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Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


  • New online journal analyzing health reform initiatives publishes first issue

    16 Oct 2013

    The online journal Health Reform Observer – Observatoire des Réformes de Santé (HRO-ORS) developed by CHEPA director Michel Grignon, who serves as its editor-in-chief, has published its inaugural issue.

    HRO-ORS is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal, publishing concise, plain-language analyses of individual health reforms related to the governance, financing and delivery of health care in the Canadian provinces and territories, as well as in-depth, cross-issue and cross-jurisdictional “roll-ups” of these reforms.

    The first issue contains four peer-reviewed articles:

    Health Reform Observer - Observatoire des Réformes de Santé does not charge fees to readers or contributors. For information concerning submissions or to express interest in joining the team of reviewers, please contact the journal’s managing editor, Nancy Johnson, at

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  • Effectively combining population and survey data topic of CHEPA seminar

    08 Oct 2013

    Surveys done for health services and economics research purposes, including those taken as part of clinical trials, often suffer from poor response levels or attrition and this may prompt researchers to weight the data. Survey results may also not reflect situations where the interview subjects have similar characteristics, for example when the respondents are predominantly women.

    In an Oct. 16 CHEPA seminar, economics PhD candidate Qing (Felix) Li will describe an approach that combines both population and survey data using a method of moments technique that matches auxiliary moments of the two data sources to estimate micro-econometric models. He provides Monte Carlo evidence to show that the approach can appreciably reduce both bias and variance.

    Li will show how this technique can be used in a health human resource context by describing how it was used to analyze factors associated with students’ decisions to drop out of the Ontario Midwifery Education Program (MEP). The high dropout rate in this academically and professionally challenging program is causing a lack of access to midwifery care for an estimated 2,425 Ontario women each year.

    The seminar will be held Wednesday Oct. 16 from 12:30 in CRL B119, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend. The seminar will be available remotely for those who are unable to attend.

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  • Labelle Lectureship: How austerity kills

    24 Sep 2013

    A pioneering public health expert will describe how countries hit hard by the global financial crisis have damaged the health of their citizens with economic measures taken to balance budgets and stabilize financial markets, at the 22nd annual Labelle Lectureship.

    David Stuckler, Senior Research Leader in Sociology at the University of Oxford, England, and author of The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills, will be the guest lecturer at the event on Oct. 2, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in room 1A1 of the Health Sciences Centre. All are welcome to attend.

    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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  • CHEPA seminars resume with a look at measuring health system efficiency

    29 Aug 2013

    The first CHEPA seminar of the new academic year will be held on Sept. 18, when Sara Allin, a senior researcher at the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and CHEPA director Michel Grignon will describe measures used to examine health system efficiency in Canada.

    The seminar, Measuring efficiency in Canada's health system, draws from a study that brings together data on health spending and health outcomes at the regional level to examine health system efficiency in Canada using data envelopment analysis (DEA). It also explores the environmental and health system factors that help to explain variations in efficiency across the country.

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  • Meredith Vanstone joins CHEPA faculty

    13 Aug 2013

    CHEPA’s faculty recently welcomed Meredith Vanstone as a
    new member. Vanstone, who is an assistant professor with McMaster’s Department of clinical epidemiology & biostatistics, was a post-doctoral fellow at the centre in 2012-13.

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  • A year of celebration and change

    16 Jul 2013

    CHEPA marked a fiscal year full of milestones and challenges last year. Read about them in CHEPA 2012-13 in review, an annual summary of the centre’s events and achievements.
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  • New journal to offer best available evidence on Canadian health care reforms

    10 Jun 2013

    Michel GrignonA new open-access peer-reviewed online journal Health Reform Observer – Observatoire des Réformes de Santé ( dedicated to publishing concise, plain-language analysis of health reforms related to governance, financing and delivery of health care in Canada, as well as in-depth, cross-issue and cross-jurisdictional “roll-ups” of these reforms, is actively seeking submissions and building its list of reviewers. 

    The journal, launched in May under CHEPA director Michel Grignon, the publication’s editor-in-chief, above, is free of charge to both to readers and contributors.

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  • Jillian Kohler joins CHEPA as associate faculty member

    04 Jun 2013

    Jillian Kohler, the Director of Global Health at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and Munk School of Global Affairs and an Associate Professor, University of Toronto, has joined CHEPA as an associate member.
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  • Scotland's new heart disease prevention policy model topic of special seminar

    04 Jun 2013

    While there is global interest in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, limited resources make it important  to assess the cost effectiveness of policy initiatives to prioritize interventions and patients.

    Kenny Lawson, a lecturer on health economics at the University of Glasgow, will describe the recently-developed Scottish CVD (cardiovascular disease) Policy Model at special CHEPA seminar on Friday June 7 at 2 p.m. in CRLB 119. The model was built using patient level data with lifetime follow-up, has been validated and is now being used by policymakers. The model enables an assessment of the impact of interventions on (morbidity-adjusted) life expectancy, lifetime hospitalization costs and health inequalities.

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  • Hutchison's dedication to primary care honoured with Emmett Hall Lectureship

    15 May 2013

    Brian Hutchison’s lifelong dedication to understanding and improving primary health care in Canada is being recognized with the Emmett Hall Memorial Lectureship, one of Canada’s most prestigious honours. Hutchison, Professor Emeritus at CHEPA and McMaster's departments of Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, will present the Hall Laureate Lecture May 29th at the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR) annual conference in Vancouver. The lectureship is a lifetime achievement award conferred by health services and policy scholars in Canada.

