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2014 NHRC Conference

Ninth Annual Northern Health Research Conference Address Questions Relevant to the Health of Northern Ontarians

On June 6 – 7, 2014, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) held its ninth annual Northern Health Research Conference (NHRC) at the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. Hosted in the Josias Fiddler Conference Room, conference participants were welcomed by SLMHC, the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority and Lac Seul First Nation.

“This is the first time the Northern Ontario School of Medicine has hosted the Northern Health Research Conference in Sioux Lookout – one of many communities that provide essential support to the School by welcoming medical students, residents, and dietetic interns into their local hospital, health centres, and family practices,” says NOSM Dean, Dr. Roger Strasser. “We are pleased to be engaging local health-care professionals, researchers, and students in topics relating to the people and communities in Northern Ontario as we work towards the School’s vision of Innovative Education and Research for a Healthier North.”

Conference Highlights

  • The first keynote address was delivered by Dr. Michael Schull, the President and CEO of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) in Toronto and Saba Khan, an epidemiologist with ICES. The title of their presentation was New Opportunities for working with Aboriginal Health Data at ICES. The second keynote address was delivered by Dr. Donald Redelmeier, Senior Scientist and Director at ICES. The title of his presentation was Pregnancy and the Risk of a Traffic Crash.
  • A special session was organized for high school students from Sioux Lookout. Hosted by NOSM’s Aboriginal Affairs, Admissions and Francophone Affairs units, the session provided youth with an opportunity to learn about health research from a NOSM researcher; health careers from an Aboriginal NOSM alumni and practising physician; about the School’s MD program from a NOSM medical student; and, how to prepare for and apply to medical school at NOSM. Students also had an opportunity to hear conference presentations and view poster presentations. Feedback received from the students was that, by participating in the session, they are now more interested in health-care careers and research. In particular, the youth enjoyed speaking with an Aboriginal NOSM graduate who is now practising in Northern Ontario.
  • Conference participants had the opportunity to hear presentations from a wide variety of organizations, including: researchers based at NOSM; universities across the North, including Laurentian University, Lakehead University, and Algoma University; the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research; partner organizations; and, hospitals in Thunder Bay and Sudbury. It was particularly exciting to see a number of presentations from current or former NOSM learners.
  • This year, conference delegates participated in a community dinner in Lac Seul First Nation. After a dinner of wild rice, fish, and moose, Chief Clifford Bull welcomed delegates to the community, and presented NOSM’s Dean, Dr. Roger Strasser, with a painting to commemorate the visit. The painting will hang at NOSM’s campus at Lakehead University in the medical school building.

“The Northern Health Research Conference was a spectacular conference, and really provided a forum for Northern researchers, staff, and students, to present topics with relevance to the North,” says Dr. Greg Ross, NOSM’s Associate Dean, Research. “Our keynote and plenary speakers were brilliant, which sparked discussion and enabled like-minded researchers to network.”

The next Northern Health Research Conference will be held in Timmins in the spring of 2015.