Christie Lockhart
Christie Lockhart

#IamMGHresearch – Meet Christie Lockhart

#IamMGHresearch tells the story of our researchers. Meet Christie Lockhart, Medical Director of Quality, Innovation and Research; Chief, Department of Midwifery; and Co-Program Medical Director of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Services at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH). 

“My connection to Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) started many years ago – I actually worked here in high school! My family lived in the east end and I was raised in this community. From a young age, I knew I wanted to work in healthcare and help people. So, during the summers, I got various jobs in the hospital working in areas such as Patient Registration, Environmental Services, Bed Allocating and Health Records. I remember being really excited as a student about being in these roles.

After completing my undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Guelph, I applied to McMaster University’s Midwifery Education Program. Midwifery felt like my dream profession – it was the perfect combination of clinical medicine and social work, and had elements of relationship-building and health promotion, which I loved. Being able to support families through pregnancy and birth is very rewarding. I also loved that it emphasizes patients' autonomy and choice, which is very important to me as a feminist.

I completed my clerkship placement at MGH and formally joined the organization as a midwife in 2007. From there, I took on a Division Head role in 2015 and moved into my current role as the Chief and Co-Program Medical Director of the Midwifery Department in 2018. I feel proud to be a part of this organization. MGH is known as a provincial leader in midwifery and has won awards for its work in midwifery hospital integration. There are many things that we’ve done which have made us the ‘first’ or ‘leaders’ that we didn’t even realize at the time. Our continuous drive to improve in a supportive learning environment has led us here.

While I’ve always loved being a clinician, the downside of our work is that we don’t often have the time to evaluate what we do. This is one of the many reasons why I was so excited to take on the role of Medical Director of Quality, Innovation and Research last year. Research allows us to examine what we do, create innovative solutions to make it the best it can be, and then spread and scale what we learn. As a clinician, I was able to see first-hand what our patients needed. Now as a leader, I can advocate and work with peers and experts throughout the hospital to plan and design solutions and systems that address those needs. Research is truly what keeps me up thinking at night, but also what keeps me inspired throughout the day.

I am currently back at McMaster University completing a Master of Science looking at health system innovation and leadership. One of the projects that I am currently working on looks at how we can improve care for patients who are experiencing early pregnancy loss by integrating midwives into a hospital-based early pregnancy clinic. In our clinic, we now have midwives coordinating care for patients, in collaboration with our obstetrics colleagues, with the goal of expanding access and support during what is a very difficult time. We’re excited to present what we have learned at the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network Conference this fall.

I hope, as we look to the future, we can continue to use research to elevate the many pockets of excellence throughout the hospital and drive our ability to provide high-quality and inclusive care.”

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