Explaining the Miracle: Statistics and Analysis in Public Health

Location: Ottawa, Ottawa Mariott

Date: October 14–16, 2007


  • To increase awareness and knowledge of current and evolving statistical tools and analytical methods relevant to public health epidemiologists and other health professionals and researchers.
  • To provide a platform for health professionals to share, discuss, and learn about innovative ways to use statistical tools and analytical methods for dissemination of health related information.
  • To provide learning opportunities for clear and understandable communication of analysis results for public health professional use as well as to the general public.
  • To provide a forum for public health professionals to present unique ways in which they have used statistics and analysis for program planning, evaluation and research.
  • To provide networking opportunities for epidemiologists and other public health professionals.

Featured Speakers

Michael Wolfson, Keynote Speaker, Assistant Chief Statistician, Analysis and Development Field, Statistics Canada

Dr. Michael C. Wolfson is Assistant Chief Statistician, Analysis and Development, at Statistics Canada. This includes responsibility for analytical activities generally at Statistics Canada, for health statistics, and for specific analytical and modeling programs. Prior to joining Statistics Canada in 1985, he held a variety of positions in central agencies including the Treasury Board Secretariat, Department of Finance, Privy Council Office, House of Commons, and Deputy Prime Minister's Office with responsibilities in the areas of program review and evaluation, tax policy and pension policy. In addition to his federal public service responsibilities, Dr. Wolfson was a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Program in Population Health from 1988 to 2003. His research activities have led to published papers in diverse areas, including income distribution, tax/transfer and pension policy analysis, microsimulation approaches to socio-economic accounting and to evolutionary economic theory, design of health information systems, and analysis of the determinants of health. Dr. Wolfson has served on a variety of advisory boards and committees including currently on the federal Public Service Pension Advisory Committee and the World Health Organization (WHO) Advisory Committee on Health Monitoring and Statistics. Dr. Wolfson received his B.Sc. in computer science, mathematics and economics from the University of Toronto, and his Ph.D. in economics from Cambridge University in 1977.

George Pasut, Keynote Speaker, Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, Public Health Division, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Dr. George Pasut was appointed the province's (Acting) Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) in December 2006. In his new role, Dr. Pasut will develop effective public health programs and services that promote and protect the health of the people of Ontario. Previolsly, Dr. Pasut was the Executive Lead, Public Health System Transformation within the Public Health Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Prior to re-joining the provincial government in 2005, Dr. Pasut served as the Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer of the Simcoe County Health Unit, and later, of the amalgamated Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. Previously, Dr. Pasut worked for seven years at the Ministry of Health as a Senior Medical Consultant and Physician Manager in the Public Health Branch, and as Acting Director of the Health Promotion Branch. 
Dr. Pasut is a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and received post-graduate training there in the Division of Community Health. He holds a fellowship with the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. In addition, he is a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. He is a lecturer at the University of Toronto in the Department of Public Health Sciences. 
Nick Birkett, Speaker on Longitudinal Analysis, Epidemiology and Community Medicine & the Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa
Dr. Birkett is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He is also an Investigator in the Institute of Population Health. Dr. Birkett received an M.D from McMaster University and an M.Sc. in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics from McMaster University. He taught for three years as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Western Ontario, for five years in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University and for one year in the Department of Anaesthesia at the University of Toronto. In 1988, he moved to the University of Ottawa as an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine. In 2001-2, he spent eight months on sabbatical leave at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto working on laboratory molecular biology methods in cancer etiology. Dr. Birkett's interests are in the molecular epidemiology of cancer. 

Susan Bondy, Speaker on Complex Survey Analysis, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto; Ontario Tobacco Research Unit

Dr. Bondy holds degrees in Epidemiology from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto. On faculty with Public Health Sciences at University of Toronto, she teaches and supervises in the Masters of Health Science in Community Health and Epidemiology and the PhD program in Epidemiology. In addition, she is a Principal Investigator of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit. Her areas of research include: monitoring of alcohol and tobacco use and public opinions on tobacco control policies; psychoactive substance use and associated health problems; and, health services research particularly in the area cancer detection and treatment. One of her current recent projects is the Ontario Tobacco Survey a cross-sectional survey and panel study of smokers. She has many years of experience training graduate students and public health professionals in the analysis and use of survey methods and data in population health. At present, she is also assisting Public Health Agency with the development web-based Skills Enhancement modules on the subjects of measurement and survey research. 

Patrick Brown, Speaker on Spatial analysis, Senior Statistician, Division of Preventive Oncology, Cancer Care Ontario

Patrick Brown is a Biostatistician working at Cancer Care Ontario, the province’s cancer agency, and the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. After spending 10 years in the UK and obtaining a PhD at Lancaster University, he has recently returned to Toronto. His research focuses on spatial, spatio-temporal and longitudinal models to solve problems in public health, veterinary epidemiology, and forest ecology. Current projects involve spatial mapping and risk assessment of pollution sources for cancer incidence in Ontario, and spatial point pattern models for inhomogeneous clustered processes.

Tim Daciuk, Speaker on SPSS, SPSS

Tim Daciuk has worked with SPSS Inc for 10 years, and with SPSS software for over 25 years. Tim’s role with SPSS involves assisting in sales, training and consulting for SPSS, both in Canada and in the United States. Tim has worked with SPSS consulting for a number of years developing customized solutions using SPSS software products. The solutions developed by SPSS consulting help client to make better use of SPSS software, to automate routine tasks, or to use SPSS software in a fashion that increases the power of the product over that available with a ‘standard’ installation. Tim has developed applications in reporting, complex analysis and automation, using both SPSS capabilities and 3rd party software tools.
Tim is also a speaker for SPSS. Tim has presented papers and lead discussions on SPSS, data mining, data analytics, etc., at a number of conferences, workshops and professional gatherings across North America and in the United Kingdom.
Previous to working with SPSS, Tim worked in consulting, primarily involved in survey development, deployment and analysis for both the University of Toronto, and a private firm. Tim has worked as Manager of a computing facility at a college in Toronto. Tim has also taught statistics, research methods and data analysis at the post secondary level. 

