Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Public Health Planning &Communication

Café Scientifique: Too Much Information? Public Health Planning & Communication
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Wednesday December 1, 2010
Café Istanbul
5986 Spring Garden Road Halifax

Canada has experienced three recent major public health threats; the Walkerton E. coli crisis, SARS, and the H1N1 pandemic. Informing Canadians must strike a proper balance between providing needed information and fear mongering. The H1N1 virus was no lie — it was a real threat that resulted in considerable illness and loss of life around the globe. The seeming Catch-22 with many public health threats is that the more effective preparation and communication is in preventing a serious outcome, the more likely it is that the threat alarm will later be judged as "crying wolf."

What are the current Canadian public health communication strategies?
What is the role of communications in protecting the health of Canadians?
What are the ethical and pragmatic issues involved in planning for a public health crisis?


Scott Halperin is the Director of the Canadian Center for Vaccinology, Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology & Immunology at Dalhousie University, and the Head of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. He recently held one of two Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Clinical Research Chairs in Vaccine. His research focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pertussis and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Joanne Langley is a Professor of Pediatrics (Division of Infectious Diseases) and Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University, based at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology, and Medical Director of the Infection Prevention and Control Program at the IWK Health Centre. She currently serves as the Chair of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization. Her main research interests are in the epidemiology and prevention of respiratory infections

Pauline Dakin is the award-winning national health and medical reporter for CBC News. Her work has been recognized with awards from the National Science Writers Association, the Canadian Association of Journalists, The Canadian Medical Association/Canadian Nurses Association, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, the international Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Radio-Television News Directors Association, and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. She was also nominated for Canada's top journalism prize, The Michener Awards for a collaborative series on adverse drug reactions in children.Previously, Pauline has worked as a producer, on-air host, assignment editor and reporter in various media including film, television, radio and print.

A Café Scientifique is not a lecture. It’s a place for group discussion and audience involvement is the most important ingredient. This event will be moderated by the founder of the Novel Tech Ethics Team, Françoise Baylis, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy at Dalhousie University.

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