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The Perspective
The Perspective

December 4, 2017

Investing in our future: Time for a ‘moonshot’ to reduce Canada’s childhood mortality

Adapted from a speech to the Empire Club of Canada by Dr. Michael Apkon, President and CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

Photo of Mike Apkon giving speech at the Empire Club

I feel fortunate to be a part of one of the most effective health care systems in the world and to lead an organization that sets the bar for specialized health care for children in Canada and globally. I also take great pride and comfort in being part of a health-care system that is built on the principles of equity and equal access for all.

However, there are many, many opportunities to enhance value and to gauge improvement in our system. I want to propose that one of the most important and urgent opportunities is to improve the health and well-being of Canada’s children. While there are many strategies we could use to do so, I also believe we need to identify a unifying objective to drive change most expeditiously.

I’ve always been struck by the words of Dr. Don Berwick, former CEO for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and former head of the Medicare in the U.S. Don was famous for saying “some is not a number and soon is not a time”. I believe that if we want to make an important impact, we need a lofty goal – specific and time-bound.

We need a child well-being “moonshot” – achievable yet ambitious.

To see the rest of Dr. Apkon’s speech, play the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtlUHtFxLO4