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Lloyd Koch (MHA 1973), Reflects on Sharing more to Achieve A Better Canada

Lloyd Koch (MHA 1973), Former CEO, Pembroke Regional Hospital, 2020 Trudeau Award Medal Recipient.

Established in honour of Reverend Father Roland Trudeau, OMI, former director of the University's Commerce department from 1950 to 1965, the Trudeau Medal is the highest honour given by the Telfer School of Management to its alumni. It was first awarded in 1989 to recognize leadership, initiative and contributions to the business world, the community and their alma mater. 

Sharing our country’s resources more equitably among our own people and with those in
poorer countries is the path to a better Canada. Sharing at home is an attitude. It involves
being inclusive and tolerant. It's also an action—supporting peaceful responses to our
disagreements and bringing the contributions of all kinds of people together to solve

Sharing abroad presents limitless opportunities. Following my retirement from administering
hospitals in Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Wingham and Pembroke, my wife and I began leading
teams of Canadian volunteers to improve the infrastructure of hospitals in Tanzania. Over
the past 15 years, in cooperation with Canada Africa Community Health Alliance (an affiliate
of the University of Ottawa), we’ve supervised 16 missions made up of 120 Canadian
volunteers. They have put in 500 weeks of work to complete 25 hospital improvement
projects worth more than $300,000 in donated money.

I’ve found helping others brings personal and professional satisfaction. You feel good as a
Canadian to be able to do this kind of work. It makes for a better Canada, too. People
abroad see us as a peace-seeking country that brings a non-partisan attitude to solving
problems. Our nation’s unbiased outlook—focused on sharing our knowledge with the most
affected and vulnerable—is a rare commodity these days.

The need for this approach is greater now than perhaps ever before. The coronavirus
pandemic has revealed how close-knit the world has become and therefore how vulnerable
we all are and how reliant on each other we must be. As Canadians, we have built a
healthcare system designed to serve all people’s needs and enable them to live healthier lives.
We must continue to support and improve that system.

The Telfer MHA was a leader in elevating the profession of health management when I
graduated from the program in 1973. It remains so to this day. Some of the tools and
methods I’ve used in my 50-year healthcare career have changed over time, but the bedrock
principles have endured—data use and strategic planning, leadership and teamwork, caring
and sharing.

The Telfer School also connected me to classmates who I’ve called on for advice and
support. I urge today’s Telfer MHA students to keep their classmates close. As you become
healthcare leaders, you’ll recognize you can't do it all yourself—neither personally nor
organizationally. As a leader, you must put yourself at the centre of a sharing environment
within your organization, between your organization and others, and between the healthcare
system and the people it serves.

This is a summary of the interview conducted by Telfer School of Management on August 21st, 2020 with Lloyd Koch, Former CEO, Pembroke Regional Hospital, 2020 Trudeau Award Medal Recipient.