Speaker: Barbara Riley, Propel Centre for Population Health Impact
Chronic diseases are complex wicked problems. They are the result of
a complex interplay of factors from individual physiology through
societal structures and policies. There are no simple elegant solutions
to complex problems; no magic bullets. Comprehensive, integrated and
sustained approaches must be applied to reduce behavioural and nvironmental risks.
Tackling chronic diseases and their underlying causes will take a
unified front across disciplines; across governments, civil society
and industry; across research, policy and practice; and across health
and non-health sectors. In other words, chronic diseases are the
perfect storm for knowledge integration (KI).
The Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of
Waterloo is a collaborative enterprise with a mandate to create and
help apply the most useful knowledge to accelerate impacts in tobacco
control, youth health and chronic disease prevention.
Barbara Riley is the Executive Director of Propel, and will talk about
real-world examples of KI, ranging from a Smartphone App for smoking
cessation (Crush the Crave), to a graduate student training program in
population intervention, to the Ontario government¹s Healthy Kids
Expert Panel. She will highlight selected KI issues, such as what
knowledge Œcounts to whom and why, new directions in education and
training, building partnerships that work, ethical dilemmas, and
communication across disciplines and sectors.
Barb's educational training integrates several disciplines, with a PhD
in Social Geography (McMaster) and MSc in Health Studies (University of
Waterloo). Her work experience is also integrative. She co-owned a
research and consulting firm for 14 years before joining the Centre for
Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation (now Propel) through a
3-year Fellowship in Cardiovascular Health Policy (2004-2007), jointly
offered by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian
Institutes of Health Research.
Barb's career focus is knowledge exchange and capacity building. She
works in partnership with decision-makers at provincial and national
levels and from government and non-government organizations. Barb uses
a systems lens to understand and influence complex interventions in
is Principal Investigator of the CIHR Training Grant in Program
Intervention for Chronic Disease Prevention: A Pan-Canadian Program,
and serves on numerous international, national and provincial
committees, including Ontario¹s Healthy Kids Panel.
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