Contributing to a healthy future

Deborah Tewelde is a third-year Health student. In her blog, she talks about her most recent work term, acquiring skills within the world of healthcare and how she’s taken on multiple responsibilities that have contributed to maximizing the efficiencies seen in her workplace.


What is your program and what year are you in?

I am studying Public Health and I am currently in my 3B term!


Who is your employer?

I am working with the Cambridge North Dumfries Ontario Health Team (CND OHT). For a little background on the CND OHT, they work towards transforming the provincial health care landscape as well as building integrated care delivery systems across the Cambridge North Dumfries area, that provide seamless and fully coordinated care and pathways for patients.


What are your responsibilities in the workplace and what does your work entail?

Deborah Tewelde smiling.

The responsibilities in this role are broad in nature, allowing me to experience different parts of health care during the term. Some of the responsibilities I have been currently working on include:

  • Environmental scan of OHT governance structures
  • Support staff in preparing for meetings including drafting agendas and preparing materials
  • Support the Governance & Accountability Council in finalizing the terms of reference, including identifying a governance structure
  • Develop a diversity and equity working group for member organizations
  • Involved in workstream and operations meetings, support in taking notes and highlighting action items

What has been the highlight of your current work term?

The highlight of this work term would be my role as a project coordinator on the development of a newly launched eight-week pilot project, a Community Mental Health & Addictions Clinic (C-MAC) running out of the hospital. The clinic's intent is to improve quick access to mental health and addictions treatment, improve the patient experience in navigating treatment and alleviating system pressures. We were able to bring together different community partners to work towards this goal. I was a part of the early stages of planning and operations. Seeing it come to fruition has been an incredible experience and such an important asset to the community.


How do you think this experience and/or your previous co-ops have helped you develop yourself?

Throughout this experience, I have been exposed to a different side of health care that I wasn't familiar with prior to the role. Through learning, connecting and my involvement, I have developed skills and knowledge that I will carry on. Additionally, I have gained greater insight into health care and what type of work I see myself doing in the future.


How did you overcome challenges during this work term and/or previous ones?

An important way I was able to overcome challenges during this work term is by approaching problems with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. Taking every opportunity as a learning experience and allowing it to be used for growth. Additionally, maintaining good communication and seeking out guidance from colleagues and supervisors. Everyone at the CND OHT has been able to offer valuable advice, feedback and support; therefore, helping me make informed decisions.


Follow Deborah on LinkedIn as she continues her career journey!

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