Dr. Richards is the Vice-President Health Professions and Chief Nurse Executive at University Health Network in Toronto, an academic health science centre comprised of four hospitals – Toronto General Hospital, The Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, and Toronto Rehab Institute. Joy is a Past-President of the Academy of Canadian Executive Nurses (ACEN) and holds clinical appointments at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Nursing, York University Faculty of Nursing, and Humber College.
Her previous experience includes progressive senior nursing management positions in the acute care and long-term care sectors; nursing education and nursing informatics and has presented her work, both nationally and internationally. She has also published many articles and book chapters related to her professional work.
Dr. Richards graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1981, and a Master of Nursing in 2000. She then went on to complete a Master of Arts in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara California in spring of 2005. Joy is also a graduate of the Queen’s University Executive Program and is a Johnson & Johnson Wharton Fellow, University of Pennsylvania. She completed her PhD studies in 2008, in Human and Organizational Development at Fielding Graduate University: Her dissertation focused on exploring and understanding the development and practice of feminine courage in leadership. She has also received numerous awards, including the 2007 Sigma Theta Tau Award for Excellence in Nursing Administration, the 2010 Health Achieve Margret Comack Award of Excellence in Nursing Leadership, and 2013 Award of Distinction for her nursing leadership contributions from the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto.
Joy’s particular interests, focus and passion are in the area of clinical leadership, quality of work life environments and the development of client-centred practice settings, with a special focus on excellence in geriatric care.
Industry Expertise (4)
Areas of Expertise (10)
2010 Recipient, Margret Comack Award in Nursing Leadership (professional)
The Margret Comack Award of Excellence in Nursing Leadership acknowledges the outstanding leadership of an individual nurse in a senior leadership position.
The winners have been profiled in the Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership to provide exemplars of nurse leaders who make a difference through their professional contribution to healthcare in hospitals.
University of Toronto, Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing Award of Distinction: Distinguished Alumnus Award (professional)
Award of Distinction: Distinguished Alumnus Award
University of Toronto, Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing Boundless Leadership Banner (professional)
In recognition of the work and impact to Nursing at a provincial, federal, and global level.
“Way to Go” Dufferin-Peel School Board Youth-to-Work Transition Program (professional)
Nominated by RNAO and awarded to high-performing Registered Nurses that excel in their day-to-day nursing practice, display professionalism and commitment that makes a difference.
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care “Glowinsky Award (professional)
Awarded for fundamental contribution to creative problem solving in clinical practice, excellence in professional leadership, and caring for colleagues.
University of Toronto: Bachelor of Science, Nursing 1981
University of Toronto: Master's Degree, Nursing 2000
Fielding Graduate University: Master of Arts, Human and Organizational Systems 2005
Fielding Graduate University: Doctoral Studies, Human and Organizational Development 2008
Dr. Richards' dissertation focused on exploring and understanding the development and practice of feminine courage in leadership. Her particular interests, focus and passion are in the area of nursing leadership, quality of work life environments and the development of practice settings, with a special focus on excellence in geriatric care.
Media Appearances (3)
Dr. Joy Richards, 2010 Recipient, Margret Comack Award in Nursing Leadership
In early November, Dr. Joy Richards was awarded the Margret Comack Award in Nursing Leadership at the 2010 HealthAchieve convention. Dr. Richards is a well-known and highly respected nurse leader who has held a range of significant management positions. She recently shared some of her personal experience as a nurse leader with the Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership.
Welcoming our new Chief Nurse Executive
University Health Network online
In honour of Nursing Week, we talk to Dr. Joy Richards, our new Chief Nurse Executive, about the ups and downs of the role so far, her vision of nursing at UHN, and the impact of changes like the Nurse Practitioner role and technology upon the profession.
Dementia program provides dignity, quality of life
University Health Network online
The Wellness Academy, created jointly by UHN and York University, provides a day program for those living with mild to moderate dementia. It gives people a chance to live as full a life as possible given the life-changing challenges that dementia brings.
"The Wellness Academy is a first-of-its kind in Canada and was created to establish relationships that enable personal expression and build community for people living with dementia," said Dr. Joy Richards, Vice President, Health Professions and Chief Nursing Executive, UHN.
The Wellness Academy is based on research about what makes daily life with dementia worth living. It provides a space that offers choice and flexibility for participants' engagement. Some of the participants, for example, need to walk several times a day, others do not like to dance, some only want to paint and talk, some like to play bridge.