Skip to content

Schedule information for Moving Beyond Repair: Upstream Approaches to Public Health Emergencies

Image of the 2020 Student-Led Conference schedule

View a PDF version of the 2020 conference schedule here.

View a Plain Text version of the 2020 conference schedule here (Microsoft Word Document).

Session Descriptions

Day 1 – Thursday, November 12, 2020 (4:30 pm – 9:00 pm EST)

Social – Meet & Greet (4:30 pm – 6:30 pm EST)

Join us for a fun and informal social networking session where you’ll have the opportunity to connect with your fellow conference attendees and members of the DLSPH community in a small-group setting! (Virtually) mingle, take part in exciting and robust conversations, and play a few ice-breakers as we lead up to the conference’s official opening.

Opening & Opening Keynote  (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EST)

7:00 – 7:10 pm – Remarks by Stephanie Nanos and Sterling Stutz, Content Co-Leads.

7:10 – 7:25 pm – Traditional Opening by Knowledge Keeper/Elder Clayton Shirt.

7:25 – 7:40 pm – Remarks by Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

7:45 pm – Keynote by Dr. Roberta Timothy, Assistant Professor and Program Director of the MPH Social & Behavioural Health Sciences program at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

Moderator: Thilaxcy Yohathasan

Learn more about our speakers and moderators here.

Day 2 – Friday, November 13, 2020 (4:00 pm – 9:00 pm EST)

Research & Practice – Poster Presentations & Discussion (4:00 pm – 5:30 pm EST)

Examining whether the Social Determinants of Health Predict engagement in exercise in People Living with HIV – Nivetha Chandran, Sergio Rueda, Andrew Pinto & Kelly O’Brien

National study of reproductive health and access to menstrual hygiene products in Venezuela – Marianne Lahaie Luna & Veronique Lahaie Luna

Patients’ information uses in an online health community – Katy Czajkowski

Exploring the intersection of traumatic brain injury and mental health in survivors of intimate partner violence: A scoping review – Danielle Toccalino, Angela Colantonio & Halina Haag

Lockdown Life: Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 on Youth in Canada – Lucksini Raveendran

Urban Indigenous Response to COVID-19 Among Women Seeking Resources – Kira Pavagadhi & Christine Skura

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in the Indigenous Community of Sioux Lookout in Northern Ontario – Tanya Jain

COVID-19 Alert: An evaluation of Canada’s digital contract tracing technology through a data privacy and health equity framework – Nikita Roy & Nivetha Chandran

Upstream Community-Based Models of Culturally Contextualized Mental Health Care for South Asian Women in Ontario – Rikita Arora & Harpreet Jaswal

Nurses’ Perceptions of the Utilization of the Violence Assessment Tool (VAT) in Northeastern Ontario – Oghenefego (Fego) Akpomi-Eferakeya & Judith Horrigan

Communities for Change: A Secondary Analysis – Ilakkiah Chandran, Dr.Kosha Bramesfeld & Dr.Jasjit Sangha

Understanding income inequities during COVID-19: Evaluating the CERB framework – Anuijan Chandran & Ilakkiah Chandran

Learn more about the Research & Practice Sessions here.

Social – Bring Your Own (BYO) Dinner Debrief (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm EST)

Looking for a place to chat with other conference attendees? Log in to our moderated dinner discussion. Bring your own dinner and your thoughts on the conference so far!

Panel – Lessons Learned, Co-Hosted by the Infectious Disease Working Group (7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EST)

Lessons Learned: How Our Responses to Public Health Emergencies Inform Our Current Realities

Taking a retrospective and present-day perspective, the panel will discuss what public health professionals, scholars, policy influencers, academics, and community members need to be considering and remembering from past and ongoing public health emergencies as we continue to experience various health crises. The goal of this panel is to broadly explore approaches to public health and investigate what has worked well and what needs to be improved upon.

This panel is co-hosted by the DLSPH Infectious Diseases Working Group (IDWG). The IDWG was formed by students at the DLSPH in 2019 to synthesize, share, and exchange factual and relevant information and resources on COVID-19 to improve the health and wellbeing of Canadians and those affected by this virus around the world.

Moderators: Ronaz Remtulla and Kiera Murison from the Infectious Diseases Working Group (University of Toronto)

Panelists: Albert McLeod, Dr. Michaela Beder and Dr. Jeanette Bowles

Learn more about our speakers and moderators here.

Day 3 – Saturday, November 14, 2020 (9:30 am – 6:00 pm EST)

Introduction (9:30 am – 9:45 am EST)

Welcome by Stephanie Nanos and Sterling Stutz, Content Co-Leads.

