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New conference provides education, networking

TORONTO – More than 50 leaders from Canadian hospitals and healthcare organizations will speak at keynote sessions and seminars on what it will take to move eHealth forward. They’re going to discuss eHealth problems and solutions at the it Healthcare Canada conference, a new eHealth event that’s being held October 4-6 at the International Centre, near Toronto International airport.

The conference and exhibition ( has been created in partnership with HIMSS Ontario.

Keynote and feature speakers include:

• Kevin Leonard (pictured), PhD, will talk about the need for personal health records, as well as what they can accomplish for patients and health providers. An associate professor at the University of Toronto, Dr. Leonard will also discuss examples of healthcare organizations that have implemented PHRs and what they have achieved.

• Rick Skinner, VP and CIO at Cancer Care Ontario will discuss how information, technology and collaboration can improve system performance and enhance the quality of care for patients. Rick will draw examples from CCO’s work in cancer, access to care and chronic kidney disease.

• Richard Worzel, Canada’s leading futurist, will analyze the trends transforming our healthcare system and show how information technology will be required to handle the upcoming problems and challenges.

• Mary Lou Ackerman, VP of Business Capabilities at St. Elizabeth Health Care, will address the mobile revolution in home care. She will discuss technological change and how it is improving care, while pointing out the challenges of computerization on the ‘human side’ of the equation.

• Sam Marafioti, VP and CIO at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, a leader in the development of Personal Health Records, will explore the opportunities now being created through PHRs and the manifold technologies that are enabling the “health care information consumer.” Sam will discuss what the implications are for the public and for healthcare organizations that have been developing EHRs.

• Lewis Hooper, a LHIN eHealth lead and regional CIO, will speak about the eHealth situation in Ontario – where we are now, where we are going, and how we will get there. Lewis will discuss the problems and successes experienced by eHealth in Ontario, and explore what must be done now to create regional networks and a province-wide eHealth system.

Moreover, there is a full slate of breakout sessions addressing over 40 different topics, along with the Canadian Meditech User Group (CMUG) meeting, with 10 different tracks.

As well, there is an optional pre-conference program on October 3 called Health Informatics 101, an intensive program introducing key concepts, issues, applications and technologies in Applied Health Informatics. The day-long program will be headlined by Dominic Covvey, president of the National Institutes of Health Informatics and an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo.

For additional information, see

Posted September 9, 2010