Employee profile: Marc Hebert takes it one step at a time
For Marc Hebert, whether assessing the complex healthcare needs of a First Nations community or preparing for a hike in the Smoky Mountains, his approach is the same: one step at a time. “Sometimes challenges can seem overwhelming, but you just need to get the ball rolling. Once you do one thing, you see that you can do more,” he says.
Marc joined the Ontario Renal Network in 2014, fresh out of an MBA program in Health Administration at the University of Manitoba and with experience in hospital quality improvement under his belt. “The job seemed like a great opportunity in Toronto (near where I grew up), to try working in provincial government and do something new, so I took it!” he says.
Now, Marc works with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners, with the support of the Aboriginal Cancer Control Unit, as they tackle some of the daunting kidney care challenges facing these communities. His role is to help build relationships to create local and culturally appropriate solutions to issues with access and quality of kidney care.
Whenever possible, Marc likes to visit these communities in person, even if it means going as far north as Big Trout Lake. “When you talk to people on the phone, it’s all business,” he says. “To build relationships, you need to meet in person, to have a meal together. It’s important to acknowledge what their life is like.”
Although each community is unique, Marc sees common challenges: extremely long travel required to get treatment, misconceptions about the inevitability of diabetes and chronic kidney disease, and a lack of information about treatment options.
Marc sees relationship-building playing as significant part of his job. “Everyone has something to contribute and we just need to find a way to let their voice be heard,” he says. That means supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities in understanding kidney care programs while also ensuring the Ontario Renal Network understands the unique needs of these communities.
But it’s not just at work that Marc brings people together—he brings everyone to the table (literally) in his downtime as well.
He loves to entertain, and whether it’s fried chicken or risotto, cooking is a way for Marc to unwind. He works up an appetite for that Southern/Italian cooking with his love for almost anything active—think hockey, mud runs and especially hikes.
In 2016, he visited the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and hiked a mountain each day, with his highest being 5,600 feet. This year, he hiked in the Rockies.
With his steady approach to challenges, we can be pretty sure that, whatever comes next for Marc, he’ll make it to the top — one step at a time.
Photo: Marc’s love of hiking took him to the top of Charlie’s Bunion in Tennessee.
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