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Past Health and Social Policy Seminars

On this page: 2015 Seminars | 2014 Seminars2013 Seminar Series | 2011-2012 Seminar Series2011 Health and Social Policy Lectures | 2010 Health and Social Policy Lectures |  2009 Health and Social Policy Lectures | For seminars on specific themes or topics, see "Past Research"

2015 seminars


A Child-Rights Based Approach to Anti-Violence Efforts in Schools

Tara Collins - Assistant Professor, School of Child & Youth Care, Ryerson University

February 24th 12:30-14:00

Growing concern about violence in schools has led to greater research on the causes and consequences of bullying, as well as approaches to violence in school. This research and various tragic events have inspired numerous governmental and community responses ranging from anti-bullying legislation to social programs. However, very little attention has been given to human or child rights in research, policies and social programs. This presentation introduces findings of a project that attempts to bridge the gap in the literature and public discourse between research on bullying and child rights. Based on research on policies and programs targeting violence in school, as well as participatory research unveiling the viewpoints and experiences of young people and key community and government stakeholders, my colleague Prof. Mona Paré (University of Ottawa) and I propose a theoretical child rights-based framework applied to situations of violence in schools. We anticipate that this research will support the development of evidence-based initiatives, and lead to the development of evaluation tools for anti-violence initiatives. The presentation addresses the following questions: What is the role of child rights in analyzing situations of violence in schools? How does a holistic approach to children based on child rights inform analysis of public responses to violence in schools? How do child rights support the development of a framework and evaluation tools that can be used in situations of violence in schools?  The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the main reference point to discuss child rights as a specific body of human rights, and to assess existing approaches to anti-violence efforts.

Patient-centered service design and policy: hopeful evidence-based strategies

Susan Law - McGill Department of Family Medicine and Director of St. Mary's Research Centre

February 17th 12:30-14:00

Organisational interventions improving access to community-based primary health care for vulnerable populations

Jeannie Haggerty  - Chair of Family and Community Medicine, McGill Department of Family Medicine

February 3rd 12:30-14:00

This presents some initial results from a Canada-Australia research program, with a goal to implement organizational innovations that improve access to services for vulnerable populations.  We are working with partners to identify local access needs in three Canadian provinces and three Australian states. They then select, co-design and implement interventions.  To inform the menus of options available to partners, we have done a scoping review and environmental scan to identify organizational innovations directed towards vulnerable populations.  This seminar will present the methods and results of the scan, and their organization into a typology of intervention components that can be combined into an intervention to be administered.  Examples of various interventions will be presented as well as how the typology of interventions is being applied by our local Quebec partnership.

2014 seminars

Maternal health literacy and child vaccination in India 

Mira Johri - Département d'administration de la santé, Université de Montréal

December 11th 12:30-14:00

There is a strong, positive link between parental—particularly maternal—education and child health and survival. In this talk, Mira Johri will examine the role of maternal health literacy, a rapidly modifiable factor closely related to mother’s education, as a potential determinant of child health in developing countries. Mira Johri and colleagues designed a cross-sectional survey in two sites in India to study whether the well-documented impact of maternal education on child health operates partly through mother’s knowledge and understanding, taking child vaccination as an endpoint. After rigorous statistical controls, they found that maternal health literacy was positively associated with children’s receipt of vaccines in disadvantaged rural and urban populations in India. Initiatives targeting health literacy could potentially circumvent barriers due to low education and improve vaccination coverage and child health outcomes in developing countries.

What Kinds of Evidence do we Really Need for Policy?: Reflections on Multiple Methods for Answering Policy Relevant Health and Environmental Research Questions

Hisham Zerriffi, Ivan Head South/North Research Chair; Liu Institute for Global Issues, UBC

November 13th 12:30-14:00

As the title of this series implies, good policy should be based on good evidence.  However, this begs the question of what types of evidence and levels of evidence are necessary to suggest policy?   Are randomized control trials truly the “gold standard” for evidence in establishing environmental and health policy as some would claim?  What role should more qualitative research play in addressing policy relevant research?   Examples, based on my own work as an inter-disciplinary scholar using methods as diverse as computer models of power systems through to qualitative interviews, will be used to illustrate the diversity of approaches to policy relevant research and serve as a starting point for discussion of how, when and what types of evidence are used for policy formulation.

