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Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


  • ICES site director Hsien Seow outlines research opportunities

    03 Nov 2016

    Hsien SeowThe Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) uses vast amounts of Ontario’s health-related data, including population-based health surveys, anonymous patient records and clinical and administrative databases to produce cutting-edge studies that evaluate health care delivery and outcomes in the province.

    Hsien Seow is the ICES-McMaster Site Director and also the Canada Research Chair for Palliative Care and Health System Innovation. On Nov 16 he will describe the opportunities the ICES database offers to researchers in a CHEPA seminar entitled: CHEPA + ICES = a match made in heaven?: New research opportunities at McMaster using administrative data.

    He’ll outline what ICES and the ICES-McMaster hub are and how they work; give examples of health policy and economic research using administrative data, and explain how to access the data.

    The seminar will be held Nov 16, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., in CRL B-119. All are welcome to attend. 

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  • Catching up to the rest of the world: reforming primary care in Ontario

    14 Oct 2016

    Dr. David PriceIn their recent report to the provincial government on primary care reform, Patient Care Groups: A new model of population based primary health care for Ontario, Dr. David Price and Elizabeth Baker suggested a fundamental shift in how primary care is delivered, calling for a model where doctors would serve everyone in a geographic area and be organized under Patient Care Groups.

    Price, Professor and Chair of McMaster’s Department of Family Medicine, was the Provincial Primary Care Lead and the Chair of the Provincial Expert Advisory Panel on Primary Care. The report, submitted to the Ontario government in May, outlined a plan for care to become more co-ordinated, equitable and accountable.  

    He will draw from the recommendations in that report and the reaction to it in a CHEPA seminar, titled Catching up to the rest of the world.

     The seminar will be held Weds. Oct. 19, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., in CRL B-119. All are welcome to attend.

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  • Silver anniversary Labelle Lecture: Caring for, learning from and healing with patients

    28 Sep 2016

    Dr. Antoine BoivinThe Labelle Lectureship Series marks its 25th anniversary this year, and will be celebrated on Weds. Oct. 12 with a special lecture by Dr. Antoine Boivin, MD, PhD, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Patient and Public Partnership.

    The Lectureship was created to honour Roberta Labelle, who was one of the founding members of CHEPA. Her death in 1991 was unexpected and occurred when broad recognition for her research in health economics was just starting to emerge.

    Boivin, who is also a practicing family physician and health services researcher at the University of Montreal, was selected by a committee to give the silver anniversary lecture, titled Evolving relationships: Caring for, learning from, and healing with patients.

    The lecture will take place at 3 p.m. on Oct. 12, 2016, in McMaster’s MDCL 3020, with a reception to follow in the Farncombe Atrium. All are welcome. You can also attend remotely by copying and pasting this link in your browser:

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  • Seminar series resumes with a look at conceptualizing health systems guidance

    15 Sep 2016

    Elizabeth AlvarezCHEPA’s seminar series resumes on Weds. Sept. 21, with Elizabeth Alvarez, MD, MPH, PhD, presenting her research on Contextualizing guidance for health systems strengthening.

    Her presentation will draw from her recent research focused on developing and evaluating the use of a workbook for contextualizing health systems guidance.

    Alvarez is licensed as a family physician in both Canada and the United States; is an assistant professor in McMaster’s department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and teaches in McMaster’s Master of Public Health program. She earned a master’s degree in public health through the Northwest Ohio Consortium for Public Health in Bowling Green, Ohio, and is a graduate of McMaster’s Health Policy PhD program.

    The seminar will be held on Weds. Sept. 21 in CRL-B119, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.  All are welcome to attend.

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  • PhD student Bullock awarded Trudeau scholarship

    22 Jun 2016

    Heather BullockHeather Bullock, a Health Policy PhD student studying the best ways to embed mental health policy into daily practice across the different layers of Canada’s social system, has been awarded a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation doctoral scholarship.

    The prestigious award, one of 15 given nationally, is worth $60,000 for each of three years.

    “Mental health presents the greatest disability burden on the planet,” Bullock says. “ People with mental health problems encounter many societal barriers often stemming from stigma and discrimination that can affect their ability to participate as full members of society.”

    She says the scholarship will enable her to conduct international field work that would otherwise have been severely reduced, and allow her to gain a richer understanding of health policy supports.

