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Passion Meets Destiny: Priyansh Thapa, Data Analyst at Ontario Health

Priyansh Thapa knew from the time he was a teenager that he wanted to work in the healthcare management field. “Thinking about working in the healthcare industry…it gave me a sense of purpose in life, and made me feel like that’s why I belonged to this world – to be able to help my community.”

But he also knew that healthcare – especially in Canada – is an incredibly broad and varied field. So, Priyansh decided that he would get his hands into every aspect of healthcare management that he could: not just to find the right one for him, but also to understand as fully as possible this field that he felt so passionately drawn towards.

There was a plan that Priyansh said he felt destined for – and for the first few steps, it all seemed to click together. “It was like I had the formula,” Priyansh says. “I just needed to apply life experiences, consistency, and an open-minded approach to my study.”

Coming to Canada from India in 2018, Priyansh started his Bachelor’s of Health Studies with a specialization in Health Management at York University. Seeing the development of Ontario Health as a “Health System for the Future” was incredibly inspiring, and fuelled his passion. Things were going well, and Priyansh’s path seemed clear.

Then, like so many of our lives, Priyansh faced a major disruption…COVID-19. A family health emergency meant Priyansh had to return to India, and with the global lockdown in place Priyansh struggled to get back to Canada. Even if he had, there was no longer a practicum waiting for him as it was canceled due to the pandemic.

I felt really disheartened. I needed the experience of this practicum. As an analyst, obviously, that's what I'd aimed for. And I could not get it.

But Priyansh was not going to rest on his laurels. He refused to let anything – even a global pandemic – get in the way of his goals.

I saw they started doing digital reporting for the first time in India during COVID,” says Priyansh. He knew he needed to somehow get involved. “I started cold-emailing and dropping by the offices of people in different hospitals. I had a plan in mind, and I needed to get someone to speak to. After five or six emails to the chairman of one of the biggest hospitals in India I finally got a meeting. I shared the innovative ideas I had, and the vision that I had really impressed him. Two days later I was strategizing with the hospital administrative team.

Fast forward to today. Priyansh returned to Canada, and has accomplished much in that period of time – he’s finished his degree and has now volunteered for, worked in, and researched even more areas of healthcare…especially health tech. He’s landed his dream job as an Analyst at Ontario Health for the Home and Community Care Information Programs. And now, at the young age of 24, Priyansh is living the dream he set his sights on back in high school. He says he loves working with his more experienced colleagues as he still has a lot to learn – but that he also appreciates how open-minded and eager they are for new modernization in the healthcare system.

It’s revolutionizing the healthcare system. It’s a shame that not many people talk about the public service because Ontario is doing such a good job. As a young guy who’s just entered into the system, the work that I see going on here for this province is amazing. I feel not only grateful, but also like I get to be an important piece in this whole puzzle that we are solving for our Canadian healthcare system.

It’s been a career four years in the making – not very long, yet a lot of hard work has gone into it. “It was not just hard work, though,” argues Priyansh. “It was a lot of destiny and luck, too. And when it combines together, that’s when you get to what you really want to be. It’s passion meets destiny.”

As for his future – Priyansh is a bit more cagey. He says he’s very excited about the work he’s involved in, but he can’t say much more than that. We’ll just have to wait and see – but it seems like it will be well worth the wait.