Fighting back when society makes you sick: Connecting activism to global health

Robert Huish, Dalhousie University

November 6, 12:30-14:00

Global health calamities derive less from specific diseases and more from deadly and misinformed biases that lead to inadequate responses to suffering.  There is sufficient scientific knowledge to overcome, if not relieve the suffering of, most of our global health calamities. But ensuring access to primary care health resources for marginalized and under-resourced areas of this world continues to baffle health policy experts.  In this talk Robert Huish argues that social activism is needed to build better understanding of the global health landscape.  Only by breaking out of current global health frameworks grounded in "altruism" and "charity" can work be done to strengthen health care systems for better health promotion and disease prevention.  Dr. Huish proposes a solidarity approach to global health where activists and scholars have a greater voice for global health action.  He highlights how the current approach to global health overlooks numerous calamities, including the urgency for cancer care in Africa; a crisis that he suggests will be our greatest global health challenge in the 21st century.

The season kicked off with an event on October 14 to launch the Evidence to Policy theme.

IHSP Public Lecture as part of BIENCongress 2014: The Health Case for a Basic Income Guarantee

Watch video from the event here

2013-2014 Seminars

In 2013-2014 the IHSP hosted three seminar series: Global Health History Series: History Speaking to Policy, Healthier Societies Series, and Health and Social Policy Series

Moralism and Long Game Healthism in Public Health Ethics

John Coggon, Professor of Law and the Philosophy of Public Health, University of Southampton

Thursday September 11, 2014 from 2:00-3:30 in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

* This event was co-sponsored by the Montreal Health Equity Research Consortium and the Research Group in Health Law *

Building on evidence concerning the social determinants of health, a growing body of works within public health ethics has developed that sees sound health policy as being founded on concepts of social justice. However, there are scholars who deny the validity of theories that recommend the redistribution of resources with the aim of improving population health. Such protagonists advance arguments on empirical, theoretical, and normative grounds. Within public and political arenas, furthermore, we can observe a dominant position given to individual liberty, and a resistance to coercive policies, which are viewed as ‘nanny-statism’. In parallel with the apparently irresolvable ideological debates, therefore, we find putative middle-way approaches to health policy, such as ‘nudge’. These are given as a theoretically and ethically robust—and practically realisable—means of achieving better health, without offending apparent side-constraints on what constitutes legitimate government activity. With a focus on strategy and practical developments in relation to tobacco regulation, this paper explores political morality in long game health policies. It compares, and draws parallels between, debates on legal moralism and health promotion, and questions why concerns about moralism seem less acute when a goal—say eradication of smoking—is aimed to be achieved over decades, rather than through near-term prohibition.

From predictors to policy and play: Building bridges to participation for children with disabilities

Tuesday April 15th 2014 from 12:30-2:00pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Keiko Shikako-Thomas, Postdoctoral fellow, Canchild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University

View the presentation slides, or listen to the audio (three parts):


Creative Practice as Mutual Recovery: Connecting Communities for Mental Health and Well-Being

Friday, April 11th from 12:30-2:00pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Paul Crawford, Professor of Health Humanities, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, UK


Material Deprivation and Kid's Educational Outcomes

March 28th, 11:00-12:30PM in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Evelyn Forget, Department of Community Health Services, University of Manitoba; Academic Director of the Manitoba Research Data Centre

Coordinating public health: between organizational practice and governance

March 27th, 12:30-2pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Viola Burau, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Government, Aarhus University, Denmark


