Navigating Uncharted Waters

Location: Horseshoe Resort, Horseshoe Valley, ON

Date: May 15-17, 2011


Conference Themes:
  • Privacy;
  • Emerging Data Sources; and
  • Small Area Geography.
  • To learn about new privacy considerations for public health data and how to apply them;
  • To become familiar with emerging data sources and/or analytical methods and how the data can be used;
  • To learn about small area geography analyses and how to apply these analyses in local public health units;
  • To provide a networking opportunity for public health professionals; and
  • To minimize the impact of the conference on the environment 

Featured Speakers

Rumi Chunara, PhD, HealthMap and Harvard Medical School
Rumi Chunara is originally from Toronto and is currently a research fellow at HealthMap and Harvard Medical School. Rumi is trained as an engineer and received her bachelor's in electrical engineering with honours from Caltech, and her doctoral studies were through the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Her graduate work focused on the design of novel portable devices and techniques for diagnostics. At HealthMap her research is focusing on finding novel ways that individuals can contribute public health information and how this can be aggregated to describe and predict population-level public health issues. She is interested in statistical methods, and innovative ways of organizing and visualising information to accelerate and augment healthcare in places with all different levels of healthcare infrastructure. Rumi also has gained clinical experiences at hospitals in Pakistan, Kenya, and the USA.
Ann Sprague, RN PhD, BORN Ontario
Ann Sprague has been the Scientific Manager for BORN Ontario since March of 2009. She has a long history of involvement in perintatal care initiatives via work with BORN Ontario, the Perinatal Partnership Program of Eastern and Southeastern Ontario, AWHONN, the MORE-OB program, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, and the Canadian Perinatal Programs Coalition.
Ann has a PHD from the University of Alberta and currently has a join appointment with the University of Ottawa as an adjunct professor. She has conducted resarch and published in the areas of fetal surveillance, preterm birth, low birth weight, bed rest in pregnancy, and the second stage of labour. She currently has funded research projects in the evaluation of fetal fibronectin implementation in Ontario and H1N1 surveillance.
Scott Leatherdale, PhD, Cancer Care Ontario and PROPEL Centre for Population Health Impact, Canadian Cancer Society
Dr. Scott Leatherdale is a Scientist and Research Chair in the Department of Prevention and Cancer Control at Cancer Care Ontario. He also has appointments as an Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and the dpartment of Health Studies and Geronology at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Leatherdale is also a board member of the Institute Advisory Board for the Institute of Cancer Research (IAB-ICR) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and an advisory board member of the National Advisory Committee on Research in Prevention for the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCS-RI). Dr. Leatherdale has received research grants to support his work in the areas of infrastructure, development, populaton-level data collection systems, ecological influences on behaviour, research network development, knowledge exchange, lifestyle factors associated with cancer risk, program evaluation, and the impact of policy on cancer risk behaviours.
Eric Holowaty, MD, FRCPC, MSc, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Dr. Holowaty has been a cancer epidemiologist at Cancer Care Ontario for the past 24 years. However, he recently retired from CCO to devote more time to other interests. He is also an Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. His research interests have included historical record linkage cohort studies, second primary cancers, health services research, cancer registration and quality control. He has held a number of research grants and contracts with Health Canada, the National Cancer Institute of Canada, and the US National Cancer Institute.
Dr. Holowaty is the Ontario Principal Investigator on the Breast Implant Cohort Study, a national project which began in the early 1990s. Dr. Holowaty is also a co-investigator on a number of studies of second primary cancers, most recently, upper gastro-intestinal cancers following first cancers of the breast, cervix, testis and Hodgkin disease. Most recently, Dr. Holowaty was the Principal Investigator for the Ontario Health and Environment Integrated Surveillance (OHEIS) Project, a collaborative GIS project for mapping cancer, including its outcomes and determinants, as well as for risk assessment in relation o potential environmental hazards and cancer.
Khaled el-Emam, PhD, CHEO Research Institute and University of Ottawa
Dr. el-Emam is an Associate Profesor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine and the School of Information Technology and Engineering. He is a Canada Research Chair in Electronic Health Information at the University of Ottawa. His lab is located at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, where he is leading the eHealth reearch program. Previusly, Khaled was a senior research officer at the National Research Council of Canada, where he was the technical lead of the Software Quality Laboratory, and prior to that he was head of the Quantitative Methods Gropu at the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering in Kaiserlautern, Germany. In 2003 and 2004, Khaled was ranked as the top systems and software engineering scholar worldwide by the Journal of Systems and Software based on his research on measurement and quality evaluation and improvement, and ranked second in 2002 and 2005. He holds a PhD from the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, King's College, at the University of London (England).
Khaled has also (co-)founded two software companies that develop applications in the health sector. The most recent, Privacy Analytics Inc., is commercializing a powerful new anonymization technology that allows the safe disclosure, access, and sharing of personal information.
David Alexander, PhD, Departmet of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto and Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion
Dr. Alexander received his BSc from the University of Western Ontario, PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill. He followed this with postdoctoral work at U of T and McGill, during which time he specialized in the molecular biology of tuberculosis and other mycobacterial infections. Since 2007, he has been based at the Public Health Laboratories in Toronto. He is an Assistant Professor with the U of T Department of Labroatory Medicine and Pathobiology as well as a Molecular Microbiologist at the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion. He is actively involved with the molecular epidemiology and surveillance of TB in Ontari, and also manages the OAHPP DNA Core facility and explores clinical applications of new DNA sequencing technologies.


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Planning Committee

Stephanie Wolfe, chair
Alanna Leffley
Cameron McDermaid
Shelly-Ann Hall
John Barbaro   

Planning Services Provided by:

Chuck Schouwerwou, ConferSense Planners, Inc.