Rady Dean receives prestigious IPAC leadership award
Dr. Brian Postl has been named the recipient of the 2019 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration.
“Brian is a remarkable leader who has many outstanding personal qualities,” said Dr. Brock Wright, CEO, Shared Health. “He is a visionary with a tremendous capacity to get things accomplished, a remarkable listener, skilled at building and empowering strong teams and very effective problem solver.”
This prestigious award is presented annually by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) to a public sector practitioner whose career exhibits the highest standard of excellence, dedication and accomplishment in a municipal, provincial or federal government organization in the province. Postl received the award during a noon-hour ceremony and reception hosted by Her Honour the Honourable Janice C. Filmon, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, on April 25, 2019 at Government House.
“It is truly an honour,” said Postl, dean, Max Rady College of Medicine, dean, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences & vice-provost (Health Sciences). “I am grateful for the award, but also for my family and the many colleagues at the university and in the health-care community who make this work possible.”
Postl was lauded for improving medical organizations and service through his leadership and actions. “Brian’s contribution to the medical profession in the areas of medical organization, the art and science of medicine, and standards of medical practice are numerous and exemplary,” said Dr. Aaron Chiu, past-president and chair of the board, Doctors Manitoba, and associate dean, quality improvement and accreditation, Max Rady College of Medicine.
After completing medical school and his pediatric residency at the University of Manitoba, Postl began working at the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg as well as travelling to northern Manitoba, through the J.A. Hildes Northern Medical Unit (now Ongomiizwin-Health Services) to provide pediatric care to Indigenous children and communities.
He assumed leadership roles early on in his career and became the first head of the newly created Department of Community Health Sciences, quickly followed by his appointment as head of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at U of M and the Child Health Program at the Health Sciences Centre.
In 2000, Postl became the founding president and chief executive officer of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
“Dr. Postl showed great leadership skill in navigating in the often stormy waters of health-care policy-making and decision-making on a daily basis,” said Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and distinguished professor. “He recognized that ‘politics,’ whether it was partisan, professional or bureaucratic in nature, could not and should be excluded from the health field. As head of the WRHA, Postl was often the person to whom the minister of health and the premier went for advice on the most difficult health-care issues.”
Postl’s contributions have been at the provincial and national levels. He is a founding member of the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council, served as co-chair of the Premier’s Economic Advisory Committee, and was chair of Research Manitoba from 2014-2019. In 2005, Postl was appointed federal wait time advisor to the prime minister.
Postl is noted for his leadership style that is adept at bringing together different cultures to obtain the benefits from collaboration, integration and improve patient outcomes. Under Postl’s leadership, the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences brought together the Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry, Max Rady College of Medicine, and the Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy and Rehabilitation Sciences into a single faculty.
Throughout his career, Postl has promoted equity, diversity and inclusion. In his current role, he has led policy changes to admissions criteria in medicine to create a student body that more closely reflects the demographics of Manitoba’s population including rural, French/English bilingual stream, Indigenous admissions processes and new guidelines aimed at advantaging historically under-represented individuals related to socio-economic and socio-cultural conditions.
Postl is also known for his advocacy through his policy and public service work for equitable and comprehensive health care for Indigenous communities. This is reflected in his commitment to the establishment of the Rady Faculty’s Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing-Ongomiizwin and the Rady Faculty’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission action plan.
“Support of Ongomiizwin not only provides comprehensive primary health care and access to specialist services in First Nations and Inuit communities, it also raises awareness of the need for Indigenous priorities in research and the need to support pipeline programs for Indigenous youth to achieve a high level of education,” said Dr. Catherine Cook, vice-dean Indigenous, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.
Postl has been recognized for his many contributions including the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres Child Health Award, in recognition of outstanding leadership and dedication to improving the health and well-being of children and youth. He was inducted as a fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2011 and in 2012 and he received the Order of Manitoba, the highest honour given by the province in recognition of achievements “benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents.”