Wendy Nicklin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA). Prior to joining CCHSA, Wendy was the Vice President Nursing, Allied Health, Clinical Programs and Patient Safety at The Ottawa Hospital. Wendy assumed her responsibilities at CCHSA early in October and brings to the position more than 25 years of leadership and management experience in the hospital and healthcare sector. Her background includes experience in all levels of patient care, from bedside through to senior management. In addition, Wendy has been a CCHSA surveyor and Board member (1996 - 2002) including Board Chair. She has been involved in a number of provincial and national boards such as the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Studies and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.

We asked Wendy to share with us her three greatest achievements and what she is hoping to accomplish at CCHSA. I'm proud to have played a role in moving The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) closer to its vision of being nationally recognized as the academic health sciences centre of choice and a leader in Nursing. There were many rewarding experiences at TOH, including the opportunity to lead the integration of three distinct nursing professional groups brought together by the merger of the Ottawa Civic, Riverside, and Ottawa General hospitals. Working together, we developed a cohesive and strong nursing professional practice team, one of the largest in Canada. Chairing the SARS committee responsible for the coordination of all SARS-related decisions and actions during the 2003 outbreak was both a challenge and an opportunity to ensure that healthcare quality was protected with a particu-lar focus on staff. I also oversaw development of the quality improvement framework and new coordinated quality program. Given the priority that patient safety continues to have in healthcare, I am particularly honoured to have been appointed to the National Steering Committee on Patient Safety in 2001 and subsequently, to the founding Board of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute in 2003.

I am committed to the quality of patient care and quality of worklife. The opportunity as President and Chief Executive Officer at CCHSA enables me to remain intimately connected to these goals, working to advance quality at the national level. Accreditation has a tremendous impact on enabling the quality of care focus in Canada and is evidenced every day in the processes in place in health organizations across the country. I look forward to the day when accreditation will be recognized and identified by patients and families as they ask questions and seek out the accreditation certificate in healthcare facilities. One of my goals is for the public to recognize accreditation as relevant to the quality of care and for health organizations to apply the CCHSA standards on an ongoing basis. Finally, I would like to ask CEOs and senior health professionals from every accredited organization in the country to become CCHSA surveyors. The contributions that surveyors make to CCHSA are immeasurable and in turn, this expertise is of significant value to their own healthcare systems.