Organ Donation After Death: Ethical Considerations

Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 9:30-1:00 in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Valérie Gateau, CERSES, Université Paris Descartes
Jurgen De Wispelaere, Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University
Ivan Ortega, Division of Critical Care Medicine, Montreal Children's Hospital



Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy

Wednesday February 5, 2014, 12:30-2:00 in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room
ABSTRACT:  Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) disorders can cause terrible suffering and premature death.  Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy (MRT), which is presently the subject of scientific research in several countries, potentially offers a way of avoiding these disorders, but some critics have suggested that MRT is ethically problematic: for example, because it is a germ-line modification, because it would lead to children being born with “three genetic parents”, or because it is somehow eugenic or inconsistent with human dignity.  This paper offers a brief critical review of such objections and argues that most of them can be met.  It then proceeds to ask whether there are any ethical differences between the two main types of MRT proposed.  These are MST (maternal spindle transfer) which involves removing the ‘maternal spindle’ from an affected woman’s egg and placing it a donor egg (one with the maternal spindle removed); and PNT (pronuclear transfer) which involves removing the pronuclei from an affected early embryo and placing them in an enucleated donor embryo.  The paper suggests that whereas PNT is best seen as a form of therapy, MST is best seen as a form of selective reproduction, and that this difference could have significant ethical implications.Stephen Wilkinson, Professor of Bioethics, Lancaster University, UK

Ethical Issues in Cancer Screening

Friday January 24, 2014, 12:30-2:00 in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Ross Upshur, Canada Research Chair in Primary Care Research, University of Toronto


"The Expansion of Fragile X Carrier Testing," Health and Social Policy Series

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 12:30-2pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Dr. Jennifer Fishman, McGill University, Canada, and Case Western Reserve University, USA.

"Capturing Air Pollution and Climate Co-Benefits in India: Field measurements highlight opportunities and challenges," Health and Social Policy Series

Friday, November 29, 2013 12:30-2pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Dr. Andrew Grieshop, North Caroline State University, USA.


"The Point-Saint-Charles Community Clinic: A model of community-governed health services in


Montreal," Health and Social Policy Series

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 12:30-2pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Luc Leblanc, Clinic Coordinator, and Peter King, Member of the Citizen's Board of Directors.


"The Promise and Pitfalls of Cross-National Policy Learning in the World of Health Care," Health and Social Policy Series

Monday, November 4, 2013 12:30-2pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Prof. Emeritus Theodore R. Marmor, Yale University, USA.


'The “Others”: Inscribing difference in white settler colonial institutional settings in Victoria, Australia and Auckland Province, New Zealand, 1873-1910' Health and Social Policy Series

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 12:30-2pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Dr. Catharine Coleborne, University of Waikato, New Zealand


"Talking to the Press: The Case of Obamacare in the US" Health and Social Policy Series

Thursday, September 26, 2013 12:30-13:45pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Prof. Trudy Lieberman, Hunter College


Injectible Modernity? Pharma-capitalism and the Injection-fetish in 20th Century India,2013 Global Health History Series: History Speaking to Policy

Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 12:30-2pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Professor Projit Mukharji, University of Pennsylvania

Beginning in the 1970s, but more so from the end of the 1980s, medical anthropologists documented the widespread “misuse” and “overuse” of injections in the global south. With the rise of HIV/AIDS, this phenomenon itself came to be seen as a public health problem. It is this practice of injection overuse in 20th century India that this paper explores.

My argument in the paper is two-fold. First, I will advance a critique of the available culturalist interpretations of the phenomenon. Second, I will propose a more historicized interpretation that is sensitive to the changing relationship between pharmacapitalism, print culture and vernacular biomedicine. I will conclude by suggesting how culturalist and historicist interpretations might be fruitfully combined to interrogate phenomena such as the seemingly wanton popularity of injections.

