About Us

AMS Healthcare Strategic Plan: 2023 - 2028

The AMS Healthcare Vision Endures

AMS Healthcare is a Canadian charitable organization that was created 85 years ago to catalyze change in healthcare. We have impacted healthcare through the introduction of new ideas into the system, particularly focused on the responsibility of providers and healthcare organizations to meet emerging societal needs. Since 2012, AMS Healthcare has focused its vision on the concept of compassionate care: supporting healthcare providers, educators, policy makers and system leaders in anticipating, teaching, and instilling a foundation of compassion at the heart of our health system. This is based on the premise that health professionals provide the best care when they can balance human compassion and technical expertise. Our sweet spot is building leaders committed to compassion in care. Our strength is developing health system leadership – leadership grounded in compassionate care. We should also not lose sight of the learnings afforded by lessons of the past – this was affirmed for all in the collective response to COVID.

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The vision of AMS Healthcare is:

Compassionate, quality healthcare for all Canadians, in a system advanced by technology, innovation, and a rich understanding of our healthcare history.

The health system has continued to change over AMS Healthcare’s history, but the relevance of this vision has endured. Today, emerging technologies are impacting every aspect of how care is planned, delivered, and received. In particular, the extremely rapid evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) challenges the concept of compassionate, person-to-person centred care. Digital health and AI have brought distinct challenges – as well as exciting opportunities – to our mission of ensuring that healthcare is grounded in compassion.

The AMS Healthcare Mission Moving Forward

Over the years AMS Healthcare has built up a broad and successful continuum of self-funded granting programs and other offerings in support of its mission:

To advance a compassionate healthcare system by investing in leaders, convening stakeholders, supporting research and funding innovative projects. Our work supports and learns from our rich history of healthcare.

The system within which AMS Healthcare operates and serves – and the challenges and opportunities this represents – is immense in both breadth and depth. We must focus for impact on activities that add value to the healthcare system.

Moving forward into its next strategic phase, AMS Healthcare will focus on its core strength:

Developing health system leaders. Leaders grounded in compassionate care. Leaders able to recognize and harness the opportunities of today’s health system transformation to ensure compassion with the benefits of technology.

AMS Healthcare will focus on achieving measurable impact and value to the healthcare system by using its position, reputation, networks, and resources to focus on building health leadership able to excel in a rapidly evolving system of care.

Quintuple Aim-Based Impact and Value

The Quintuple Aim continues to be the gold standard in measuring quality in healthcare internationally, and here in Canada. This framework will be used by AMS Healthcare to ensure our efforts are aligned with this common understanding of system value and impact. The Quintuple Aim provides a lens for AMS Healthcare to make programmatic and partnership choices: Does the work align with one or more of the aims? Will visible leadership and leadership development make a difference in this area?

In support of aim-based impact, AMS Healthcare will set expectations and establish measurement criteria and accountabilities across all of its programs and services.

1. Track our progress

We will hold ourselves accountable for what we do and how we do it by measuring inputs, activities and outputs of our work and investments. This includes planned program reviews in priority areas (History of Healthcare, Compassion/AI.)

2. Inform our strategies

We will use data from tracking our progress, as well as any additional evidence or research to measure our impact, adjust course and understand how and why we have succeeded or failed.

3. Contribute to the field

We will engage in knowledge mobilization and collaborate with partners to further the mission of AMS Healthcare.


Our Focus Is Health System Leadership

If there has ever been a burning platform for attention to how compassion and technology work together in health care, it is AI and the exponential changes that will occur in healthcare over the coming years. The system will need leaders able to manage rapid and complex transformation and continue to advance quality care. Leaders that can evolve the way people think about healthcare. Leaders grounded in ensuring humanistic and compassionate care as well as using system change to better meet the differing needs of our richly diverse Canadian population.

