TORONTO – Laurie Poole (pictured), Vice-President of Telemedicine Solutions at the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), has been named one of this year’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN). Poole leads the implementation of Telehomecare, an initiative that delivers healthcare in the homes of people living with chronic disease.
“It’s a privilege to play a role in changing how healthcare is delivered in Ontario, particularly in the area of chronic disease management,” says Poole. “My vision has always been to help bring services closer to the community level. Being recognized for these efforts is a real honour.”
The annual Top 100 award celebrates the professional achievements of women across Canada in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, and is co-presented by WXN, KPMG and Scotiabank.
Poole, a Registered Nurse (RN), was nominated in the Public Sector Leader category, in recognition of her efforts to bring virtual healthcare to the communities and homes of those in need, empowering patients with self-management knowledge and ensuring the efficient use of healthcare resources.
She also leads several other OTN services, including virtual emergency care and ophthalmology, which have enabled thousands of patients to receive important care faster and closer to their homes.
“I believe it is Laurie’s long-standing and strong commitment to improving access and providing innovative options for the delivery of healthcare to so many Canadians, in combination with her strong values regarding fairness, equity and transparency that distinguish her amongst her peers,” says Lois Scott, Senior Advisor with McKesson Canada, who supported Laurie’s nomination.
Poole’s success leading the implementation of Telehomecare has led to the expansion of Telehomecare now underway province-wide. The program provides specially trained clinicians who monitor vital signs remotely and conduct weekly phone calls to coach patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or congestive heart failure in self-management.
Telehomecare is delivered via hospitals and Community Care Access Centres. OTN, which designed and piloted Telehomecare, manages its implementation and trains clinicians to deliver the care. It is expected that Telehomecare will address other diseases such as diabetes in the near future.
“Laurie understands our healthcare system and has used her leadership skills on a daily basis to work towards improving it from the bedside in acute care settings to the boardrooms where decisions are made that could affect millions of Canadians,” says Dr. Ed Brown, CEO, OTN. “Throughout, it has been her authenticity and her ability to help others share her passion that has made her such a successful leader.”
He adds that while Poole operates at an executive level, she has never left her roots as an RN and always maintains a strong patient perspective, acting as an advocate for patient-directed care.
“She is a dynamic speaker with a passion, clarity and vision for the patient journey and the benefits of virtual technologies and teams.”
As an RN, Poole worked in cardiology and intensive care. She completed a Master’s in Health Services Administration at Dalhousie University to further her leadership skills. She served as Chief Operating Officer of Telehealth Ontario, a telephone service that provides health advice or information from a Registered Nurse.
Poole is the Past President of the Canadian Society of Telehealth and a regular lecturer to graduate students in nursing and health informatics at the University of Toronto. She is involved in a number of community initiatives and sits on the Board of Directors for the South Riverdale Community Health Centre.
The world leader in telemedicine, OTN helps Ontarians get more out of the healthcare system by bridging the distance of time and geography to bring more patients the care they need, where and when they need it. Using innovative technology, OTN streamlines the healthcare process, while also expanding the way knowledge is shared and how the medical community interacts with each other and with patients. An independent, not-for-profit organization, OTN is funded by the Government of Ontario and Canada Health Infoway. For more information please visit www.otn.ca and www.otnresults.ca.