Global health will be the focus of the third instalment of the Lillian Wright Maternal-Child Learning Institute, a one-day conference on Oct. 1 that explores topics and encourages discussion on maternal and child health and health care.
Organized by the Women’s Health Research Chair in Mental Health out of York U’s Faculty of Health, the event presents a snapshot of practices, ideas and discoveries in maternal-child health. To support the global theme of the day, the conference will present keynote speakers with local, national and international perspectives.
“This year, we have speakers from UNICEF Canada and from Montreal (Université de Montréal), as well as from the local community (Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre),” said Nazilla Khanlou, professor of nursing and academic lead of the Lillian Wright Maternal-Child Health Scholars Program.
Khanlou will also present at this year’s event on the topic of “Maternal-Child Health: A Human Rights Perspective,” and she is one of four York U presenters. Joining her are Harvey Skinner, dean, Faculty of Health, who will offer the official welcome to the event; Beryl Pilkington, global health program coordinator, Faculty of Health, who will discuss “Global Maternal-Child Health: Sketching Issues on the Global Context”; and Alison Collins-Mrakas, Office of the Research Ethics, who will be presenting on “Research Ethics: Research Involving Human Participants.”
There will also be a segment of student poster presentations from York students who are either current or past recipients of the Lillian Wright scholarship program.
In 2008, the Faculty of Health received funding for annual scholarships for students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The one-day Maternal-Child Learning Institute is also supported by the Lillian & Don Wright Foundation.
“The scholarship focuses on a broad area of maternal-child health, from lab to community-based research,” said Khanlou.
Nicole Racine, a PhD candidate in clinical developmental psychology at York, is a three-time recipient of the scholarship and was the student co-chair of the Lillian Wright Maternal-Child Health Academy of Scholars (along with Michael Miceli). She received the scholarship as an undergrad ($1,000), and twice during her graduate studies ($10,000 each time). Her research is focused on parent-child interactions in distressing contexts and the development of childhood medical fears.
“What this scholarship does is allows graduate students to focus on their research and disseminate their work with the community and other researchers,” she said, adding that the funds enabled her to present at the International Symposium for Pediatric Pain this past June.
Racine said the Lillian Wright Maternal-Child Learning Institute also brings opportunities for students and researchers to collaborate with organizations at the community level.
The one-day conference, taking place Thursday, Oct. 1, from 9 to 4pm in 519 Kaneff Tower, is now accepting RSVPs. Lunch will be provided at the event.
By Ashley Goodfellow Craig, YFile deputy editor