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2015 NHRC Keynote Speakers

Dr. Stefan Grzybowski

Dr. Stefan Grzybowski is a health services researcher and Professor in the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Department of Family Practice. He was a Michael Smith Health Research Foundation Senior Scholar (2008 to 2013) and currently co-directs the Centre for Rural Health Research, part of the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. He is coprincipal investigator of the Rural Maternity Care New Emerging Team.

He received an award as the College of Family Physicians of Canada Researcher of the year in 2009. His current research is focused on the study of rural maternity care and small rural surgical services in British Columbia with the goal of improving health services for parturient rural women, their families, and their communities. He has also had a longterm commitment to building research capacity through strategies to support clinical investigators in family medicine. Prior to moving to UBC, Dr. Grzybowski practised as a family physician for 12 years on the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii. After moving to Vancouver in 1994, he worked at the Three Bridges Health Centre an inner city clinic until 2006.  He currently provides part-time rural locum services.

Dr. Jude Kornelson

Dr. Jude Kornelsen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, Co-Director of the Centre for Rural Health Research, Director of the Applied Policy Research Unit (APRU), and Honorary Associate Professor in the Medical School, Sydney University, Australia. As co-director of the Centre for Rural Health Research, her primary research focus is on rural health issues, particularly the investigation of appropriate levels of services for rural maternity care and the role of midwifery in contributing to such care.

Since 2005, she has led multiple mixed-methods investigations in rural BC exploring women’s experiences of traveling to give birth, maternal and newborn outcomes based on distance to services, the role of GPs with Enhanced Surgical Skills in sustaining rural services and an investigation of high acuity rural transport. She is currently involved, with Australian colleagues, in the implementation of some of this work to the Australian context. Through APRU she leads a unit to provide rapid reviews for decision-makers in other key stakeholders in the area of rural health care. Dr. Kornelsen was a Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator and is a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar.

Dr’s Grzybowski and Kornelson presented Re-Building Health Services: Dangerous Ideas from the Hinterland

Dr. Janet Smylie

Dr. Janet Smylie is a family physician and public health researcher. She currently works as a research scientist in Aboriginal health at St. Michael’s hospital, Centre for Research on Inner City Health (CRICH), where she directs the Well Living House Applied Research Centre for Indigenous Infant, Child and Family Health. Her primary academic appointment is as an Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She maintains a part-time clinical practice with Inner City Health Associates at Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto.

Dr. Smylie has practised and taught family medicine in a variety of urban and rural Aboriginal communities. She is a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario, with Métis roots in Saskatchewan. Her research interests are focused on addressing the health inequities that challenge Indigenous infants, children, and their families through applied health-services research. Dr. Smylie currently leads multiple research projects in partnership with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities/organizations. She holds a CIHR Applied Public Health Research Chair in Indigenous Health Knowledge and Information and was honoured with a National Aboriginal Achievement (Indspire) Award in Health in 2012.

Dr. Smylie presented Optimizing Health Care for Indigenous Peoples in Canada: Emerging Evidence

Roger Walker

Mr. Walker recently retired as President and CEO of Timmins and District Hospital, a position which he also held in two other hospitals and two integrated health systems. He has over 35 years experience in health leadership roles in BC, Alberta, Ontario, and the USA. Mr. Walker spent almost 15 years working with primarily Aboriginal serving health organizations. He has a Masters degrees in health administration and public administration, and a Bachelors degree in political science and international relations. He is a lifetime member of the Canadian College of Healthcare Leaders and holds the Certified Healthcare Executive designation. He is active in local and regional community, church and association affairs and sits on several boards and leadership councils. The Walkers live at Star Lake near Timmins where they enjoy outdoor activities year-round. They have nine grown children and 20 grandchildren who live in Alberta, BC, Washington, and Utah.

Mr. Walker presented Generating Research in the Small, Rural and Northern Hospital