"Bhutan’s Smallpox Eradication Programme: International health, South Asia and the limits of its global influence," 2013 Global Health History Series: History Speaking to Policy

Monday, May 6, 2013 [time tbd] in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya, University of York (GB)

"The return of the Pholela experiment: medical history and primary health care in post-apartheid South Africa," 2013 Global Health History Series: History Speaking to Policy

Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 2:00-3:30pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Professor Howard Phillips, University of Cape Town

"Does Health Insurance Affect Health?: Evidence of Medicare's impact on cancer outcomes," Healthier Societies Series

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 12:30-13:45pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Dr. Erin Strumpf, Assistant Professor, joint appointment, Departments of Economics and Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University

View the presentation slides, or listen to the audio (four parts).

Part 1: Audio icon first15minutes_erinstrumpf_2013.mp3

Part 2: Audio icon part2_erinstrumpf_2013.mp3

Part 3: Audio icon part3_erinstrumpf_2013.mp3

Part 4: Audio icon part4_erinstrumpf_2013.mp3

"Primary Health Care Transformation: Community health nurses and the National Expert's Commision's Nursing Call to Action," Healthier Societies Series

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 12:30-13:45pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Faculty Lecturer Cheryl Armistad, Ingram School of Nursing and Dr. Sean Clarke, McGill School of Nursing, Director, McGill Nursing Collaborative for Educational Innovation in Patient and Family-Centred Care
View the presentation slides, or listen to the audio (two parts).

First part: Audio icon armistad_clarke_feb_26_2013_ihsp.mp3

Second part: Audio icon this_again.mp3

The myth of privatization for cost-saving: Putting choice and equity in the balance," Healthier Societies Series

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 12:20 -1:45pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Dr. Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, Departments of Sociology and Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University

Watch the video of the presentation, view the presentation slides, or listen to the audio.

"Medical moralists: French doctors and the Anti-Alcohol Campaigns in Africa, 1890-1930," 2013 Global Health History Series: History Speaking to Policy

Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 3:00-4:30pm in the Institute for Health and Social Policy seminar room

Professor Deborah Neill, York University

Between the late 1880s and 1914, many colonial reformers came together to protest the manufacture, sale and distribution of high-alcohol content spirit to Africans. Among the reformers who participated in the colonial anti-liquor campaigns were a small group of highly influential physicians and scientists who provided key medical rationales for restricting alcohol sales to Africans. My paper explores the anti-alcohol movement, the participation of physicians (particularly from France), and how medical views contributed to the shape of moral reform movements and temperance activism in the colonies in the period leading up to the First World War.   

Seminar Series on Healthier Societies: Strategies for Health Care Quality, Equity and Sustainability (2011-2012)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:30-1:45

Myron Frankman, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law

"Social Protection Floors and the Post-2015 Millennium Development Goals"

As the 2015 end date for the achievement of the MDGs approaches, an immense mobilization of intellectual effort to plan a future path is now in progress. The outcome of this process could well shape north-south relations for the following two decades. This talk will focus on the human rights based case for national social protection floors advanced in the 2011 report from the ILO and WHO commissioned Bachelet Advisory Group. Their recommendations will be contrasted with other approaches being discussed.

View the presentation [.pdf]

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 12:30-1:45

Jeannie Haggarty, McGill Research Chair in Family and Community Medicine; Professor, Department of Family Medicine, McGill University

"Economic Accessibility to Healthcare: Is it an issue in our publicly funded health system?"

View the presentation [.ppt]

Thursday, March 1, 2012 

Charles Meredith House, 1130 Pine Avenue

François Béland, Co-director, Solidage: McGill University- Université de Montréal Research Group on Frailty and Aging, Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital

"Aging and health care spending: Evidence-Based?"

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Eric Latimer, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry; Associate Member, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University; Research Scientist, Douglas Mental Health University Institute.

"Why Better Need Not Be More Expensive: How recovery-oriented, evidence-based practices for people with severe mental illnesses can be highly cost-effective."

