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Meet Muhammad Mamdani: Unity Health Toronto’s first vice-president of Data Science and Advanced Analytics

Toronto, October 22, 2019

Dr. Muhammad Mamdani
Dr. Muhammad Mamdani

We’re thrilled to introduce you to Dr. Muhammad Mamdani, our new vice president, Data Science and Advanced Analytics. He’s not new to most people at St. Michael’s; he’s the current director of the Li Ka Shing Centre for Healthcare Analytics Research and Training (CHART), where he supports data scientists to work with advanced analytics approaches, such as artificial intelligence, leveraging hospital data to identify and solve health care issues. He’s also a professor at the University of Toronto, publisher of hundreds of research studies and in 2010 was named one of Canada’s top 40 under 40 for his research. To help you get to know him a little bit better, we caught up with him and asked him a few questions – here’s what he said.

Why did you first pursue a career in health care?
I’ve always been drawn to health care and wanted to be in a position where I could help others. While I enjoyed clinical practice, I became interested in research given its potential to affect health care practice and policy more widely. I’ve had the good fortune to work with many talented people on initiatives that have changed public policy and clinical practice nationally and internationally.

What sparked your initial interest in health care leadership?
No matter what we do, I think we’re all leaders in some respect. To me, leadership isn’t about titles. Rather, it’s about initiative and ambition to want more and drive change. We all have our part to play and I’m excited to work in an organization full of so many leaders!

What excites you most about your new role at Unity Health?
I’m most excited about the culture that we have at Unity Health. When I work with people here I can feel that we genuinely care about the patients we serve and we always strive to do better. I think that’s what sets Unity Health apart.

What’s your approach to leadership?
I tend to be inclusive and collaborative. I believe I can learn from each and every person I engage with. Accordingly, I foster teams with this same mindset, a humility to learn and a drive to be the very best at what we do. Through genuine collaboration and a clear sense of purpose, I think we can tackle any problem.

What is your favourite activity or hobby outside of work?
I’m a bit of a tech geek, so I like to learn about the new and emerging consumer technologies that are out there – like innovative computers, smartphones and virtual reality headsets. Maybe I need to find a new hobby!

What are your priorities for your first few months in your new role?
I’m actually excited about the learning curve that’s in front of me. I’d like to observe and understand the key issues that we struggle with as an organization for the first few months while also working towards a more robust data infrastructure that is amenable to advanced analytics, such as artificial intelligence. I’ll also be growing a highly specialized and focused team with expertise in data integration, governance, analytics (including machine learning, natural language processing, vision learning, traditional statistics, simulation modeling and optimization) and analytic tool development. At Unity Health, we’re poised to have the most advanced hospital-based analytics environment in Canada. I’m excited about the potential we have to leverage this environment in providing the best possible care for the patients we serve.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

About Unity Health Toronto

Unity Health Toronto, comprised of Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital, works to advance the health of everyone in our urban communities and beyond. Our health network serves patients, residents and clients across the full spectrum of care, spanning primary care, secondary community care, tertiary and quaternary care services to post-acute through rehabilitation, palliative care and long-term care, while investing in world-class research and education. For more information, visit www.unityhealth.to.


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