World Health Summit Regional Meeting - North America, Montreal 2017

Health and Healthcare Delivery in Pluralistic Societies 

Date: May 8-9, 2017
Venue: Palais des congrès de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
Hosts: Université de Montréal + Institut de recherches Cliniques de Montréal

The Université de Montréal and the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) are proud to announce that they will be hosting the 1st World Health Summit (WHS) of the M8 Alliance to be held in North America. The world leaders in global health will be attending this prestigious event, including over 800 researchers, doctors, industry leaders, decision-makers, government members and civil society actors from around the world.

Based on the theme of “Health and Healthcare Delivery in Pluralistic Societies,” this interdisciplinary event will focus on the question of human diversity in the practice, education, research and public policy pertaining to health.

In pluralistic societies that welcome diversity, such as ours, many factors will impact health and the provision of healthcare, including globalization, immigration, social and economic inequalities, lifestyle, and culture. We believe that it is our mission, as scholars, to turn our attention to this important phenomenon and to analyze it in depth.

This event is one of the most important of its kind in Canada. It is with the utmost enthusiasm that we invite you to attend.

In order to explore the different aspects of the central theme, the conference will be divided into four subtopics:

New Frontiers in Medical Treatment
Development of precision medicine, rare and genetic diseases, viral infections, diabetes, and antibiotic resistance.

Health and Healthcare Delivery for Specific Groups
First Nations health, health and immigration, health in the workplace, healthcare quality and patient safety.

Environmental, Social and Cultural Determinants of Health
Transformation of the urban environment and its impact on the health of city dwellers, the promotion of healthy lifestyle habits and its influence on healthcare costs.

Medical Education for Optimal Healthcare
Medical education and the evolution of the physicians’ role in society, the global health curriculum and the accreditation of medical schools.

Welcome Message

As the president of the 2017 World Health Summit, I am pleased to welcome you to Montreal as it celebrates its 375th anniversary.

The Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal will host the first regional WHS meeting in North America, in partnership with the École de santé publique of the Université de Montréal and the Montreal Clinical Research Institute.

As one of the most prestigious institutions in research and health education in Canada, the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal is proud to belong to the M8 Alliance, a vast network of leaders in global health that promotes collaboration and research in fields of study that will have a crucial impact on humanity's future.

We aim to train healthcare personnel and to expand the horizons of knowledge in order to improve the health and quality of life of our fellow citizens so that they may lead healthy lives and attain their fullest potential. With this goal in mind, we have thrown ourselves into the organization of this great international annual assembly on health, since we know that we need to work together in order to succeed.

The subject of the 2017 Montreal gathering, "Health and Healthcare Delivery in Pluralistic Societies," will give us the opportunity to create a forum for interdisciplinary discussion and to emphasize human diversity in the practice, education, research and public policy pertaining to healthcare.

This event is a tremendous scientific and political platform for the discussion of current issues such as immigrant and First Nations health, the appearance of new treatment-resistant viruses, the quality of life and safety of patients, health in large urban environments and the evolution of healthcare and medical education.

Happy Montreal Summit!

Hélène Boisjoly
President of the WHS
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
Université de Montréal


The program will be structured by four main themes:

New Frontiers in Medical Treatment
Development of precision medicine, rare and genetic diseases, viral infections, diabetes, and antibiotic resistance.

Health and Healthcare Delivery for Specific Groups
First Nations health, health and immigration, health in the workplace, healthcare quality and patient safety.

Environmental, Social and Cultural Determinants of Health
Transformation of the urban environment and its impact on the health of city dwellers, the promotion of healthy lifestyle habits and its influence on healthcare costs.

Medical Education for Optimal Healthcare
Medical education and the evolution of the physicians’ role in society, the global health curriculum and the accreditation of medical schools.

Please note that all presentations will be given in English. Simultaneous translation will be offered for keynote presentations.

Program overview

Detailed program

All information on speakers, topics and presentations is available in our interactive program planner



The  World Health Summit Regional Meeting brings together leading researchers, physicians, government officials and representatives from industry, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and healthcare systems worldwide.

