Emerging Leaders Program

We are now accepting applications for Cohort 3 for the Emerging Leaders Program.

Applications Open: August 1, 2024
Application Deadline: October 1, 2024 12 am (Eastern Time)
Notification: October 11, 2024
Program Start: November, 2024

Upon completion of an orthopaedic surgeon’s clinical and academic training, many are promoted to leadership positions. The objective of the COA Emerging Leaders Program sponsored by Zimmer Biomet, is to accelerate the growth of active COA members in their roles as leaders by providing them with a unique development opportunity designed specifically for Canadian surgeons. The Program helps participants lead more effectively,  work more collaboratively, and become champions of change, personally, professionally and organizationally.

Under the guidance and direction of Executive Coach, Gord Aker,  qualified active COA members will benefit from:

Seven facilitated peer learning discussions, a Core Values Index™ debrief and six one-on-one executive coaching sessions.


Eligibility and Requirements

• Be a COA Active Member for at least 2 years.
• Attend a two-hour facilitated peer-to-peer discussion per month as described above.
• Read necessary materials and principles application.
• Commit to completing CVI assessment, introductory and concluding survey and one-on-one coaching sessions.
• Demonstrate applicability for developing leadership skills in orthopaedic surgery.

Session Topics

Session 1: The Core Values Index Debrief – Virtual, November 2024
Session 2: The Coaching Model – Virtual, January 2025
Session 3: Communication in the OR (Guest Surgeon) – Virtual, February 2025
Session 4: Situational Leadership – Virtual, March 2025
Session 5: Change Management (Guest Surgeon) – Virtual, April 2025
Session 6: Understanding industry relations – Virtual, May 2025
Session 7: Leadership Styles (Guest Surgeon) – Virtual, June 2025
Session 8: Networking Experience – In-person at the COA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, June 13 2025

Program Developers

Dr. Kristen Barton

Dr. Barton is an Adjunct Research Professor at Western University and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Calgary, while pursuing her orthopaedic surgery residency at Western University. She has previously completed a BSc degree in Kinesiology, a MSc degree in Kinesiology, a PhD degree in Medical Sciences, and a medical degree – all at the University of Calgary. Further to this, Dr. Barton has completed a postgraduate certificate in Surgical Leadership at Harvard University. She is passionate about developing avenues for leadership in medicine.

Mr. Gord Aker, MCC

Mr. Aker is an Executive Coach that holds the Master Certified Coach (MCC) credential from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and brings not only over 17 years of coaching experience to the program but also over 25 years of direct organizational leadership experience in different organizations, industries, and sectors. Mr. Aker continues to explore and develop his own leadership potential in his capacity as the Chair of The Military Museums Foundation in Calgary, Alberta. He is passionate about helping professionals discover, develop, and deploy their leadership talent as early as possible so that they can take full advantage of their career and contribution potential.

Program Co-Developers

Dr. Laurie Hiemstra, Banff Sport Medicine and President of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association

Dr Hiemstra is a Fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon working in Banff, Canada. She holds an Associate Professor appointment at the University of Calgary. The clinical and research program in Banff is focused on knee ligament injury, prevention of secondary injury, rehabilitation and surgical outcomes with an emphasis on ACL injury and reconstruction and patellofemoral instability. Laurie is on the Board of Directors of the Patellofemoral Foundation, Banff Sport Medicine Foundation, Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA) and the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine (ISAKOS). Laurie has published over 70 peer reviewed papers and is a national and international speaker.

Dr. Olufemi Ayeni, McMaster University and 2nd President Elect of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association

Dr. Ayeni is a Professor and the Academic Head of Orthopaedic Surgery at McMaster University. He is currently the medical director for the Hamilton Tiger Cats (Canadian Football League) and Forge FC (Canadian Premier League) and previously served as the assistant team physician for the New Jersey Nets (National Basketball Association). He has published over 300 academic publications in sports medicine as well as several textbooks focused on sports medicine/research. His research addressing sports medicine related injuries has been funded by major organizations (CIHR, AANA, AOSSM). He is considered a leading authority on hip injuries and conditions in the young adult as this is a substantial portion of his clinical practice. He has spoken widely across the globe on evidence based approaches to evaluate and treat hip related syndromes and other conditions.

Dr. Marcia Clark, University of Calgary

Dr. Clark is a Clinical Associate Professor and Orthopaedic Surgeon at the University of Calgary and Lead of Surgery at the South Health Campus Hospital. As an executive director with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), her work sees her travel internationally to countries including China, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, to speak and advise on medical education topics. As an orthopaedic surgeon, her work focuses on surgical arthritis care and sport medicine. She is heavily involved with many athletic teams including the Canadian Alpine Ski Team medical group, Calgary Wolfpack Rugby team, University of Calgary Dinos teams, International Speed Skating, and Formula One Motor Racing (Montreal). Through her involvement with UCeed and Creative Destruction Lab Rockies, Dr. Clark provides advice and mentorship to health technology startups.


How to Apply

Step 1: Complete and forward the Application Form.
You will be asked to write three statements: 1. A personal statement on your interest for the Program; 2. What you hope to achieve by participating in the program; and 3. Career goals.

Step 2: Forward a recent CV to chelsea@canorth.org.

All costs associated with peer-to-peer sessions and one-on-one coaching sessions are free of charge for the applicant.

This Program is offered in English.

Apply Now

Selection Process

Learners will be chosen by the Emerging Leaders Committee. Information included in the review for consideration will be the following: personal essays capturing interest in leadership, career trajectory and potential impact of taking the Program. The Committee is composed of members from the COA Governance slate and invited colleagues.

A Note on Collecting Personal Information

The COA is capturing the current member profile to better serve its membership and orthopaedic community. Personal information disclosed on the Application Form are for use of the Selection Committee only and will not be divulged to the public. The COA recognizes that the privacy and protection of our members’ personal and practice information is important. Please view the COA Privacy Policy for more information.

Program Outcomes
  • Certificate of Completion presented at COA Annual Meeting in 2024
  • Networking Event at COA Annual Meeting 2024

A Message from Zimmer Biomet

Effective leadership demands the ability to synthesize different priorities and align them with limited resources, ultimately moving a team cohesively forward. Periods of intense technological change bring this skill into sharp relief, asking a leader to weigh the risks of unproven innovation against their enormous potential benefit, with both sides readily championed by members of their team. The unique burden of a healthcare leader is to balance these considerations and move forward while also keeping clear focus on the ethical obligations at the heart of patient-centered care.

If technological change is constant then so too is the need to hone the skills required to lead organizations through the resulting disruption. But uniquely today the sheer breadth of innovation unlocked by big data, machine learning and AI makes it an imperative to formally train for effective healthcare leadership skills.

The Emerging Leaders program is a vital program to meet this need, and as a leader in healthcare that strives to introduce technological innovation that can truly move patients forward, Zimmer Biomet is proud to partner with the COA to support Canada’s next generation of emerging healthcare leaders.

With the assistance of a Executive Coach, active COA members will benefit from a 8-part leadership training, including a Core Values Index™ (CVI) analysis and one-on-one executive coaching sessions from November 2023 to June 2024.

Interested and active members of the COA must undergo an application process via the Emerging Leaders Committee. Each program cohort is limited to ten participants.

Apply Now