COVID-19 was the tipping point in health system transformation in areas critical to AMS Healthcare’s strategic direction. COVID-19 and the pandemic response:

  • Brought about an incredible expansion of digital health – most notably, telemedicine – that will only continue. Health care and technology are less and less distinguishable from each other.
  • Exposed enormous health work force challenges that will require strong leadership to address.
  • Demonstrated that the concept of compassion in health care has not been realized to meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

These new realities bring with them the need for all system players, including AMS Healthcare, to refresh and restate their distinct value propositions in enabling and delivering effective system transformation. To fund ideas that matter. For AMS Healthcare, what will not change is the core value we place on compassion in health care.

AMS Healthcare will lead in maintaining the centrality of compassionate care in today’s revolution of care. What will change is how we lead in this area:

  • Clarity in vision and mission
  • Focus on leader development and visible leadership.
  • Funding for value and impact with funding criteria tangibly connected to core directions and strategies.
  • A deliberate Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion lens across the full scope of what we do
  • Pursuit of collaborations and partnerships that can tangibly leverage reach and impact.
  • Funding expectations, deliverables, measurement, tracking and evaluation.

AMS Healthcare will focus on helping to build and support a cadre of health system leadership committed to embedding the value of compassionate care in health system innovation and digital health revolution. This includes advancing the value of compassionate care entwined in how we educate and support health professionals and leaders throughout their careers. Also, how we continually innovate care delivery while keeping the key tenet of compassionate care at the core. And we will use our convening capability to build and amplify the influence of this community of commitment and practice.

Six key strategic directions will frame AMS Healthcare activities and accountabilities over the next few years:

  • Build out Fellowships in Compassion and Artificial Intelligence as the core offering for AMS Healthcare
  • Focus Granting in Compassion and Artificial Intelligence
  • Build and deliver on a strategic partnership plan to amplify AMS Healthcare’s impact and value
  • Demonstrate visible leadership through convening
  • Understand our rich healthcare history
  • Evaluate all our programs for impact and value

Strategic Direction 1
Build AMS Healthcare Fellowships as Our Core Offering


Fellows in Compassion and Artificial Intelligence

The AMS Healthcare Compassion and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fellowship provides highly qualified early and mid- career professionals and researchers with a unique opportunity to apply their talents to the critical challenge of the impact of AI and technology on the delivery of compassionate healthcare.

Launched in 2020, our innovative one-year fellowship program has built capacity in 47 fellows (completed or in progress) through engaging with high potential leaders early in their career in a low rule’s, strongly mentored, self-directed program of work focused on a wide array of topics including equitable AI, mental health, and provider burnout. As many of our early fellows felt the impact of the pandemic on their work, our focus going forward will be to intensify the fellowship experience, while supporting connections, opportunities, and training for the entire fellowship group. We will accomplish this through:

  • Onboarding fellows through an in-person residency
  • Supporting leadership development with additional education, coaching and mentoring.
  • Building a community that “together” can do more.
  • Strengthening all the fellows through in-person and virtual activities (i.e. workshops, Leadership Institute, etc.) to ensure the fellowship program produces a strong cohort of system leaders who can work together to address the complex issues in today’s healthcare system.


AMS Healthcare-Fitzgerald Fellowship

The AMS Healthcare-Fitzgerald Fellowship in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Human-Centred Leadership is a unique partnership between AMS Healthcare and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) at the University of Toronto, designed to develop health system leaders seeking to implement AI and related digital innovations for more compassionate and equitable healthcare and health systems today and in the future. The 2-year professional learning Fellowship in the DLSPH targets early and mid-career health system leaders who are driven to develop knowledge,

skills, and capacity to meet the opportunities and challenges of AI in health care, public health, and health systems. The Fellowship re-imagines a human-centred approach to health leadership that is driven by putting people first and by a commitment to promoting, fostering, and advancing compassion and equity in an age of AI. We will accomplish this through:

  • training emerging leaders on the opportunities and challenges of AI, the importance of human-centeredness, and the functioning of health systems.
  • providing learners with dedicated process facilitation and tangible expert support as they work to design, develop, and implement a human-centred AI or digital transformation project for their unique health sector organization.
  • equipping fellows with the tools to lead responsible digital transformation and prepare them to facilitate an innovation culture that embraces AI and related digital tools and to implement strategies that enhance equity, improve care, reduce cost, and promote quality.

