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Army Air Force Navy

Health Care Administration Officer

OFFICER | Full Time, Part Time


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Overview

Health Care Administration Officers provide leadership and management of health care services and delivery.  They apply the principles and practices of health care administration, resource-management organization and operations for the Canadian Forces Health Services. 

Their primary responsibilities are to ensure that the health care system is managed effectively, that health care professionals are able to practice in a safe and efficient environment, and that Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members receive high-quality health care wherever they may be, in garrison or on a base or wing in Canada, or deployed on international or domestic operations.

Work environment

Health Care Administration Officers work in either operational units such as a Field Ambulance, the Field Hospital, aeromedical staging units and area medical support units, or in static facilities such as a clinic on a base or wing. They may also be employed at regional or national headquarters, or in a training unit, and may be expected to deploy on international or domestic operations.

Career Overview

Transcript

TITLE:

HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION OFFICER

MAJOR ALAINA MUNDY: I’m Major Alaina Mundy from Pembroke, Ontario – I’m a Health Care Administration Officer currently posted to National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa.

Health Care Administration Officers, or HCAs for short, manage the delivery of health care to Canada’s soldiers, sailors and Air Force personnel – that’s over 71,000 men and women across Canada and wherever our troops are stationed around the world.

MAJOR ALAINA MUNDY: We are the connection between the clinical side of health care and the administrative side of health care. Our jobs are to enable the clinicians to treat patients. So we enable that by making sure that they have staff, making sure they have supplies, making sure they have buildings and infrastructure, the right kind of people in the right places. In the battlespace, we’re responsible to make sure that the lines of evacuation are clear, that we have documents in place and policy in place to make sure that any patient is evacuated rearward to a medical facility – and that’s an important piece of our job.

HCAs work in close collaboration with Medical Officers, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Mental Health professionals, Medical Specialists, and other clinicians. 

MAJOR ALAINA MUNDY: HCAs really are the magic behind the scenes. We are the glue that binds that clinical team and allows them to treat the patients. If doctors don’t have the resources, if Med Techs or PAs or nurses don’t have the resources to treat their patients, patient care can’t be successful. HCAs make sure that all those resources are there, and that patient care can continue, no matter what space we’re working in – so whether that’s in garrison or in the field or on deployed operations, we make sure that clinicians are enabled to treat patients.

Being a Health Care Administrator in the Canadian Armed Forces calls for the same business and management skills required to manage a clinic or hospital in civilian life. That means managing all resources and projects to ensure that Canadian Armed Forces members receive a spectrum of care that is equivalent to what the most generous provincial or other federal government programs would provide in the same area.

But there’s more to it than that. As a platoon commander, having graduated from university, an HCA can find themselves leading 30 people on a mission overseas and that’s something that most civilians never get to experience, especially at such a young age.   

MAJOR ALAINA MUNDY: The coolest part of our job is that I never have the same day twice. One day, I could be managing a file with the Deputy Commander; the next day, I’m working collaboratively with other teams in the Headquarters discussing policy; I might get a phone call from a former subordinate who needs my advice and guidance on a file. So the rule of the game is that I never do the same day twice.

Once they’ve completed their military training, HCAs will be posted to an operational unit or to one of the Canadian Armed Forces Health Services clinics across the country as a junior Health Care Administration Officer. 

MAJOR ALAINA MUNDY: When you get posted to a unit as a brand-new HCA, you are going to be surrounded by your peers – they’re going to tell you what the expectations are of your position. You are going to be flexible and be offered a variety of different tasks. My advice to any junior HCA is to become involved in your unit, become involved in your garrison, become involved in your community, because those are the experiences that are going to help connect you with not only the people that you work with, but your patient population as well as your opportunities for professional development, and to use your leadership skills wisely.

As their career progresses, HCAs can be employed at regional or national headquarters or in a training unit, and may have the opportunity to deploy on international or domestic operations.

