Health xChange: Highlights from a night of health research innovation inspiration

15 June 2017

On May 9, MSFHR and the BC SUPPORT Unit hosted the first ever Health xChange, an evening of PechaKucha and networking around community engaged research and knowledge translation.

Held at Steamworks Brew Pub and hosted by Nerd Nite Vancouver’s Michael Unger, the sold-out event drew over 80 participants interested in creative knowledge translation and engaging patients, communities and the public in research. Ten speakers shared stories about innovative ideas and approaches to knowledge translation, community-based and peer-driven research, health literacy, improving access to research, and more.

After the presentations, participants engaged in a Q&A with the speakers with great discussions ranging from how to get stakeholder buy in, how to draw greater resources for KT, to how to evaluate community-engaged KT.

Here are just a few highlights from the speakers’ presentations.


Olivier Ferlatte used photovoice methods to generate knowledge on the suicide risk factors amongst gay and bisexual men and provide safe spaces for community members to reflect on and discuss targeted suicide prevention efforts, helping to de-stigmatize suicide among gay and bisexual men.


Jonathan Aitken used design thinking and co-creation to engage communities in working towards creating a social process to build a sense of community around local parks.


Faith Eiboff shared her experience with Vancouver’s Housing First Speakers Bureau, which provides a platform for people with histories of homelessness and mental illness to engage with the community, open the dialogue on issues related to mental health and homelessness, and discuss the first-hand impacts of Housing First.


Natasha Kolida is the project lead for CREST.BD’s Bipolar Blog. It is an effort to bring together health care providers, researchers, people who live bipolar, their supports, and others in conversations about quality of life, stigma, self-care, and community engagement.


Alina McKay presented on the ‘Making Research Accessible’ initiative (MRAi) – a campus-community collaboration led by the UBC Learning Exchange that seeks to improve access to academic research and community-generated materials with a focus on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). Pictured are patrons, students and staff of the UBC Learning Exchange.