Among the confirmed speakers are:
(in alphabetical order)

Government Keynote Speakers

Gaétan Barrette

Minister of Health and Social Services - Quebec, Canada

Dr Gaétan Barrette is Quebec’s Minister of Health and Social Services since 2014. A 1985 graduate in medicine of l’Université de Montréal, Dr Gaétan Barrette became a member of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1989. In 1991, he pursued a Fellowship in Vascular and Surgical Radiology at the University of California, San Diego. He currently practises at Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital where he has been an active member since 1990. Dr. Barrette has been President of the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec between 2006 and 2014. He was also Chairman of the Board of the Financière des professionnels inc. which manages a $2 billion portfolio. He was also a member of the Boards of the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ). Dr Barrette participates regularly in various conferences and forums on the subject of specialized medicine throughout Quebec, across Canada and abroad.

Geoffrey Kelley

Minister responsible for Native Affairs - Quebec, Canada

Geoffrey Kelley holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in modern Canadian history from McGill University. He taught for 15 years before joining Alliance Québec for several years, then became a political attaché and chief of staff. He oversaw questions such as education, higher education, the Charter of the French language, municipal affairs and public security.

He was initially elected MNA for Jacques-Cartier in 1994. He subsequently chaired a number of committees, including the Committee on Public Administration, the Committee on Social Affairs, the Committee on Education, the Committee on Health and Social Services, and the Select Committee on Dying with Dignity. He served several times as official opposition critic for Aboriginal affairs, the Far North and the family and was also responsible for relations with the English-speaking community. He has achieved recognition above all for his role as Minister for Native Affairs and Minister responsible for Native Affairs, a position that he has occupied several times. He is serving his seventh consecutive mandate as MNA for Jacques-Cartier. In April 2014, he was appointed Minister responsible for Native Affairs for the third time.

Jane Philpott

Minister of Health, Canada

Prior to entering politics, Dr. Philpott led an extensive career in family medicine, public health, medical education and global advocacy for HIV/AIDS. Dr. Philpott studied medicine at the University of Western Ontario, completed a Family Medicine residency at the University of Ottawa, and a Tropical Medicine fellowship in Toronto. In 2012, she completed a Master of Public Health degree at the University of Toronto. Between 1989 and 1998, Dr. Philpott lived in Niger Republic, West Africa where she practiced general medicine and helped to develop a training program for village health workers. She practiced as a family physician at Markham Stouffville Hospital for more than 15 years and served as Chief of Family Medicine from 2008 to 2014. She also led the opening of the Health for All Family Health Team – a new primary care home for 10,000 patients in Markham-Stouffville, and the Markham Family Medicine Teaching Unit that has trained 45 new family physicians in the community since 2010. Additionally, she is an Associate Professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of Family & Community Medicine. Some of her global advocacy work includes founding Give a Day to World AIDS in 2004, which has raised over $4 million to help those affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Dr. Philpott was the first Family Medicine lead for the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration, where she was instrumental in helping Addis Ababa University develop Ethiopia’s first training program for Family Medicine.

Keynote Speaker

Timothy Caulfield

Trudeau Fellow and Professor, Faculty of Law and School of Public Health Research Director, Health Law Institute, University of Alberta, Canada

Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta. Over the past several years he has been involved in a variety of interdisciplinary research endeavours that have allowed him to publish over 300 academic articles. He is a Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation and the Principal Investigator for a number of large interdisciplinary projects that explore the ethical, legal and health policy issues associated with a range of topics, including stem cell research, genetics, patient safety, the prevention of chronic disease, obesity policy, the commercialization of research, complementary and alternative medicine and access to health care. Professor Caulfield is and has been involved with a number of national and international policy and research ethics committees. He has won numerous academic awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.  He writes frequently for the popular press and is the author of two recent national bestsellers: The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness (Penguin 2012) and Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash (Penguin 2015).

Noel Hayman

Clinical Director, Inala Indigenous Health Service, Australia

Dr Noel Hayman was one of the first two Indigenous medical students to graduate from the University of Queensland in 1990. Noel is Clinical Director of the Inala Indigenous Health Service in Brisbane. In developing this service, he has been instrumental in demonstrating how mainstream primary health care services can be made appropriate to the needs of urban Aboriginal populations. Noel’s interests include improving Indigenous access to mainstream health services and supporting medical education in Indigenous health. Professor Hayman received the 2003 Centenary Medal for his long service to primary health care in Aboriginal communities and the 2007 inaugural Close the Gap Indigenous Health Award (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation Queensland). In 2011 he was Queensland Australian of the Year. Noel is on numerous National and State Committees.

Brian Hodges

Executive Vice-President Education, University Health Network, Canada

Brian D. Hodges MD, PhD, FRCPC is Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Education (OISE/UT) at the University of Toronto; the Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chair in Health Professions Education Research at the Wilson Centre for Research in Education and Executive Vice President Education at the University Health Network (Toronto General, Toronto Western Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab Hospitals). He leads the AMS Phoenix Project: A Call to Caring, an initiative to rebalance the technical and compassionate dimensions of healthcare.

