Our Planet, Our Health: Creating Well-Being Societies and Making Peace with Nature
The Public Health Association of BC conference takes place Nov 9 and 10, 2022.
The topic of this PICS-sponsored event is "Our Planet, Our Health: Creating Well-Being Societies and Making Peace with Nature". This topic was inspired by recent WHO and UN initiatives, as well as the importance of recognizing the role Indigenous knowledge has in creating a healthy relationship between humans and the Earth.
There is local and global urgency to focus on making peace with nature. According to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, “Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal.” (December 2020). The UN 2021 report Making Peace with Nature further identified climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution as a “triple crisis” that threatens our well-being.
Creating well-being societies is dependent on making peace with nature and focusing on ecojustice and applying an eco-social approach to everything we do. The public health community has an opportunity here to weave eco-social approaches into their work to address both ecological and social injustices. Creating a truly healthy public will only be possible if we work together to create healthy, sustainable and equitable communities.
Conference Themes and Structure:
To invigorate public health practice, education and research towards a healthy, just and sustainable future. The conference plenary sessions will focus on four inter-related themes:
- Making Peace with Nature for Public Health
- Ecojustice/Eco-social Equity and Public Health
- Well-being Societies
- Local (Practice) and Action
See the draft program here.
Dr. Danièle Behn Smith is the Province’s Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor and works alongside Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Provincial Health Officer.
Dr. Behn Smith provides independent advice and support to the Ministry of Health on First Nations and Aboriginal health issues. In support of the Ministry’s strategic agenda, Dr. Behn Smith focuses on closing the gap in health outcomes between First Nations and other British Columbians.
Dr. Behn Smith is Eh Cho Dene (Big Animal People) of the Fort Nelson First Nation in B.C. with French Canadian/ Métis roots in the Red River Valley. Since getting her Doctor of Medicine from McMaster University and completing residencies at the universities of Ottawa and Manitoba, Dr. Behn Smith’s career has spanned the country and the globe.
Dr. Chris Buse is an Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences.
Dr. Buse’s research operates at the interface of the social and ecological determinants of health, aiming to redress the differential and often avoidable exposures to the ill-health effects of environmental changes which are worsened by systemic forms of socioeconomic marginalization and oppression.
His research program is underpinned by a focus on environmental health justice, and is animated by two inter-related areas of interest: the impact of climate change on health equity and the public health response; and the health impacts of natural resource development.
r. Trevor Hancock is a public health physician, health promotion consultant and recently retired Professor and Senior Scholar at the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria.
His main areas of interest are population health promotion, healthy cities and communities, public health, healthy public policy, environment and health, health policy and planning, and health futurism.
Trevor is one of the founders of the (now global) Healthy Cities and Communities movement and co-authored the original background paper for the European Regional Office of the World Health Organization in 1986.
Dr. Howard is an Emergency Physician in Chief Drygeese Territory, and a globally recognized leader on the impacts of climate change on human and planetary health.
She has advanced policy and advocacy on active transport, ecoanxiety, movement-building, plant-rich diets, fossil fuel divestment, carbon pricing, coal phase-out, hydraulic fracturing, vaccine equity, and health impact assessments.
She led the 2017-2019 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change Briefings for Canadian Policymakers, was the 2018 international policy director for the Lancet Countdown, and has researched wildfires and menstrual cups.
Jessica (Jessiquita) Madrid, RN, BScN, MSc (Community Health) – Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment/Association canadienne des infirmières et infirmiers pour l’environnement (CANE/ACIIE), Past President.
In addition to her extensive involvement with CANE/ACIIE since its inception, Jessica’s clinical work has encompassed diverse areas of nursing practice including urban public/community health nursing to remote emergency room nursing.
She presently works as a front-line Team Lead for Xaaynanga Naay (Skidegate Health Centre), First Nations Health Authority, in a small on-reserve clinic on the remote archipelago of Haida Gwaii, BC. Her professional focus is Indigenous models of wellness with an emphasis on Haida culture.
Lindsay McLaren PhD is a Professor of Population and Public Health at the University of Calgary where her research and teaching focus on healthy public policy and social and ecological determinants of health. She is also a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, National Office.
Lindsay held an Applied Public Health Chair research award, 2014-19 (funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions) and she received the 2019 CIHR-IPPH (CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health) Trailblazer Award (mid-career category), a career achievement award that recognizes exceptional contributions in population and public health research.
Jeff Masuda is a Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria and former Canada Research Chair in Environmental Health Equity.
A human geographer by training, Jeff is known for his work in environmental justice, urban health inequalities, participatory action research, and critical health promotion.
Jeff’s research currently focusses on tenant organization for housing justice, including increasing concerns over extreme heat vulnerability, particularly through his role in the Right to Remain Research Collective.
Margot Parkes is a Professor in the UNBC School of Health Sciences, past Canada Research Chair in Health, Ecosystems and Society, and current Co-lead of the UNBC Health Research Institute with three decades of learning from eco-social approaches to public health.
Dr. Parkes’ research connects social and ecological determinants of health especially in rural, remote and Indigenous communities, drawing on background in medicine, public health, human ecology and eco-health, and collaborations spanning New Zealand, Oceania, Europe and the Americas.
In all her work, Margot prioritizes working and learning with others – across regions, cultural contexts, disciplines and sectors – to foster better understanding of land, water and living systems as foundational for health, equity and well-being; and to strengthen collaborations that reflect these connections and foster capacity for integrative approaches to research, education and practice that address health, environment, and equity concerns.
Dr. Takaro is a Professor Emeritus and Physician-Scientist in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University.
He is husband to Aggie Black and father to Annie and Ben.
He trained in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Public Health and Toxicology, at Yale, the University of North Carolina and the University of Washington. Dr. Takaro’s research is primarily about the links between human exposures and disease, and determining effective public health based preventive solutions to such risks.
Planetary change poses complex problems for public health never more apparent than during the COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges demand an interdisciplinary approach both in research and action.
Sione Tu’itahi is the Executive Director of the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, Runanga Whakapiki Ake I Te Hauora o Aotearoa (HPF).
Sione is the first Indigenous person to be elected as the Global President of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).
IUHPE is a global professional non-governmental organisation dedicated to health promotion around the world. For more than 70 years, IUHPE has operated an independent, global, professional network of people and institutions committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the people through education, community action and the development of healthy public policy.
Dr. Shannon Waters is Coast Salish and a member of Stz’uminus First Nation on Vancouver Island. She completed the First Nations Family Practice program at the University of British Columbia and worked as a family doctor in Duncan, BC.
While honored to work close to home Shannon became frustrated with seeing people mostly when they were unwell and wanted to focus on keeping people healthy in the first place so she returned to school and completed her specialty training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
Shannon worked as the Director of Health Surveillance at First Nations and Inuit Health Branch and, at First Nations Health Authority as the Acting Senior Medical Officer for Vancouver Island Region.
Jade Yehia is a Human Geography and Environmental Health specialist with a Master of Science (MSc) in Health Impact Assessment. She is a certified Environmental Health Officer and Consultant with fourteen years of experience working for the Federal and Provincial governments.
Jade led Island Health’s Healthy Built Environment program for almost a decade before moving to the BC Ministry of Health to support the development of their newly minted Climate Resilience Unit as their Climate Change and Health Lead.
Most recently, she stepped into the private consulting world, teaching at Royal Roads University and carrying out equity and holistic health assessment projects.