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Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


  • 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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  • Hurley appointed Dean of Social Sciences

    23 Oct 2015

    hurley-2CHEPA faculty member Jeremiah Hurley is McMaster’s new Dean of Social Sciences. 

    Hurley, a health economist, has been chair of McMaster’s Department of Economics since 2011; is an associate member of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and served in leadership positions at CHEPA for many years, including terms as acting director.

    His research includes public and private roles in health care financing, resource allocation in health care, equity in health care, and the application of experimental economic methods in health research.

    His appointment as Dean takes effect on Nov. 15.

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  • Policy change in aging societies topic of Fulbright scholar's seminar

    08 Oct 2015

    Walt DawsonWalt Dawson, the 2015-2016 Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Governance & Public Policy at McMaster, will present a special CHEPA seminar on Weds. Oct. 28, co-sponsored by the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging.

    His seminar, Policy Change in Aging Societies: Long-Term Services & Supports Financing in Canada and the United States, draws from research he is doing at McMaster on the development of Canadian social policy and the way current economic, cultural and political forces are shaping Canadian long-term services and supports policy, within the context of an aging society.

    Dawson is the Director of Research & Analytics at the Oregon Health Care Association, and a part-time lecturer in the Institute on Aging at Portland State University’s School of Community Health.

    The seminar will be held on Weds. Oct. 28 in CRLB-119, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Please note the special time. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend.

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  • Inaugural Hannah History of Medicine lecture looks at care in Africa

    25 Sep 2015

    Steven FeiermanThe first lecture in the newly-established Hannah History of Medicine and Medical Humanities Speaker Series, sponsored by the Hannah Unit in the History of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, will be given on Weds. Sept. 30 by Dr. Steven Feierman, Professor Emeritus of History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania.

    The lecture, co-sponsored by CHEPA, is titled Care: The Missing Term in Eastern African Medicine, and assesses the effectiveness of the formal system of medicine in Africa, noting that historically most care of the sick has taken place outside the boundaries of biomedicine.

    Feierman, who has maintained a continuous presence in Northern Tanzania as an anthropologist and historian since his graduate student days, is author of Peasant Intellectuals, of The Shambaa Kingdom, and editor of The Social Basis of Health and Healing in Africa. He has a PhD in history from Northwestern University and a DPhil from Oxford in social anthropology.

    The lecture takes place on Weds. Sept. 30, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Health Sciences Library, C. Barber Mueller History of Health and Medicine Room, Lower Level, Room 1B3. All are welcome.

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  • Labelle Lectureship: How health-care policies affect women and their families

    16 Sep 2015

    Katy KozhimannilA renowned expert in maternal and child health presents the 24thannual Labelle Lectureship on Wednesday, talking about how health-care policies can impact – and improve – maternal and child health and wellbeing.

    Dr. Katy Kozhimannil, Associate Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management at the University of Minnesota, will present the lecture on Wed, Oct. 7, 3:00-4:30 p.m. in MDCL 3020, with a reception to follow in the Farncombe Atrium on the 3rd Floor of the Health Sciences Centre. All are welcome to attend.

    Kozhimannil’s research focuses on how health-care policies impact women and their families, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations. She is particularly interested in institutional and government policies affecting health-care delivery, quality, and outcomes during the perinatal period.

    The Labelle Lectureship is an annual event organized by CHEPA, the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Programs for Assessment of Technology in Health Research Institute. It was established in 1992 in memory of Roberta Labelle, a founding member of CHEPA who died in 1991. The annual lectureship features a health services researcher with emerging recognition and an interdisciplinary approach to research.
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  • Hutchison honoured as family medicine 'pioneer'

    26 Aug 2015

    Brian HutchisonDr. Brian Hutchison has been named by the College of Family Physicians of Canada as one of the Top 20 Pioneers of Family Medicine Research in Canada for his early work in the 1990s using simulated office patients as an innovative research methodology. 

    In the mid-1990s, he and colleagues Christel Woodward, Geoffrey R. Norman, Julia Abelson and Judy Brown obtained funding from Health Canada to study the provision of preventive care by family physicians.

    They developed an innovative methodology using unannounced standardized patients to assess the extent to which family physicians provided age and gender appropriate evidence-based preventive care.
    The main paper reporting on the study, Provision of preventive care to unannounced standardized patients (CMAJ 1998; 158:185-193), has been frequently cited and sourced.

    was CHEPA’s director from 2002 until his retirement in 2005 and is a professor emeritus in McMaster’s departments of family medicine and clinical epidemiology and biostatistics.

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  • Discrete choice experiments: incorporating user preference in study design

    03 Jun 2015

    Fern Terris-PrestholtFern Terris-Prestholt, a researcher and lecturer at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, will be the final speaker of the academic year in CHEPA’s Seminar Series.

