Position Title:                  Senior Communications Officer
Organization:                   Covenant Health
Reports To:                       Chief Human Resources Officer 

About Covenant Health:

Leading with an innovative and compassionate response to community needs.

With a focus on serving the most vulnerable and marginalized in society, Covenant Health provides high quality care across the full range of healthcare services in 12 communities across Alberta. A leader and key partner in the Alberta healthcare system, Covenant Health is driven by innovation and compassion to meet the needs of individuals, their families, and the communities in which they live.

As one of Canada’s largest Catholic healthcare providers, Covenant Health is committed to diversity and inclusion, serving, employing and celebrating people of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds. We honour the legacy of our Catholic health ministry by fulfilling our ethical commitments and creatively giving life to our mission in the places we are called to serve. This includes building connections to and understanding the changing needs of the communities we serve, advocating for opportunities to optimize care and address unmet needs.

With a workforce comprising approximately 11,000 staff, 730 volunteers and 2,410 physicians who either designate a Covenant site as their primary location for practice, or have privileges, Covenant Health provides a range of healthcare in communities across Alberta, including acute care services in two of Edmonton’s busiest hospitals. The Misericordia and Grey Nuns Community Hospitals account for nearly one quarter of the Emergency department visits in the Edmonton Zone and about 30 percent of the bed base in the zone.

In addition to acute care, mental health, addiction, continuing care, assisted living, hospice, rehabilitation and respite care, and seniors’ housing round out the complement of services Covenant provides across the province. Covenant Health provides 1 in 4 provincially funded palliative and hospice beds in Alberta, supporting palliative needs in urban and rural communities. Covenant’s Villa Caritas is a unique acute mental health facility specializing in caring for seniors with complex mental and medical health issues.

Covenant Health is a valued partner in Alberta’s integrated health system and one of Canada’s largest Catholic Health organizations.  Covenant Health is proud to deliver quality, innovative health services to Albertans, and is honoured to be one of Alberta’s Top 70 Employers for 2021, a Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Culture in 2021, and one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2021.

Position Purpose:

Reporting to the Chief Human Resources Officer, and as a member of the Senior Leadership Team, the Senior Communications Officer (SCO) provides visionary leadership in the design, implementation and evaluation of an integrated internal and external communications and community engagement strategy, aligned with Covenant Health’s mission, vision, values and strategic objectives.  The SCO actively contributes to the advancement of Covenant’s strategic plan, ensuring effective engagement of internal and external stakeholders in building awareness and understanding of Covenant’s significant contribution to the Alberta healthcare system.

The SCO provides expert advice and counsel to the CEO and senior leadership; observing public opinion and trends and ensuring they are considered in organizational decision-making.  The SCO leads a team of communications professionals in the delivery of a high quality strategic and operational communications expertise to the organization.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic vision and direction to the design, implementation and evaluation of an integrated internal and external communications and community engagement strategy, aligned with Covenant’s mission, vision, values and strategic objectives.
  • Lead the design, implementation and evaluation of a branding strategy to build and enhance public awareness of Covenant’s value to the health care system and advance the organization’s reputation.
  • Provide responsive, strategic advice and expertise to executive and senior leaders in responding to emerging issues which may impact patients, residents, workforce or the public.
  • Build, develop and sustain a team of mission driven, high functioning communications professionals equipped to provide high quality, strategic and operational communications expertise to the organization.
  • Effectively engage internal and external stakeholders in building awareness and understanding of Covenant Health’s significant contribution to the Alberta health care system.
  • Foster strong engagement and trust with the Board, leadership team and the wider workforce, as well as the public and other partners and stakeholders, including but not limited to Government, Alberta Health Services, Catholic Health organizations and other Catholic ministries and public agencies, as well as the media.
  • Collaborate with Digital Communications & Creative Services, External Relations and other key partners to ensure synchronicity and consistent messaging inside and outside the organization.

Qualifications, Knowledge and Experience:

  • Baccalaureate degree in communications, public relations, arts or social sciences, accompanied by 7+ years of progressive experience in a communications leadership role in a large, unionized organization of significant complexity and diversity.
  • Master’s degree in communications, public relations, arts or social sciences. (Preferred)
  • Related experience in healthcare and/or a public sector environment. (Preferred)
  • Proven experience advising executive/senior leaders.
  • Exceptional issues management skills including the ability to discern risk and respond strategically.
  • Proven leadership experience in developing and implementing effective, integrated communications programs and services within a large organization.
  • Demonstrated understanding of communications best practices, the vision to identify emerging trends in communications, and ability to champion and implement new operational initiatives.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication, interpersonal, and negotiating skills, along with excellent operational and financial acumen.
  • Demonstrated ability to coach and mentor others to develop high performing, integrated teams.
  • Strong customer focus, commitment to continuous quality improvement and results-oriented management style.
  • Proven ability to foster partnerships and work collaboratively with key partners and funders to achieve organizational goals.
  • Ability to foster a climate of cooperation and build solid relationships with public agencies, government, boards, committees, and other partners.

About Pender & Howe:

Covenant Health has retained Pender & Howe to lead the recruitment initiative for the Senior Communications Officer position. Pender & Howe is a boutique retained executive search firm specializing in collaborating with human capital leaders, governing boards and CxOs in identifying exceptional leaders.

The Senior Communications Officer search is led by Glenn Lesko. For consideration, please email a copy of your CV in confidence to:

Glenn Lesko (Principal) –  [email protected]

We thank all applicants in advance. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.