Strategic Direction 2
Focus on Compassion and Artificial Intelligence in AMS Healthcare Grants

The AMS Healthcare Compassion and Artificial Intelligence Small Grant Program was launched in 2020 to support proposals on compassionate care and technology/AI. Grant proposals address a diversity of questions and ideas including compassionate virtual care, humanistic implementation of AI, and the impact of technology on providers, to name only a few. While the actual value of the grant is not large, AMS Healthcare continues to receive significant applications in this stream. This may reflect the lack of available funding on the topic as well as an approach to use smaller grants to develop concepts which are then ready for much more significant research grant applications.

Strategic Direction 3
Grow Our Network of Partnerships and Collaborations

As a relatively small organization aiming for impact in a massive sector, partnerships and collaborations are integral to maximizing funding impact and value, and to this end AMS Healthcare has built a strong network. These alliances are key to our goal of maximizing impact. AMS Healthcare will conduct a comprehensive strategic mapping and review of its current relationships. A partnership framework for moving forward will be established with clear, practical, and value-creating aims (i.e. common/aligned/complementary goals, missions, capabilities, networks, influence, focus on equity, inclusion, and diversity) and formalized agreements will be developed with core partners on collaborative work and strategies. These relationships will also play an integral role in extending our brand reach and stakeholder engagement. This review will be aligned with partnerships related to our Fellows’ work streams. The review will also continue to build out involvement of patients, clients and caregivers in AMS Healthcare programming and initiatives.

Strategic Direction 4
Demonstrate Visible Leadership

AMS Healthcare will continue to provide visible leadership by convening events that bring together emerging and established thought leaders, as well as patients and caregivers, to explore complex issues facing our health care system and identifying opportunities for implementable solutions. This convening activity will complement and align with our leader development focus through our Fellowship program and other activities.

In the spring of 2023 AMS Healthcare convened a large and highly successful conference on the Future of Technology- Enabled Healthcare. Moving forward we will continue to foster other dialogues as well as organizing events that are spread across the province. As part of its partnership review, AMS Healthcare will also look at partnering to expand reach and inclusivity.

Strategic Direction 5
Understand Our Rich Healthcare History

In the 1970s, the history of healthcare was an understudied discipline in Canada. AMS Healthcare saw its importance as a rich source of lessons that can positively shape Canadian healthcare and, over the years, AMS Healthcare has become the main source of support in elevating the relevance of the history of healthcare. We are committed to this programming. The granting program includes Postdoctoral Fellowships, Doctoral Completion Grants, and Project Grants. AMS Healthcare also funds a diversity of organizations, special projects and grants targeting students in both faculties of medicine and history to foster and develop interest in the history of healthcare. We strongly believe that as we move forward with this plan, AMS Healthcare should not lose sight of the learnings afforded by lessons of the past – this was reaffirmed for all in the collective response to COVID.

Strategic Direction 6
Evaluate Programs for Impact and Value

AMS Healthcare will hold itself accountable for what we do and how we do it by measuring inputs, activities and outputs of our work and investments. This includes planned program reviews in priority areas (History of Healthcare, Compassion/Artificial intelligence).

The current History of Healthcare Grants Program was implemented in 2015. Much of the funding to organizations, associations and groups predates the grants program. To date, there has not been a comprehensive evaluation of the History of Healthcare program. To answer the question, how can AMS Healthcare funding in this area be better targeted on value and impact, AMS Healthcare will establish an independent evaluation of the entire AMS Healthcare History of Healthcare suite of offerings. AMS Healthcare Grants will continue to be awarded in 2024 (i.e. Post-Doctoral Fellowships, Doctoral Research Grants and Project Grants), however, the duration of contract renewals under this program will be shortened to two years to coordinate with this evaluation process.