A model of global health engagement

The Canada India Network Society was established in 2010 to connect leaders from Canada and India in order to build collaborative opportunities among the countries’ academic institutions and industries. The Canada India Network Initiative 2018 was the society’s third conference. Though focused on a subset of the South Asian population, the conference vision was global engagement and building links between people through health care.

The conference started with welcome remarks from the Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr Arun Garg, the conference chair. Sessions included:

  • War on Diabetes. Deljit Bains, leader at the South Asian Health Institute, advocated for transformation in the community in health promotion through direct engagement at places like gurudwaras and temples. Dr Gulzar Cheema shared his work on the interCultural Online Health Network, a community-driven health-promotion initiative that supports multicultural communities, patients, and caregivers across BC to optimize chronic disease prevention and self-management. Sean McKelvey shared his work in making diabetes care drug-free. The final speaker, Dr JST Thakur of India, addressed the approaching tsunami of diabetes.
  • Mental Illness. Dr Nitasha Puri spoke about the need for immediate action in the prevention and cure of addictions in the context of her work with Fraser Health’s Roshni Clinic. Mr Suman Kollipara focused on alternative and integrated approaches like meditation and self-empowerment tools for prevention of mental illness.
  • Public Health Approaches to Palliative Care in India and BC, looking at the work done by the Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration, was presented by Drs Doris Barwich and Gillian Fyles and facilitated by Dr Simon Sutcliffe.
  • Leadership in Health. Drs Arvind Lal, Anupam Sibal, and Robert Woollard brought decades of experience to shed light on the need for better practices in health care.
  • Empowering Physicians. This session was presented using the LEADS framework, including principles of leading self, engaging others, achieving results, developing coalitions, and transforming systems.
  • Integrative Medicine and Health. Medical professionals, research scientists, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, and yoga practitioners reflected on their personal journeys as well as their patients’ journeys. Presentations covered the importance of integrative medicine in the prevention of dementia, supportive cancer care, food as medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, Indigenous medicine, and integrated yoga therapy. The overall message was that chronic disease requires an integrative approach to care.
  • Technology and Innovation. Discussions centred on artificial intelligence in health care, taking action against tuberculosis, the role of technology in access to health information, mobile technologies, and using neuroethology in youth depression and addiction. Kathy Kinloch, BCIT President, and the Honourable Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, were featured speakers.
  • Two roundtable discussions on technology and integrative medicine focused on identifying research opportunities between India and Canada—building bridges between modern innovation and ancient technologies.

For more information about the conference and the organization, visit www.thecins.org.
—Arun K. Garg, MD
—Reza Alaghehbandan, MD
—Suman Kollipara, MS


Correction: Suman Kollipara was incorrectly listed as an MD in this news story when originally published. He holds BVSc (veterinary science) and MS (computer science) degrees. Updated online July 2021.

Arun K. Garg, PhD, MD, Reza Alaghehbandan, MD, Suman Kollipara, MS. A model of global health engagement. BCMJ, Vol. 61, No. 2, March, 2019, Page(s) 89 - News.

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