As Executive Director for Virtual Health and Clinical Informatics, Megan Stowe leads teams responsible for identifying and integrating digital health tools into clinical environments across VCH. Recognizing her leadership and vision, Megan was selected as one of nine Women Leaders in Digital Health for 2021 by Digital Health Canada.
“It is an incredible honour to be recognized amongst a phenomenal group of women leaders and executives in health care from across Canada. Their vision and leadership in how we deliver health care through innovation and technology is truly inspiring," says Megan. “It is a testament to the amazing opportunities at VCH to transform the health-care system."
Since joining VCH in 2018, Megan has led the launch of the virtual health strategy, and has taken on the responsibility for the acute and community clinic informatics teams.
She has played a pivotal role in supporting the health-care system in our region to adapt to the latest technology to improve patient outcomes, including leading the roll-out of virtual interpreter devices to support people with low English proficiency to better understand their treatment and care. She also spearheaded the development of the COVID-19 contact tracing system, which was adopted by the Province and is being used by VCH and Island Health to manage each individual case of COVID-19 in their regions and to support public health to ensure patients receive quality care and support.
Megan is very appreciative of the support she has received from VCH senior leadership and staff in championing digital health. She believes that VCH provides a great environment for innovation and using technology to provide better, more efficient health care to patients and clients.
“What I found really unique and encouraging about working at VCH is our approach to embracing technology to enable change with the goal of making a big difference for patient care," she says. “We've brought together inter-disciplinary teams to adopt virtual health advances and find ways to remove barriers that have stifled change, while improving the quality of care."
Finding effective and creative ways to use technology to bring about change takes team work. Megan says this award is a reflection of the dedication and professionalism of the team who share her vision of transforming health care through technology and innovation.
In their nomination of Megan for the award, her team wrote:
“As a role model for health leaders in Canada, Megan's thought leadership and pragmatic, compassionate approach will help advance the positive impact of digital health tools and design for all Canadians. It's a privilege to work with Megan. She is well-deserving of this award and epitomizes the type of leader who will deliver the long-anticipated potential of digital health technologies."
For Megan, this recognition highlights the important leadership roles that women have in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), areas that have been traditionally dominated by men. She has some sage advice for women working in digital health or are thinking of going into the field.
“Network, reach out to people in the digital health world, start making connections and building relationships," she says. “There are many women leaders and executives who are great mentors and can support you as you gain an understanding and experience as to how we can utilize new and emerging technologies to improve how we provide health care to patients and clients."