    Bullock, who is supervised by John Lavis, is McMaster’s third Trudeau scholar since the scholarships were established in 2003, and the second in two years from the Health Policy PhD program. Last year Avram Denburg also received the award for his research into developing a decision-making framework about public funding for new drugs to treat childhood cancers in Canada.

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  • Nominate a promising researcher to give the 25th Labelle Lecture

    09 May 2016

    Roberta LabelleThis October marks the 25th anniversary of the Labelle Lectureship Series, held annually to honour Roberta Labelle, shown here, who was one of CHEPA’s founding members. Her death in 1991 was unexpected and occurred when broad recognition for her research in health economics was just starting to emerge. 

    The Labelle Lectureship Committee is seeking nominations for a promising junior health services researcher — a rising star in the field — to give the 2016-17 Labelle Lecture in October. The Labelle Lecturer can be from any country (including Canada) and has these characteristics:

    • Is early in his/her career development (assistant or early associate level), and shows tremendous promise based on early research accomplishments.
    • Is conducting research on a topic that challenges existing methods or accepted ideas in health research.
    • Is capable of delivering a high-quality lecture that will be of interest to a multi-disciplinary audience of health researchers and decision-makers.
    • Can spend one to two days at McMaster to present a one-hour lecture, followed by a reception; meet with faculty and students and attend a dinner.

    For more information, and to submit nominations, contact Emmanuel Guindon, Chair of the Labelle Lectureship Committee, at 

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  • Paris health economist to talk about outcomes of efforts to develop primary care teams in France

    27 Apr 2016

    Julien MousquesFrench health economist Julien Mousquès says France has more barriers to the development of group medical practices than other countries, many of which have policies that explicitly encourage integrated primary care systems as a way to promote efficiency in health care.

    In a CHEPA seminar on May 18, Mousquès, the Research Director at the Institute for Research and Information in Health Economics (Institut de Recherche et Documentation en Economie de la santé, IRDES) in Paris, will describe the impact on efficiency, productivity, and patient outcomes of a reform in France designed to encourage the development of integrated Primary Care Teams (PCTs).

    His presentation, Learnings about the impact of integrated care on efficiency - The cases of  French Primary Care Teams in France and Accountable Care Organizations in the USA, will also describe results from qualitative and explanatory research on the impact of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in the United States.

    The seminar will be held on Weds. May 18 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Communications Research Lab (CRL) B119. All are welcome. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend.

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  • Register now for New Frontiers in Health Policy Conference

    15 Mar 2016

    Lisa-SchwartzLisa Schwartz, the Arnold L. Johnson Chair in Health Care Ethics, will give the keynote address “Policy and prudence in complex humanitarian crises" at Monday’s New Frontiers in Health Policy Research 2016 conference.

    There is no fee to register for this inter-disciplinary conference, being held at McMaster's CIBC Hall on Monday April 25 and hosted by CHEPA and McMaster’s Health Policy PhD program. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with the program beginning at 8:45 a.m. and concluding at 5 p.m. Click here to see the agenda.

    Click here to register now. 

    To link to the conference webpage for more information, click here.

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  • Seminar reflects on lessons learned from Diabetes Partnership Program

    02 Mar 2016

    Jenny PloegThe Aging, Community and Health Research Unit at McMaster’s School of Nursing helps older adults who have multiple chronic medical conditions age in their homes as well as possible, and also supports their family caregivers.

    The unit’s co-scientific directors, Jenny Ploeg, top left, and Maureen Markle-Reid, right, Maureen Markle-Reidwill present a CHEPA seminar on March 16 that details the lessons learned from The Diabetes Partnership Program, a pragmatic randomized controlled trial in Ontario and Alberta that evaluated one such complex intervention.

    The seminar, Developing, adapting, and evaluating complex nursing and health care interventions: Lessons learned from the Diabetes Partnership Program in home and community care settings in Canada, will be held on Wed. March 16 in the Communications Research Lab (CRL) B119, from 12:30 p.m. to 1.30 p.m. All are welcome. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend.
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  • Cash on delivery: do incentives work to boost maternal health?

    10 Feb 2016

    Rates of maternal, newborn and child mortality remain unacceptably high in the developing world. A CHEPA seminar on Wednesday Feb. 17 a looks at measKaren A. Grepinures taken in Kenya to overcome barriers preventing women from delivering their babies in a health clinic.