View the presentation [.pdf] and listen to the audio clip [.mp3]

Thursday, November 10, 2011

John Frank, Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy   

"Monitoring Health Inequalities by SES - Lessons from Scotland"

View the presentation [.pdf] and listen to the audio clip [.mp3]

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jean-Louis Denis, Professor, École Nationale d'Administration Publique, Canada Research Chair in the transformation and governance of health organizations 

"Assessing OECD Initiatives to Transform Healthcare Systems: An organizational perspective on healthcare reform"

View the presentation [.pdf]

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Antonia Maioni, Associate Professor, Institute for Health and Social Policy and Department of Political Science, McGill University

"Health Reform in Canada, How do we Compare? The Political Landscape for Health Care Reform in OECD Countries"

View the presentation [.pdf]

2011 Health and Social Policy Lectures

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Padmaja Ayyagari, Division of Public Health Policy and Administration, Yale University

“Understanding Heterogeneity in Price Elasticities in the Demand for Alcohol"

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Teresa Janevic, Postdoctoral Fellow, MacMillan Center, Yale University

How do racism and discrimination affect access to prenatal and maternity care among Romani women in Eastern Europe?” 

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Frank J. Elgar, Department of Psychology, Carleton University

“Mind the Gap: Why Income Inequality Relates to Ill Health, Violence and Crime”

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Genevieve Pham-Kanter, NIH (NICHD) Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

“The Gender Weight Gap: Sons, Daughters, and Maternal Weight”

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Mark Anderson, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Economics, University of Washington, Seattle.

“ In School and Out of Trouble? The Minimum Dropout Age and Juvenile Crime”

Monday January 17th, 2011

Sebastian Bauhoff, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Health Policy, Harvard Medical School

"Do Health Plans Risk-Select? An Audit Study on Germany’s Social Health Insurance"

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Chris Barrington-Leigh, Department of Economics, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia

“Income, Inequality, and Subjective Well-Being”

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Marisa Miraldo, Healthcare Management Group, Imperial College London

“Are You What You Eat? Experimental Evidence on Health Habits and Risk Preferences”

Monday, January 10th, 2011

David Wright, Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine, McMaster University

“Worse than being Married: Global Health and the Transnational Migration of Physicians in the Post-WWII Era”

2010 Health and Social Policy Lecture

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Frank Koller, Author, economic journalist and former CBC correspondent

“The No-Layoff Payoff: The Business Case against Mass Layoffs and The Social Importance of Steady Work"

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Kirsten Stoebenau, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa

“Sick over Fashion: Transactional Sex Among Youth in Two Regions of Madagascar in the Era of HIV/AIDS”

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Ashley Fox, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health

“Survival Sex or Consumption Sex? Gender, Wealth and HIV Infection in 16 African Countries”

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Arijit Nandi, Center for Population and Development Studies, Harvard University

“Can we better estimate how socioeconomic deprivation over the life-course affects health?”

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Roberto De Vogli, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London

“Global Change, Psychosocial Factors and Health Inequalities: Towards a Comprehensive Approach”

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Karen Kedrowski, Chair, Department of Political Science at Winthrop University

"Human Rights and Breastfeeding: Applications of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes"

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Hasanat Alamgir, director of Statistics and Evaluation, Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare, British Columbia; Adjunct Professor,  Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University and Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia

“Work-related falls among healthcare workers in British Columbia”

2009 Health and Social Policy Lectures

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dr. Darrel Moellendorf, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs at San Diego State University

"Justice and Climate Change Mitigation"

Wednesday February 11, 2009

Dr. Laura McCloskey, Visiting Professor at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan

"Violence against women and global health disparities"

Monday February 9, 2009

Dr. Lori Leonard, Associate Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior & Society at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

"Social policy and health: The Chad pipeline project as an experiment in development"

Friday January 16, 2009

Dr. Mark Gersovitz, Professor of Economics at The Johns Hopkins University

"Using Epidemiology and Economics to Prescribe Public Policy"

For additional seminars see "Past Research"PDF icon collins_feb24.pdf