About

Many hospitals throughout Canada operate at high capacity throughout the year. Despite this, when tasked with preparing and responding to COVID-19, hospitals found ways to rise to the challenge. As a result, a huge amount of innovative solutions occurred, and continue to occur, as the situation evolves. 

This conference will take an inventory of the most innovative and evidence-based strategies deployed during the first wave of COVID-19 to ensure health systems can leverage this new knowledge to be better prepared for future outbreaks. This conference does not cover clinical information on best practices to treat COVID-19.  

Target Audience

Hospital Senior Administrators:
  • CEOs, Chiefs of Staff
  • Chief Medical Officers
  • Chief Nursing Officers
  • VPs Strategy or Planning
  • VPs Corporate Services
  • VPs Quality
  • VPs Clinical Programs
Directors and Managers of:
  • Emergency Departments
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Facility and Capital Planning
  • Infection Prevention
  • Materials Management
  • Quality Improvement
  • Patient Care
  • Patient Experience
  • Patient Relations
  • Risk Management
Hospital Staff:
  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Social Workers

Agenda

To suggest a session or book your own session please contact us at info@sparkconferences.com

Check out our 2020 Agenda below.

08:30 AM - 09:00 AM

Login | Registration

09:00 AM - 09:10 AM

Chair Remarks


Dr. Valérie Homier
Emergency Medicine Specialist, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)
Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, McGill University
Medical Co-Director, Emergency Preparedness, MUHC


Dr. Daniel Kollek
Assistant Clinical Professor, Emergency Medicine, McMaster University
Chair, Disaster Committee, Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP)
Director, Centre for Excellence in Emergency Preparedness (CEEP)

09:10 AM - 09:35 AM
Session 1

Preparing and Responding to COVID-19: Innovative Practices that Worked in Hospital Settings

In this session, experienced practitioners will present an inventory of evidence-based innovations deployed in Canadian and foreign hospitals to prepare and respond to COVID-19. The presenters collected their data through a call for information sent out through different channels to hospitals in all provinces in Canada. The researchers will highlight 20 evidence-based practices for how hospitals prepared and responded to COVID-19.

Session Learning Objectives:

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

  • Identify three innovative practices for how hospitals can better prepare and respond to high impact pandemics
  • Articulate three methods in which the response to the COVID-19 pandemic differed from province to province and within a province

The practical evidenced-based outcomes highlighted in this session fall under the following five categories:

  • Communication and Leadership
  • Command and control
  • Planning
  • Operations
  • Others


Dr. Daniel Kollek
Assistant Clinical Professor, Emergency Medicine, McMaster University
Chair, Disaster Committee, Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP)
Director, Centre for Excellence in Emergency Preparedness (CEEP)

09:35 AM - 09:55 AM

Q&A | Discussion

09:55 AM - 10:10 AM
Session 2

Pandemic Preparedness in Rural Hospitals

Rural and remote hospitals present special challenges. In this session, the experienced practitioners will present their data and patient outcomes, highlighting how their rural hospital and community prepared and responded to COVID-19. Some of the topics covered will be hospital capacity, transport and telemedicine considerations, human resources, relationships with the community and government officials, partnerships with other stakeholders and resources.

Session Learning Objectives:

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

  • Identify three challenges rural hospitals face in responding to high impact pandemics and how they were overcome
  • Articulate three methods in which the response to the COVID-19 pandemic differed between rural and urban settings
  • Identify one evidenced-based strategy rural hospitals can deploy to prepare and respond to future high impact pandemics


Dr. Adam Vyse
Physician Lead
Calgary Rural Primary Care Network, High River, Alberta

10:10 AM - 10:20 AM

Q&A | Discussion

10:20 AM - 10:35 AM
Session 3

Discussion in Break-out Rooms

The theme for discussions: “If I knew then what I know now”
What is the most important lesson that you learned during the first wave of COVID19 within your hospital / your organisation?

Session Learning Objectives:

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

  • Articulate one method in which the response to future high-impact pandemics could be improved within their organization
10:35 AM - 10:50 AM

Networking Break

10:50 AM - 11:10 AM
Session 4

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.

Critical is the ability to reach audiences using the channels they use and in a format that suits their needs. 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, combatting 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

11:10 AM - 11:30 AM

Q&A | Discussion

11:30 AM - 11:50 AM
Session 5

Maintaining Staff Wellness During High Impact Pandemics

There are extensive resources available regarding best practices for maintaining staff wellness during disasters, including pandemics. Although hospitals have processes and procedures in place to support their staff, the practical execution of these processes were taxed during the worst of the COVID outbreak.