    Her June 17 presentation, Discrete Choice Experiments: Incorporating user preference to inform optimal study design and economic evaluation models, will draw from her research on stimulating demand for Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision in Tanzania and the use of use of discrete choice experiments to inform intervention design.

    The seminar will be held on Weds June 17 in CRLB-119 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend. 

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  • CHEPA welcomes two new faculty members

    22 May 2015

    CHEPA’s faculty has expanded again in numbers and expertise, with the addition of two new members.

    Lydia KapiririLydia Kapiriri, who has been on research leave, joined CHEPA’s faculty earlier this year. An associate professor in McMaster’s Faculty of Health, Aging & Society, her interests include health systems and global health research and ethics.

    Ellen Amster Ellen Amster, who joined CHEPA this month, is the Jason A. Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine at McMaster, and is an Associate Professor in the university’s Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Department of History, specializing in Islamic and French medicines.

    CHEPA now has 27 members and one adjunct.

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  • Incorporating equity into health care performance measurement

    17 May 2015

    Richard CooksonHealth economist Richard Cookson from the University of York, UK, will give a special CHEPA seminar on Weds. May 20 about Incorporating equity into health care performance measurement -- a framework and application.

    Cookson is a Reader and NIHR Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York. His research focuses on equity in health and health care, and he is conducting a five-year fellowship research program on health equity impacts.
    While most of his research involves applied econometric analysis of large datasets, he also draws upon methods of economic evaluation, behavioural economics and philosophy.

    Please note the special time for this seminar: 11 am to 12 noon, on Weds. May 20, in room CRL-B119.

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  • Read CHEPA's spring newsletter

    28 Apr 2015

    Winter was busy at CHEPA. Click here for the latest issue of the CHEPA e-news to find out what your friends and colleagues have been doing.  

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  • Seminar examines health insurance reform in Chile

    22 Apr 2015

    Guillermo ParajeEfforts to reform Chile’s system of health insurance will be subject of a CHEPA seminar on May 13.

    Economist Guillermo Paraje (PhD, University of Cambridge), an Associate Professor at Universidad Adolfo Ibañez in Santiago, Chile will draw from his experience as a member of Chile’s Presidential Advisory Committee for Private Health System Reform and his research in the areas of development and health economics to discuss efforts to reform health insurance in Chile.

    The seminar will be held on Weds. May 13 in CRLB-119 from 12:30 to1:30 p.m. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend.

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  • Seminar assesses efforts to improve delivery of cardiovascular care

    09 Apr 2015

    Catherine Deri ArmstrongImproved Delivery of Cardiovascular Care (IDOCC) was an innovative, multifaceted quality improvement program conducted between 2008 and 2011, designed to assist primary care providers in improving their delivery of evidence-based care for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. 

    At a CHEPA seminar on Weds April 15, Catherine Deri Armstrong, associate professor of economics at the University of Ottawa and academic director of Statistics Canada's Local Research Data Centre in the Ottawa area, will summarize the results of two separate studies examining the effectiveness of IDOCC.

    The seminar will be held in CRLB-119 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend. 

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  • Health policy conference draws a crowd

    24 Mar 2015

    New Frontiers conferenceCHEPA's annual multidisciplinary conference for graduate students, New Frontiers in Health Policy Research, sponsored in conjunction with the Health Policy PhD Program, was attended by more than 75 registered guests recently at McMaster Innovation Park.

    The keynote speaker was Pierre-Yves Geoffard, Director of the Paris School of Economics, who talked about conclusions drawn from his research into how to best design public policies to address social inequalities in health among children.

    Seven doctoral and master's candidates presented research papers on a variety of topics, and the day ended with a panel discussion on how research evidence is used – or sometimes isn’t used -- in policy decision making, comparing health policy to other fields such as education or welfare.

    Click here to see the 2015 conference agenda.


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  • Transnational grandparents and childcare: the gap between policy and experience

    10 Mar 2015

    photo of Y. Rachel ZhouOlder immigrants are often pegged as dependents, likely to need care, who are a burden on Canada’s welfare state.

    At a CHEPA seminar on Weds March 18, Y. Rachel Zhou, an Associate Professor at McMaster’s School of Social Work and the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, challenges this policy position by drawing on data from a qualitative study of the experiences of Chinese grandparents who provided transnational caregiving in Canada.

    In her seminar, Transnational family, transnational care, and transnational aging: Bridging the gap between policy and lived experience, Zhou argues that the government of Canada and other host countries must untangle the contradictions of immigration and care policy and address the disparities embedded in transnational care-giving.

    The seminar will be held on Weds. March 18 in CRLB-119 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The seminar will be available remotely for those unable to attend.

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