Communications Leader

Back to Blogs Posted: February 23, 2017

Close your eyes and picture thisYou are in an insanely busy, slightly cramped workspace shared with two communication colleagues. Your to-do list is overflowing, and yet when an operational leader walks into your office with desperation in her eyes and an urgent need for your advice on a staff announcement, you lay everything down and get her through the moment. You pause to laugh about the insanity of health care communication, and then pick up where you left off, knowing you’re an important part of passionate, people-focused team that will never EVER get to the bottom of that to-do list.

Sound good? If yes, there may be something wrong with you, but keep reading!

But wait!

Before you read further, we should fess up that this same job was posted a mere eight months ago. We found someone great (who describes the job as awesome and the office space passable), who is unable to stay. It’s bitter sweet for her and us, but maybe you’re the one to fill the hole in our communicator hearts?

Vancouver Coastal Health is looking for an intermediate-senior level communications professional to take the lead on all aspects of internal and external communications in its Coastal “Community of Care,” which provides full-scope health services in both urban and rural communities spanning the North Shore, Sea-to-Sky, and Sunshine and Central Coast.

Reporting to the Director of Corporate Communications, the Communications Leader is accountable for developing, planning and implementing strategic communications on behalf of Vancouver Coastal Health, with a focus on the information and engagement needs of employees and physicians in the Coastal region. Working in partnership with the local Communications Specialist, the position provides leadership and consultation in all aspects of communications to advance strategic priorities while maintaining and strengthening the health authority’s reputation with both internal and external stakeholders.

The ideal candidate for this role is a dynamic self-starter capable of prioritizing competing deadlines, confidently delivering sound communication advice to operational leaders, and proactively identifying opportunities for internal and external communication, as well as potential communication risks. The role requires everything from big picture planning to execution of all tactics that make for a successful communication campaign or initiative. Past experience in organizational or corporate communications is a must, and experience with change management would be an asset.

Bottom line: This is not a “learn as you go” kind of role.

The Coastal Communications Leader is a trusted advisor to senior leaders and will benefit from a positive attitude, critical thinking skills, creativity, diplomacy, and amazing written and oral communication skills. Equally important, the person in this role should have a sense of humour, loads of empathy, a willingness to pitch in to support colleagues, and lots of experience in creating simple, yet effective communication tools and messages that help operational leaders connect with frontline employees and physicians.

Key Accountabilities:

  • Provides strategic communications consultation, planning and evaluation for senior leaders to proactively achieve strategic priorities, manage reputation risks, support change and transition initiatives, and positively impact corporate operations and employee engagement.
  • Advises senior leaders and physicians on best use of communication tools and practices to achieve operational priorities.
  • Works with senior leaders and managers to help employees and physicians understand corporate goals and objectives through strategic use of established and emerging communications channels.  
  • Provides advice, guidance and communications direction both internally and externally to support the successful implementation of communications strategies.
  • Collaborates on master project list and provides day-to-day assignments and feedback to the local Communications Specialist to achieve Coastal and corporate communication objectives.
  • Identifies and responds to incidents and emerging issues with background information and messaging and collaborates on strategic external communications with various stakeholders including news media, government, foundations, community stakeholders and other publics.
  • Conducts research and evaluations, including surveys and focus groups, to benchmark and measure the effectiveness of the organization’s communications strategies.


  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline supplemented with industry-recognized accreditation plus seven to ten (7-10) years of progressive related corporate/organizational communications, employee engagement and stakeholder relations experience, or equivalent combination of experience and education.
  • Knowledge of the health care industry and/or public sector experience is a significant asset.
  • The preferred candidate may also have an appreciation of First Nations culture and traditions, previous experience working in rural communities and a passion for collaborative communication and community relations.
  • This position is based at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, but requires frequent travel to other Coastal communities. A Class 5 BC Drivers’ License is required.

To Apply:

Interested parties are encouraged to submit their resume and cover letter quoting position 091804 by using the following link:

Please note:  

  • This position is based at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, but requires frequent travel to other Coastal communities. 
  • Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for this posting.
  • Successful applicants may be required to complete a Criminal Records Review Check.
  • Deadline for external applications is March 10, 2017

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