Keynote – Climate Justice is Healthcare for All, by Maya Menezes (9:45 am – 10:45 am EST)

Climate Justice is Healthcare for All

As the pandemic rages across the world, and climate catastrophe becomes something less looming in the distance, and more a lived reality for millions, a Green New Deal comes more clearly into focus. While the concept is new to some, for the many, we have always known that the social determinants of health are also some of the most critical determinants of resiliency and justice in the face of climate change. What did we mean when we said a Green New Deal for healthcare in Canada? What do universal healthcare, status for all, drug decriminalization and massive investments in care-work have in common? Why is free, universal healthcare one of the biggest right-now solutions we can use to fight the climate crisis? Let’s talk about it. Join Program Director Maya Menezes, from climate justice organization, The Leap, as we unpack why climate justice is healthcare for all.

Moderator: Victoria Haldane

Learn more about our speakers and moderators here.

CONCURRENT – Workshop 1: Proportional Representation for Healthy Democracies (11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST)

Workshop 1: Healthy Society Needs Healthy Democracy: How Our Voting System Affects Public Health

Our electoral system impacts not only election results but social engagement and political accountability, which, in turn, directly impact the social determinants of health. Therefore, improving this key element of our democracy is a path to poverty reduction and population health promotion. Explore your own experience of voting in Canada with your peers and participate in a voting exercise to see how a proportional voting system can create stable and consistent progress towards better health outcomes.

Facilitators: Megan Mattes, Joyce Hall and Michelle Clifford

Megan Mattes is a recent graduate of the Master of Public Policy Program at the University of Toronto’s Munk School. She is currently a research associate at a non-profit, the Center for Higher Ambition Leadership, and is a volunteer with Fair Vote Canada.

Joyce Hall, M.Ed. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, is a retired community college instructor and Member of Fair Vote Canada since 2005.

Michelle Clifford is on Fair Vote Canada’s National Council and Vice-Chair of the Toronto chapter.

CONCURRENT – Workshop 2: Health Needs & Disparities Amongst Canadian Southasians (11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST)

Workshop 2: Health Needs & Disparities Amongst Canadian Southasians

This workshop will explore the unique challenges of first-generation females from the Southasian Diaspora and how those relate to health disparities and inequities. Themes will include cultural integration, unique healthcare needs, social context including domestic roles & culinary practices, and language barriers.

Facilitators: Zartasha Zainab and Hibah Sidat

Zartasha Zainab is a community health promoter. She completed her Honours’ of Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto with a double major in Population Health and Psychology. She is passionate about helping people and has organized various community events, safe spaces, panels & discussion circles. Currently, she is the Education Committee Co-Lead at the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council where she addresses issues related to food security, affordability, accessibility & justice and organized two webinars including The Intersection between Health & Environmentally Friendly Practices. She is also a founder of a social enterprise working with the UTSC Hub that provides women health & social services.

Hibah Sidat is currently a student at OISE (Sociology and Equity Studies) – examining impacts of gendered Islamophobia on the mental health of Canadian Muslim women from the perspective of mental health frontline workers. She did her undergrad in Public Policy and Administration at York University. She has worked for the city councillor for Scarborough-Rouge River as a Constituency Assistant. She has also worked with some of the most marginalized residents in all of Toronto. Born and raised in Scarborough and having lived in Malvern for about 10 years, she can speak about the lived experiences of a Scarborough resident.

CONCURRENT – Research & Practice Oral Presentations (11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST)

A Pandemic Silver Lining: Reshaping Global Health Education

The Interprofessional Global Health Course (IPGHC) is a student-led initiative at McGill University formed to address the paucity of Global Health (GH) curricula. The authors conducted a study on those enrolled in the IPGHC to understand how interprofessional collaboration on GH themes supplements existing curricula while also recognizing how knowledge gained in IPGHC was applied to the COVID-19 crisis. Over the course of the 8-week curriculum, students significantly increased their survey scores and shifted their viewpoints on public health responses to COVID-19. The IPGHC highlights the necessity of GH curricula and demonstrates how rapidly GH learners can apply their knowledge to evolving contexts.

Presenters: Anne Xuan-Lan Nguyen, Lucille Xiang, Hailey Blanchard and Radhika Chhibber

The Impact of COVID-19 on Canadian Adults with Sight Loss

The COVID-19 Impact Survey was developed by the Canadian National Institute of the Blind (CNIB) to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Canadian adults with sight loss in various aspects of their lives, including technology, healthcare, transportation, employment, education, social experiences and food/key essentials access. This study will present the key concerns identified from the results of this survey. It will highlight the critical need for those with vision loss to be taken into consideration during the development of policies and procedures in response to the pandemic to ensure additional barriers to societal participation are not created.

