Faculty of Health Dean Harvey Skinner will speak on the courage to cooperate

Daily news coverage of the events in the Middle East, especially those which focus on the ongoing Palestinian-Israel conflict and the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, can dispel hope. That’s where Harvey Skinner, dean of York’s Faculty of Health, comes in with his special lecture "The Courage to Cooperate: Lessons Learned in Building Arab and Israeli Cooperation".

The lecture takes place today from 12:30 to 1:30pm in the Samuel Beckett Theatre, 112 Stong College. Admission is free and no preregistation is required for this event.

Right: Harvey Skinner

Faced with such global events, now is the time for leadership of that special kind that is constructive, respectful and inspiring, says Skinner. At York University, he says, it is important for community members to "begin with ourselves, as we address the growing cultural diversity on campus and in the Greater Toronto and York regions."

In this special lecture, presented by Stong College, Skinner will talk about building "cooperation networks", a global lattice among academic communities worldwide to promote leadership and health. Starting with and building on individual action, Skinner will lead participants through the concept of cooperation networks and the mission of York’s Faculty of Health to be an integrative force for promoting health both locally and globally.

Skinner’s work has been recognized by the International Medical Informatics Association with the Best Paper of the Year award. He serves on the board of the Canada International Scientific Exchange Program, which is involved in an innovative program, peace building through health initiatives in the Middle East. From 1997-2005, he was a member of the board of the Canadian Public Health Association. Additionally, he has served as an expert adviser to the World Health Organization, US Institute of Medicine, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute on Drug Abuse and Fogarty International Center.

He is the author or co-author of seven books, more than 100 articles and numerous assessment instruments. Three of his instruments are widely used internationally for the assessment of alcohol dependence (ADS: Alcohol Dependence Scale), the detection of drug problems (DAST: Drug Abuse Screening Test) and assessment of family functioning (FAM: Family Assessment Measure).

Skinner received his PhD in psychology from the University of Western Ontario in 1975. He is a registered psychologist in Ontario and a certified trainer in motivational Interviewing. Skinner has broad experience in behaviour change and organizational improvement, and regularly leads workshops on lowering resistance and enhancing motivation for change at individual and organizational levels. He has a special interest in global public health, with an emphasis on conflict resolution as exemplified in his 2005 Lancet article, "Promoting Arab and Israeli Cooperation: A Model for Peace Building through Health Initiatives".

For more information on this special presentation, call 416-736-5132.