     In the seminar, entitled Cash on delivery and other mobile maternal health incentives: evidence from a randomized trial in Kenya, Karen A. Grépin, assistant professor of global health policy at New York University, will discuss the results of a randomized study conducted in early 2013, when 1,600 pregnant women in rural Kenya received different demand side incentives via mobile phone to boost the utilization of maternal health services.

    These were: maternal vouchers (full or partial subsidy), transportation subsidies (conditional or unconditional on clinic attendance), and SMS text reminders.
    These were: maternal vouchers (full or partial subsidy), transportation subsidies (conditional or unconditional on clinic attendance), and SMS text reminders.

    The seminar will be held on Weds. Feb. 17 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Communications Research Lab (CRL) B119. All are welcome. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend.

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  • HIV expert to talk about why affected communities must be involved in research

    04 Feb 2016

    Sean RourkeClinical neuropsychologist Sean Rourke is transforming the way population health and community-based research is done, resulting in a stronger impact on policies and front-line services, and helping to solve complex health problems for people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS.

    Rourke will discuss his work, and why it’s so important for researchers to engage affected communities, on Feb. 10 at a CHEPA seminar entitled Meaningful engagement of affected people and communities in research: Why it matters, how it is done, and what impact it can have.

    Rourke is a scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital; professor of psychiatry, U of T, and scientific and executive director of the Ontario Ministry of Health AIDS Bureau-funded Ontario HIV Treatment Network. He is also the director of three national centres funded by CIHR doing research on HIV/AIDS

    The seminar will be held on Weds. Feb. 10  from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Communications Research Lab (CRL) B119. All are welcome. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend.

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  • CHEPA researchers engaging Canadians to better inform cancer drug funding decisions

    20 Jan 2016

    Julia AbelsonCHEPA faculty member Julia Abelson is a principal investigator on a new national initiative to engage Canadians in order to better inform the decisions made about cancer drug funding.

    The research, funded by the Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control (ARCC), also involves the participation of researchers at the McMaster Health Forum, including John Lavis and Mike Wilson, who are also members of CHEPA.

    In announcing the $800,000 grant, the ARCC noted that although new therapies have resulted in health gains in the treatment of cancer, drug expenditures for cancer treatment have risen faster than in other areas of health care, leading to concerns among policy makers and health care providers that the high costs for new cancer treatments might not be justified by the “often small increase in health benefit they provide over less expensive drugs.”

    The team will be responsible for engaging Canadians on their priorities for cancer drug funding decisions in order to “generate guidance and recommendations from deliberative public engagement events to inform cancer drug funding decisions within different provincial jurisdictions, and to identify common guidance across provinces.”

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  • MSF president to give keynote address at 'New Frontiers in Health Policy' conference

    07 Jan 2016

    Dr. Joanne Liu, MSF presidentDr. Joanne Liu, international president of  Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at CHEPA’s New Frontiers in Health Policy Research Conference, being held on Monday April 25 at McMaster’s CIBC Hall.

    Liu, a Canadian pediatrician born in Quebec City and a graduate of McGill University School of Medicine, was appointed MSF’s international president in 2013.

    The New Frontiers In Health Policy Conference is an annual multidisciplinary conference for graduate students, sponsored by CHEPA in conjunction with the Health Policy PhD Program.

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  • Lavis takes national prize for health policy impact

    07 Jan 2016

    Photo of John LavisJohn Lavis, director of the McMaster Health Forum and associate director of CHEPA, is the co-winner of an award from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) for his career-long efforts to ensure high-quality research is used in decisions about health systems.

    The annual CIHR Barer-Flood Prize in Health Services and Policy Research, is given to a Canadian researcher who has had a transformative impact through health services and policy research.

    Lavis is the 2015 co-winner along with Julio Montaner, a prominent AIDS researcher and professor of the University of British Columbia. The two professors will receive the award at the federal, provincial and territorial health ministers’ meeting in Vancouver on Jan. 20.

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  • Seminars resume with a look at a tool for implementing innovation

    21 Dec 2015

    Dr. Archna Narula

    Merrick ZwarensteinCHEPA’s first seminar of 2016 takes place on Weds. Jan 20, when Dr. Merrick Zwarenstein, Director of the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine and Director of Research, Department of Family Medicine at Western University, and Dr. Archna Narula, Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor in McMaster’s Department of Family Medicine, and Researcher, Centre for Studies in Family Medicine at Western present The NOSE TO TAIL TOOL- a new deliberative approach to facilitating successful development, implementation and scale up of healthcare innovations.

