After 25 years in health care leadership in a multitude of executive leadership roles, Andrew Will is enjoying the challenges and rewards that come with his latest job as Vice President of Infrastructure, Information and Support for Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).
He holds a degree in Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan, has spent his career working in health care, and has extensive experience in the field.
Will has served in executive leadership positions in four former Saskatchewan health regions including as CEO of the North East Health District and the inaugural CEO of the Cypress Health Region. He also served as the President and CEO of Aspen Regional Health, and was a member of the Alberta Health Services executive team serving as Executive Vice President of Clinical Support Services during their transition period as they amalgamated their former health regions into one.
Just prior to joining the SHA’s executive leadership on December 4, 2017, Will was the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of 3sHealth for six years. While at 3sHealth, he also served as interim President and CEO of former Saskatoon Health Region in 2016.
Will’s portfolio is expansive and covers digital health technologies, privacy and health information management, nutrition and food services, environmental services, protective services, parking, emergency planning and, of course, infrastructure, serving all 270 facilities throughout the province.
“The quality of food, cleanliness and condition of our facilities, and access to information are all very important aspects of patient experience. I’m excited that we can help support that,” he says.
With 12 former regions came 12 different ways of doing things. So, Will prefers having one provincial health system and is looking forward to all of the possibilities that come with elimination of administrative boundaries.
“Removing those boundaries in health care allows us to really provide consistent, best-practice care to all residents of Saskatchewan,” he notes.
Will and his colleagues are enthusiastic about being able to provide the best service possible to the residents of Saskatchewan.
“I love the culture that’s emerging within the new health authority. People are working together to make health care better. Everyone I’ve met in a leadership role is humble and genuinely wants to make a positive difference; I’m excited about that.”
What’s most rewarding about his new job?
“The most rewarding thing is working with teams of people. It’s gratifying to watch them be successful, and then celebrate their successes.”
What’s the most challenging thing? “The sheer volume of emails,” he says with a laugh.
Will has a long list of things he’d like to see achieved in his portfolio over the next few years, including:
“I was born and raised here, so the people we serve are my family and my friends. If I can work with our teams to have a positive impact, it’s exciting,” says Will, who was born and raised on a farm near Crooked River— 20 kilometres east of Tisdale, Saskatchewan.
His mother, father and brother and family still farm near Crooked River, while his oldest brother works in a potash mine near Saskatoon.
“In the early days, when my Dad started the farm, he also worked as an orderly in the Melfort and Tisdale hospitals. I remember him talking about his health care days. My mom was a certified nursing assistant. Farming was their main occupation, but Mom and Dad always spoke very fondly of health care and that was one of the factors that led me to this field.”
When he started working for the SHA, Will and his family moved from an acreage near Regina to an acreage just south of Saskatoon. His wife Karen is a teacher and they have two children, Amanda and Tyler. Amanda, in her last year of Commerce at the University of Saskatchewan, aspires to a career in health care, specializing in human resources. Tyler is in his first year of Business at the University of Regina.
Andrew Will with his wife Karen and their two children, Amanda and Tyler.
“It’s a short commute to work, but I still get to live in the country, which is what I love,” he says.
When Will isn’t working, you can find him spending some quality time with his family—preferably, outdoors. Greenwater Lake, near his home town, is their favourite spot for boating, snowmobiling or driving all-terrain vehicles.
“I love being outdoors. Our whole family loves it. Spending quality time with family, that’s what life is all about.”
Will is appreciative of the dedication and patience SHA staff and physicians have shown during this transition time.
“I really appreciate the hard work and dedication that our staff and physicians contribute, every hour of every day, to provide and support care for our patients and residents. It is exciting to see everyone come together across the province in one team serving the people of Saskatchewan. I’m proud to be part of that team.”