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Julia Hanigsberg

Episode #2: Odd One Out


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Hospital CEO and president Julia Hanigsberg joins us to discuss her unique career trajectory, the positive impact that shared personal experience can have on healthcare, the importance of representation in media, blurring the lines between professional and personal content on social media, family partnership in healthcare, and so much more!


Julia Hanigsberg joined Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital as its President and CEO in 2015. She has spent her career in government, post-secondary education and healthcare as a champion for cultural transformation, innovation, excellence, and equity. At Holland Bloorview, she led the development of the No Boundaries strategy, expanded clinical services, launched the social justice campaign Dear Everybody, and championed an ambitious growth plan for the Bloorview Research Institute. She is a founding member of the Kids Health Alliance and the Chair of the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario.


Since recording, we were saddened to hear of Golda’s passing. Golda, Julia’s beloved family dog, who we discuss in this episode and who featured heavily on Julia’s twitter page clearly brought so much joy to those who met or got to hear anecdotes about her. We are grateful to be able to share a little bit of her here. Our deepest condolences to Julia and her family.


We Discuss:

  • Using social media to build connections and integrating personal and professional aspects

  • The confusion between Golda the dog and Dr. Golda Milo-Manson

  • What Julia likes to do in her free time

  • The beautiful learning opportunities that reading fiction afford us

  • Things Julia has learned about healthcare and clinical work since coming to Holland Bloorview

  • Burnout and how to build feelings of competency in clinicians (e.g., the ECHO Autism program)

  • Julia’s career trajectory from law to hospital CEO: Being a unicorn and feeling like the odd one out as a non-physician and woman

  • Her early career and articling for Canada’s Supreme Court

  • What Julia pursued as a master’s degree and her unfinished dissertation

  • How personal experiences with healthcare are ubiquitous among providers and that, when we are self-aware, we can use them to provide better care and improve the system

  • The Dear Everybody campaign and changing the narrative on disability

  • What exactly the “healthcare system” is

  • Making sure that children’s health is part of the story we tell to policymakers about what is important to us as Canadians

Resources Mentioned:


Get the transcript of this episode here: