Healthcare workers collaborating around a desk.

Health Workforce Innovation Challenge

Canada’s health workforce is struggling with shortages. There are also impactful solutions emerging in healthcare organizations that can be supported and scaled. Healthcare Excellence Canada’s new innovation challenge is here to help.

Program overview :

  • Health Workforce Innovation Challenge

If you work on the frontlines, you probably have experienced it firsthand: Canada’s healthcare workers are facing high levels of stress and burnout leading to increased turnover, critical staffing shortages and impacts on the safety and quality care of patients, residents and clients across the care continuum.

Despite these ongoing challenges, those working in Canada’s healthcare sector have proven to be creative and resourceful. Many dedicated people, teams and organizations are working on innovative approaches that address health workforce issues head on. To support and help scale these important efforts, Healthcare Excellence Canada has launched the Health Workforce Innovation Challenge.

Win monetary awards and build your capacity

Are you and your colleagues trying—or wanting to try—new approaches to promote staff retention and support of your current health workforces? For example:

  • Fostering physically safe work environments
  • Enhancing sustainable staffing
  • Building flexible work structures
  • Providing equitable and appropriate compensation
  • Ensuring supportive and inclusive workplaces
  • Supporting career advancements

If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then this challenge is for you. Win monetary awards, build your capacity and join a community with shared goals for mutual support and learning.

This outcomes-based challenge features opportunities for monetary awards over 12-months, to recognize and reward the success of teams in moving the dial on improving the retention and support of their current workforce.

In addition, the challenge will help teams go farther, together, through networking and knowledge-sharing. Specifically, it will:

  • Connect your team with like-minded innovators across Canada
  • Provide expert coaching supports and a wide array of resources
  • Share evidence-informed tools and best practices
  • Help raise the profile of your team and initiatives
  • Support your team in tracking its progress

How it works

Teams can access resources and awards in order to improve retention and support of their health workforce.

Teams trying – or wanting to try – new approaches or models of care to improve retention and support of their health workforce. Teams have access to monetary awards ranging from $2,000 to $50,000, virtual learning sessions with experts, peers and colleagues, tools and resources to support implementation of their work, and expert coaching supports. Teams move the dial by bringing forward promising practices and innovative models, sharing data to determine shared reach and the collective impact, and tracking progress against outcome indicators with quarterly reporting.

How to join

Registration is now closed. Thanks to everyone who joined the Challenge!

A map of Canada in light pink with darker pink circles with white numbers demonstrating the number of participating teams in each province or territory. 15 in British Columbia, 6 in Alberta, 4 in Saskatchewan, 4 in Manitoba, 54 in Ontario, 11 in Quebec, 4 in New Brunswick, 10 in Nova Scotia, 2 in Prince Edward Island and 2 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Virtual Q&A session

Did you miss the virtual Q&A sessions to learn about the challenge and explore the opportunities?

No problem! You can watch and listen to them. Plus, you can peruse our FAQs.

Watch the recording

To get all the details on the Health Workforce Innovation Challenge, check out our FAQs, Key Dates, and Terms and Conditions. Still have questions? Contact us at

Supporting organizations

We are grateful to the following organizations for their support of the Health Workforce Innovation Challenge, with more joining soon:

Arthritis Society

Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Canadian College of Health Leaders

Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

Canada Health Infoway

Canadian Health Leadership Network

Canadian Health Workforce Network

Canadian Institute of Health Information

Canadian Medical Association

Children’s Healthcare Canada

CIHR Institute of Health Services and Policy Research 


Health Canada

Health Quality BC

Health Quality Council of Alberta

HSO Health Standards Organization

Mental Health Commission of Canada