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Annual Conference 2017
Catholic Health Alliance of Canada

Diversity and Disparity:
In the people we serve and the people who serve

Wednesday May 10 to Friday May 12, 2017
Delta Prince Edward Hotel


Conference Program

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 ~ 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM: Pre-Conference Workshop

Fran Ross Salima Bandali Greg Humbert
Fran Ross,
Chief Communications Officer, Covenant Health
Salima Bandali,
Manager Communications, Covenant Health
Greg Humbert,
Catholic Health Sponsors of Ontario
Catholic Health Care in Canada: Telling Our Story with Passion and Purpose

As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, it is important for our Catholic health care community to reflect on the role of our founders in Canada's story and to proclaim our ongoing commitment and relevance as a vital part of Canada's future. Join this interactive workshop to explore the relationships between the legacy of the Sisters, your calling as a leader in Catholic health care and our collective ability to articulate the true purpose and value of Catholic health care in the country. Through the course of the session, we will work together to create a new way to talk about Catholic health care—one that is strategic, current, vibrant and confident. Framed within Canada’s birthday year, we will take a moment to celebrate our history then focus ahead, learning from each other to make the story of Catholic health care relevant today. We will also look at how we can, in our own communities and together across the nation, tell this story with impact. You will leave the session with practical ideas and tools for engaging your teams and communities in reflection, conversation and ambassadorship for our common ministry.

Keynote Speakers and Sessions

Wednesday May 10, 2017 ~ 7:30 PM

Mary Jo Leddy


Mary Jo Leddy
Writer, speaker, theologian and social activist

Why Are We Here? Reflections on Canada at 150
Canada celebrates 150th anniversary of nationhood. What are the defining features that bind us together, as well as inspire us, to bridge the gaps between the diversity and disparity of the many peoples who inhabit this, "our home and native land?" In this talk I will try to answer the question "Why are we here.?" I will explore the distinctions between private property and what we hold in common. While private property might be designated as the domain of the personal and the family, neighbours share a whole other space in common, a space that is the responsibility of all of us to care for and to protect. I will attempt to explore how we can reverence the common good and not take it for granted. How we live as neighbours will define the essence of our prosperity and the peace and freedoms we desire.

Mary Jo Leddy is a Canadian writer, speaker and theologian, active in human rights issues and the peace movement. Leddy is widely recognized for her work with refugees at Toronto's Romero House. She began working for the centre as a night manager in 1991, and has been its director since then. She is also a recipient of the Order of Canada. Mary Jo has published a number of books, several of which feature or reflect on the work and life of Romero House.

Thursday Morning May 11, 2017 ~ 9:00 AM ~ Panel Discussion

Archbishop Don Bolen

Jean Morrison

Cassandra Opikokew


Disparity in Health Outcomes – One of Canada’s most enduring and difficult health issues is that of the health status of our indigenous communities. This series of three keynote speakers will address the issue from various perspectives.

Archbishop Bolen will map out the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRC) calls to action, noting those addressed to the churches; will explore the TRC report as an opportunity to engage in this important matter; and will examine, in particular, those calls to action that touch on health-related organizations and services. He will also discuss how the CCCB has addressed this to date.

Archbishop Don Bolen ~ Archbishop Donald Joseph Bolen is the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina, since his appointment by Pope Francis on 11 July 2016. He previously served as bishop of the Diocese of Saskatoon. He holds a M.Th. and licentiate in theology from Saint Paul University, Ottawa, has worked on his PhD in theology at Oxford University. In 2008 he was awarded the Cross of Saint Augustine by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams for service to relations between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

Jean Morrison ~ As a Catholic health organization within a large indigenous community, what has been St. Paul’s journey regarding the TRC recommendations and responding to the health needs of the community. Jean will talk about some of St. Paul’s situations as examples; talk about what they did in the past and what they are starting to do different now; and where they need to go.

Jean Morrison was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of St. Paul's Hospital on February 15, 2009. She has over 25 years of experience in health care, having held diverse senior positions in the Saskatchewan healthcare system, including the position of Vice President of Performance Excellence and Chief Nursing Officer, Saskatoon Health Region. Ms. Morrison also serves on the Board of Directors for a number of provincial and national organizations, including the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, and Accreditation Canada. She holds a degree in Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan, and both a Master's of Nursing and a Master's of Health Services Administration from Dalhousie University, Halifax.

