Medical and Academic Affairs Changes

I am excited to announce some organizational changes to the Medical and Academic Affairs (MAA) team. In addition to welcoming some new faces, some current team members will shift their responsibilities and reporting structure. The changes include adjusted responsibilities for Executive Medical Directors, a new Director of Medical Staff Engagement, a shift in roles and responsibilities for managers and adjusted reporting structures for staff. The complete MAA organization chart is available here.

Our new Director of Medical Staff Engagement, Laura Nielsen, is responsible for developing a multi-year medical staff engagement strategy for Island Health. She is also accountable for the Physician Quality Improvement initiative and other Specialist Services Committee initiatives. Laura has over 15 years’ experience in health care. Her Master’s degree focused on organizational systems and governance, with an undergraduate degree in Forensic Psychology. This training, together with the knowledge gained in her previous leadership positions, provides an excellent foundation as she transitions into her new role in MAA. Laura will report jointly to the Corporate Director of MAA and to me in my role as VP Medicine, Quality and Academic Affairs.

Executive Medical Director, Dr. Ian Thompson, will oversee the Facilities Engagement Initiative and medical staff engagement, among other roles.

Executive Medical Director, Dr. Adele Harrison, will oversee the Physician Quality Improvement program as well as other responsibilities.

Director, Medical Staff Support, Brenda Warren, will oversee medical staff engagement from an internal standpoint. This includes medical staff leadership development, website and medical staff recognition. Two key responsibilities in Brenda’s new role include leading our new Medical Staff Human Resources System and creating better MAA links with our primary care partners to effectively design new governance processes and physician recruitment and retention strategies.


Why are we doing this?

We are making these changes for three reasons:

  1. To better align with Island Health’s Executive Leadership structure and optimize our support of medical leadership and medical staff,
  2. To enable our team to focus more on priority projects, and
  3. To improve the staff experience for all Medical and Academic Affairs staff.

The Medical and Academic Affairs team remains committed to our vision of an engaged and healthy medical staff that works with Island Health to co-lead and respond effectively to the rapidly changing world of health care. These organizational changes embody the MAA mission and values – by improving the way we serve medical staff, the broader organization, our partners and our team, in a supportive and respectful work environment.



Dr. Jeremy Etherington

VP Medicine, Quality and Academic Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Island Health