Public health roundtable to be held at York

York University is hosting a roundtable meeting on public health on June 3 from 11:30 am to 4:30pm in room N109 of the Seymour Schulich Blding., on York’s Keele Campus. While participation is by invitation only, the event is a collaborative federal, provincial and territorial initiative to raise awareness about the importance of public health with the goal of making Canadians the healthiest people in the world. 

Left: Carolyn Bennett, minister of state (public health)

Participants include York researchers and community health stakeholders. The York roundtable is organized and co-hosted by the Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation, the York Institute for Health Research and the Strategic Planning Group for Health Research.

The roundtable is one of several events across Canada designed to solicit input from university researchers, advocacy groups, associations, public health stakeholders, elected officials, and others. Carolyn Bennett, Canada’s minister of state (public health), will join York’s roundtable in the afternoon to hear the conclusions.

At their September 2004 meeting, Canada’s First Ministers committed to a collaborative process to develop a Pan-Canadian Public Health Strategy, including the development of a set of public health goals. Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Health subsequently agreed to this commitment, and as a result, participating governments have agreed to engage stakeholders and citizens to identify broad directional public health goals for Canada.

The first part of the process includes consulting with researchers and stakeholders to identify public health goals. There will also be a citizen engagement initiative that allows Canadians to provide input via public meetings, written questionnaires and a Web-based survey. A second part, tentatively scheduled for the fall 2005, will bring together stakeholders, Canadians and governments to validate the consultation results. The goals will provide a framework for each jurisdiction to establish targets that reflect their specific priorities.

The government has established the Healthy Canadians Web site to facilitate participation in the process by individuals and organizations, and to report to Canadians on progress. This consultation initiative is expected to result in a summit in the fall to discuss results and next steps. At that time, the government expects to outline how possible goals and action plans may evolve from the consultation process.