About

Health care leaders from rural and northern communities are moving forward their organizations through a focus on access to quality care with innovative responses to emerging opportunities and unprecedented challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. Unique workforce approaches, effective leveraging of digital technologies, attention to the social determinants of health, and new care models are enabling rural providers to improve the health of their communities. Success is being driven by inspired leadership, forward-thinking governance, and resilient clinicians and staff.

The Canadian Conference on Rural & Northern Health Care brings together top practitioners and thinkers to share strategies and resources for accelerating the shift to a more integrated and sustainable rural health system. We’ll examine the most significant operational and environmental challenges including the impact of COVID-19 on rural hospitals and their communities, and present innovative approaches that will enable you to transform your organization’s care delivery model and business practices.

Who is this conference for?

Rural Hospital CEOs | Administrators | Senior Executives
System Leaders | Governing Board Members | Nursing and Physician Executives
Public Health and Community Leaders
Executives of Rural Health Care Associations | Networks and Clinics

Canada’s Rural and northern health communities reflect and amplify the greatest challenges facing our health system today. Chief among these challenges is the continuing dramatic inequity in health between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.

Adalsteinn D. Brown, Dean Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Why should you attend?

1. GET INSIGHTS

into other organizations’ successes and challenges.

 

2. SHARE

information with your peers about your resources, challenges, and ideas to strengthen the rural and northern health care sector.

 

3. CONNECT

with experts in this field. Make new contacts and discover new opportunities.

2021 Agenda

All times below are Eastern Time
08:45 AM - 09:00 AM

Login

09:00 AM - 09:05 AM

Opening Remarks


Marion Crowe
Chief Executive Director
First Nations Health Managers Association


Lori Webel-Edgar
Senior Healthcare Risk Management Specialist
HIROC

09:05 AM - 09:45 AM
Session 1

How to Get from Here to There: Insights from a Rural Health Research Program

Understanding rural health issues remains paramount if we are to make a difference in the lives of rural individuals and their communities. The rural context is often described as vulnerable and at a deficit. What can we learn from rural health research programs that support the strength and resiliency of rural communities and peoples?

  • Engage with rural community members to address their health-related questions
  • Build capacity of health care staff and community members to enhance opportunities to conduct research
  • Learn about the current policy environment and its impact on the uptake of research findings on rural health issues

09:05 AM – 09:25 AM Presentation
09:25 AM – 09:45 AM Q&A | Discussion


Dr. Judith C. Kulig
Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Lethbridge

09:45 AM - 10:25 AM
Session 2

Open Mic

This 20-minute session is a networking event that will provide participants with the chance to meet virtually to engage in a guided conversation.

10:25 AM - 10:30 AM
Transitions to Sessions 3A and 3B
10:30 AM - 11:05 AM
Session 3A

Indigenous Matters Related to Northern and Rural Health Care Issues

Rural healthcare providers are challenged with limited resources but mandated to deliver the same level of care. Leverage best practices in rural healthcare to:

  • Improve patient flow and resource allocation
  • Create partnerships to leverage important resources outside your organization
  • Build capacity with virtual care and technology already in place

10:30 AM – 10:50 AM Presentation
10:50 AM – 11:05 AM Q&A | Discussion


Dr. Carrie Bourassa
Scientific Director, Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Professor, Community Health and Epidemiology
College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

10:30 AM - 11:05 AM
Session 3B

Staffing Solutions for Building Capacity and Resiliency

Most healthcare providers experience difficulties in achieving adequate or optimal staff, but rural hospitals traditionally face more difficulties. However, the challenges are not insurmountable. Take a deep dive into how organizations are:

  • Engaging with staff to ensure a high level of care
  • Building resiliency and mitigating burnout even with lower staffing levels
  • Recruiting essential senior staff and engaging local millennials

10:30 AM – 10:50 AM Presentation
10:50 AM – 11:05 AM Q&A | Discussion


Michael Villeneuve
Chief Executive Officer | Directeur général
Canadian Nurses Association | Association des infirmières et infirmiers du Canada

11:05 AM - 11:15 AM
Break and Transitions to Sessions 4A and 4B
11:15 AM - 11:50 AM
Session 4A

Situation Critical: Key Communication Interventions in Critical Situations in Rural Communities

Due to the unique socio-political environment that exists in rural and northern communities with critical incidents, it is essential to prepare not only in-hospital communication plans, but also to create and foster relationships that will enable information delivery to the community in a rapid, clear, and controlled manner. Through effective early planning and the building of key relationships, you can prepare your community and hospital to succeed in the information battlespace.

  • Leverage key community media contacts in your communication plan to build information capacity
  • Test and implement communication strategies that enable your local community health-information network to succeed in times of crisis
  • Learn the basics of disaster communication and planning with key pitfalls to avoid

11:15 AM – 11:35 AM Presentation
11:35 AM – 11:50 AM Q&A | Discussion


Dr. Paul Dhillon
FP/ER Physician
Consultant in Disaster, Military, and Austere Medicine

11:15 AM - 11:50 AM
Session 4B

Best Practices in Mental Health Access and Care

Mental health awareness is gaining more attention as it moves out of the shadows, meaning more patients are seeking help. With aboriginal youth 5-6 times more likely to die by suicide, and Inuit youth 11 times more likely, mental health is a crisis for rural and remote communities. As the first point of contact, it is fundamental that front line staff be thoroughly educated in how to respond to a variety of conditions and scenarios. Determine how to develop:

  • Protocols to recognize and respond to mental health and addiction needs quickly
  • Timely access to key services to ensure help is available
  • Remote mental health care that takes advantage of all possible treatment options

