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Senior Communications Specialist, Wait Times Information Project, Cancer Care Ontario

Reports To: Director, Wait Times Information Program
Location: Downtown Toronto Subway Location on University Ave
Status: Permanent Full-time

Position Summary

Reporting to the Wait Time Information Program Director, the Sr. Communication Specialist will support communications project activities within the program to ensure alignment with CCO IM/IT Strategic Priorities and CCO Public Affairs guidelines.  The Sr. Communication Specialist will develop communication strategies, plan templates, tools, etc., to support the communications objectives of project teams and operational programs by working directly with CCO Directors and Managers, staff and other stakeholders to develop and execute communications plans.


  • Strong contributor to the development of communication policies and strategies
  • Accountable for developing a communication strategy for WTIP, including a strategy to support the roll-out of the ER/ALC Strategy as it relates to the Wait Time Information System.
  • Ensures that the Communication Strategy for WTIP and ATC Informatics are aligned where appropriate.
  • Provides senior creative input on communication ideas that are relevant for the various audiences/stakeholder groups
  • Produces regular updates on client or project activities (for presentations, newsletters and other materials) as required
  • Develops key messages for projects and operational programs as required
  • Manages messaging consistency and sequencing
  • Acts as a "master editor" of text/content created by client, communications and project team members
  • Develops and distributes communication collaterals to stakeholders as required
  • Liaises with external vendors and suppliers as required
  • Works well with people from different disciplines with varying degrees of communications experience
  • Analyzes, assesses, interviews and documents client and or project objectives to develop  communications plans
  • Ensures compliance with all CCO Communications policies
  • Works with the Manager, Communications in eHealth Strategy and Partnerships to ensure that the communications strategy and all communications products are aligned with the Strategy of the CIO Portfolio.
  • Contributes significantly to the development of best practices for Communications related subjects in conjunction with the Public Affairs team.  
  • Works closely with
  • Makes clear recommendations with respect to related policies and procedures
  • Able to develop and manage Communications project plans
  • Very solid ability to analyze problems as well as provide efficient and effective solutions to a variety of problems that are encountered under normal business activity
  • Recognizes when a decision is required or a problem exists and follows established decision authority or standard problem-solving procedures and works with others in evaluating decisions/ solutions
  • Escalates issues as required
  • Able to manage and develop team of Jr. Communications Specialists
  • Provides communications support to the Director, Wait Time Information Program and Deputy Chief Information Officer as needed.


  • Minimum of 8 years in a communications role, preferably in health care or IM/IT.
  • Excellent communication planning and execution skills
  • Experience working on complex projects with multiple stakeholders
  • Frequently able to work with ambiguity and minimal direction
  • Solid experience in providing strategic communication recommendations
  • Strong ability to drive results through effective communications
  • Very solid writing and editing skills with a demonstrated ability to write core communications materials (e.g., communication plans, presentations, online content and other written/tactical documents)
  • Highly proficient with communication tools, particularly Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat
  • Strong ability to multi-task, follow up and manage competing priorities
  • Good experience within information management/information technology
  • Very comfortable working within a dynamic and fast-paced environment
  • Proactive, creative, enthusiastic approach
  • Strong working knowledge of standard Communications practices
  • Detail oriented with excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Good understanding of technology
  • Proven team player with strong interpersonal skills including ability to resolve conflicts, diplomacy, achieve consensus and able to work comfortably with internal staff and consultants
  • Health Care experience strongly preferred.

More About Cancer Care Ontario

Cancer Care Ontario is an umbrella organization that steers and coordinates Ontario's cancer services and prevention efforts. As the provincial government's chief cancer advisor, Cancer Care Ontario directs over $500-million in public health care funding for cancer prevention, detection and care. The agency also operates screening and prevention programs; collects, monitors and reports information about cancer and cancer system performance; develops evidence-based standards and guidelines for health care providers; and works with regional providers to plan and improve cancer services.

More about the Chief Information Officer's Portfolio:

The CIO Portfolio is CCO's Information Technology/Information Management (IT/IM) Division. It supports CCO's objectives through the use of innovative eHealth, IT and IM tools such as:  a sophisticated data warehouse (iPORTTM), web portals, web tools, electronic document repositories, customized software development, integration engines, computerized physician order entry systems, and electronic business intelligence tools. 

CCO's IT/IM division also manages special projects for the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MoHLTC) such as the Access to Care Program including Ontario's innovative Wait Times Strategy. In 2007, Cancer Care Ontario's WTIS-EMPI project won the Canadian Information Productivity Awards (CIPA) Diamond Award of Excellence and Institute of Public Administration of Canada's (IPAC) Gold Award for Innovative Management.

More about the Wait Times Information System:

In April 2005, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care ("MOHLTC") made a commitment to report progress on reducing wait times and to publicly post wait time information by December 2006. Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) was appointed to lead the development and deployment of a Wait Time Information System (WTIS) to standardize wait time tracking, to measure and provide information to support management of wait lists and to report wait times. Under the provincial Wait Time Strategy, the WTIS tracks and measures wait times for the following key service areas:  cancer surgery, cardiac revascularization, cataract surgery, hip and knee total joint replacements and MRI and CT scans.

The WTIS was successfully implemented in three phases in 81 wait time funded hospitals during the period of March 2006 - June 2007. These hospitals and 1700 surgeons are now capturing, tracking and reporting their wait time data in the five priority areas in near real-time.

As of September 2006, the provincial government made a further commitment to expand the current WTIS to capture and report wait time information for all surgical areas and other wait time expansion initiatives.  Currently, the WTIS captures approximately 14% of Ontariós total number of surgeries (~200,000 cases per year). It is expected that the WTIS Expansion will capture approximately 1,445,000 cases per year, representing 100% of surgical cases in Wait Time Strategy funded hospitals and 90% of Ontariós total surgical cases by March 2009.

WTIS Expansion, Stage 1, began in July 2007 and is targeted to be complete by March 2008. It will expand wait times tracking and reporting to paediatric surgical procedures and adult orthopaedic, ophthalmology and general surgery procedures. Stage 2, pending funding, will begin in April 2008 and run until March 2009.

Under the appointment of the MOHLTC, CCO is responsible for transitioning the WTIS Project into an ongoing program within CCO. This necessitates a shift in the resourcing model, and brings the organizational structure of, the Wait Times Information Program (that includes the Wait Time Information System Business Operations) under CCÓs CIO.

The information on our website is at

Cancer Care Ontario manages the medical procedures wait times information system for all Ontarians; which can be examined more closely at
View our listing of all other CCO current job postings at

On Resume Format

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We are a HOOPP employer ( and an equal opportunity employer.