Paulette Lacroix Nursing Informatics Leadership Scholarship

Embracing change as a hallmark of success, Paulette Lacroix has developed a diverse and extensive background in healthcare as a registered nurse, administrator and researcher in acute care, community services and public health. This dream seemed out of reach for a child born into poverty in a large French family living in a log house in an isolated and remote part of Northwestern Ontario, basically a CN whistle stop that provided an essential transportation link to receive groceries, medical aid and all things Sears Roebuck.

Paulette was the only child of eight to graduate high school, but her dream of becoming a nurse was put on hold until, as a young wife and mother, she graduated in 1988 from Lakehead University with an Honours Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. As a registered nurse, Paulette worked in many nursing leadership roles and was known as a "builder" for her work in innovative transformations in healthcare service delivery in Ontario, Manitoba and BC. 

A life-changing heart attack in 1996 with many months of recovery provided Paulette an opportunity for a profound transition. In 2000, she launched a management consulting practice assisting health authorities, government, universities, private enterprise and non-profits in planning and program development, change management, patient access and flow, mental health services, electronic health records and healthcare informatics. She has helped to prepare healthcare organizations for successful accreditation, and was instrumental in developing decision support for the BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, which assisted in the re-allocation of acute mental health services in the province.  In 2006 she graduated with a Master of Public Health degree with a specialty in nursing from Lakehead University. Her thesis examined secondary outcomes for women in Northern Ontario with cardiovascular disease. 

Recognizing an important sea change in the digitalization of health information, Paulette worked with the BC provincial project team in 2006 to design and develop the BC electronic health record, and to design the provincial benefits evaluation strategy. In 2010, anticipating a rising risk to information privacy rights posed by digitalization, Paulette achieved certification with the International Association of Privacy Professionals as a privacy specialist in Canada and the US. Subsequently the scope of her consulting services expanded to include privacy, ethics and cybersecurity.

Paulette was honoured in 2019 as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Victoria School of Health Information Science. She lectures, presents internationally and is a published author, being awarded  the 2019 Emerald Literati Award for outstanding paper as one of the most exceptional pieces of work submitted in 2018 ("Revisiting public health informatics: patient privacy concerns", published in International Journal of Health Governance). Paulette is the chair of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) Ethics, Privacy and Security of Health Informatics Working Group and is active in designing an international ethically-grounded framework for health information management.


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