Presenters: Elaine Gatzios, Mahadeo Sukhai and Christine Robbins

Social – Meet the Sponsors (12:10 pm – 12:50 pm EST)

Bring your lunch and virtually connect with representatives from three of our sponsor organizations: Access Alliance, Alliance for Healthier Communities, & MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions. After a short presentation outlining the work of these organizations, you’ll have the chance to ask questions and network.

Panel – The Politics of Data (1:00 pm – 2:30 pm EST)

The Politics of Data

This panel will explore the political nature of data and investigate the means by which the data available to policymakers, politicians, public health leaders, and academics shapes our responses to public health emergencies. This will include discussions about the ethical collection and application of personal information through artificial intelligence, unused data, and the translation of research evidence into action. Importantly, this panel will address the need to respect Indigenous data sovereignty and adhere to its principles, and the demand to collect race-based data to understand the racialized impact of crises such as COVID-19 among Black, Indigenous, and communities of colour.

Moderator: Kahiye Warsame

Panelists: Vass Bednar, Dr. Angela Mashford-Pringle, Dr. Akwatu Khenti and Fatah Awil

Learn more about our speakers and moderators here.

CONCURRENT – Workshop 3: The Data Dilemma: Ethical Application of AI in Public Health (2:45 pm – 3:45 pm EST)

Workshop 3: The Data Dilemma: Ethical Application of AI in Public Health

Artificial Intelligence (AI) promises to revolutionize healthcare. It holds the promise to prevent diseases through predicting early diagnosis and interventions, enabling personalized care, and enhancing the efficiency of the healthcare system by automating operational tasks. COVID-19 has also prompted an urgent collection of health data and the use of AI. While healthcare data is subject to regulations, the idea of what constitutes healthcare data itself is changing. Self-monitoring devices, such as Fitbits, or mobile apps, even social media data – all of this can provide useful information in a public health context, yet each poses numerous ethical issues and is subject to bias. This workshop will facilitate a peer-to-peer discussion on these ethical challenges from a health equity perspective. With the goal of providing hands-on training for researchers, we will critically evaluate existing frameworks and work through practical, real-world examples of applied ethics that can help mitigate some of the challenges in using healthcare data in an AI system.

Facilitators: Katrina Ingram and Fahim Hassan

Katrina Ingram has a passion for education, healthcare and technology. She holds an undergraduate degree in business administration and recently completed a master’s in communication and technology. Her research is focused on artificial intelligence and applied ethics within a healthcare context. She has prior work experience in healthcare, as a consultant with the TEC Edmonton Health Accelerator where she worked on a project involving home health monitoring technology. She’s also part of the GuARD-AI research team which is looking at the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations. Katrina currently teaches at MacEwan University in addition to consulting for a range of clients in industry and academia. Before returning to school, she spent over a decade working in public broadcasting at both the CBC and CKUA Radio. Katrina blogs at and also hosts a podcast called Back to School Again, about going back to school in mid-life.

Fahim Hassan is a Ph.D. student at the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. His research interest is to study the application of machine learning in public health, particularly the detection and mitigation of misinformation related to COVID-19. He is also currently working at the Ministry of Advanced Education at the Government of Alberta. As a civil servant, he has contributed to various government initiatives on open data and social determinants of health. In addition, he is serving as an advisory council for Alberta Health Services (AHS) in the Greater Edmonton Area. As a council member, he works with local communities on health promotion activities and shares their voices with the senior leadership team in AHS.

CONCURRENT – Workshop 4: Empowering Public Health Trainees for Planetary Health at All Stages of the Research Process (2:45 pm – 3:45 pm EST)

Workshop 4: Empowering Public Health Trainees for Planetary Health at All Stages of the Research Process

Urgent action is necessary to avert ecological breakdown and resultant public health crises. This peer-led workshop aims to gather public health trainees to explore how the public health and health service research communities can respond to the climate crisis in the ways we conduct research, in what research we conduct, and through what we teach and learn. We outline lessons learned in creating Emerging Leaders for Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare (ELESH), an interdisciplinary, trainee-led organization facilitating learning and action to address environmental sustainability in healthcare. With Canada’s healthcare sector having the third-highest per-capita rate of carbon emissions in the world, organizations such as ELESH can enable health systems to take on transformative change in pursuit of environmental sustainability, starting with engagement with trainees.

Facilitators: Anna Cooper Reed and Isha Berry

Developed by: Anna Cooper Reed, Victoria Haldane, Danielle Toccalino and Isha Berry

Anna Cooper Reed (MSW) is a PhD student at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and holds a Master of Social Work, from the Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. She is also the 2019-2020 President and a founding member of the Emerging Leaders for Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare (ELESH), established this year through the support of the Centre for Sustainable Health Systems. ELESH seeks to encourage interdisciplinary action and education change across the many disciplines and professions that contribute to healthcare. Anna has practiced social work in the community, long-term care and hospital, predominantly working with older adults. She is recently the recipient of the Helene and George Coward Award in Aging and the Northwater Capital Management Award in Aging. Currently Anna works as a Research Associate at Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) Collaborative, housed at Toronto General Hospital. Her research and thesis work focus on the implementation and sustainability of acute care for chronically ill older adults in the community.

