Celebrating a Remarkable Career in Health Services Research: Dr. Whitney Berta Has Retired from IHPME

July 10, 2024

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A person smiling in front of a window. Dr. Whitney Berta has retired from IHPME.
Scientist, health services researcher, and professor, Dr. Whitney Berta has retired from IHPME.

Dr. Whitney Berta, distinguished scientist, health services researcher and professor, has retired from IHPME. During her tenure, Dr. Berta served as an integral part of our community. Her dedication, innovative research, service, and commitment to education have left a lasting impression on our institution.

As a faculty member affiliated with the Health Systems Research (HSR) program and the Health Administration (MHSc) program earlier in her career, Dr. Berta taught and mentored countless students. Her instruction in courses such as  ‘Introduction to Theories of Organizational Behaviour and Applications to the Health Care Sector,’ and ‘Introduction to Health Services Research Theory and Methods,’ the ‘Organization & Management Comprehensives’ course, and (in the MHSc Program) ‘Theory, and Practice of Strategic Planning and Management in Health Services Organizations’ has no doubt contributed substantially to the success of a new generation of researchers and practitioners. 

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Berta’s research centres on organizational learning and knowledge transfer, particularly in long-term care (LTC) settings. Her work focuses on the factors influencing organizational capacity, innovation diffusion and knowledge transfer processes, and the relationship between learning capacity and organizational performance. 

This work has led to funding from agencies including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and The Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS). Upon her retirement, Dr. Berta will transition to Professor Emerita where she will continue to mentor students under her supervision and pursue CIHR-funded research projects including a study focused on the sustainability of evidence-informed practice change in Canadian nursing homes, the ‘Sustainability, Sustainment, and Spread Study,’ ‘Improving Cultural Safety in Ontario’s Organized Cancer Screening Program’, led by Dr. Jill Tinmouth, and ‘The Influence of Context on Implementation and Improvement,’ led by Dr. Carole Estabrooks

“It has been my sincere pleasure and privilege to work with the extraordinary students and faculty of IHPME over my 24-year career, and to devote my research to improving the lives of people working and living in long-term care settings – and to raising awareness of the longstanding challenges that have, and continue to, confront this deserving and under-served sector,” says Dr. Berta.  

“As Professor Berta embarks on this new chapter, we take the time to remember her impactful career. Her work in organizational learning and health services research has informed key systems innovations, leading to increased efficiency in long-term care settings. Her legacy in healthcare education will continue to inspire future health policy leaders and practitioners. Congratulations, Professor Berta,” says IHPME Director, Audrey Laporte

“Dr. Whitney Berta’s retirement marks the end of an era for IHPME. As my PhD supervisor, she profoundly shaped my academic journey and career. Her boundless enthusiasm, profound expertise, and unwavering dedication inspired me to strive for excellence. Beyond her exemplary teaching and mentorship, Dr. Berta’s kindness and generosity have left a lasting impact on my personal and professional life. She has been an exceptional colleague and is now a dear friend. Her legacy of excellence and passion for lifelong learning will continue to inspire us all,” says Dr. Tyrone Perreira, IHPME faculty member and former student of Dr. Berta’s.  

As Dr. Berta steps into this new chapter, we extend our gratitude for her contributions to shaping the future of health services research, and best wishes on her retirement. 

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Marielle Boutin
Email Address: ihpme.communications@​utoronto.ca

Manages all IHPME-wide communications and marketing initiatives, including events and announcements.