As part of a landmark $50 million gift from Michael G. DeGroote, the faculties of Business and Health Sciences present the Health Leadership Academy (HLA) at McMaster’s Ron Joyce Centre. The HLA strives to attain transformative impact on global healthcare by nurturing a community of future leaders right here in Burlington and Hamilton, Ontario.

Thanks to the HLA’s interdisciplinary and forward thinking approaches to education, these leaders will be prepared to succeed in a number of fields – everything from informing government policy to developing and supporting health innovations. In addition to offering world-class academic programs and informative public events, the HLA encourages entrepreneurial and start-up ideation and innovations with the potential to revolutionize healthcare as we know it.

Welcome to the Collaboratorium: Health Leadership Academy is poised to make an impact

Global healthcare is changing, and McMaster University is at the forefront of that change with the Health Leadership Academy (HLA). more…


What We Do



We equip emerging leaders with capabilities to change the health landscape by support a new leadership paradigm with the Emerging Health Leaders Program, a 2-week intensive leadership program focusing on leadership development. Innovation by Design (IBD), a 3-unit design thinking course for undergraduate students (level 3 and higher) and graduate students.


We promote and endorse interdisciplinary research that shows strong potential for training and development of tomorrow’s health care leaders and transforming Canada’s health care system, with a focus on leadership and one or more of entrepreneurship, change management, digital transformation, innovation and education. Currently, four studies are being funded and a signature health project is underway.


By focusing on identifying solutions to local health related issues, we nurture collaborative opportunities to engage stakeholders in transformative health leadership activities. We invite you to join us monthly at our free Collaboratorium Talks focused on health innovation and health leadership and stay tuned for a new design competition in 2019.

In the News

Using design thinking methods, HLA’s Innovation by Design students worked with the City of Hamilton to develop a solution to the City’s inactivity challenge.

Read a few of the highlights from Professor Maja Jovanovic’s June Collaboratorium Talk, “Perfection is Paralysis: Learn to Lead with Confidence.”

As part of McMaster’s 100in1 Day activities, the Health Leadership Academy’s Alumni Ambassador Committee used design thinking to engage Hamiltonians on their experiences with health or healthcare.

Highlights from Dr. Des Gorman’s talk at the “Leading Health Systems Innovation” forum.

Lessons in leadership: Three emerging health leaders share their stories

Students design solution to encourage proper use of personal protective equipment


Check out more highlights from our In the News Archives.


Featured Programs


The Emerging Health Leaders Program is an intensive, residential, leadership certificate program for undergraduate and graduate students across the province. This program will challenge your thinking and will push you to become a better leader by focusing on: personal leadership development, effective teams, change management, design thinking, as well as identifying, implementing and championing new ideas and innovations in a health environment.


This course enables students to engage in design thinking as a methodology to assess health problems / challenges, collect meaningful data, iterate alternative design options, and build a prototype solution for validation with user groups. This interdisciplinary course teaches conceptual approaches to ‘design thinking’ and develops capabilities with spotting, supporting and scaling up new innovative ideas.


As a collaborative event between the Health Leadership Academy & the CCHL Hamilton Area Chapter, MIHIC challenges undergraduate and graduate students to form interdisciplinary teams to leverage their diverse skills to develop what they believe will be the Next Big Health Idea. Teams compete with each other to advance to the next round. Along the way, they’re connected with mentors and network with industry professionals.



Learn about our 2017 Achievements

Upcoming Events

Health Economic Perspectives and the Future of Cancer Health

October 4, 2018
Dr. Christopher Longo discusses economic evaluations of cancer treatments -- recent trends, and future considerations.

Holidays @ HLA – Mix and Mingle

December 4, 2018
Holiday mixer, put on by the Health Leadership Academy

The Collaboratorium

The term “Collaboratorium” represents a new way of working together in an open, transparent environment. By collaborating and working together in an open space, we commit ourselves to creating an environment of discovery and ideation in which education and research helps to build knowledge and widen perspectives; an environment of openness with our colleagues and community, in which ideas and research are validated, shared and debated.

Program Directors

Delsworth Harnish, PhD, MSc

3M National Fellow
Professor, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Health Sciences Education
Faculty of Health Sciences

Dr. Harnish is a professor of pathology and molecular medicine has been the assistant dean of the bachelor of health sciences (honours) program (B.H.SC.) since it was launched in 2000.

Michael Hartmann, PhD, MBA, MA, HBA

Professor, Human Resources and Management
DeGroote School of Business
Principal, the Directors College
Executive Director, EMBA in Digital Transformation

Dr. Hartmann is a professor of Human Resource Management at the DeGroote School of Business and Principal of the Directors College.

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