Isha Berry (MSc) is a PhD Candidate in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health and an Emerging Leader in Biosecurity Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health Security. Her research focuses on identifying drivers of infectious disease emergence at the human-animal interface in South Asia. In collaboration with international and national government agencies, she leads population-based surveys and conducts digital surveillance for infectious diseases. Isha has been awarded funding from IDRC and the National Geographic Society, and is a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar. She holds an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and has held positions leading infectious disease projects in high-, middle-, and low-income settings.

Victoria Haldane (MPH) is currently a PhD student in Health Services Research at the Institute of Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. She is also a University of Toronto Global Scholar with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She holds a Master’s in Public Health from Chinese University of Hong Kong and an undergraduate degree in biology with a focus on environmental biology from University of Toronto. She is a founding member and Co-President 2020/2021 of Emerging Leaders for Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare (ELESH) and an intern at the Centre for Sustainable Health Systems. She is also working with the North American Observatory on Health Systems and Policies to map the responses of Canadian health systems to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her dissertation research is evaluating a complex infectious disease health service intervention for persons living with tuberculosis in Tibet, China.

Danielle Toccalino (MSc) is currently a PhD student in Health Services Research at the Institute of Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto and a member of the Collaborative Specialization in Women’s Health. She holds a Master’s in Neuroscience and an undergraduate degree in cognitive science with a joint focus on linguistics and neuroscience from McGill University. She is a founding member and Outreach Director 2020/2021 of Emerging Leaders for Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare (ELESH). Danielle’s dissertation research explores the intersections of intimate partner violence, traumatic brain injury, and mental health or substance use specifically as it relates to access to and use of healthcare and community services. She has collaborated on several multi-site research projects involving diverse research teams, community partners, and persons with lived experience, including planning stakeholder and community advisory meetings.

CONCURRENT – Research & Practice Oral Presentations (2:45 pm – 3:45 pm EST)

Improving WHO’s response to pandemics through Global Health Diplomacy

WHO’s recent response to the Ebola outbreak was characterised as slow and uncoordinated. The response indicated gaps in the International Health Regulations and exposed the weaknesses in Global Health Security. Thousands of lives that could have been saved were lost. Global Health Diplomacy seeks to use diplomacy and negotiations to facilitate and improve global health objectives. This research assesses the major gaps in WHO’s response to the Ebola outbreak and recommends diplomatic solutions that could help improve WHO’s response to global health threats.

Presenters: Rochelle White and Andrew Defor

Employing Media Messaging Strategies to Respond to COVID-19 Misinformation

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed critical gaps in the public’s knowledge of infectious diseases. The evidence has shown knowledge disparities regarding the spread of COVID-19, personal risk, and the importance of physical distancing measures, including among young and highly educated individuals. In January 2020, the Infectious Disease Working Group (IDWG) was formed by a group of students at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. The IDWG Media Messaging Team (MMT) uses Knowledge Translation (KT) strategies to engage a wide audience and share evidence-based information relating to public health and COVID-19. The MMT aims to produce content to dispel pervasive and harmful myths about COVID-19, raise public awareness, and advocate for health equity. This project addresses an emerging gap in knowledge uptake among the public, who experience a lack of clear messaging from official bodies, an increasing spread of mis/disinformation on social platforms, and disparities in health literacy.

Presenters: Rachel Field, Lauren Tailor, Sabrina Campanella, Mariana Villada Rivera and Gul Saeed

Panel – Building a ‘Just Recovery’ from COVID-19 (4:00 pm – 5:30 pm EST)

Building a ‘Just Recovery’ from COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need to implement adaptive, innovative, and community-led solutions to health and social inequities. These inequities have existed long before COVID-19 but the upheaval caused by the pandemic has led to calls for recovery and reorganization that put us on a path towards a more resilient and just future. What has been learned from this crisis that will inform a ‘Just Recovery’? Who is appropriate to lead such a response? This panel will investigate what recovery built upon values of justice, equity, community resiliency, and innovation will look like.

Moderator: Dorothy Apedaile

Panelists: Carolina Jimenez, Seán Kinsella and Rabia Khedr

Learn more about our speakers and moderators here.

Closing – Remarks and Traditional Closing (5:30 pm – 6:00 pm EST)

Closing remarks by Dorothy Apedaile, Internal Lead and traditional closing by Knowledge Keeper/Elder Clayton Shirt.

Contact information:

For questions and feedback regarding the Dalla Lana School of Public Health’s Student-Led Conference, please contact: