Communications and Engagement Director | IH South

Position Summary

Enjoy the satisfaction of a rewarding leadership career with Interior Health in beautiful British Columbia. We are seeking a proactive, creative and motivated leader to join our dynamic Communications & Culture team and lead the strategy across the IH South region.

Led by a forward-thinking leadership team focused on innovation and giving people room to grow, we are looking for people who want to make a difference in the communities in which they live, work and play. As a top 100 BC Employer, we also offer one of the best benefits packages in Canada, including Medical, Dental and Extended Health coverage, a defined pension plan and paid vacation starting at 4 weeks to a maximum of 7 weeks annually.

This position can be located in any of the beautiful communities within the Interior Health South region.

About the Role

Reporting to the Vice President, Communications & Culture, the Director, Communications and Engagement, IH South is a strategic leader who plays a key role on the Communications Leadership Team and has joint accountability for the development and implementation of proactive and responsive communications and stakeholder engagement strategies for Interior Health to support our vision of health and wellbeing for all.

The Director is a strategic leader who works cross-functionally to develop proactive communications strategies and drive a stakeholder engagement framework to increase understanding and support for Interior Health and the health services we deliver. The Director will lead a team of communications and engagement professionals responsible for end-to-end communication and engagement strategies including strategic communications planning, internal communications, stakeholder, community, public engagement and media relations. As the successful candidate, you are a purpose-driven, creative, results oriented, inspirational, people-first leader. You are the regional main point of contact for elected officials, non-profits, community leaders, media, among a number of stakeholders and bring demonstrated track record of creating, nurturing, and sustaining positive relationships. You have strong critical thinking skills with the ability to adapt to shifting priorities and anticipate emerging issues.

Possessing an awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by distinct, vulnerable and/or minority populations, the Director has experience delivering inclusive and robust communications and engagement on behalf of a large organization.

Key Responsibilities

1. Develops and implements internal and external communications strategies and activities for the Board of Directors, CEO and Senior Executive, and works in partnership with other portfolio leaders in the co-development and implementation of strategies.

2. Develops, coordinates, and manages daily and proactive engagement frameworks and messaging related to media and government (including elected officials) at the local, regional, and provincial levels, as well as crisis communication management. Embeds change management communication where required, in a manner that embraces the vision, mission and value of the organization in a clear, consistent and transparent style.

3. Represents IH as spokesperson for high profile external and media events, staff and medical staff communications and engagement events. This includes the communications regarding highly political and sensitive subject matters, with significant impact in the health authority.

4. Oversees and advances the traditional (print, broadcast) and digital (websites, mobile, etc.) public affairs strategies for IH.

5. Provides leadership to Communications staff through coaching, guiding, and modeling key behaviours and strategies, encouraging dialogue, and providing guidance and advice to facilitate resolutions to work issues. Assists team members to define shared and individual goals, meet target dates, and ensure alignment of team goals with client needs. Fosters team spirit, trust, and mutual respect.

6. Collaborates with counterparts to negotiate and build consensus across health authorities and other health care agencies, government, and external partners to ensure consistent messaging and communication strategies.

7. Acts as a senior-level strategic advisor in the discussion and assessment of communication needs, providing guidance on communications strategies to identify stakeholders, developing appropriate messaging and tools, disseminating information, and responding to any issues or challenges.

8. Supports and provides direction on the development, implementation, and evaluation of communication plans for projects and initiatives across IH for assigned internal client files.

9. Participates in working groups, committees, and meetings where sensitive information must be delivered to a variety of audiences. Works with other Portfolio staff to develop key messages and ensure they are delivered in a consistent manner. Actively participates in decision-making by offering communication expertise and guidance.

10. Deals with highly sensitive and confidential issues that often have a significant impact on the overall Health Authority.

11. Works effectively and professionally with external stakeholders, and has an understanding and current awareness of local, regional, provincial and Aboriginal governance/political structures, stakeholders and perspectives across Interior Health.

12. Seeks out new communication opportunities proactively and recommends appropriate implementation mechanisms to the VP, Communications & Culture and other senior Portfolio leaders, to enhance IH’s credibility and reputation among internal and external stakeholders.

13. Provides on-call (after hours) coverage according to Portfolio schedule.

14. Provides opportunities to engage in dialogue and expand the reach of IH communication to key stakeholders. Supports the development and coordination of new and existing communication and engagement tools and vehicles.

15. Provides strategic communications advice and associated deliverables on special projects at the request of the VP, Communications & Culture.

16. Follows the established policies and procedures of the Portfolio, advising other departments and program areas of related tools and protocols and ensuring they are followed. Where there are gaps or emerging needs, identifies and supports the development and implementation of new Portfolio processes.

17. Facilitates the development of a positive image, reputation, and awareness of IH with internal and external stakeholders.

18. Performs other related duties as assigned.


Education, Training, and Experience

• A Master's degree specializing in Communications, Public Relations, Journalism, or a related field. A combination of education and experience may be considered.
• A minimum of 10-15 years of recent, related experience in a large, multi-union and/or public sector environment, including 5-7 years of experience in management and/or leadership roles.
• Experience in media relations and government relations required.
• An equivalent combination of education, training, and experience will also be considered.
• Healthcare communication experience would be an asset.

LEADS Capabilities

Demonstrates all LEADS Capabilities, in particular:
• Leads Self/Cultural Agility – self-awareness, demonstrates character; noticing and adapting to cultural uniqueness to create a sense of safety for all.
• Engages Others/Empathy – communicates effectively; listens with heart rather than reacting.
• Achieves Results/Process Orientation – takes action to implement decisions, assesses & evaluates results, follows culturally respectful processes that also produce results.
• Develops Coalitions/Building a Trust-Based Relationship – builds partnership and networks to create results, demonstrates a commitment to customers and service, participating in open exchanges of experiences and culture.
• System Transformation/Credible Champion – demonstrates systems/critical thinking, strategically oriented to the future, champions & orchestrates change, remains self-aware and maintains effective relationships, shows courage and conviction in advocating for change for the betterment of Aboriginal people.

Skills and Abilities

• Demonstrated ability to provide communication advice and direction to senior leaders on complex/ sensitive issues relating to media and government requirement and in high-pressure, time-sensitive situations.
• Demonstrated ability to respond to emerging issues in a manner that reflects IH values and goals.
• Sound knowledge, understanding, and application of communication concepts, strategies, technical skills, and digital media best practices to identify, develop, and implement strategies, key messages, and initiatives.
• Thorough understanding of political and health care environment, including local and regional councils and leadership structures in British Columbia.
• Demonstrated ability to exercise good judgment in problem identification and resolution.
• Demonstrated ability to operate independently, set priorities, and drive results.
• Demonstrated ability to lead and influence others.
• Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
• Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively as part of a high-performance team.
• Superb time management skills and the ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
• Ability to remain calm, alert, and high functioning under stressful situations.
• Ability to handle highly confidential and sensitive issues with skill, tact, and diplomacy.
• Ability to carry out the duties of the position with a high degree of ethical and professional behaviour.
• Advanced computer skills.
• Physical ability to perform the duties of the position.


*Starting salary is approximately $101,000 - $127,000 and will be based on education, training and experience.

This posting is covered by the Provincial Health Officer’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination orders and selected applicant(s) must comply.

Interior Health now offers assistance from an Aboriginal Employment Advisor. If you self-identify as Aboriginal (First Nations, Métis or Inuit) and if you would like assistance with internal career exploration, send your question via email to to be redirected to the Employment Advisor. We invite applicants to self-identify as First nations, Métis, or Inuit within cover letters and/or resumes.

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