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Jan 13 Event: Ethical Lessons Learned from the Ebola Epidemic

As the new year starts, the world has learned a great deal from the largest and longest Ebola outbreak in history. Although many countries have been declared to be free of Ebola, there are still many lessons to be learned from the global response to the spread of this infectious disease. Come out to the McMaster Health Forum Student Leadership Team’s first event of the year on Jan 13 to learn more about about these lessons and how they will play a role in shaping future responses to trans-national health threats.

Check out our Facebook Event page for more information! https://www.facebook.com/events/884211341677027/

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Upcoming Events

McMaster Health Forum offers five-day workshop on finding and using research evidence: February 16-20

Registration is now open for a five-day training workshop that supports policymakers, stakeholders and researchers in learning how to find and use research evidence in their work to reform, renew or strengthen health systems, and get cost-effective programs, services and drugs to those who need them.

Check the link below for more information!

https://www.mcmasterhealthforum.org/new-at-the-forum/2015/12/08/mcmaster-health-forum-offers-five-day-workshop-on-finding-and-using-research-evidence-february-16-20

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News

Advancing the Health of our Aging Population: The Role of Health Policy – Summary of the Event

By Ben Li, Student Leadership Team Co-Chair

The McMaster Health Forum Student Leadership Team, with support from the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative, recently hosted a panel discussion exploring how various forces are shaping health policies in Canada as the population grows older. The panel consisted of Dr. Walter Dawson (Director of Research and Analytics at the Oregon Health Care Association), Dr. Amanda Grenier (Director of the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging), and Dr. Michel Grignon (Director of the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis). Each of these experts gave a 15 minute talk on their work on aging and health policy, followed by a 25 minute question and answer period driven by the audience.

Dr. Dawson spoke about the various economic, cultural, and political forces shaping Canadian long-term care services financing policy as the Canadian population grows older. As a researcher from the United States, Dr. Dawson brought an interesting perspective by comparing Canadian and U.S. health policies surrounding health and aging. Though the Canadian and U.S. health systems differ greatly, both countries share a similar challenge of ensuring that the health needs of their rapidly growing senior populations are met. Dr. Dawson spoke about various ways in which financing for the Canadian and U.S. health systems can be improved to provide better long-term care services and supports for the elderly.

Dr. Grenier spoke about homelessness in an aging population and the need to develop programs and policies that better address the needs of those in late life who cannot afford housing. By providing captivating personal recounts about the struggles of homeless elderly individuals, Dr. Grenier emphasized the pressing nature of this health challenge and the need to develop better health policies to address this issue.

Dr. Grignon spoke about the economics of aging as it applies to health care. In particular, Dr. Grignon discussed an interesting concept, that “age is time to death, not time from birth.” By this, he meant that those aged 65 today have very different health needs than those aged 65 several decades ago. He emphasized the need to rethink our current policies and services that use age as an eligibility criterion in order to better address the changing health needs of our aging population.

Following these talks, students eagerly asked several thought provoking questions, including the potential impacts of upcoming physician-assisted suicide legislation in Canada on health policies surrounding long-term care, and the benefits and drawbacks of expanding home care service programs for seniors in Canada.

Overall, students found that this event to be highly engaging and educational, and have come to better appreciate the health challenges that come with an aging population and the different ways these challenges can be better addressed through more evidence-informed health policies.