2020 Agenda



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December 09, 2020

08:45 AM

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09:00 AM

Chair Remarks

Philip De Souza
Director, Communications and Marketing

Jamie Read
Founder & Managing Director
BriteBirch Collective

Marc Aiello
Communications & Marketing Coordinator

09:05 AM

Session 1

Effective Communications During Pandemics

The COVID pandemic brought many communications challenges even for the most knowledgeable and experienced hospital communicators and administrators. The need for constant updates and to effectively reach various audiences are key considerations. Providing valuable information to the public, patients, clinicians and other hospital workers is at the heart of a successful endeavour. Separating essential clinical information from more mundane news updates is another factor behind effective pandemic communications. The session will look at knowledge gained on topics such as the use of social networks and mobile technology, combating rumours and disinformation as well as getting feedback from clinical teams and other audiences.

Session Learning Objectives
By the end of this session the delegates will be able to:

  • Identify three practical ways on how hospital communicators and administrators can improve the flow of communication with staff during a high impact pandemic

Patrice Cloutier
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hamilton Health Sciences

09:45 AM

Session 2

Open Mic: What Project Are You Working On?

Session Learning Objectives
By the end of this session the delegates will be able to:

  • Identify what type of projects are trending in communications in health care currently
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration and partnerships

Philip De Souza
Director, Communications and Marketing

10:30 AM

Session 3A

A Caregiver Perspective On Communications in Health Care

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw.

This session will address common communication challenges experienced by both health care providers in conversation with patients and family caregivers. The speaker will be discussing barriers and facilitators in communicating effectively and will introduce key communication training resources for both families and health care providers seeking to have more effective and efficient conversations.

Session Learning Objectives
By the end of this session the delegates will be able to:

  • Gain knowledge of common communication challenges between organizations, patients and family caregivers and tools on how to break down barriers

Donna Thomson
Author, Caregiver Activist, Speaker

10:30 AM

Session 3B

How Generation Z Is Using Social Media During the Pandemic

We are currently living through the first pandemic to take place during the digital era. As most of our social and work lives have had to transition online, and information is now predominantly filtered through screens, we are facing what Dr. MacDonald refers to as an “infodemic”.

The session will focus on how social media is being taken up by younger users – what has worked, what hasn’t, what is needed? Are memes and TikTok keys to reaching the attention of the younger demographic?

Session Learning Objectives
By the end of this session the delegates will be able to:

  • Identify key tools that are necessary to reach the younger demographic
  • Spot fake news stories about COVID-19 on social media feeds
  • See how social media can both produce and combat the spread of misinformation

Shana MacDonald
President, Film Studies Association of Canada
Associate Professor, Communication Arts

10:30 AM

Session 3C

Global Perspectives on Health Care Communications

Drawing from his experience leading award-winning healthcare communications teams in the Middle East and Asia and as Founder of a global virtual network agency,the speaker will provide the audience with insights and successes that can provide perspective and inspiration for health communicators in Canada.

Session Learning Objectives
By the end of this session the delegates will be able to:

  • Understand the parallels in communications between Canada and other parts of the world
  • Gain key insights that can be applied to Canadian comms efforts
  • Learn about new models for resourcing complex and integrated marketing communications challenges

Jamie Read
Founder & Managing Director
BriteBirch Collective

11:20 AM

Session 4A

Instagram as a Helpful Tool with Grief, Bereavement and Loss

In many cases, Instagram can be a hindrance to your mental health, but not always. In this session, we will explore how Instagram can be a helpful tool for people who might be struggling, specifically with grief, bereavement and loss. Bob Kemp Hospice’s account @emerging.grief is a supportive community that shares tips, resources, advice and stories from similarly bereft folks all with the intent of creating a safe space for discussion around grief of all kinds.

Session Learning Objectives
By the end of this session the delegates will be able to:

  • Have a better understanding of the practical uses of Instagram for mental health andsupport, specifically relating to grief and bereavement
  • Refer to a list of accounts and resources that might be useful for colleagues, friendsand family for specific types of grief and loss such as perinatal loss, parent loss,child loss and more

Annie Horton
Founder of Emerging Grief

11:20 AM

Session 4B

Master Class in Healthcare Communications: In Conversation with Michaela Schreiter

Whether you are a new communicator or a veteran leading a team, you’ll leave this session with some great tips. The team at The Ottawa Hospital was recently featured on an episode of HIROC’s Healthcare Change Makers podcast and shared their communications journey during the pandemic: Michaela and Philip will sit down for a virtual fireside chat to share insight on managing effective communications initiatives.

Session Learning Objectives
By the end of this session the delegates will be able to:

  • Add to their playbook of tips on working with the media
  • Find more success in keeping employees engaged
  • Collaborate more effectively with senior leaders
  • Understand storytelling 101

Philip De Souza
Director, Communications and Marketing

Michaela Schreiter
Media Relations Officer | Agente desrelations avec les médias Communications
The Ottawa Hospital | L’Hopitald’Ottawa

11:20 AM

Session 4C

Twin Pandemics: Why We Must Reimagine Health Communications

The twin pandemics of racism and COVID19 are colliding, in reality, and in metaphor. Every day, we are reminded that they are both contagious, potentially fatal and exacerbate existing inequities in our society. Health communications has a major role to play in the fight against both COVID19 and systemic racism.

Session Learning Objectives
By the end of this session the delegates will be able to:

  • Explore how these parallel public health crises intersect
  • Examine one of the biggest problems in health communications
  • Unveil practical strategies to begin meaningful change

Together, we will discover cutting through to better outcomes in health and equality can only happen if we properly hear voices from diverse populations throughout (and beyond) the creative process.

Annette Power
Managing Partner,
Health Care Communications, Pages for Good

11:55 AM

Session 5

5 Universal Truths and 10 Tips to Media Success

Apprehensive about a media interview? In 20 minutes we’ll give you five universal truths and 10 tips that will help you deliver your message clearly and confidently in any interview. You’ll learn how to prepare your message, cope with challenging questions, deliver powerful soundbites, and connect with your audience in any interview.


Halina St. James
Creator, Presentations Masterclass, The Virtual Speaker

Ongoing Call for

This is your opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with other health care professionals.

Please email us at info@sparkconferences.com to receive more information.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

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