Astronaut and physician will give lessons from the edge Thursday

headshot of Dr. Dave Williams

Canadian astronaut and physician Dave Williams, president and CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre, will offer students insight into lessons he has learned in leadership and management in the health-care field at a seminar Thursday.

A professor of surgery at the University of Toronto, Williams will deliver the talk, “The Leadership Movement: Lessons from the Edge,” Jan. 17, from 5:30 to 7pm, at N109 Seymour Schulich Building, Keele campus. Refreshments will be provided. The cost of the seminar is $5, except for Graduate Research headshot of Dr. Dave WilliamsAssociation of Students in Public Health (GRASP) and Healthcare & Biotechnology Forum (HCBF) members at York’s Schulich School of Business, which can attend for free.

Dr. Dave Williams

He brings an innovative and unique perspective on how to improve the overall patient experience to his role at Southlake Regional Health Centre. Applying processes learned through his time at NASA, Williams believes strongly that the development and marketing of commercialized, innovative solutions – whether it be process solutions, software development or medical device creation – is the key to redefining the healthcare sector and enhancing the economy.

Williams joined the Canadian Space Agency in 1992 and made two flights on the Space Shuttle, in 1998 and 2007. He logged more than 687 hours in space during his career, with a record-setting 17 hours and 47 minutes performing spacewalks, including installation work at the International Space Station. Having also lived and worked in the world’s only underwater ocean laboratory, he became Canada’s first dual astronaut and aquanaut in 2001.

In 2012, Williams received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

The event is sponsored by York’s Schulich School of Business, the Faculty of Health, GRASP and HCBF.

To attend the talk, RSVP by e-mail to or