From kinesiologist to project manager: a millennial's career journey
Alex Chui is a Senior Project Manager with the Richmond Community of Care (CoC) Project Management Office. Over the last year, he supported projects that helped prepare Richmond Hospital for its new nine-floor acute care tower, the Yurkovich Family Pavilion. His leadership training and drive for ongoing improvement helps him support this important work. This is his story.
Leadership has always been a part of my life
I was born and raised in South-East Vancouver by parents who are first generation immigrants from Hong Kong. As a teen, I spent my evenings in youth leadership as a part of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and was privileged to be a Canadian Ambassador to the United Kingdom. I was shy when I was younger and this early training pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to be a strong leader and team member. This training still helps me in my role today.
How I came to work as a project manager in health care
At first, my plan was to become a physiotherapist. I got a degree in kinesiology and worked for two years in a physio clinic primarily with seniors. I became passionate about seniors care so I went back to school for a Masters of Health Leadership and Policy degree focused on seniors care and long term care.
This shifted my health care career to first working at the Alzheimer’s Society of BC, then in virtual health and finally to my current role as a Senior Project Manager in the Richmond Community of Care (CoC). It’s great returning to the Richmond Community, as I did my UBC practicum here on the fall prevention program and volunteered at Richmond Hospital as a site navigator in my late teens.
A day in the life on the Richmond CoC Project Management Office Team
We are a team of project managers working on all kinds of projects to support the Richmond Community. At its highest level, being a project manager comes down to building relationships to enable accountability to get things done.
Over the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to support the Richmond Hospital Redevelopment Project Team on projects that enable Phase 1 work. I’ve worked behind the scenes helping to decant the Rotunda, moving teams to facilitate renovations that need to happen before Phase 1 work can begin. This has included supporting Cardiac Rehab’s move to the Garratt Wellness Centre, the IV Clinic’s temporary move to the Rotunda and current work on renovating 5 North.
The Richmond CoC is an authentic community
Throughout the Richmond CoC, we work as one big team and we are always able to get the work done while being supportive of one another. This hospital has an authentic community and neighbourly vibe to it and is a true reflection of the people we serve. I am very proud of the work all of us have done and even more so, I’m proud of the relationships we have all built as a team along the way.
The future of patient care in Richmond
The Richmond community has grown so much over the years and a rejuvenated Richmond Hospital is exactly what this community needs. When I think about the future, I imagine that this will be the best hospital that Vancouver Coastal Health can create. A lot of people who work here also live in Richmond, so this is their hospital – even with a brand new tower, I think this neighbourhood community vibe will always exist here.