11:15 AM – 11:35 AM Presentation
11:35 AM – 11:50 AM Q&A | Discussion


Laurie Heerema
Chief Nursing Executive
Geraldton District Hospital


Teresa Perryman
Patient Navigator
Geraldton District Hospital

11:50 AM - 12:30 PM
Lunch Break and Transition to Sessions 5A and 5B
12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
Session 5A

Regional Critical Care Response Program - An Exceptional and Commendable Approach to Collaboration and Partnerships

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s (TBRHSC) Regional Critical Care Response (RCCR) Program was established in 2015 to provide access to real-time, evidence-informed, critical care medicine using an inter-professional care team. RCCR functions include: resuscitative support, early stabilization of patients, early goal-directed therapy, and facilitating patient transfers resulting in decreased transport times. The RCCR program supports small and rural hospitals and remote nursing stations by allowing them to maintain specific patients within their communities with the assistance of clinical experts using the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN). RCCR provides regional leadership empowering healthcare providers to afford equitable, quality critical care services to every resident of northwestern Ontario. In this presentation, the speakers will:

  • Highlight the purpose, establishment and expansion of the RCCR program
  • Give a high-level review of funding and organizational financial impact of the program
  • Highlight the overall effect of the program on quality health improvement

12:30 PM – 12:55 PM Presentation
12:55 PM – 01:45 PM Q&A | Discussion


Lisa Beck
Administrative Director for Trauma & Pre-hospital Programs, Emergency, Respiratory & Critical Care Services
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre


Chad Johnson
Manager for Critical Care Services
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre


Dr. Michael Scott
Director of Critical Care
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre


Edie Hart
Operations Coordinator Critical Care
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
Session 5B

Pandemic Preparedness in Rural Hospitals

In this session, the speaker 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, as well as partnerships with other stakeholders and resources.

  • Challenges rural hospitals face in responding to high impact pandemics and how they were overcome
  • Methods in which the response to the COVID-19 pandemic differed between rural and urban settings
  • Evidenced-based strategies rural hospitals can deploy to prepare and respond to future high impact pandemics

12:30 PM – 12:55 PM Presentation
12:55 PM – 01:45 PM Q&A | Discussion


Michael Nolan
Chief Paramedic / Director
Emergency Services at County of Renfrew

01:45 PM - 01:50 PM
Transition to Closing Keynote
01:50 PM - 02:25 PM
Closing Keynote

The Future of Rural and Northern Health Care in Canada

Dr. Rourke will present contrasting visions of a reality-based dystopian future and a possibilities-based utopian future that will challenge both pessimists and optimists.

  • Participants will consider major challenges facing Rural and Northern Health Care in Canada
  • Participants will envision how the future Rural and Northern Health Care in Canada might evolve
  • Participants will reflect on actions they can do to improve the future Rural and Northern Health Care in Canada

01:50 PM – 02:20 PM Presentation
02:20 PM – 02:25 PM Q&A | Discussion


James Rourke
Professor Emeritus & Former Dean of Medicine
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Co-chair Rural Road Map Implementation Committee
Society of Rural Physicians of Canada

02:25 PM - 02:30 PM

Closing Remarks and Adjournment


Marion Crowe
Chief Executive Director
First Nations Health Managers Association


Lori Webel-Edgar
Senior Healthcare Risk Management Specialist
HIROC

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!

2021 Speakers

Marion Crowe

Chief Executive Director
First Nations Health Managers Association

    Lori Webel-Edgar

    Senior Healthcare Risk Management Specialist
    HIROC

      Michael Villeneuve

      Chief Executive Officer | Directeur général
      Executive Office | Bureau exécutif
      Canadian Nurses Association | Association des infirmières et infirmiers du Canada

        Dr. Paul Dhillon

        FP/ER Physician
        Consultant in Disaster, Military, and Austere Medicine

          James Rourke

          Professor Emeritus & Former Dean of Medicine
          Memorial University of Newfoundland
          Co-chair Rural Road Map Implementation Committee
          Society of Rural Physicians of Canada

            Laurie Heerema

            Chief Nursing Executive
            Geraldton District Hospital

              Dr. Carrie Bourassa

              Scientific Director, Institute of Indigenous Peoples' Health
              Canadian Institutes of Health Research
              Professor, Community Health and Epidemiology
              College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

                Lisa Beck

                Admin Director for Trauma & Pre hospital Programs, Emergency, Respiratory & Critical Care Services
                Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

                  Dr. Michael Scott

                  Director of Critical Care
                  Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

                    Chad Johnson

                    Manager, Critical Care Services
                    Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

                      Edie Hart

                      Operations Coordinator Critical Care
                      Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

                        Judith C. Kulig

                        Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Health Sciences
                        University of Lethbridge

                          Michael Nolan

                          Chief Paramedic / Director
                          Emergency Services at County of Renfrew

                            Teresa Perryman

                            Patient Navigator
                            Geraldton District Hospital

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                              2021 Conference Recordings

                              On Demand Access
                              $49
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                              Prices

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                              • Access to all sessions on-demand after the conference
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                              Location

                              UHN BMO Education & Conference Centre
                              60 Leonard Ave
                              Toronto, ON
                              M5T 2R1
                              Located inside Toronto Western Hospital

                              Hosting an event at the BMO Education & Conference Centre allows us to give back, as revenues that are generated by the BMO Education & Conference Centre are reinvested back into the hospital to support both Education and Clinical Care.

                              Accommodations

                              For a map of hotels in the area click here.

                              Location

                              The link and passcode to log into the online event will be provided to all registered delegates by email.