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NOSM Holds Francophone Symposium at Rendez-Vous 2012

Posted on October 11, 2012


Community Stakeholders and Conference Delegates from Around the World Consider Francophone Health

On Wednesday, October 10, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) welcomed community stakeholders and Rendez-Vous 2012 conference delegates with an interest in Francophone health to the School’s fourth Francophone Symposium, held in Thunder Bay.  This one-day event encouraged participants to examine current best practices and the resulting impact of service, education, and research on the health status of Francophones in Northern Ontario and around the world.

Introduced by Jacqueline Gauthier, Chair of NOSM’s Francophone Reference Group, as “A Francophone for Francophones,” Mr. François Boileau, Ontario’s French Language Services Commissioner, acted as moderator.  This year’s symposium included distinguished speakers from Northern Ontario and around the world, who gathered to share their knowledge and expertise on service, education and research, as well as key elements in relation to the impact of social accountability. Notable speakers included Dr. Charles Boelen, International Consultant, formerly with the World Health Organization; Dr. André-Jacques Neusy, Executive Director, THEnet:Training for Health Equity Network; and, Dr. Jan De Maeseneer, Secretary General, The Network: Towards Unity for Health; Dr. Hélène Rousseau, Associate Vice Dean, Distributed Medical Education, McGill University;  Dr. Paul Grand’Maison, Director, Office of International Relations; Director, Collaborative Centre OMS/OPS; Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke.  Participants also had the opportunity to hear from Andrée Robichaud, CEO, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Patrick Legault, a second-year NOSM medical student; Dr. Aurel Schofield, Director at the Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau-Brunswick, Associate Dean for New Brunswick for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, and, Associate Dean for Medical Education for the Faculty of Health Sciences and Community Services at the Université de Moncton; France Jodoin, Executive Director, Réseau du mieux-être francophone du Nord de l’Ontario; and, Angèle Brunelle, Executive Director, L’Accueil francophone de Thunder Bay.

Throughout this interactive symposium, participants with an interest in Francophone health were engaged in group work, individual conversations, and small group discussions. “Ultimately, it is hoped that participants will be able to take away ideas to enhance the communities and organizations they represent, whether in Northern Ontario or beyond,” explained Dr. Roger Strasser, NOSM Dean.

NOSM has a social accountability mandate to contribute to improving the health of the people and communities of Northern Ontario by graduating physicians and health professionals with a unique understanding of Northern health challenges.

The School is pleased to be part of initiatives, such as this symposium, that work to build and strengthen the School’s partnerships with Francophone communities.