Joanne Liu

International President, Doctors without Borders, Switzerland

Trained at McGill University School of Medicine and specialized in pediatrics at Montreal’s Sainte-Justine hospital, she holds a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine from New York University School of Medicine, and an International Master’s in Health Leadership from McGill University. She is also an associate professor at the University of Montreal and a professor in practice at McGill University. She has worked in many conflict zones, including in Palestine, Central African Republic, DRC and Sudan’s Darfur region.

Janet Rossant

President and Scientific Director, Gairdner Foundation; Senior Scientist and Chief of Research Emeritus, Hospital for Sick Children, Canada

Janet Rossant, CC, PhD, FRS, FRSC is Senior Scientist and Chief of Research Emeritus at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and President and Scientific Director of the Gairdner Foundation. She is an internationally recognized developmental and stem cell biologist, exploring the origins of stem cells in the early embryo and their applications to understanding and treating human disease. She led the research institute at the Hospital for Sick Children from 2005 to 2015. She has received many honours and recognition for her work, including four honorary degrees, and election to the Royal Societies of London and Canada, and the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 


George Alberti

Visiting Professor Kings College, United Kingdom

George Alberti has had a longstanding interest in diabetes and metabolism. He has worked extensively in Tanzania and Mauritius. He has particular interests in the metabolic syndrome and also diagnostic tests for diabetes & has participated in several WHO Expert Committees and working groups relating to diabetes. He has published more than 1100 papers and chapters.

Marie Archambault

Full Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Montreal, Canada

Dr. Marie Archambault received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Montreal in 1993. She obtained an MSc in Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology in 1995, a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology in 2000. From 1999 to 2004, she was the head bacteriologist at the Animal Health Laboratory of the University of Guelph where she was also an Adjunct Faculty member. She joined the University of Montreal as a Faculty member in 2004. Her areas of research include antibiotic resistance in veterinary and zoonotic pathogens. Her Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) research program is on the investigations into the association between antibiotic resistance and virulence factors of Gram-positive organisms with a focus on Clostridium perfringens. She has also developed a strong research program on Livestock-Associated-Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus with the government of Quebec. She is the author/co-author of more than 40 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals on the topic of antibiotic resistance. She also co-edited the second edition of the Clinical Veterinary Microbiology textbook.

Clare Bambra

Professor of Public Health, Newcastle University, United Kingdom

Clare Bambra PhD is Professor of Public Health Newcastle University Medical School (UK). Her research focuses on the health effects of labour markets, health and welfare systems, as well as the role of public policies to reduce health inequalities. She has published extensively including How Politics Makes Us Sick: Neoliberal Epidemics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and Health Divides: Where you live can kill you (Policy Press, 2016). She can be followed on Twitter @ProfBambra

Christian Baron

Vice-Dean of Research and Development, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Canada

Christian Baron received a Ph.D. in Microbiology at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich in August Böck’s group in the Department of Microbiology in 1993, followed by postdoctoral research with Patricia C. Zambryski at UC Berkeley (CA, USA). In 1997 he returned to Munich as University Assistant to build his independent research group in the Department of Microbiology and in 2002 he was recruited as Associate Professor in the Biology Department at McMaster University in Hamilton (ON, Canada). In 2008 he joined the Department of Biochemistry at the Université de Montréal (QC, Canada) as Full Professor and Chair. In 2015 he was nominated as Vice-Dean of Research and Development at the Faculty of Medicine.

Nancy Beauregard

Associate professor, School of Industrial Relations, Université de Montréal, Canada

Associate professor, School of Industrial Relations, Université de Montréal
Nancy Beauregard, holds a PhD in population health from University of Ottawa. She is an associate professor at the School of Industrial Relations, University of Montreal. She is also a regular researcher at the Institut de recherche en santé publique de l’Université de Montréal (IRSPUM). Nancy Beauregard is interested in the influence of organizational context, and in particular, of the organizational learning process, on occupational health and safety. In addition, her recent work focuses on the association between work injuries and mental health among the workforce. Her researches on at risk industrial sectors and occupations have received financial support from the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST). Hence, the theme of agricultural health and safety crosses her main research interests.

