EXTRA: Executive Training Program

Announcing EXTRA Cohort 17 fellows!

We will be supporting nine projects over the next year through EXTRA Cohort 17.  The projects represent teams from healthcare organizations in Québec, Yukon, and New Brunswick.  Read more about the teams and the diverse projects they’re tackling.

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Cohort 18 Applications

The call for applications for EXTRA Cohort 18 is being postponed from spring to fall 2022. We reached this decision after careful consultation and important conversations that focused on our commitment to meeting you where you are. After over two years of coping with the pandemic, we understand that healthcare leaders are exhausted. Delaying the launch date of the call for applications is one way we can clearly demonstrate our respect and support for you.

We hope that the coming months bring you time to rest, heal and recover. And please know that as you do so, we are here if you would like to connect with one of the EXTRA coaches, begin exploring the EXTRA program or perhaps want to know about HEC’s other learning and professional development opportunities.

Why we made this decision

EXTRA by the numbers (16 years running, 160 Canadian organizations have participated; 500 fellows, 254 improvement projects)

Ready to shape the future of healthcare quality and patient safetyWe need diverse and capable leaders like you. People with the knowledge, skills and experience to co-design innovative approaches to address complex healthcare and social services problems. Leadership capacity to support and lead change is an essential ingredient to accelerating the spread of evidence-informed improvement. 

Launched in 2004, the EXTRA program is a recognized team-based leadership developmentquality and patient safety improvement fellowship – the only one of its kind in Canada. The program is grounded in leading and managing change, and sustaining gains, in the reality of today’s healthcare and social services environments. 

How EXTRA contributes to healthcare excellence  

When you join EXTRA, you’re not just making an investment in yourself, you’re also building the capacity of your team and organization to achieve evidence-informed improvement that enhances patient safety and experience, work life of healthcare providers, value for money and the health of everyone in Canada. 

Benefits for participants:

  • Improve leadership skills required to lead change and large-scale improvement 
  • Gain access to a network of renowned Canadian and international experts and leaders 
  • Receive integrated coaching and guidance provided by expert Healthcare Excellence Canada faculty and coaches 
  • Learn through a combination of self-reflection, teamwork, workshops and delivering an improvement project 
  • Have the opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and networking with colleagues from across Canada 
  • Gain expertise in engaging with people with lived experience throughout the program, and draw on their perspectives  

Benefits for organizations:

  • Develop leaders with the expertise to transform organizational culture to enable safer care 
  • Develop capacity and capability to convert evidence into actionable policies and programs 
  • Share learnings within your organization and across health systems 

Each team receives support to effectively evaluate their project, with the goal of turning proven innovations into widespread and lasting improvement in patient safety and all the dimensions of healthcare excellence.  

How EXTRA works 

The 16-month EXTRA program draws on Healthcare Excellence Canada’s Six Levers for Healthcare Improvement, and it is designed to build leadership and organizational capacity to transform the healthcare system.  

Teams apply to join EXTRA and carry out improvement projects that address real-life health system challenges by finding and implementing evidence-informed solutions. There are usually three to four fellows in each team, all who have significant senior responsibility and influence in their organization. The teams can involve multiple organizations including: health and social service providers, health authorities, ministries, administrators, and patients or other people with lived experience. 

Teams receive dedicated support and coaching for the design, implementation and evaluation of their improvement project. Fellows complete leadership development modules and attend virtual and in-person workshops and site visits, have regular coaching calls, take part in interactive webinars, and have access to an online learning platform containing tools and resources. Healthcare Excellence Canada subsidizes most of the financial costs for participating teams. To help equalize costs across teams, successful applicants contribute a one-time fee of $2,500 per fellow.  

If you are unsure that your team and project is a good fit for EXTRA, or you have barriers to access our program, we offer pre-application coaching calls to better understand and help guide your decision. Contact us at EXTRA-FORCES@hec-esc.ca to set up a pre-application coaching call.  

Past EXTRA Cohorts and Projects -  

Many EXTRA improvement projects are sustained and spread, with some like Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics and Connected Medicine growing into pan-Canadian collaboratives.  

Read more about the 2020-21 EXTRA teams and the diverse projects they’re tackling.  

Read more

Past EXTRA Cohorts and Projects

As the 
CEO of Michael Garron Hospital, I am always looking for ways to strengthen partnerships in our community.  The EXTRA program allowed senior leaders from our and partner organizations (WoodGreen Community Services and VHA Home Healthcare) to work together to improve integration of care in our community. It also allowed us to work with our patients every step of the way to improve transitions of care. We continue to see the learnings applied and shared.  

- Sarah Downey, CEO, Michael Garron Hospital, EXTRA alumnus