Patrick Deluca, Speaker on Cluster Analysis (SaTScan), Systems Administrator/Instructional Assistant, School of Geography and Earth Science, McMaster University

Patrick DeLuca is the Systems Administrator of the GIS Laboratory and Center for Spatial Analysis at McMaster University. He holds a Master’s of Arts degree in Geography from McMaster University, with specialization in spatial analysis and public health. His research interests include spatial epidemiology with particular emphasis on cluster analysis and regional variations in the quality of health and health care, as well as quantitative methods in geography and geographical information systems. His teaching interests include spatial statistics and GIS, and has taught over thirty courses and workshops relating to those topics. 

Roberto G. Gutierrez, Speaker on STATA, Director of Statistics, StataCorp

Roberto G. Gutierrez is Director of Statistics at StataCorp, a position he has held since 2001. He received his Ph. D. in Statistics from Texas A&M University in 1995, under the direction of Raymond J. Carroll. Prior to working at StataCorp, Roberto was an Assistant Professor of Statistics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Roberto oversees the development of all statistical routines in Stata, and specializes in survival analysis and multilevel modeling. He is the author of An Introduction to Survival Analysis Using Stata, along with Mario A. Cleves and William W. Gould. 

JoAnn Heale, Speaker on Web Report Studio, Health Data and Decision Support Unit, Health Services I&IT Cluster, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Ministry of Health Promotion Ontario

JoAnn currently works on contract with the Health Data & Decision Support Unit, Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and is the chair for the Leading Causes subcommittee of the APHEO Core Indicators Working Group. Previously she has held positions with Ontario public health units, district health councils, and a health intelligence unit. Throughout her career, JoAnn has championed the use of data in the Provincial Health Planning Database to inform health status and health system monitoring and reporting. She will be speaking about analysis of morbidity and mortality in Ontario and will demonstrate how this analysis is enhanced with the proposed new access to the PHPDB. 

Doug Manuel, Speaker on Attributable Risk, Senior Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences

Doug Manuel, MD, MSc, FRCPC is a Senior Scientist of the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, at the University of Toronto. Dr. Manuel qualified in medicine from Dalhousie University. He has a Masters in Epidemiology and Royal College specialization in Community Medicine. For the past 15 years, he has been a primary care physician in rural Canadian communities. 
Dr. Manuel’s research interest is the population health impact assessment of health risks and health intervetions. He has developed performance measurements and planning tools for health planning. He uses Ontario health administrative data, including data that is individually linked to clinical data, population surveys and disease registries. He has collaborated with health services researchers across Canada, including federal agencies.

Rama Chandran Nair, Speaker on Regression, Epidemiology and Community Medicine & Professional Affairs, University of Ottawa

Dr. Nair is a Professor of Epidemiology and Community Medicine (Biostatistics) and a member of the Consulting Staff (Scientific) at the Ottawa Hospital. He is also the Assistant Dean for Professional Affairs in the Faculty of Medicine.
Dr. Nair received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Allahabad, Master of Statistics (Biostatistics) from the Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta, Master of Science (Mathematics) from the University of Windsor and a Ph.D. (Biometrics) from Cornell University. He is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology. 
Dr Nair’s research interests include the application of biostatistics methods to health research, clinical trials and international health issues. He is a member of various provincial and national scientific advisory committees and consults extensively on the design and analysis of population health studies. Dr Nair has given several workshops on research methodology internationally, in collaboration with the WHO and CIDA. 
Dr Nair has served many administrative duties at the University of Ottawa, including the positions of Director of Graduate Studies and Acting Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Member of Departmental and Faculty Teaching Personnel Committees, Member of the Gender and Equity committees (Faculty and University) and served on the executive of the Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa. He has several years of experience mentoring junior faculty and graduate students with respect to career decisions and personal life.

Helen Thomas, Speaker on the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools, National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT), The Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University

Helen Thomas is an Associate Professor (Retired) at the School of Nursing McMaster University. She was a member of the Hamilton Public Health Research Education and Development (PHRED) program for over 15 years. She continues to be the Scientific Co-Director of the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. This NCC is one of six set up across the country to improve public health knowledge synthesis, translation and exchange (KSTE). The NCCMT focuses on methods and tools used for KSTE. Helen is the Project Leader of the Effective Public Heath Practice Project that has conducted over 30 systematic literature reviews of the effectiveness of public health interventions. She is currently a member of the Advisory Committee of the federally funded Canadian Best Practices System.


Document Name Type Description Categories Status Uploaded by

2007 Conference Agenda

2007 Conference

Conference Past Conferences & Workshops 2007 Agenda October Public



Document Name Type Description Categories Status Uploaded by
Please login to view documents

Planning Committee



 Suzanne Sinclair  Conference Chair, Sponsors
 Monica Bienefeld  Sponsors, Media contact
 Katherine Haimes  Website
 Jane Hohenadel  Abstracts
 Deborah Moore  Speakers, Registration
 Janice Potter  Speakers
 Shelley Stalker  Educational Credits and Student Fellowships

Planning Services Provided by:

Chuck Schouwerwou, ConferSense Planners Inc.