40 Under 40

Christy Holtby

University Hospital Foundation
Edmonton, AB

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

  1. As a direct result of Christy’s leadership, the new department of Strategic Partnerships has created a revenue stream providing $4.35 million in revenue for the University Hospital Foundation, representing 22% of the Foundation’s fundraising revenue in 2017-18.
  2. She has also been recognized in her community as a thought leader for both philanthropic and economic development opportunities, serving with the Mayor of Edmonton’s Health City initiative and speaking at both the City of Edmonton Health Summit and the Mayor’s Summit for Economic Development.
  3. She is a two-time graduate of AHP’s Madison Institute and serves as an instructor for AFP’s Fundamentals of Fundraising course.
  4. Christy is a frequent presenter at health and fundraising events locally, nationally and internationally, including at AHP and AFP conferences.

Q & A

  1. How did you get into health care philanthropy?

    Chairing the Shinerama Campaign in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada in my third year of university planted in my mind the idea of working in the philanthropic sector. Through this association with Shinerama I met a number of people from across the country who at the same time in their lives were realizing the potential that philanthropy had to change lives. Many of these people became mentors and lifelong friends, and it was through these relationships and shared passions that I soon found myself working in health care philanthropy.

  2. Why did you choose to make health care philanthropy your career?

    Working in health care philanthropy nurtures my curious nature and fulfills me intellectually – not a day goes by when I haven’t learned something. Paired with the front row seat to see the life changing impact of our donors’ generosity – it is an incredibly easy, and fulfilling, career choice.

  3. What has been the #1 factor in your career success so far?

    I’m grateful for, and motivated by, the ambition of those around me. I’m surrounded by friends, family and colleagues across the healthcare spectrum who seek to do better, who challenge one another and who pursue new ideas. This kind of selfless ambition is contagious.

  4. What is your greatest passion and why?

    We joke that my love of hosting dinner parties has trickled over into work.  There are few things I love more than good food, wine and the right mix of people around the dinner table. The result is almost always interesting conversations and unexpected connections.

    And while at work it doesn’t involve cooking food or sipping wine, in my role I have the opportunity to convene conversations around healthcare innovation and what it will take to accelerate these ideas and possibilities.

  5. What are your future aspirations?
  6. The last three years of my career have been focused on defining how the University Hospital Foundation approaches collaboration, particularly in building our Public Private Philanthropic Partnerships portfolio. I’d like to build upon this as I believe that there is tremendous opportunity to advance initiatives and address complex issues facing Canadian communities if we were to rethink how we partner across the donor community, the philanthropic sector (our organizations), and all levels of government.

    For this to happen it will mean building a framework that challenges our preconceptions around healthcare delivery models, and incents and rewards collaboration and partnerships that benefit patients.

Christy Holtby

Fun Fact:

I’ve been a fan of the British TV show Coronation Street since I was able to pour a cup of tea.