Health Council reveals shortlist for Health Innovation Challenge

For Immediate Release

Students make their case for innovative health practices and policies in Canada

Toronto, ON (February 15, 2012) – Today, the Health Council of Canada announced the shortlist for the third annual Health Innovation Challenge. In September, we challenged college and university students to find innovative policies or practices in Canadian health care, tell us why the innovations were working, and how they could be applied to the rest of the country.

Over 220 students across Canada submitted essays explaining what they think could change the future of health care in Canada. Several professors incorporated the Challenge into their class curriculum, and as a result entries came from a range of programs including nursing students, medical students, pharmacy students and many others.“This challenge is an opportunity for us to hear from the next generation of health leaders about what they see working for the future,” says John G. Abbott, CEO, Health Council of Canada. “Time and time again we hear what is wrong with the health care system. This challenge was about finding what is working so that we can learn from it and possibly share it more broadly in the future.”

The Health Council of Canada’s work reporting on the progress of health care renewal in Canada presents innovative practices to decision-makers at all levels. The Challenge is a way to involve future health leaders in identifying practices and policies that hold potential. While the entry topics varied
greatly, several broad themes emerged throughout, like innovations in wait times, Northern and rural health care, Aboriginal health, pharmaceuticals management, and determinants of health.

Winners will be announced March 26, 2012.


About the Health Innovation Challenge
Launched in 2009, the third annual Health Innovation Challenge asks college and university students from across Canada to identify innovative health practices and policies and submit those ideas in essay format. The challenge encourages students to find their voice in the national dialogue on health care renewal. For more information visit

About the Health Council of Canada
Created by the 2003 First Ministers’ Accord on Health Care Renewal, the Health Council of Canada is an independent national agency that reports on the progress of health care renewal. The Council provides a system-wide perspective on health care reform in Canada, and disseminates information on leading practices and innovation across the country. The Councillors are appointed by the participating provincial and territorial governments and the Government of Canada. To download reports and other Health Council materials, visit

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Carolyn Young, Communications Coordinator, Health Council of Canada:
[email protected], 416-480-7083

Full Shortlist

Health Policy

Group Shortlist:
• University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB) – Austin Ojala, Gagan Gandoke, Peter Lok, Expanded role for pharmacists in health promotion
• Western University (London, ON) – Alvin Li, Sonia Thomas, Organ donation strategy: Reimbursement and job-protection policy

Individual Shortlist:
• University of Toronto (Toronto, ON) – Galina Gheihman, Ontario’s remote drug dispensing policy as an innovation to improve prescription medication access in remote, rural and Northern communities
• Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS), Laura Stymiest, People Assessing Their Health (PATH) & Community Driven Health Impact Assessment (CDHIA): an innovative public policy initiative

Health Practice

Group Shortlist:
• McMaster University (Hamilton, ON) – Aaron Lau, Yi Ki Tse, NPSTAT – A novel nurse practitioner acute care model in the community for Canada’s current and future aging population
• University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, SK) – Alexander Dyck, Ingrid Wirth, Social Paediatrics in Canada: More than Medicine
• Langara College (Vancouver, BC) – Kathleen Adam, Katarzyna Hunc, The Extended Care Paramedic Program: An innovative approach to sustainable patient-centred care

Individual Shortlist:
• St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, NS) – Elizabeth Gallivan, Bridging the osteoporosis treatment gap
• Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, BC) – Laura Kadowaki, PRISMA: A health care and knowledge translation success
• St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, NS) – Erika Kall, Homeless At-Risk Prenatal Program: Innovative service delivery model reduces health inequities

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