External Relations Leader

Back to Blogs Posted: September 12, 2022
Vancouver Coastal Health
September 12, 2022
Vancouver, Canada
Job Type
Level of Experience
Established professional, Strategic advisor
Application Deadline
Until Filled


Come work as an External Relations Leader with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)! Apply now.

As part of its community-oriented approach, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) always seeks to inform, support and build strong relationships with local leadership across the region. These relationships are critical to ensuring key stakeholder groups are aware of local healthcare developments relevant to their communities, establishing pathways for the escalation and remediation of issues, as well as the identification of opportunities to foster relationships between the health authority and civic leaders. Overall, the External Relations Leader plays a critical role supporting VCH issues management, stakeholder relations and relationship building within its communities of care.

Reporting to the Regional Director, Public Affairs & Stakeholder Relations, the External Relations Leader serves as a key point of contact for local leadership, including community and special interest groups. The Leader will exercise superior discretion and judgement when acting on behalf of VCH, capable of effectively navigating complex issues in a dynamic stakeholder environment.

The Leader works closely with the Public Affairs Coordinator, other members of the communications department and other VCH program teams to address stakeholder enquiries as well as advance relationship-building initiatives.

The Leader will also be responsible for providing internal counsel, identifying, escalating and addressing potential issues, as well as providing strategic communications support, as required.

The Leader will support planning on public engagement events, which VCH hosts three times a year and enables senior leaders to engage directly and more deeply with local residents. Additionally, the Leader will support the local senior leadership in each community of care by arranging and handling semi-annual meetings with elected representatives in those regions.

As an External Relations Advisor with Vancouver Coastal Health you will:

  • Serves as key point of contact for VCH with local community leaders, including community and special interest groups, elected officials and public sector staff.
  • Works with relevant VCH program teams to address stakeholder enquiries and issues.
  • Supports VCH operational leaders with local stakeholder relations, including coordinating meetings, developing and delivering briefings, preparing presentations, key messages, and remarks, supporting the development of correspondence, etc.
  • Provides guidance, coaching and oversight to the Public Affairs Coordinator, which has a direct reporting relationship.
  • Responsible for administrative tracking and reporting around external relations activities.
  • Leads all aspects of planning around public engagement events, including developing agenda, speaking notes, briefing materials, liaising with vendors, coordinating logistics, and helping to moderate these sessions.
  • Supports the distribution and dissemination of VCH announcements and operational updates to key community leaders, as appropriate.
  • Provides communications support to corporate and regional project teams, as required.
  • Performs other related duties, as assigned.


Education & Experience

  • A level of education and experience equivalent to an undergraduate degree preferably in Political Science, Communication, or Public Relations combined with a minimum of seven (7) years of communication and/or stakeholder relations experience as well as functional and strategic expertise of the stakeholder environment in which VCH operates.
  • Previous experience working in healthcare or a public sector environment is an asset and desirable.

Knowledge & Abilities

  • Ability to recognize emerging issues, garner resources to manage the response to them, while demonstrating tact, diplomacy, and composure.
  • Knowledge of the principals of communication.
  • Knowledge of political and administrative spheres of government, and the unique needs and pressures facing each.
  • Demonstrated ability to create and execute strategic communication plans.
  • Demonstrated success supporting the professional development of direct reports.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the essence and subtleties of communication in order that exchanges are understood at all levels within a complex internal and external network.
  • Ability to respond to the needs of a variety of stakeholders supported by an acute awareness of the impact of actions.
  • Demonstrated ability to problem-solve with local, regional, national and global perspectives in order to incorporate the organization’s systems and strategies when developing viable solutions to problems.
  • Ability to meet deadlines, work under pressure and manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish courses of action for self and others that are results oriented.
  • Is practical, with an open, team-oriented approach to planning and managing issues and activities.
  • Able to provide and seek input on issues to make decisions, and to stand by them.
  • Is approachable, polite, politically sensitive, and a great listener, able to draw from individuals and audiences the information or behaviour required to meet goals and objectives.
  • Uses diplomacy and a respectful posture to remain effective in dealing with a range of audiences, frequently under stressful or emotionally-charged situations.
  • Ability to relate to individuals in very senior positions, and individuals in junior positions through effective listening, deference, polite assertiveness, and a sense of purpose.

This Role Description is intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed and is not necessarily an exhaustive list of accountabilities, qualifications and competencies required.


As per the current Public Health Orders (Long Term Care/Seniors Assisted Living Provincial Health Officer Order and the Health Sector Order), as of October 26, 2021, all employees working for Vancouver Coastal Health must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Proof of vaccination status will be required.



VCH is a world class innovator in medical care, research and teaching, delivering service to more than one million BC residents. At VCH, we embrace thinking boldly, taking smart risks, and "going first" when we believe it will lead to the best possible outcomes for patients and their families. We invite you to join us in creating healthy lives in healthy communities by showcasing our passion for care, connection to the communities we serve and our culture of teamwork that makes VCH a great place to work.

  • Comprehensive health benefits package, including MSP, extended health and dental and municipal pension plan
  • Grow your career with employer-paid training and leadership development opportunities
  • Wellness supports, including counselling, critical incident and innovative wellness services are available to employees and their immediate families
  • Award-winning recognition programs to honour staff, medical staff and volunteers
  • Access to exclusive discount offers and deals for VCH staff

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to our goals of creating a great place to work and delivering exceptional care. We acknowledge and accommodate unique differences and ensure special measures are in place so that all prospective and current employees are given an opportunity to succeed.

We are committed to building a representative workforce and encourage applications reflecting diversity of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization or ancestry, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

Vancouver Coastal Health is proud to be recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers in 2022.

Please note that a resume is required to apply to this posting.

Hours of Work may vary due to project requirements.

Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for this posting.


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