtained an academic doctorate (PhD) in clinical microbiology from an accredited university and is certified by the Canadian Academy of Clinical Biochemistry, the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists or the Canadian College of Microbiologists in a branch of laboratory medicine.
  • Formal training and experience as a practicing Public Health physician is preferred.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who also possess an MBA or MHA from a recognized and accredited college or university.
  • Eligible for an academic appointment at an Ontario University at the rank of Associate Professor or higher.

To Apply

To express your interest in this exciting leadership opportunity, please submit your cover letter and resume, in confidence.

For a conversation in confidence, please contact Penny Mirams at 647-395-0176.

Public Health Ontario and Mirams Becker are committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace; we welcome applications from women, racially visible individuals, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, and 2SLGBTQ+ persons. Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is an equal opportunity employer committed to an inclusive, barrier-free recruitment and selection process. Requests for accommodation can be made at any stage of the recruitment process providing the applicant has met the bona-fide requirements for the open position. If contacted for this employment opportunity, please advise if you require any accommodation.

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