MAJOR ALAINA MUNDY: My pinch-me moment occurred, for me, on the 10th of November, 2013. I received a call from my boss and he said, “I need to deploy you on the Disaster Assistance Response Team.” And shortly thereafter, I was in the air, on a flight, ready to support the Philippines in their disaster cleanup of Typhoon Haiyan. And in 30 days of us working, we treated 6,603 patients with four mobile medical teams. And that is significant – that’s why you join. 

Related Civilian Occupations

  • Hospital Administrator
  • Hospital Operations Manager
  • Hospital Services Officer

Training

After enrolment, Health Care Administration officers attend Basic Officer Qualification training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 12 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the Forces, basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic Military Officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.

 

Learn more about Basic Training here.

Health Care Administration Officers attend the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre in Borden, Ontario, where they complete a series of formal military training courses and programs. These include:

  • Health Care Administration Officers must complete the Common Health Services Officer (CHSO) course which is an eight-day e-learning course available on the Defence Learning Network (DLN).  The CHSO course introduces Health Care Administration Officers to Canadian Armed Forces policies and procedures as well as HR management of military members and civilian personnel.
     
  • The Basic Health Care Administration Course (BHCAC) is a four-week course delivered at the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Center (CFHSTC) in Borden, Ontario. The purpose of the BHCAC is to educate new Health Care Administrators on the fundamentals of medical operations and health care administration.
     
  • The Health Services Tactical Leadership Officer Course (HSTLOC) consists of a 40-day residency course delivered at CFHSTC in four progressive modules of 10 days each. The course delivers substantive training in tactical acumen and command of health services elements in a tactical environment. During this course, Health Care Administration Officers learn how to apply health care management skills in the context of the CAF and in close support of Combat Arms units in the field on operations.

 

Health Care Administration Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses, on-the-job training, and professional conferences, including:

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Administration
  • Instructional techniques

As they progress in their career, Health Care Administration Officers who demonstrate the required ability and potential may be offered advanced training. Available courses include:

  • Graduate degree in Health Care Administration;
  • Graduate degree in Health Information Systems/Health Informatics/Health Analytics;
  • Graduate degree in Health Sciences;
  • Graduate degree in Public Administration; and
  • Masters of Arts in Training, Education or Project Management.

Entry plans

If you already have a university degree, the CAF will decide if your academic program matches the criteria for this job. Basic training and military officer qualification training are required before being assigned.

Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP)

Due to the requirement for a CAF officer to obtain a university degree, the CAF will pay successful recruits to complete a bachelor degree program in the Royal Military College System. Recruits will receive a full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full pay in exchange for working in the CAF for a period of time. Typically, candidates enter the Canadian Military College System as an Officer Cadet where they study subjects relevant to both their military and academic career. In rare instances, based on the needs of the CAF, candidates may be approved to attend another Canadian University. A determination will be made on a case-by-case basis. If you are applying for this program, you must apply to the CAF and it is recommended to apply to other Canadian universities of your choice should you not be accepted for ROTP.

For further information, please contact a Canadian Forces Health Services Recruiter: HSRecruiting-RecrutementSS@forces.gc.ca

Learn more about our Paid Education programs here.

Part time options

The role of the Canadian Forces Health Services Reserves is to provide trained personnel to support, augment and sustain Forces Health Services organizations for CAF operations and training activities, while building and maintaining links between the Forces and the local community.

This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time with a health services unit in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.

Health Care Administration Officers are employed to lead and manage health care services and delivery and to ensure that CAF members receive high-quality health care. Those employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis usually serve at a location within Canada.

Reserve Force training

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. Applicants with a university degree that matches the criteria for this job may be placed directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic officer training and qualification. Health Care Administration Officers attend the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre in Borden, Ontario to achieve their qualification.

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. Applicants with a university degree that matches the criteria for this job will attend the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre in Borden, Ontario to achieve their qualification.

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 92.8% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.