Supporting the future of healthcare: Re-Imagining Health Symposium

A first-of-its-kind event at Brock University brought together health-focused researchers, practitioners, educators, health industry leaders and policy makers to discuss the future of healthcare.

Brock University, Niagara Health and Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Medical Services, with support from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), collaborated to host the Re-Imagining Health Symposium at Brock on October 16 and 17.

According to Peter Tiidus, dean for the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, more than 35 experts highlighted current evidence-based health-care practices with the goal of providing tangible skills for those in attendance to take back to their workplaces.

“This event provided a space for individuals who often work in similar areas, but rarely get the chance to be in the same room as their colleagues, to connect and expand their networks,” said Tiidus.

One of the goals of the Re-Imagining Health Symposium was to inspire innovation, create an environment of collaborative learning and improve the health and well-being in the community.

“We are very proud of our increased focus on research and academics, and how it is enhancing the patient experience and attracting and retaining the best and brightest to work at Niagara Health,” said Angela Zangari, interim president of Niagara Health. “We know we are stronger when we work together and deeply value these partnerships to create a healthier Niagara.”

The symposium included capacity-building workshops focusing on topics such as knowledge translation, healthy communities, data in healthcare and new medical technologies.

Dr. M. Mustafa Hirji, acting medical officer of health and commissioner for Niagara Region Public Health, provided the opening remarks for the symposium.

“Since social factors are responsible for upwards of 50 per cent of health outcomes, we in Public Health strive to engage not just our health-care allies, but the entire Niagara community to the mission of improving health,” said Hirji. “By working with a multi-disciplinary institution like Brock University, we are able to explore innovations and opportunities to advance wellness across many different sectors.”

Other keynote presenters at the symposium included: Dr. Zayna Khayat, a future strategist at SE Health, Andrew Best, the senior director of healthcare at RBC and Dr. Anthony Levitt, chief of the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program and medical director of the Family Navigation Project.

“In addition to showcasing the cutting-edge research taking place at Brock, we welcomed many of our community partners to campus and the alumni who work for these organizations,” said Tiidus. “Students [were] also given the opportunity to attend at a special rate, as well as the option to present a poster and have their ideas reviewed by industry experts.”

Those present were also able to attend any of six additional workshop sessions conducted by over 30 speakers with varying skill sets and specialties within the healthcare industry. Following the sessions, attendees were able to spend time connecting with the speakers.

According to Tiidus, feedback received from the faculty’s partners and attendees was very positive with most agreeing that the program was both wide ranging and stimulating and the sessions thought-provoking.

Though the symposium has passed, students who desire to engage with the faculty through their other events are encouraged to monitor ExperienceBU. To keep up to date with the events happening at Brock, students can visit

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