Dr. Nathalie Saad, a 2014 graduate of the McGill-HEC Montreal EMBA program, is Chief Pulmonologist for the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Mount Sinai Hospital, and that’s where her instinct for innovation has come to the fore. She’s a firm believer in finding better ways to deliver health care. Better from the patient’s perspective, that is. It’s this patient-centred orientation that drove her to spearhead the development of the innovative Tele-pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Mount Sinai.
This program allows patients from throughout the province to benefit from a program to which they would otherwise not have access. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is among the leading causes of death in Quebec, and under 2% of the population has access to pulmonary rehabilitation. Her program’s objective, which is now offered at 8 sites throughout the province, is to bring about long-term change to patients’ habits in order to improve their quality of life. The program is run by an interdisciplinary team, including Dr. Saad as Chief Respirologist, and includes 8 weeks of exercise and education sessions, with periodic follow-ups thereafter. Nathalie’s ambition is to deliver the best care possible to the most people possible, as this program demonstrates. That’s simply who she is.
The EMBA role in all this? She says it’s been an accelerator for her. The knowledge and approaches she gained from the program have helped her achieve her goals more quickly. One aspect she underlined is, “Getting a fresh point of view from different industries, rather than only speaking to health professionals was key.” So was learning how to communicate and convince those whose approval she needed – learning how to understand the needs and issues of all stakeholders.
The Telepulmonary program is just one of Nathalie’s many hats. Dr. Saad embodies the old saying, ‘if you need something done, ask a busy person’. She was recently elected to the board of directors of the Collège des médecins du Québec for a four year mandate, and was named vice-chair of the board. Nathalie is also a member of the Pulmonary Service team at the Jewish General Hospital, (in addition to her role at Mount Sinai) and Chair for the undergraduate medical education and internal medicine department at the McGill University Faculty of Medicine. We congratulate her on her successes, and look forward to learning about her future innovations.