Research Canada launches plan for collaborative advocacy leadership and welcomes new officer and directors to Alliance



OTTAWA, June 18, 2018 — Research Canada held its 13th Annual General Meeting on June 13, 2018 and launched its Strategic Plan 2020: Fulfilling the Promise of Collaborative Advocacy. The meeting was an opportunity for the health research community to come together in the wake of Budget 2018 and discuss what’s next in health research and health innovation advocacy. Research Canada was also pleased to appoint its new Vice-Chair and welcome three new Research Canada Board Directors.

Strategic Plan 2020 aims to position Research Canada for collaborative advocacy leadership—a theme that captures the essence of Research Canada’s unique role in convening Members, Partners and Supporters around positions that reinforce shared interests. Dr. Ryan Wiley, Chair of the Strategic Planning Task Force and President of Shift Health, presented the Plan along with Research Canada’s President and CEO, Ms. Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety to Research Canada Members and thanked them for their insights, knowledge and experience throughout the consultation process.

The day also saw two panel discussions related to the theme Advocating in a New Environment. The panels featured leading voices from various sectors and promising early-career researchers, Mr. Sean McGuirk and Ms. Vanessa Sung, Co-presidents of the Science & Policy Exchange. Panelists and audience members raised important issues such as the critical role of the health charity sector in building a robust health research enterprise; the need to re-position healthcare as an industry sector open for business in an effort to grow its receptor capacity for new technologies and; the growing divide among Canada’s economic classes and the impact this erosion of the middle class will have on government priorities and our sector’s future advocacy strategies aimed at improving the health and well-being of ALL Canadians.

A Parliamentary Health Research Caucus (PHRC) Luncheon on Innovations in Healthy Aging, chaired by Mr. John Oliver, PHRC Chair, featured Drs. Allison Sekuler, Heidi Sveistrup, Rachelle Doody, and Alex Mihailidis. Each presenter offered an interesting and nuanced take on how to best improve the lives of Canadians as they age. Presentations focused on rehabilitation and exercise interventions and technologies for older adults; the development of intelligent home systems for elder care and wellness; the brain’s processing of visual information and changes across our lifetimes and; the development of drugs for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease as well as for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Dr. Robert McMaster, Chair of Research Canada and Vice President, Research at Vancouver Coastal Health was pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Rose Goldstein, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, and the former Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation to the position of Vice-Chair as well as welcome three new knowledgeable, experienced and passionate Board Directors:

Dr. Debbie Martin of Dalhousie University is a professor at Dalhousie’s School of Health and Human Performance and holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples Health and Well-Being.

Dr. Abraham Rudnick is the Executive Vice-President of Research and Development, and Chief of Psychiatry, at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and the Chief Scientist of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute.

Medtronic Canada’s National Director of Value-Based Healthcare, Mr. Jason Vanderheyden, is also among the newly-elected directors. Mr. Vanderheyden leads the medical device company’s government engagement efforts.

Research Canada said farewell to Dr. Duncan Stewart, CEO and Scientific Director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, who is stepping off the Board after eight years of exemplary service.  Dr. Ryan Wiley was also honoured for the completion of his time as a Board Director; however, he will continue serving the organization in a voluntary and advisory capacity as Special Policy Advisor to the Board and Chair of Research Canada’s Policy Engagement Committee.

Research Canada wishes to thank all of its Sponsors for supporting its 2018 Annual General Meeting including its Lead Sponsor, Innovative Medicines Canada, its Platinum Sponsors, Hoffmann-La Roche, and the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute at the University Health Network, and its Silver Sponsor, York University. For a complete list of Research Canada’s Sponsors, please see:

Research Canada is a multi-stakeholder alliance of private, academic and voluntary sector organizations dedicated to advancing health research and translating research into innovative products and services that deliver social and economic benefits to all Canadians.

The PHRC is a non-partisan forum that seeks to educate Parliamentarians about the social and economic benefits of Canadian health research and health innovation. It includes Chair Mr. John Oliver, MP (Oakville), Vice-Chairs Ms. Marilyn Gladu, MP (Sarnia-Lambton), and Ms. Carol Hughes, MP (Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing), and Senate Representative, The Honourable Judith Seidman.

For a complete list of Research Canada’s Board of Directors, please see:


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