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Healthcare Change Makers

Jan 15, 2024

In this latest episode of HIROC’s Healthcare Change Makers podcast, Dr. Frank Martino, President and CEO of the William Osler Health System, reflects on his leadership journey while emphasizing the importance of remaining positive and aiming high in your career, especially in the context of leading one of Canada’s largest community hospital systems.

Dr. Martino highlights his organization’s ambitious initiatives, including the adoption of an advanced hospital information system, new redevelopment projects, and a groundbreaking partnership with Toronto Metropolitan University’s (TMU) School of Medicine. Our discussion also touches on Osler’s commitment to innovation, such as incorporating technologies like artificial intelligence into future healthcare delivery.

Throughout the interview, Dr. Martino's passion for healthcare and his commitment to building strong partnerships and a resilient, patient-centric culture shines through. He talks about the importance of cultivating a positive workplace, building psychological safety within his organization, and the value of learning from failures.

Dr. Martino also delves into his thoughts on his outstanding healthcare team at Osler and their unwavering commitment during challenges posed by the pandemic, and how his organization has evolved to respond to the complexities of serving a growing and diverse community since he joined in 1991. Our conversation even turned personal for a moment as Dr. Martino shared a few heartwarming memories from his experience, including a critical life-saving moment early in his career, showcasing his dedication to his healthcare team.


“We were very proud of receiving accreditation with exemplary standing. Something that is the highest achievement that you would receive from Accreditation Canada. That allowed my staff to understand that they were exceptional healthcare workers and continue to be. Aim high and always be positive.” – FM

“We as an organization have had to evolve. We’ve had to expand. We’ve had back-to-back redevelopments in our health system expanding the capacity that this community deserves.” – FM

“And that is what we focus on, in addressing those challenges, with innovative projects and initiatives. Assuring that we communicate with our community. We go to them for advice when a new initiative or strategy has been put in place. We want to make sure we get the patient and caregiver perspective on how we should grow programs and what initiatives and innovations we should put in place, and whether they actually work for them.” – FM

“When I go and do rounding, we call it ‘Let’s be Frank,’ or ‘Frank Conversations,’ and during these frank conversations we work around a huddle board and it’s been a huge success!” – FM

“Our job is really to keep an eye on the future. Look at what healthcare will be like in 10, 20, 30 years. One area that we’re going to start to focus on is looking at how artificial intelligence becomes part of the way we deliver care in the future. Harnessing it in an effective way, both in our workflow and in the way we intersect with patients.” – FM

“I think culture is what really defines and organization. We at Osler look at people as one of our foundational enablers to our strategic plan. We are to deliver patient-inspired healthcare without boundaries. To achieve that, you need to have the ‘people’ component of your organization inspired to provide the best care for both patients and families.” – FM

“One mentor once told me, ‘you need to surround your yeses with a lot of no’s,’ so you need to focus on the things you know you can achieve and do them well and prioritize.” – FM

“If I would give anyone advice, it’s get out of your office, out of your chair, and walk. I love walking meetings.” – FM

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