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2015 NHRC Conference

June 8, 2015

NOSM Holds 10th Annual Health Research Conference in Timmins

From June 5-6, 2015, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) held the 10th annual Northern Health Research Conference (NHRC), this year hosted at Northern College in Timmins, Ontario.

For the last ten years, the Northern Health Research Conference has provided an important opportunity for NOSM faculty and researchers across the North to come together to discuss research relevant to the people and communities of Northern Ontario. Research is a critical part of every medical school, and contributes to all aspects of an academic environment. It provides important educational opportunities, creates a culture of inquiry and challenge, and contributes to bettering the health of our communities.

“Celebrating ten years of the Northern Health Research Conference is a testament to the importance of research at the School,” says Dr. Penny Moody-Corbett, NOSM’s Associate Dean of Research. “The NHRC has provided an occasion for networking each year, and for sharing and learning from each other about the valuable research that’s happening right in our own back yard.”

“Without doubt, one of the most encouraging aspects of our research programs is the depth of collaborative activity,” says Dr. Roger Strasser, NOSM Dean. “In order to continue to further the exciting health research taking place in Northern Ontario, it is important that dispersed researchers have an opportunity to come together to discuss their work. This allows for a pan-Northern approach for collaborative research, where ideas can cross-pollinate, and like-minded researchers can combine their talents and expertise to support the development of a healthier Northern Ontario.”

Conference highlights:

  • Dr. Stefan Grzybowski and Dr. Jude Kornelsen, Physicians Services Incorporated (PSI) Visiting Clinical Scholars from the University of British Columbia, spoke about how their personal experiences on Vancouver Island led them to research and re-think the delivery of health services in rural and remote communities.
  • Dr. Janet Smylie, Director of the Well Living House Research Centre for Indigenous Infant, Child, and Family Health and Wellbeing, gave an engaging keynote presentation. Speaking on Indigenous specific social determinants of health and racism, Smylie asked participants to consider how they can work towards optimizing health care for Indigenous Peoples in Canada, based on emerging evidence in recent literature.
  • Roger Walker, past president and CEO of the Timmins and District Hospital, shared his personal journey with-and observations on-health care, education, and research in small, rural, and northern hospitals. Based largely on his 15 years of experience in Northern Ontario, Walker spoke about Sioux Lookout as one example of an active research hub in a small Northern community.
  • A special session was organized for high school students in Timmins. Students were selected to participate based on their interest in health and research-related careers. Hosted by NOSM’s Admissions and Learner Recruitment Unit in partnership with Science Timmins, the session provided more than 20 youth with an opportunity to learn about health research and careers from a NOSM researcher, and NOSM medical students shared information about their own path to being admitted to NOSM as well as information about the MD program. Students also sat in on conference presentations and attended a tour of Northern College’s Simulation Lab.
  • Dr. Roger Strasser, NOSM Dean, and Dr. Greg Ross, NOSM’s past Associate Dean of Research, gave an engaging presentation titled, “Now, we are 10.” Reflecting back on the previous nine conferences, Strasser and Ross shared highlights of each NHRC and the impact of research on Northern Ontario.

The next Northern Health Research Conference will be held in June 2016 in Sault Ste. Marie, as part of NOSM’s 10th anniversary celebrations.