Published by CAHO at June 19, 2015

Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter Conference Highlights

THANKS TO YOU our HWS conference was an outstanding success! Now let’s carry the momentum forward

On June 1, 2015, the Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter Campaign was launched by CAHO and its membership with a conference at MaRS Discovery District. We were thrilled by the energy, the insight and the momentum that was generated and is continuing in the virtual world.

The Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter campaign’s overall aim is to promote ongoing stable investment in, and a long-term strategy for health research that will leverage, accelerate and enhance the hospital-based research activity taking place in Ontario. We want to energize and equip the delegates who represent the many voices of health research in Ontario to become champions for a building a healthier, wealthier, smarter province. Learn more in our policy platform.

We’d like to share some of the conference highlights with you, and we encourage you to share them too!

Just some of the many highlights

Government

Federal Minister of Health, Hon. Rona Ambrose, shared a highly supportive video message naming Ontario as “a powerhouse of health research”. Minister of Research and Innovation, and Training, Colleges and Universities, Hon. Reza Moridi, was supportive of opportunities for future partnership with CAHO in HWS initiative, saying, “research hospitals will foster the economy of tomorrow, while improving our quality of life.” CAHO and its members thank you for your support, and look forward to cultivating partnerships!

#onHWS participants at the CAHO conference.
Hon. Rona Ambrose, “We’re looking forward to partnership for a healthier, wealthier, smarter country.”
Hon. Reza Moridi, “Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter is a great summary of our aspirations; I wish we had thought of it first!”
Hon. Reza Moridi, “Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter is a great summary of our aspirations; I wish we had thought of it first!”

Patients

15 patients attended the conference, and many more engaged in the dialogue online, inspiring an ethos of collaboration on June 1 and beyond. Gail Bellissimo inspired us with her personal story about living through her diagnosis with depression more than a decade ago, and how joining a research study at CAMH, where she received rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulations), gave her back her life. Gail described the challenge that research information is not easily available to patients, but that “patients are a natural group to help close this gap.” Tina Ceroni shared her poignant journey of being diagnosed with a rare and incurable neuro-muscular disorder and how her life was changed thanks to a first-of-its-kind stem cell transplant procedure developed in Ontario. Watch Tina’s inspiring story.

#onHWS Champion Gail Bellissimo with Catherine Zahn, CAHO Chair and CEO of CAMH
#onHWS Champion Gail Bellissimo with Catherine Zahn, CAHO Chair and CEO of CAMH
#onHWS Champion Tina Ceroni with Karen Michell, Executive Director of CAHO
#onHWS Champion Tina Ceroni with Karen Michell, Executive Director of CAHO

Guest Speakers

“Health research is a necessity, not a luxury”. That was the advice from Hon. Michael Wilson, Chairman of Barclays Capital Canada Inc.; Chancellor of the University of Toronto; Vice-Chair of the Governing Council of CIHR; and Chair of MHCC. He exhorted CAHO and its members to get better at communicating the economic value of health research. Simon Denegri, Chair of INVOLVE and National Director for Patients and the Public at NIHR, said that scientists are 4x more likely to hit recruitment targets, and therefore have a successful study, when patients are engaged. For more insights on patient engagement, see Simon’s full presentation The value of engaging patients in research.

Simon Denegri and Hon. Michael Wilson at CAHO’s Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter conference.
Simon Denegri and Hon. Michael Wilson at CAHO’s Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter conference.

Carrying the Momentum Forward

CAHO was delighted by the amount of participation, engagement, and enthusiasm—both in person and online—at our Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter conference and campaign launch. Our hashtag trended in Canada on Twitter, reaching over 620,000 people. We feel that the conference set the tone for the kind of collaborative conversations we want to cultivate over the coming year. We want to thank all of our speakers and participants for sharing your ideas and experiences, and we encourage you to carry the momentum forward by continuing to share at #onHWS.