Bringing Health Innovation to Life

Promise Magazine: Spring/Summer 2016

When health care for turn-of-the-century rural workers fell through the cracks, St. Paul’s determined how to take care of them. In 1906, the city’s pool of skilled nurses was very small. So, St. Paul’s founding Sisters, always willing to innovate, made the bold decision to open their own nursing school. Over a century later, highly skilled nurses are still a priority, with St. Paul’s being home to the most PhD qualified nurses in BC.

From remarkable progress to transformative change

St. Paul’s physicians, medical staff and researchers have a prolific history of making game-changing contributions to the world of medical science and compassionate care. The ideas and knowledge generated at St. Paul’s have led to innovations that meet the needs of our patients and make a global impact.

With continuous innovation embedded in St. Paul’s Vision—Driven by compassion and social justice, we are at the forefront of exceptional care and innovation—and the opportunity of building a new St. Paul’s, Providence Health Care (PHC) and St. Paul’s Foundation have launched the Office of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, to help build on St. Paul’s innovation success and transform care for the benefit of BC and beyond.

Transformation happens here

The Office will be dedicated to developing the passion and brilliance of individuals at St. Paul’s, and the collaborative energies of its teams, to translate innovative ideas into real-world solutions for patients.

In order to accelerate innovation and learning, the Office will lead an innovation fund that aligns with PHC’s strategy and priorities, and work to develop a portfolio of practice innovations, new lines of business, and research funding and commercial partnership opportunities.

Shauna Turner is leading the Office and PHC’s innovation strategy as Chief Innovation Officer, PHC and Executive Vice President Research. Shauna brings more than 20 years of experience as a CEO in the private and public sectors.

As Chief Innovation Development Officer, St. Paul’s Foundation, Ivone Martins will develop and lead fundraising. Dr. Lesley Esford has also joined the Office as Director of Commercialization and Innovation Ecosystem. Esford brings more than 15 years’ experience in academia, industry and government, in positions supporting the growth of the health sciences sector.

These are exciting times for PHC as the organization undertakes comprehensive planning for the new St. Paul’s, and continues to make provincial, national and global contributions through research and knowledge translation.

To support the Office of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, please contact St. Paul’s Foundation at 604-682-8206 or visit