Event summary produced by The Globe and Mail Events team. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.
On May 4, The Globe and Mail hosted the Preventive Measures webcast, which tackled the growing issue of treating chronic illness in Canada. According to Health Canada, 44 per cent of Canadians over the age of 20 have a chronic condition, a term that encompasses many types of illness including hypertension, diabetes, mood disorders, and heart conditions, to name just a few categories. Last year, Canada spent just over $265-billion on health care services, and about two-thirds of that amount was for the treatment of chronic conditions.
While certain individual factors can have an impact on an individual’s propensity to develop a chronic condition (tobacco and alcohol use, diet, physical activity, etc.), experts from across the medical, public health and social services fields agree that poverty and socio-economic factors are among the most prevalent indicators for developing a chronic illness.
The Globe’s award-winning health columnist and reporter André Picard was joined by experts and community leaders for this public webcast, which began with an exploration of the current challenges facing Canada in grappling with chronic illness. Joining the first discussion were Paul Bailey, Interim Executive Director of the Black Health Alliance; Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis, Director of the UBC Faculty of Medicine Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management; Dr. Gillian Booth, a scientist at the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital; and Dr. Lisa Richardson, Strategic Advisor for Indigenous Health at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine. The full video playback of the first session is below (scroll for more).
Preventive Measures Event Playback: Part 1
In the second half of the event, The Globe was joined by special guest Dr. Faith Foreman-Hays, Assistant Director of the Houston Health Department in Texas. She provided insight into a number of public health initiatives that Houston has undertaken as part of the Cities Changing Diabetes program. Houston is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., but also has one of the highest rates of obesity. Dr. Faith Foreman-Hays elaborated on what her department is doing to tackle this issue and support Houstonians on their health care journey.
Rounding out the event as the final session of the day was a future-looking panel discussion that explored the practical solutions and strategies that Canada might implement in order to reduce the number of people experiencing a chronic illness in their lifetime. Joining the discussion were Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley, a registered psychologist and Director of the Behaviour Change Institute at Dalhousie University; Dr. Linda Rabeneck, Vice-President of Prevention and Cancer Control at Ontario Health; Jeffrey Cyr, Managing Partner of Raven Indigenous Capital Partners; and Adele Sweeny, Director of the First Nation Health & Social Secretariat of Manitoba’s Diabetes Integration Project. You can find the full video playback of both of these live sessions below.
As a follow-up to Preventive Measures, The Globe and Mail will host the Future Cities, Future Care event this upcoming November, in order to explore the role of our environment in shaping health outcomes for Canadians. Stay tuned to theglobeandmail.com/events for more information.