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HHS has been recognized as a top employer for young people, nationally, for the third year. Our young staff members include registered nurse Tran Thai.
January 23, 2024

HHS a top employer for young people in Canada again

By Berton Woodward, Canada’s Top Employers for Young People

When Tran Thai tells people she’s a registered nurse in pediatric oncology at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS),  she is very aware of the response she’ll get. After all, the topic is childhood cancer. But for her, “it’s something I’m very privileged to be part of,” says Thai, who works at HHS McMaster Children’s Hospital.

Tran Thai, RN

“Everyone’s first reaction is, that’s very difficult or that’s very tough – and it is,” says Thai. “But one of the greatest things from my experience is, for starters, you have all these patients and families and they’re so kind, even though they’re going through some of the most difficult times. The role you play in supporting them and seeing their progression from diagnosis through treatment, it makes me feel very thankful that we could see that journey. It means a lot.”

HHS a top employer for young people

HHS has been recognized as a top employer for young people, nationally, for the third year.

Canada’s Top Employers for Young People is an editorial competition organized by the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. This special designation recognizes employers that offer the nation’s best workplaces and programs for young people just starting their careers.

These employers are Canada’s leaders in attracting and retaining younger employees to their organizations.

“We’re delivering the care of today, but we’re building the care of tomorrow.”

“We have such a great, great team environment,” says Thai. No matter who you ask, from the doctors to your fellow nurses to the other members of the professional health-care team, there’s always someone there to support you, always someone there to give their expertise, their advice, and to help you navigate some of the more difficult situations.”

HHS is a community of 18,000 staff, physicians, residents, researchers and volunteers that proudly serves southwestern Ontario residents. It’s the only hospital system in the province that cares for patients of all ages, from fetal care to end-of-life at sites including MCH, McMaster University Medical Centre, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, Hamilton General Hospital, West Lincoln Memorial Hospital, St. Peter’s Hospital, the Regional Rehabilitation Centre and Hamilton’s West End Urgent Care Clinic.

Heavy investments in technology, diagnostics and virtual care

According to Aaron Levo, vice president, people, culture and communications, HHS is the second-largest hospital system in the province by revenue, trailing only Toronto’s University Health Network, and is unique in Ontario in caring for patients of all ages.

Aaron Levo, HHS vice president, people, culture and communications

“We have an incredible number of opportunities for you to develop in different areas and specialties, whether that’s in clinical service or administrative service,” says Levo. “That scale and breadth gives people a lot to choose from. And the number is growing. We’re in full recruitment mode.”

“We have such a great, great team environment.”

As a teaching and research hospital, he says, “We’re delivering the care of today, but we’re building the care of tomorrow. We’ve invested heavily in technology, including our patient record system, new diagnostic capabilities and virtual care. That desire to innovate and apply research quickly is an important factor.”

And on the administrative side, he says, “We would be among the largest mission-driven organizations in the country. Whether you’re in finance, human resources, purchasing or IT,  it’s an opportunity to make that social contribution with your skills in a sector that desperately needs innovative thinkers in administration.”

HHS is all about support: from teams to pet therapy

HHS is focused on wellness for staff, says Levo. “We try to practise a style of leadership that acknowledges the toll that health care takes on an individual, to try to provide a team environment that’s supportive. We also have programs at our sites including massage clinics, mindfulness clinics and pet therapy.”

Indeed, HHS is in the midst of training a new special staff member, Hank, a Newfoundland dog who visits staff on site. “When someone’s busy working in a clinical environment, they often do need to take a moment for themselves to compose to think and to restore,” says Levo.

Thai agrees, having worked on various units during her pre-graduation time as an extern at HHS, working in different services in a program similar to internship. “The current state of affairs in health care is very demanding, but it’s because they have that team support that staff members at HHS can show up each and every day. I’m very grateful that this is my job.”

For more information on working at HHS, including job postings, please visit our careers page.