    In this seminar, which was rescheduled from last September, Zwarenstein and Narula present a potential tool for achieving the goals of evidence-based implementation and scale-up on the ground, in collaborations between innovators, end users and decision makers.

    The seminar will be held on Weds. Jan. 20 in CRLB-119, from 12:30- 1:30 p.m.  All are welcome. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend.

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  • Should people be paid to donate organs? Seminar addresses trade-offs

    08 Dec 2015

    Selling ones’ organs to restore someone else’s health is generally prohibited by law. Applied economist Nicola Lacetera presents a CHEPA seminar on Weds. Dec. 16 that addresses the trade-offs experienced when people are paid to donate organs.

    Nicola LaceteraThe seminar, Morality-efficiency trade-offs in repugnant markets: The case of payments for organ donors, draws from his research which found that providing additional information about the lifesaving and cost-saving benefits of an organ market significantly increased the approval rating of making some form of payment.

    Lacetera is an associate professor in the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Mississauga, with a cross-appointment to the Strategic Management area at Rotman and to the Economics Department.

    His varied research interests include the analysis of the determinants of altruistic behavior, in particular different types of medical donations such as blood and organs.

    The seminar will be held on Weds. Dec 16 from 12:30 to 1:30 in CRLB-119. All are welcome. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend.

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  • Taking a practical approach to creating Learning Healthcare Systems

    26 Nov 2015

    Dr. Robert ReidHow do you use research and innovation to create a new kind of ‘learning healthcare system’?

    Dr. Robert Reid, Chief Scientist of the Institute for Better Health at Trillium Health Partners (THP), led a CHEPA seminar on Weds Dec. 2 that presented a vision for such a system and described a practical approach to embedding health services research into day-to-day healthcare operations.

    The recorded seminar is available remotely for those unable to attend.

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  • Trajectories of patient care go in confusing directions, research shows

    19 Nov 2015

    Francois BelandIs there such a thing as 'Trajectories of care' for hospital patients?

    That question will be addressed by Visiting Professor François Béland at a special CHEPA seminar on Weds. Nov. 25.

    François Béland describes a pilot study on trajectories of care for 394 endometrial cancer patients conducted over a two-year period at the Centre de cancer Segal, Hôpital juif de Montréal (HGJ), which identified  six trajectories of care.

    Some trajectories showed high levels of access to emergency department and inpatient care with no relation whatsoever with patients’ age, cancer stage and grade, and tumor type. Béland notes the reasons why these various trajectories were observed are not resolved.

    The seminar will be held on Weds. Nov. 25 from 12:30 to 1:30 in CRLB-119. All are welcome. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend.

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  • Connection between mental health and homelessness addressed at seminar

    11 Nov 2015

    Cheryl ForchukThe relationship between mental health and homelessness is the subject of CHEPA’s Nov. 18 seminar, presented by Cheryl Forchuk, Distinguished University Professor and Associate Director of Nursing Research at the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University.

    Forchuk, who holds a cross appointment to the Department of Psychiatry, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western, will present Playing musical chairs: Understanding homelessness and mental health on Weds. Nov. 18 from 12:30 to 1:30 in CRLB-119. All are welcome. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend.

    Her presentation draws from her research into issues related to poverty and social inclusion for psychiatric survivors; housing/homeless issues;the implementation of the Transitional Discharge Model for the transition from hospital to community; and the use of new technologies to promote mental health, including addiction services.

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  • Memorial service for Cathy Charles to be held Nov. 21

    10 Nov 2015

    Cathy CharlesCHEPA's faculty, staff and students are mourning the death on Nov. 9 of Cathy Charles, a Professor Emeritus in McMaster’s Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and at CHEPA, which she joined in 1989.

    Charles had lived with lung disease for many years. A service of remembrance will be held Saturday Nov. 21 in Toronto at the Humphrey Funeral Home, A.W. Miles-Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Ave. (south of Danforth Ave) at 3 p.m.

    Charles's collaboration with colleagues Amiram Gafni and Tim Whelan produced groundbreaking research to improve shared decision-making in healthcare, and their work on the concepts around the physician-patient encounter has been widely published, including a paper that is now one of the most cited works in its field.

    In lieu of flowers, consider becoming an organ donor. Donations in her memory may also be sent to the lung transplant program at Toronto General Hospital.

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