In this session the presenters will report on their own research, detailing how clinical staff coped with the physical and mental challenges imposed on them as front line staff responding to COVID.

Session Learning Objectives:

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

  • Identify three innovative methods in which large organizations such hospitals can better protect employees from the adverse effects of responding to high impact pandemics


Dr. Kerstin de Wit
Assistant Professor, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, Queen’s University
Emergency Medicine and Thrombosis Physician, Hamilton Health Sciences

11:50 AM - 12:10 PM

Q&A | Discussion

12:10 PM - 12:30 PM
Session 6

How Hospitals in Israel Prepared and Responded to COVID-19

In this exclusive evidence-based session, the presenters will detail how hospitals in Israel prepared and responded to COVID-19 and explain what made the situation in their country unique. Drawing on their accumulated data, some of the topics covered will include hospital capacity, transport and telemedicine considerations, human resources, relationships with the community and government officials, partnerships with other stakeholders and resources.

Session Learning Objectives:

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

  • Articulate one method in which the response to the COVID-19 pandemic differed in Canada from the response in Israel


Dr. Pinchas Halpern
Retired Chair, Division of Emergency Medicine
Tel Aviv Medical Center

12:30 PM - 12:50 PM

Q&A | Discussion

12:50 PM - 01:00 PM

Final Discussion on Knowledge Gained Today and Adjournment

01:00 PM - 01:30 PM

After Conference Networking (Optional)

09:00 AM - 09:20 AM

Login

09:20 AM - 09:30 AM

Opening Remarks


Sudha Kutty
Vice President, Strategy & External Relations
Humber River Hospital

09:30 AM - 10:15 AM
Session 1

Leadership, Logistics, and the Vaccine Rollout

The development, evaluation, and production of vaccines for Covid-19 was the remarkable success story of 2020. The challenge for 2021 is getting those vaccines into the arms of the population: individual people whose backgrounds and habits are infinitely varied. Effectiveness in this step determines success.

At this pivotal moment in the pandemic, we take time to look at the distribution and communications regarding the COVID-19 vaccines, and the role that all health care organizations play in this incredibly important endeavour.

Objectives:

  • Identify steps that can help with accelerating mass vaccinations

Speakers to be announced.

10:15 AM - 11:00 AM
Session 2

Health Equity Considerations and Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups

Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put many people from racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19. The term “racial and ethnic minority groups” includes people of colour with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. But some experiences are common to many people within these groups, and social determinants of health have historically prevented them from having fair opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health.
To help address the issues around vaccine trust and confidence within these communities, all health care organizations need to provide COVID-19 health and safety awareness in marginalized communities and work with experts to prepare for and support immunization.

Objectives:

  • Discuss the largest barriers and solutions in getting marginalized populations vaccinated


Celina Caesar-Chavannes
Sr. Advisor and EDI Consultant, Queen’s University
Book Author, Can You Hear Me Now?


Trevor Aldridge
Member, Black Community COVID-19 Response Plan
Senior Director of Quality & Compliance, Brevitas Consulting Inc.

More speakers to be announced soon.

11:00 AM - 11:10 AM

Break

11:10 AM - 11:55 AM
Session 3

Managing and Moving forward with Health Care Backlogs

As health care organizations continue to manage the challenges and uncertainties of the pandemic, they should consider not only how to respond and recover, but also how to prepare themselves for tomorrow. Thousands of health care procedures were cancelled when hospitals adjusted operations to brace for the wave of COVID-19 patients. How do we create lasting capacity within the public system beyond the current crisis? Our response must be rooted in solid evidence about system reform.

Objectives:

  • Discuss opportunities for solving the immediate capacity crisis
  • Identify opportunities for health care reform

Speakers to be announced.

11:55 AM - 12:25 PM

Lunch Break & Transition to Sessions 4A, 4B & 4C

12:25 PM - 01:10 PM
Session 4A

Harnessing Challenges to Drive Connection in Health Care Systems and Services

CritiCall Ontario is built on the everyday challenges that many hospitals face caring for emergent patients that may require care beyond what the hospital and its staff can provide. In this session, participants will learn how challenges, and sometimes even crises, have been key drivers of innovation at CritiCall Ontario since its inception in the 1980s. The discussion will include highlights of how the systems and services of CritiCall Ontario are rooted in practical and experiential healthcare issues, including SARs in 2003, and how these systems and services have continued to evolve into foundational tools that have been flexed and adapted during the current COVID-19 Pandemic.