Marcel A. Behr

Director of the McGill International TB Centre and Microbiologist-in-Chief of the McGill University Health Centre, Canada

Dr. Marcel Behr is Professor of Medicine at McGill University where he is Director of the McGill International TB Centre and Microbiologist-in-Chief of the McGill University Health Centre. His training included BSc (Biochemistry) from the University of Toronto, MD from Queen’s University, Residency training in Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology at McGill, an MSc (Epidemiology) from McGill and then post-doctoral studies of Molecular Epidemiology and Bacterial Genomics at Stanford.  Dr. Behr’s research interest is the application of bacterial genetics to study the epidemiology and pathogenesis of mycobacterial diseases, specifically, M. tuberculosis, BCG, and non-tuberculous mycobacteria, including members of the M. avium-intracellular complex. This work has been recognized by numerous awards, in Quebec (Chercheur National of the Fonds de la Recherche en Sante du Quebec) and beyond (Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, 2016 and Election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2010).

Robin Bell

Deputy Director of the Women’s Health Research Program, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Professor Robin Bell MBBS (Hons) PhD MPH FAFPHM Grad Cert Health Professional Education. Professor Robin Bell is the Deputy Director of the Women’s Health Research Program in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Professor Bell is a medical epidemiologist specializing in the health of women at midlife and older and has published 180 peer reviewed publications. Professor Bell is also the Curriculum and Assessment Lead for one of the 4 vertical themes in the medical course at Monash, the theme of Society, Population, Health and Illness. Professor Bell teaches population health, health promotion and prevention science as well as a module on the health of women at midlife. Monash University currently has an undergraduate medical course, a post-graduate course and a separate campus with a medical course in Malaysia. There are, in total, about 500 students in each year level of the medical courses at Monash.

Victoria Berquist

Chair of the Australian Medical Students’ Association Junior doctor, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

Victoria is Chair of the Australian Medical Students’ Association, a graduate of Monash University, and is a junior doctor at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. She has been heavily involved in medical leadership and particularly in the wellbeing and rights of medical students. She has advocated locally, nationally and internationally for the mental health of medical students as President of the Monash University Medical Society where she worked on bullying advocacy as well as whistleblowing and reporting procedures. On an international level, Victoria worked as the inaugural Mental Health Program Coordinator for the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, discussing experiences with and creating tools for students from around the world.

She is passionate about non-formal education in the medical curriculum and believes that to learn broadly and with enthusiasm in fields beyond medicine will make students more holistic, empowered, people-focussed doctors, with greater influence to enact change within our societies.

Carlos Blanco

Director of the Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), United States

Carlos Blanco, M.D., Ph.D., M.S. is the Director of the Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Blanco is a national known expert in the epidemiology and treatment of addictive disorders with and without comorbid disorders. His accomplishments include, among others, a detailed examination of the course and stages of substance use disorders, the development of methods to quantify the generalizability of clinical trials, the development and testing of interventions that combine motivational interviewing with cognitive-behavioral therapy to improve retention and outcome in individuals with addictive disorders, and the creation of a virtual map of psychiatric disorders, based on empirical data, to guide research into the causes of mental disorders. Prior to joining NIDA, Dr. Blanco was Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and a Research Psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Danielle Blouin

Secretary, Committee on the Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS), Committee on the Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education (CACME), Canada

Dr. Blouin serves as Secretary for the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) and for the Committee on Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education (CACME). She still maintains an active academic clinical practice in Emergency Medicine at Queen’s University, and was granted professorship in 2012. In 2003, she completed a Master of Health Professions Education degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago, followed in 2016 by a doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the same university. She has been involved as an educator and scholar in numerous projects at the provincial, national and international levels.  Her research interests centre on curriculum development and program evaluation.

Kym Boycott

Medical Geneticist, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Professor of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, Canada

Kym Boycott is a Medical Geneticist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Senior Scientist at the CHEO Research Institute, and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Boycott’s research program in rare diseases bridges clinical medicine to basic research and is focused on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of these disorders, enabling the design of new therapies to ultimately benefit patients and their families. She is the principal investigator of Canada’s national genome-wide sequencing platform for rare disease, Care4Rare Canada, and of the Rare Diseases: Models & Mechanisms Network, established to catalyze connections between clinical investigators discovering new genes in patients with rare diseases and basic scientists who can analyze equivalent genes and pathways in model organisms. Dr. Boycott moves the international rare disease agenda forward through her role as the Chair of the Diagnostics Committee of the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium. 

