The Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation hosted a York Leadership Roundtable on May 8. The event brought together knowledge experts in business, industry, government and academia to discuss eHealth and connected solutions for health care delivery.
The roundtable provided a forum for participants to discuss technological advancements, research partnerships and community collaborations for the benefit of improving health care delivery for citizens.
From left, Altaf Stationwala, president & CEO of York Central Hospital, Ken Ono, vice-president analytics of NexJ Systems Inc., Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, Harvey Skinner, dean, Faculty of Health, Robert Haché, vice-president research & innovation at York University
“The York Leadership Roundtable provided an opportunity to facilitate and create mutually productive relationships with businesses, industry, social service organizations and the municipal and regional leadership of York Region,” said Robert Haché, York vice-president research & innovation. “During the session, our keynote speakers provided a great snapshot of new innovations in the health services sector and the exciting opportunities to foster collaborative research partnerships for continued growth and development.”
Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua welcomed all participants to the event and highlighted the importance of forming collaborative networks to improve health care delivery in the region.
“The York University Roundtable was a great initiative to better comprehend and seek solutions to the challenges we face in health care. The thoughtful analysis of the changing dynamics of our system provided much value added to the understanding of what is required to bring about much needed reform,” said Bevilacqua.
“Through effective dialogue and collaboration we can find the path that will bring us closer to the answers needed to build an effective, efficient and caring user-friendly health care system. The discussion about the use of technology as an enabler for positive change was a reminder of the incredible opportunities we must seize to move forward and innovate towards the creation of a modern and avant-garde system,” said Bevilacqua.
Speakers at the event included Harvey Skinner, dean of York University’s Faculty of Health; Ken Ono, vice-president of NexJ Systems Inc.; and Altaf Stationwala, president & CEO of York Central Hospital.
Skinner discussed how a new approach to the management of health care is setting the stage for industry partnerships, creating efficiencies within the delivery of health care and driving new models for teaching and educating the health care professionals of tomorrow. He presented a new integrated eHealth solution and software development project aimed at enabling patients to monitor their health and wellness, diet and exercise program on a daily basis with the support of a health coach.
The program will help to promote a health active lifestyle, explained Skinner, and will enable health care providers and patients to work collaboratively to improve a patient’s health, minimize dependency on an already heavily-taxed health care system. He and can lead to job creation for a new Health Coach profession – an individual who will monitor the health and wellness of patients and help them change behaviourthrough the technology.
Ono offered an industry perspective on innovating in the health care sector. He addressed some of the opportunities and surmountable challenges of working with universities to spearhead commercialization vehicles.
Sharing his experiences working collaboratively with York researchers, Stationwala presented his perspective on the research agenda that will help to deliver a sustainable health system at York Central Hospital and the Region of York.
During a lively question and answer period, the group of more than 40 senior executives and community leaders discussed the continuing importance of investing in research and development, strategies for addressing the innovation needs of businesses and the health care sector, and the role of universities in fostering economic strength in their surrounding cities.