Linda Dempster is a nationally recognized expert in patient safety and health care quality, demonstrating best practices in nursing care in all that she does. Improving patient care in British Columbia takes more than planning—it requires a firm commitment to change. Rising up through frontline leadership roles in the nursing sector, Linda is known as the kind of determined executive who truly promotes public health.
At Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), one of the biggest regional health authorities in British Columbia, Linda has earned the respect and confidence of her fellow health care professionals. As Executive Director of Clinical Quality and Patient Safety, Infection Control and Community Engagement, she effectively takes on three essential portfolios that would ordinarily be a challenge to manage by three different professionals.
In her various roles with VCH, she is responsible for integrating quality and patient safety reporting across all levels, strategic planning for infection control, communicating with the public and various health committees and much more. She oversees many initiatives such as Releasing Time to Care, a Surgical Care Checklist and an award-winning decolonization therapy program that has received international attention for reducing surgical site infections.
“Linda has made outstanding gains in improving the quality of care for patients across VCH,” says VCH Executive Director of Clinical Education Barb Lawrie. “Examples include hand hygiene compliance, decreasing falls, lowering hospital-acquired urinary tract infections and adherence to NSQIP standards.” In addition, she has led the planning redesign at both Richmond and Vancouver sites, resulting in significantly better patient outcomes and highly engaged staff. These initiatives show creativity and a commitment to sustainable health care— something that’s been present throughout Linda’s long career in health care.
Going above and beyond her formal duties at VCH, Linda counsels others on the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council and has been an advisor on several provincial-level committees related to infection control, pandemic planning and other key areas. She has also been a driving force in the Quality Academy of BC, a professional development program for nurses, working with their advisory committee and acting as faculty for related projects. She also gives generously of her time as a member of Royal Roads University Alumni and with Family Services of Greater Vancouver. Through these kinds of initiatives and more, Linda helps ensure that the next generation of nurses has real opportunities to be the best that they can be.
Linda’s strong commitment to lifelong learning has been essential in improving health care, administration and nursing education in BC, as she puts the best of what she has learned into practice. She has a Master of Arts degree in Leadership from Royal Roads University, in addition to many years of formal nursing education from the University of British Columbia and B.C. Institute of Technology. She is continually boosting her knowledge and skills through continuing education activities, conferences and more.
Linda remains a tireless leader of patient-focused initiatives. Her lobbying for better health care has gotten real results, helping countless patients at Vancouver Coastal Health and beyond.