Plenary One — Transformative Change for People and Communities Facing Barriers to Health
Our opening plenary introduced how this year’s conference supported all of us working better together to champion transformative change for people and communities facing barriers to health.
As people struggling with substance use and concurrent mental health challenges are among those in Ontario who face the greatest barriers to health, panelists Marc Andre Hermanstyne, Board Member of Queen West - Central Toronto CHC, Rob Boyd,Director of Oasis, Dr. David McKeown, Toronto Medical Officer of Health,and Raffi Balian, COUNTERfit Coordinator, answered a wicked question about harm reduction.
Finally, we celebrated Community Health Champion Award winner, Dr. David McKeown, and delivered a call to action on supervised injection services in Ontario.
Plenary Two — People and Communities First in Health System Transformation
Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Bob Bell provided the latest thinking on implementation of the province’s Patients First Proposals. Panelists, Dr. Gregory Marchildon, Ontario Research Chair in Health Policy and System Design at the University of Toronto, and Angela Robertson, Executive Director of Queen West - Central Toronto CHC, posed their most pressing questions based on the latest national and international evidence supporting the importance of addressing health and wellbeing in health system reform.
Plenary Three — The Past and The Future Are Present: Exploring Relationship Between Canada and First Nations Peoples
Award-winning Canadian author Joseph Boyden made the connection between residential schools, the national crime of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and the deeply troubling suicide rates in Indigenous communities in Canada. A year after the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, Boyden focused on concrete steps to move forward. He also underlined that, for all of the difficulties we still face, there are just as many brilliant and positive examples of health, wellbeing, and cultural reclamation in Indigenous communities.
Plenary Four — The Power of Collective Impact and Community Engagement in Transforming Complex Systems
Melody Barnes, former Director of President Obama’s Domestic Policy Council and current Chair of the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions, provided concrete examples of rigorous multi-sectoral and community-engaged collaboration in the United States and other jurisdictions that have measurably improved the health and wellbeing of people and communities facing barriers. She shared lessons learned about how and why to apply collective impact and community engagement approaches as powerful levers for positive change in Ontario’s health system transformation.
Michelle Hurtubise then moderated a conversation with Lyn Linton, Executive Director of Gateway CHC and Lead of Rural Hastings Health Link, and Jack McCarthy, Executive Director of Somerset West CHC and co-founder of Refugee 613, about how they have applied collective impact and community engagement in their regional work and explore their ideas for how collective impact and community engagement should be used in the context of Ontario’s health system redesign efforts.