Donate Now!

2008 Northern Heath Research Conference

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) held its third, highly successful annual Northern Health Research Conference (NHRC) in North Bay on May 30 and 31, 2008. In keeping with the School’s mandate of social accountability and to address the cultural diversity of the region, presentations covered a broad variety of research topics, all of which shared in the common theme of improving the health of the people of Northern Ontario.

Dozens of presenters among many disciplines explained significant findings and research advances. Hosted by Nipissing University, the NHRC drew over 150 delegates from various backgrounds and institutions.

Dr Joshua Tepper, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Human Resources (HHR) Strategy Division, Ministry of Health and Long Term Care was the keynote speaker. Opening the conference, Dr Tepper’s engaging presentation, entitled Contemplating HHR Research Or 10 Things I Wish I Had Known, spoke to the challenges and opportunities in health care. Special mention was later made of NOSM’s commitment to innovation.

In addition to the oral presentations and poster viewings, a session for 37 high school students from the North Bay region provided opportunities for youth to learn about health research, health careers, and the NOSM MD program.


  • The largest attended NHRC to date, the 2008 Conference featured over 80 papers involving over 200 authors whose work appeared either in oral presentations or poster displays.
  • NOSM’s commitment to innovation was supported by keynote speaker Dr. Joshua Tepper.
  • Delegates from all over Northern Ontario attended a welcome barbeque Thursday evening amid the lush surroundings of the Nipissing University and Canadore College campus. Elders Barbara Peltier and Donna Simpson opened the event with a blessing ceremony that included smudging and drumming.
  •  On the morning of May 30, 2008, Dr. Douglas Parker, Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences at Nipissing University, Dr. Roger Strasser, NOSM Founding Dean, and Dr. Greg Ross, NOSM Associate Dean, Research, were accompanied by Nipissing-Temiskaming MP Anthony Rota, Nipissing MPP Monique Smith, and North Bay Deputy Mayor Peter Chirico in the opening of the event.
  • The Conference embodied NOSM’s six key Academic Principles of Generalism, Interprofessional, Integration, Community Oriented, Distributed Community Engaged Learning, and Diversity.
  • Participants noted the mix of research topics ranging from investigations in molecular biology, to the therapeutic properties inherent in the leaves of sweet fern, to the relationship between geography and physical activity.
  • Supportive networking opportunities provided a suitable environment in which to explore an integrated, pan-Northern approach toward future research activities.
  • A dinner and social evening provided by NOSM was held at Churchill’s on North Bay’s Lakeshore Drive.