Alex Brown

Leader, Aboriginal Research Unit, Australia

Professor Alex Brown is an Aboriginal medical doctor and researcher from the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. He studied Medicine at the University of Newcastle (NSW), an MPH at Hebrew University in Israel, and his PhD from University of Queensland in cardiovascular epidemiology. He is currently Chair in Aboriginal Health at the University of South Australia and Deputy Director and Theme Leader Aboriginal Health at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. Alex has established an extensive and unique research program focused on chronic disease in vulnerable communities, with a particular focus on outlining and overcoming health disparities. He leads projects encompassing cardiometabolic epidemiology, understanding the psychosocial determinants of chronic disease, mixed methods health services research, and trials of pharmacological and non-pharmacological chronic disease interventions. In July 2012, Alex joined SAHMRI to develop and lead a state-wide Aboriginal health research program. He leads a team of 52 staff, 29 of whom are Indigenous. He was recently admitted to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Julie Bruneau

Professor, Department of Family and Emergency Medicine, Université de Montréal, Canada

Dr Julie Bruneau is Professor in the Department of Family and Emergency Medicine at Université de Montréal. She is currently Head of the Primary Care Department at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM).  She is recognized as a leader in addiction medicine in Canada. At the CHUM, she implemented what became the largest academic mental health and addiction medicine facility in the province, where she is still practicing. Over the past 20 years, her research contributed to a better understanding of factors impeding and facilitating harm reduction efforts (such as syringe exchange and Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) to reduce HCV and HIV transmission and comorbidities among persons who inject drugs. She is currently the leader of the Quebec-Maritimes node of the Canadian Research Initiative on Drug Misuse, and a core-leader in the Canadian HEPC Research Network.

Fabrice Brunet

CEO of the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) and of the Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine (CHU Sainte-Justine), Canada

Dr. Brunet is the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) and of the Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine (CHU Sainte-Justine), a role he has occupied since September 7, 2015. From 2009 to 2015, he was the Director General of the CHU Sainte-Justine, before becoming its CEO. He is Vice-President of the Integrated University Health Network of the Université de Montréal (RUIS) and a full clinical professor at the Department of Pediatrics of the Université de Montréal. He is also a professor of resuscitation medicine in France and a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Fabrice Brunet studied medicine at the Faculty of Cochin Port-Royal, University of Paris V. He later specialized in cardiology, medical resuscitation and emergency medicine. He has also occupied several roles in the medical field across Europe and America, with a particular focus on research and teaching. Early in his career, he attended the École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP), where he completed his medical education by studying management in a healthcare context, and eventually became a professor of hospital management. Dr. Brunet completed his management studies at Harvard University and at the University of Toronto and became a professor of healthcare at the HEC Montréal. Before he started working at the CHU Sainte-Justine, he was Director of the Department of Resuscitation and Intensive Care at the St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and Medical Director of its telemedicine program.The experience that Dr. Brunet has garnered over the course of his career will be used to continuously improve the care that is provided to the residents of the CHUM and CHU Sainte-Justine and to respond to their needs, from birth until death.

Agnès Buzyn

Professor of Hematology at the University Pierre-and-Marie-Curie, Paris, France

Agnès Buzyn is Professor of Hematology at the University Pierre-and-Marie-Curie in Paris. She spent a large part of her career as an academic hematologist and clinician at the University Paris Descartes - Necker Hospital, where from 1992 to 2011 she headed the adult hematology intensive care and bone marrow transplants unit. From 2002 to 2006, Professor Buzyn was the Director of a research team on tumor immunology at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM). Her research activities have focused on bone marrow transplants, and leukemias (ALL,CML).
A. Buzyn has served as board member of a number of national organizations: the Biomedicine Agency (ABM), the Blood Institute (EFS), the bone marrow transplant and cell therapy society (SFGM-TC). From 2008 to 2013, she served as Chair of the Board of the Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute (IRSN). A. Buzyn was President of the French National Cancer Institute (INCa) from May 2011 until February 2016. She has been appointed Chairwoman of the French National Authority for Health (HAS – Haute Autorité de santé) on 7 March 2016.

Carolyn Canfield

Dept of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Canada

Carolyn Canfield works across Canada and internationally as a citizen-patient to transform healthcare culture for better patient outcomes and worker satisfaction. Her passion is for expanding opportunities for patients and families to partner with healthcare professionals in every aspect of care: practice improvement, service design, policy, evaluation, training and research. Frequent roles include keynote speaker, course instructor, seminar leader, patient engagement coach and strategic advisor. At the University of British Columbia, Carolyn is teaching undergraduate medical and nursing students, clinician-researchers and graduate students. Her energetic full-time commitment to better healthcare arises from premature widowhood in 2008 following preventable harm, unacknowledged as a system failure and ignored for organizational learning. Carolyn holds the position of honorary lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. In 2014 she was honoured as Canada’s first individual Patient Safety Champion by Accreditation Canada and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.

