Award Recipient

Susan VanDeVelde-Coke


Dr. Coke was most recently Executive Vice President and Chief Professions/Nursing Executive at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, a 1250 bed facility in Toronto, Ontario. Her operational responsibilities included 2,400 nurses, 1000 health professionals, and executive leadership for five medical and surgical clinical programs. In this role, she created and implemented strategic plans that resulted in the restructuring of clinical services, built an interprofessional practice structure, achieved major budget efficiencies, and created innovative strategies to optimize human resource utilization. Previously she was Vice President at VON National Canada, where she led the merging of 14 Ontario VON branches into one governance and operational structure, establishing Day Away programs and community palliative, mental health and dialysis services. Dr. Coke also held the position of Senior Vice President, Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre where she was responsible for the acute medical/surgical, mental health, obstetrics, paediatrics and rehabilitation hospitals. Other positions included Director of Surgical and Intensive Care Services at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

From 2010-2012, Dr. Coke was President of the Academy of Canadian Executive Nurses (ACEN) and previously served as Vice President of the Canadian Nurses Association. She is presently the ACEN co-chair with the Canadian Nurses Association of the National Nursing Quality Report Initiative; the research being led by the University of Toronto National Health Services Research Unit.

She has served on numerous federal, provincial and local task forces and committees, focused on improving ways to bridge the acute and community sectors, developing new mechanisms to keep patients and clients out of acute care hospitals, determining how to use human resources more effectively, assisting clients to better cope on their own and finally, creating ways for the health care system to work in a more coordinated fashion. She has given numerous presentations and guest lectures on leadership, health care reform, program management and various clinical topics.

Dr. Coke’s research “The Effectiveness and Efficiency of providing Home Care Visits in Nursing Clinics versus the Traditional Home Setting” focused on home care delivery methods, providing the empirical evidence to support the change in home care regulations to permit setting up nursing clinics in the community.

Dr. Coke earned an MA from the University of Washington, MBA from McGill University and her PhD from McMaster University. She also holds an adjunct appointment as Assistant Professor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto, and has held similar positions at the University of Manitoba, Ottawa University, and Rush University in Chicago, Illinois. She is a Certified Health Executive.

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