North­ern Health con­fer­ence in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay this week

The Labradorian - - FRONT PAGE - BY EVAN CA­REEN

An in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence on north­ern health is com­ing to Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay this week.

The North­ern, Ru­ral, and Re­mote Health (NRRH) con­fer­ence, be­ing held from Oct. 6 to 9, aims to share and col­lab­o­rate on prac­tices in ru­ral and re­mote ar­eas.

Dr. Michael Jong, pres­i­dent of the Cana­dian So­ci­ety of Cir­cum­po­lar Health, said the last con­fer­ence like this was about 15 years ago. He said they have par­tic­i­pants from across Canada, from all the ter­ri­to­ries and al­most all the prov­inces, peo­ple from Green­land and three peo­ple from Australia tak­ing part. He said it was im­por­tant to have a con­fer­ence like this in a north­ern com­mu­nity.

“When we have a con­fer­ence in a big city, big city so­lu­tions are not our so­lu­tions, they don’t work for us,” he told the Labrado­rian. “We of­ten in­no­vate and do our own so­lu­tions but we can do things bet­ter and faster if we share it. The whole plan is to get peo­ple to­gether and we learn from them and they learn from us; we col­lab­o­rate and work to­gether and faster.”

The con­fer­ence is pre­sented by the Cana­dian So­ci­ety for Cir­cum­po­lar Health and the So­ci­ety for Ru­ral Physi­cians of Canada, and aims to “brings to­gether lead­ers in In­dige­nous health, health pro­fes­sion­als, com­mu­nity work­ers, gov­ern­men­tal rep­re­sen­ta­tives, pol­icy and de­ci­sion-mak­ers, ed­u­ca­tors, re­searchers, mem­bers of the pub­lic, and trainees with an in­ter­est in all as­pects of health in north­ern, ru­ral, re­mote, and In­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties,” ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from Labrador Gren­fell Health.

Jong said there is a dis­parate health sta­tus across north­ern Canada and the more ru­ral and re­mote an area is, the worse the health sta­tus.

Keynote speak­ers and spe­cial guests in­clude Natan Obed, pres­i­dent of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; and Dr. John Hag­gie, min­is­ter of Health and Com­mu­nity Ser­vices, New­found­land and Labrador.

“We are thrilled to be wel­com­ing con­fer­ence par­tic­i­pants to Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay and to Labrador for this di­verse gath­er­ing,” said Dr. Ash­lee Cun­solo, co-chair of the Sci­en­tific Com­mit­tee, and Di­rec­tor, Labrador In­sti­tute in a re­lease. “North­ern, ru­ral, and re­mote re­gions are of­ten the fron­tiers for in­no­va­tion, cre­ativ­ity, and in­spi­ra­tion in health­care pro­vi­sion and re­search, and this con­fer­ence high­lights an im­pres­sive pro­gram of re­search, clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ments, prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tions, and com­mu­nity lead­er­ship from which all can learn.”

The con­fer­ence is be­ing planned in co-or­di­na­tion with the 10th an­niver­sary of the Trapline Marathon and all con­fer­ence par­tic­i­pants are en­cour­aged to get in­volved in the event as run­ners, walk­ers, or vol­un­teers.

To view the full slate of events and speak­ers visit http://www.­ern-ru­ral-an­dremote-health-20.

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