Basile Chaix

Research Director, Inserm, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France

Basile Chaix, as a social epidemiologist, seeks to understand how the multiple environments visited during daily life activities and related transport mode use influence health status. He was promoted as a Research Director in 2013 at Inserm. He is the coordinator of the Nemesis research team. He is the principal investigator of the RECORD Cohort Study. The RECORD GPS and MultiSensor studies have developed a tracking methodology combining GPS receivers (and other sensors) with an electronic mobility survey. For the next years, the team will focus on the MobiliSense project (European Research Council), a cohort of 1000 participants intensively monitored with sensors and smartphones, to explore the short-term and longer-term effects of air pollution and noise related to personal transport behavior on cardiovascular and respiratory health. Basile Chaix is part of the editorial board of Epidemiology, Social Science and Medicine, and Health & Place.

Portrait Cherkaoui, Omar

Omar Cherkaoui

President of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), Morocco

Dr. Omar Cherkaoui is a junior doctor freshly graduated from the University of Rabat, Morocco. He is the President of the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations (IFMSA), one of the world’s oldest and largest student-run organizations, that represents, connects and engages every day with medical students from 122 countries. Dr. Omar Cherkaoui is a strong advocate of health for all, and draws his passion from the work the Federation is doing globally to educate and build capacity of future health professionals on various global health topics. Prior to being President, he was Director of the IFMSA Professional Exchange Program, that gives the opportunity every year to over 14.000 medical students from around the world to go abroad, allowing them to experience different health systems. He also served the IFMSA as New Technologies Director, and advocated for the importance of technology and telemedicine for medical students.

Connie Clement

Scientific Director, National Collaborating Center of Determinants of Health, Canada

Connie Clement is the Scientific Director of the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, located at St Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS. Prior to joining the NCCDH Connie has held positions as Director of Planning and Policy at Toronto Public Health, along with other management and front line positions. She is past Executive Director of Health Nexus/Nexus Santé, a key Ontario-based health promotion resource organization, and of Social Venture Partners Toronto, a venture philanthropy collaborative. In 2014, Connie was awarded the Canadian Public Health Association’s certificate of merit. She has a long history as a volunteer, is a proud mother and loves living on salt water.

Éric A. Cohen

Director of the Laboratory of Human Retrovirology, Montreal Clinical Research Institute, Canada

Doctor Éric A. Cohen is Director of the Laboratory of Human Retrovirology at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM). He is also Professor of Virology at the Department of Microbiology, Infectiology and Immunology at the Université de Montréal and recipient of the IRCM-Université de Montréal Chair of Excellence in HIV Research. Dr. Cohen’s research aim to better understand HIV-host interactions regulating viral replication, transmission, and persistence. His studies on the interactions between HIV and antiviral effectors of the host innate immune response have fostered a transforming understanding of HIV persistence and opened new avenues for the development of HIV curative strategies. Dr. Cohen is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a member of the editorial board of Retrovirology. Since 2014, he leads the Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise (, a pan-Canadian multidisciplinary research consortium dedicated to HIV cure research. 

Ashlee Cunsolo

Canada Research Chair, Determinants of Healthy Communities Associate Professor, Community Health, Canada

Ashlee Cunsolo is a passionate researcher and environmental advocate, working with research and policy to make a difference in how we live with and in this world. As a community-engaged social science and health researcher working at the intersection of place, culture, health, and environment, she has a particular interest in the social, environmental, and cultural determinants of Indigenous health, intercultural learning and dialogue, environmental ethics, and the social justice implications of social, environmental, and health inequality. For the past 10 years, she has been working in partnership with Inuit across Canada examining the ways in which climate change is impacting health and wellness. She is a former Tier II Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor, is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists, and is one of Nature Canada’s 75 Women for Nature. She is currently the Director of the Labrador Institute in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Peter Dieter

Président, Association of Medical Schools in WHO Europe (AMSE), Berlin, Allemagne

