Second annual Health xChange shares inspiring ideas for using research to improve health policy

On May 7, 2018, MSFHR and Edge Collective hosted Health xChange, an evening of PechaKucha and networking around research and knowledge translation. Selling out for the second time, this year’s theme focused on innovative ideas for using research evidence to improve health policy and practice.

Ten speakers shared stories, learnings and creative approaches for moving evidence into policy and practice through partnerships, community engagement, and knowledge exchange.

A common theme highlighted by speakers was communication—using windows of public interest or policy-maker focus as an opportunity to mobilize research evidence into decision-making. And, just as importantly, communicating that evidence successfully by using materials that your audience can understand and engage with.

Sarah Munro and Trilby Smith both spoke about effective advocacy and being prepared for policy windows when they occur, and Kylie Hutchinson shared some insightful lessons learned from her ‘big fat systems mapping failure’.

The importance of partnerships, connections and relationships were themes echoed in all of the speakers’ presentations. Sana Shahram and Dee Taylor spoke about the two sides of their experience with embedded scholarship at Interior Health, while Christine Ackerley and patient partner Mario Miceli shared the importance of partnering with diverse groups through their work with Cities Changing Diabetes.

Sarah Common and Kristine Lawson stressed how a connection to the environment and a common purpose can effect change and promote healing. Scott Elliott shared stories from his experiences working at the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, and how social impact bonds can be an effective strategy for supporting communities.

Thank you to all the speakers and attendees for an evening full of energy and ideas about how we can use research evidence to improve health policy and practice. A full list of speakers and their presentation topics is available here.