Cassandra Wajuntah ~ Cassandra will share her work in which she is using an Indigenous research methodology. She is examining the policy-making process in Canada and Hawaii in the area of Indigenous health. More specifically, she is working with two Indigenous health organizations to conduct a comparative analysis of how they create effective health policy in “an Indigenous way.”

Cassandra is from Canoe Lake Cree First Nation and was raised in Meadow Lake in Northern Saskatchewan. As a PhD candidate she is studying Indigenous health and education policy. She currently resides in Regina with her husband, their two young sons and pack of five dogs.

Thursday Afternoon May 11, 2017 ~ 1:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Charles Bouchard, O.P





Charles Bouchard, O.P., S.T.D.
Senior Director, Theology & Ethics
Catholic Health Association

Diversity, Disparity and the Common Good
We live in an increasingly diverse world.  As we acknowledge that diversity, we become more aware of the disparities in social status, access to health care, and health care outcomes.  As we honor diversity, however, we can’t lose sight of the common good, which is a  fundamental aspect of Catholic social teaching. What do we make of all this diversity?  How do we weave a cohesive social fabric from the individualist threads that North Americans favor? In this session we will explore the roots of the common good in the Catholic social tradition and ask how Catholic health care can put this counter cultural principle to best use.

Fr. Charles Bouchard, OP, S.T.D., is senior director, theology and ethics at the Catholic Health Association. He assists the Catholic health ministry nationwide as an author, educator and consultant on the Church's theological and ethical teaching. Prior to joining CHA, Fr. Bouchard served as provincial of the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great from 2011 to 2015, and as vice president for theological education at Ascension Health from 2008 until 2011. His primary responsibility was the development of a theological and spiritual formation program for boards of Ascension's health care ministries.

Friday Morning May 12, 2017 ~ 9:00 AM

J. Merelle Rodrigo

J. Merelle Rodrigo
Public speaker on cross-cultural awareness

Ms. Rodrigo will explore the important matter of diversity within our organizations.  Cross cultural awareness is a growing and important factor within our health care provider communities.

J. Merelle Rodrigo is a public speaker who specialized in presentations on stress management, body communication, gender differences, and cross-cultural awareness. Educated in criminology, psychology and sociology, Merelle has been a professor in sociology for more than a decade. She has also worked in the field of probation and parole, and as an insurance advisor where she was recognized with an Award of Excellence for four consecutive years.

Friday Morning May 12, 2016 ~ 10:15 AM

Steve Buist

Steve Buist
Investigative reporter with the Hamilton Spectator

CODE RED : Health, Wealth and Social Determinants: The Lessons Learned From Canada’s Steeltown 
Code Red is an ongoing project started in 2010 by The Hamilton Spectator newspaper to explore the powerful impacts that the social determinants of health have on people in Hamilton. Using large data sets that measure a wide range of health, social and economic variables, Code Red has been exposing disparities at the neighbourhood level in Hamilton through crisp storytelling and distinctive maps. Code Red represents a landmark project in Canadian journalism, combining a scientific approach to investigative journalism. The projects have brought to life the staggering differences that exist in health, social and economic outcomes across the city and they have changed the way people in Hamilton think about their city and about poverty, a subject that is often difficult for some to digest. Code Red, arguably, is the most important project ever produced by the Spectator to advance the cause of social justice in Hamilton. It’s also a template for other communities across Canada that might want to embark on a similar path of self-examination.

Steve Buist is an investigative reporter and feature writer at the Hamilton Spectator. He is responsible for producing large investigative projects, such as the highly-acclaimed Code Red project, which began in 2010 and has been examining the connections between health and poverty by mapping the health of Hamiltonians down to the level of neighbourhoods. Buist has won three National Newspaper Awards, named the Canadian Association of Journalists’ Investigative Journalist of the Year three times and the Ontario’s Journalist of the Year five times. He has a degree in human biology, a Master’s degree in journalism and a longstanding interest in science and science journalism.