Peter E. Dieter, Ph. D., est professeur de biochimie médicale à la Faculté de médecine Carl Gustav Carus de la Technische Universaität à Dresde, en Allemagne. Il a été un des premiers en Allemagne à réformer les vieux programmes de médecine (dont celui de Dresde) au profit d’un programme interdisciplinaire moderne, intégratif et basé sur l’apprentissage par problème. Peter Dieter est membre de nombreuses organisations allemandes et internationales impliquées dans l’éducation médicale, les programmes d’assurance de la qualité et l’accréditation. Il a eu un rôle à jouer dans l’accréditation et l’évaluation des programmes de médecine de nombreuses écoles de médecine en Allemagne, en Europe et en Asie, un rôle qu’il défend encore aujourd’hui. Il est également président de la Association of Medical Schools in WHO Europe (AMSE), à Berlin. En tant que tel, il tente de mettre en place une procédure d’assurance de la qualité (accréditation) uniforme en Europe qui serait reconnue par tous les pays, parce que basée sur les normes des programmes de premier cycle de la Fédération mondiale pour l’éducation médicale.

Gregory Dore

Head, Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program, Kirby Institute, UNSW Australia Infectious Diseases Physician, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia

Professor Dore is Head, Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program, Kirby Institute, UNSW Australia, and Infectious Diseases Physician, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia. He has been involved in viral hepatitis and HIV epidemiological and clinical research, clinical care and public health policy for 20 years. He has developed extensive national and international collaborations, and is internationally recognized in the areas of natural history of acute and chronic HCV infection, therapeutic strategies for acute and chronic HCV infection, particularly among people who inject drugs. He holds large-scale ongoing public sector research funding from U.S. National Institutes for Health, and Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Professor Dore has been President of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM), a member of NHMRC Council, and currently is a NHMRC Practitioner Fellow.

Vincent Dumez

Centre of Excellence on Partnership with the Patients and Public (CEPPP), Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Canada

Mr. Vincent Dumez holds a finance degree and a master in science of management from Montreal’s international business school Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC).  Up until 2010, Mr. Dumez was an associate in one of Montreal’s most influential consulting firm where he acted as a senior strategic consultant. Suffering from severe chronic diseases for more than three decades, M. Dumez has been actively involved in the promotion of the ‘patient partner’ concept at Montreal University. This involvement has come forward over the recent years through the completion of his masters dissertation on patient-doctor relationship, his contribution to the training of patients, his work on boards of healthcare organizations and his involvement as a speaker in healthcare conferences. Since 2010, Mr. Dumez has developed the patient partnership program at the Faculty of Medicine. He’ now co-leading with Dr Antoine Boivin the Centre of Excellence on Partnership with the patients and Public. 

Aled Edwards

CEO of the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), Canada

Aled Edwards is CEO of the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), a public-private partnership that generates open-access research tools to support drug discovery.
Over the years, the SGC has contributed the 3D structures of >2,000 different human proteins into the Protein Data Bank – corresponding to ~15% of the available structural information for the human proteome.  Some of these proteins have been used as templates to generate small molecule inhibitors.  All reagents derived from the SGC are made available to the community without restriction on use.  Some of chemical reagents identified new targets for cancer drug discovery.  Their relevance is now being tested in clinical trials. Al trained at McGill and Stanford, held a faculty position at McMaster and is currently on faculty at the Universities of Toronto and Oxford.


University of Montreal

University of Montreal and its two affiliated schools, École Polytechnique (engineering) and HEC Montréal (business) are amongst the world's top 100 universities, according to international rankings. Founded in 1878, the campus today has over 66,000 students and 2,600 professors, making University of Montreal the second largest university in Canada. Its students are drawn to the university by its deep roots in cosmopolitan Montreal and in consideration of its tenacious dedication to its international mission.

The Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal has a threefold mission: the teaching, research, and improvement of healthcare in the fundamental sciences, clinical sciences, and health sciences sectors. Boasting  sixteen departments and two schools, it trains one third of doctors in Quebec, as well as a significant number of the health professionals in the province.

With its widespread hospital network, numerous affiliated institutes and the important responsibilities it has been given by the government of Quebec, the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal plays a prominent role in Canadian society.

The School of Public Health of the University of Montreal (ESPUM) is the only institution of its kind in Quebec and a leader in Canada and in the francophone world. It strives to be a locus of excellence and critical reflection in the teaching, research and promotion of knowledge pertaining to the public health fields. Fuelled by scientific innovation and excellence, the ESPUM offers widely recognized high-level graduate study programs.

