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Shay Gornshtein

Program Development Coordinator and Academic Chair

School of Health and Public Safety

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An optometrist by trade, Shay Gornshtein has brought his keen interest in eye health and passion for healthcare leadership to SAIT since 2017 — working first as an instructor and now in dual roles as academic chair and program development coordinator.

In fewer than three years, Gornshtein has helped bring forward three new programs — including one found nowhere else in Canada.

Prior to joining SAIT, Gornshtein served six years in the Israeli army working in health care, with a particular focus on managing health services, before becoming the director of operations for the ophthalmologic division of a medical centre in Tel Aviv.

After moving to Canada, Gornshtein taught in the faculty of health sciences at a college in New Brunswick before moving to Calgary and taking a part-time teaching position at SAIT. He became the program development coordinator just over a year later.

Along with helping create an optician diploma program, Gornshtein has helmed the creation of the ophthalmic and optometric assisting program — which doesn’t exist elsewhere in Canada under a post-secondary institution and answers a critical industry need not being addressed elsewhere. The third program, health care leadership, has already been approved by the provincial government and will commence in September 2021.

The one-year program is aimed at health care practitioners — nurses, respiratory therapists, x-ray technicians and so on — who want to move into leadership positions but need a better base on how to manage people, projects, financials and “hot” trends such as digital health. It will also be unique by offering a course focusing on emergency planning and preparedness in light of the impact that COVID-19 has had on healthcare systems around the world.

If I wasn’t doing this: "I’d still be working in health care — in whatever capacity that would allow me to drive innovation and accelerate growth in favour of better patient outcomes."

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