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  • Former Ontario Health Minister to speak at CHEPA seminar

    15 May 2013

    The Hon. Elinor Caplan, left, who was Ontario’s Minister of Health from 1987 to 1990 and was a federal cabinet minister from 1999 to 2003, joins co-authors Tom Bigda Peyton, below, and Maia MacNiven to discuss their book From Innovation to Transformation: Moving up the Curve in Ontario Healthcare, about the Health Transformation Learning Partnership (HTLP) project, in a CHEPA seminar on Wednesday May 15. Their presentation will describe the combination of techniques that were used to transform three healthcare organizations in Ontario: North York General Hospital, York Central Hospital, and the South East Community Care Access Centre.

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  • CHEPA celebrates announcement of three-year research funding

    01 Apr 2013

    Congratulations to CHEPA faculty John Lavis and Jeremiah Hurley for successfully leading the application for funds from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for the research program Harnessing Evidence and Values to Health System Excellence.

    The research program will be supported over three years (April 2013 to March 2016) by a one-time, multi-year grant of $4.9 million through the Ministry’s new Health System Research Fund - Research Awards competition.

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  • Seminar looks at implications of altered federal role in health policy

    13 Mar 2013

    The current federal government insists its role in health policy is limited to providing funds to the provinces. In a seminar titled Perspectives on the Federal Role in Health Policy, Pierre-Gerlier (P.G.) Forest, President of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, will discuss the implications that this approach to governing health care, which he describes as a departure from the cautious course favoured by previous governments, may have on the adaptive capacity of the national health care system.

    The seminar will take place on Wednesday March 20 in CRL B119, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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  • Candidates sought for CHEPA/Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Endowed Chair in Health Equity

    11 Mar 2013

    McMaster University is seeking an outstanding researcher to assume the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis/Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Chair in Health Equity. We are looking for a dynamic early- or mid-career scholar who will lead an innovative research program focused on the production and communication of policy-relevant research that addresses issues of equity and efficiency in health and health-care, at the individual or systemic levels.

    Although applications will be accepted until the position is filled, the search committee will begin reviewing applications on April 15, 2013

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  • Visiting professor a community health activist in South Africa

    06 Feb 2013

    Public health promotion and gender specialist Olagoke Akintola, a senior lecturer in the health promotion program, School of Applied Human Sciences, University of KwaZuluNatal, Durban, South Africa, is a visiting professor in the Program in Policy Decision-making (PPD).

    Akintola’s principal research interest is in health systems development at the primary care level with a specific focus on community health care work and the economics of community/home-based care.

    PhD program welcomes doctoral student from Makerere University

    André Zida, Chief of the Department of National Health Accounts and Health Financing, Ministry of Health, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and a doctoral student at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, is spending the winter at CHEPA as a visiting doctoral student in the Health Policy PhD program. He will return to campus in September for an additional three months.

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  • CHEPA marks 25 years of studying the health-care system’s most pressing issues

    29 Jan 2013

    How does the way doctors are paid affect health-care costs and quality? How can we fund the need for long-term care of Canada’s growing population of seniors efficiently? How do we make sure care is delivered according to the best available scientific evidence, in a manner that is consistent with professional autonomy and responsive to patients' needs? 

    Those are the kind of questions that have been studied for the past 25 years by faculty at CHEPA, which was officially opened on May 26, 1988 and this year celebrates its silver anniversary.

    The founding and growth of CHEPA parallels the genesis and growth of health economics as a research field. CHEPA researchers, who bring together the tools and methods of social sciences (economics, sociology, political science), humanities (philosophy, ethics), management, and clinical sciences, have directly helped to shape Canada’s health-care system, driving the development of the internationally-recognized Health Utilities Index and implementing methods for the economic evaluation of health-care services, systems and programs, as well as pioneering the field of health policy analysis.

    Photo shows CHEPA's founding faculty in 1988: From left: David Feeny, coordinator Greg Stoddart, Roberta Labelle, associate coordinator Jonathan Lomas, Amiram Gafni, George Torrance.

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  • CHEPA seminar considers: It is time to retire the World Health Organization?

    16 Jan 2013


    As the World Health Organization celebrates its 65th anniversary in 2013, many have raised the difficult question of whether it is ready for retirement. Kelley Lee, Director of Global Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, will present a seminar on Monday, January 28, that looks back at the history of WHO, what it was created to do, what governance constraints it currently faces, and how it must change to meet the world's health needs of the 21st century if it is to avoid obsolescence.

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  • CHEPA mourns the death of Gavin Mooney

    21 Dec 2012

    Members of CHEPA were devastated to learn of the death on Dec. 20 of Professor Gavin Mooney at his home in Tasmania, Australia.  

    A proud Scotsman, Gavin was a  close friend of the Centre and a colleague to many of us.  He was passionate about equity in health and health care systems and was active in both his professional and private lives in pursuing fairer societies.

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  • Vancouver Sun article highlights CHEPA director’s long-term care study

    19 Dec 2012

    An article proposing a new system for financing long-term care, written by CHEPA director Michel Grignon and Nicole F. Bernier, research director of the Faces of Aging program at the Institute for Research on Public Policy, was published recently in the Vancouver Sun.

    The article, How to cover the costs of long-term care in Canada, ran on the newspaper’s Issues & Ideas page. It drew on research the pair conducted for the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) and published in the study report Financing Long-Term Care in Canada.

    That study concludes it should be a national priority to ensure that adequate long-term care is accessible to every Canadian who needs it and that the government should adopt a universal public insurance scheme for long-term care, along the lines of what Medicare already does for medical care in Canada.

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  • 'Mythbusters' knowledge translation tool subject of CHEPA seminar

    15 Nov 2012

    The effectiveness of Mythbusters, a knowledge translation tool used to measure and evaluate the uptake of information from knowledge transfer initiatives, is the subject of a seminar on December 19 presented by Jon Sachs, an evaluation specialist at the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement in Ottawa.

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