Montreal Clinical Research Institute

Founded in 1967, the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) is a non-profit organization that conducts fundamental and clinical biomedical research in addition to training high-level young scientists. With its cutting-edge technology facilities, the institute brings together 33 research teams, which work in cancer, immunology, neuroscience, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, systems biology and medicinal chemistry. The IRCM also operates a research clinic specialized in hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes and cystic fibrosis, as well as a research centre on rare and genetic diseases in adults. The IRCM is affiliated with the University of Montreal and associated with McGill University. Its clinic is affiliated with the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM). The IRCM is supported by the Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation (Quebec ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation).

Plan your stay

Montreal: a city whose passion, joie de vivre and rich cultural heritage are legendary

Marked by its past, proud of its bicultural heritage, and further enriched by immigration, Montréal turns resolutely toward the future.

Today, Montréal is home to some 3.4 million inhabitants who represent no fewer than 80 different ethnic groups. Montréal lives up to its reputation as an international city.

The second-largest French-speaking city in the world, Montréal hosted one of the most impressive world fairs of the century in 1967 as well as the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. The city donned its finest to welcome visitors and has preserved and even improved several of the attractions that it built for the two occasions. Because Montréal always loves to celebrate, it has naturally become a city of dazzling international festivals (jazz, film, comedy, fireworks, fine dining, Winter sports and so forth). The rhythm of events intensifies and visitors and Montrealers alike join in the dance. More than a few succumb to the city’s mixture of European and North American charm that both surprises and enchants.

Dynamic and modern, but respectful of its architectural heritage, Montréal successfully blends the old with the new. A trip through the past in Old Montréal and the Old Port lets you witness the origins and the growth of the colony. Museums and historical sites alternate with irresistible bistros in an atmosphere of yesteryear.

While venerating its past, Montréal also looks to the future, having earned a reputation as a world leader in leading-edge technologies such as aeronautics, information technologies and biotechnologies. Montréal is also an innovator, whether in the field of medical technology and equipment, the arts (for example, the Cirque du Soleil, modern dance and experimental theatre), information technology (software and multimedia productions) or in urban development (a unique underground city).

For those who wish to take a closer reading of Montréal’s pulse, what could be better than a stopover in some of the city’s most picturesque districts, such as the Jean-Talon Market in Little Italy, or along Saint-Denis Street in the Plateau Mont-Royal. In neighbourhood markets, boutiques, restaurants and cafés radiates the soul of Montréal, and the vitality and joie de vivre of its inhabitants.

Happy birthday Montreal

On the occasion of Montréal’s 375th anniversary celebrations, let’s celebrate Montréal’s vivacity. If the downtown core and historic Old Montréal shine year-round with international festivals and events, summer 2017 will certainly be even more special. It’s time to celebrate Montréal’s roots: its history and heritage, not to mention its identity and diversity, in high style! Festivals, tastings, church bell concerts and neighourhood tours... The list is long!

Do not hesitate to take part in Montreal's 375th anniversary

Fun facts

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their legendary Bed-In in Montréal at the Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth hotel from May 26 to June 2, 1969.
  • A popular local snack is “poutine” (French fries with cheese curds topped with gravy) – absolutely delicious!
  • Our “underground city” has over 30 km (18 miles) of pedestrian walkways, indoor areas and tunnels linking 8 subway stations, 5 train stations and termini, 63 buildings, 9 major hotels, 2,000 businesses, 1,700 boutiques, 37 cinemas, theatres and exhibition halls, 10 university buildings and 43 indoor parking areas.
  • The legal drinking age in Montréal is 18. Bars and restaurants can serve beer and alcohol from 11 a.m. to 3 in the morning.
  • What others call “pastrami”, we call “smoked meat”. (By the way, our smoked meat sandwiches are to die for!)
  • An entrée here is actually an appetizer.
  • Montréal is among the 10 best cities in the world for outdoor dining, according to American travel guide publisher, Frommers.
  • In total, 80 languages are spoken in the Montréal region, including French, English, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, Chinese, German, Portuguese, Creole and Vietnamese.
  • Montréal ranks second to Halifax for the number of Titanic victims buried in its cemeteries (12 in all).
  • Eye contact in Montréal differs from that in other major cities. Whereas discretion is the order of the day elsewhere, Montréalers do not shy away from making eye contact with strangers.
  • With the highest number of tango dancers and dance halls on the continent, Montréal is the tango capital of North America.
  • Greeting a French-speaking person from Montréal can be confusing for visitors. The customary way to greet friends in Montréal is to kiss them on both cheeks, starting with the right, whereas Canadians in other provinces tend to keep their distance and simply shake hands.


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