Objectives:

  • Identify how rapid change cycles can be used to adapt existing tools and systems to be immediately responsive to quickly changing health care challenges and priorities
  • Examine why prioritizing provincial approaches to health care delivery is important and how approaches can be scaled and adapted based on changing needs
  • Recognize how all Ontario hospitals can benefit by participating in the services and systems available through CritiCall Ontario



Christine Moon
Manager, Communications & Client Relations
CritiCall Ontario

12:25 PM - 01:10 PM
Session 4B

A Pediatric Institution’s Innovative Response to Support Adult Care during the COVID19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant surge of adult patients requiring hospital-based care. In contrast, it became clear early in the pandemic that very few children required hospitalization due to COVID-19 and that the public health measures were leading to a decrease in pediatric hospital admissions. Many pediatric healthcare facilities developed innovative solutions to contribute to the pandemic response. The Montreal Children’s Hospital of the McGill University Health Center used the advantage of its geographical location being on the same site as the adult mission to contribute to the pandemic response by providing some of its human resources, but also physical space, in a comprehensive and adaptive manner throughout the course of the pandemic.

Objectives:

  • Recognize the principles that lead to the creation of the MCH contingency plan during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Summarize the approach to the redeployment of pediatric human resources to support the adult care mission
  • Examine how the MCH response adapted throughout the course of the pandemic



Dre. Mylene Dandavino
Pediatric Hospitalist
The Montreal Children’s Hospital



Dre. Tanya DiGenova
Pediatric Intensivist
The Montreal Children’s Hospital

12:25 PM - 01:10 PM
Session 4C

Managing the Coming Epidemic in Mental Illness

In a nationwide survey that was conducted by the Canadian Mental Health Association and researchers at the University of British Columbia that was released in December, 40 percent of Canadians said their mental health had worsened since last March.

Patients suffering with mental illness costs twice as much to treat as cancer patients. We know that patient navigation saves lives, improves outcomes and efficiency. This is why by 2011, Canada adopted patient navigation for cancer patients across the country, and why it is viewed as essential to the quality of oncology care today. So why are we not offering patients with mental illness patient navigation?

We have a model of care that we can build on to tackle a category of illnesses that are twice as costly to treat.

Objectives:

  • Highlight evidence based research on patient navigators to help patients navigate their way through the mental health-care system
  • Discuss what our governments and corporate health programs need to implement to avoid the upcoming epidemic of mental illness that could overwhelm the mental health-care system



Angela Johnson
Founder & President
Medical Confidence Inc.

01:10 PM - 01:55 PM
Session 5

Government Relations During the Pandemic Emergency

Mike will use examples and lessons from the COVID-19 experience to highlight government relations strategies and communications that have brought the Canadian Nurses Association through a very tough year while also finding it once again listed by Hill Times among the “Top 100 Lobbyists” in Ottawa.
He will use real examples of briefs, press releases, discussion papers, polling, committee appearances and private meetings with party leaders, cabinet ministers and MPs to drive a policy agenda intended to stabilize the immediate disaster in some long-term care settings and set directions over the long term for healthy, safe, and dignified aging in Canada.

Objectives:

  • Identify best communication practices for long lasting policy change
  • Exemplify effective lobbying strategies


Mike Villeneuve
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Nurses Association

01:55 PM - 02:05 PM

Closing Remarks and Adjournment

All times below are Eastern Time (Toronto, Ontario, Canada).

Accreditation

This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by the University of Ottawa’s Office of Continuing Professional Development. You may claim a maximum of 4.0 hours (credits are automatically calculated).

 This one-credit-per-hour Group Learning program meets the certification criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been certified by the University of Ottawa’s Office of Continuing Professional Development for up to 4.0 Mainpro+ credits.

Ongoing Call for Speakers

This is your opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with other health care professionals. The conference sessions are 45 minutes in length and include at least 20 minutes of audience participation in the form of questions and answers.

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

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

2020 Speakers

Dr. Valérie Homier

Emergency Medicine Specialist
McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)
Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
McGill University
Medical Co-Director, Emergency Preparedness
MUHC

Dr. Daniel Kollek

Assistant Clinical Professor Emergency Medicine
McMaster University
Chair Disaster Committee
Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP)
Director
Centre for Excellence in Emergency Preparedness (CEEP)

Dr. Adam Vyse

Physician Lead
Calgary Rural Primary Care Network, High River, Alberta

Patrice Cloutier

Manager
Corporate Communications Hamilton Health Sciences

Dr. Kerstin de Wit

Assistant Professor, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine
Queen's University
Emergency Medicine and Thrombosis Physician
Hamilton Health Sciences

Dr. Pinchas Halpern

Retired Chair
Division of Emergency Medicine Tel Aviv Medical Center

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