Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Arts and Storytelling: A Method of Patient Communication

08:30 – 11:30
Two Rivers Gallery
725 Civic Plaza, Prince George, BC
Carolyn Holmes, Cat Sivertsen and Sarah de Leeuw

Workshop Summary

This 3 hour long hands-on workshop explores how creative arts and storytelling/ narrative can be meaningful, and powerful, tools for patient / clinical communication. The workshop unfolds in three parts: firstly participants will be introduced to the ways that health care can be broadened through considerations of the humanities and creative arts; secondly, participants will be led through a series of hands-on art making exercises and thirdly participants will receive a practical guide to accessible arts projects for use within a clinical practice.

The first section of the workshop will look at why creative expression is particularly important in relation to Indigenous communities and the role of creative arts in medical education and practice. The second section will encourage participants to "get their hands dirty" in simple art making exercises to generate visual story telling. Participants will take away artworks suitable for the “refrigerator gallery” in addition to an introductory guide (with recipes) on how to incorporate simple art making into clinical practice.

This unique workshop will take place in Two Rivers Gallery and will be co-facilitated by 1) Carolyn Holmes, Public Programs Manager at the gallery 2) practicing artist, arts educator and research assistant Cat Sivertsen, and 3) Sarah de Leeuw, a creative writer and geographer, who is an associate professor in UNBC's Northern Medical Program, the Faculty of Medicine, UBC.


  • 8:30 – 9:15 pop-up introductions
  • 9:15 - 9:30 introduction to the link between the arts and health
  • 9:30 - 10:00 story a journey through an artwork in the galleries
  • 10:00 - 10:15 break
  • 10:15 - 11:00 art making the visual story in the studio
  • 11:00 - 11:30 feedback, wrap-up and take away

Developing a Research Question

08:30 – 12:00
Civic Centre
Dr. Stefan Grzybowski (Health Services Research) and Dr. Jonathan Berkowitz (PhD Statistics)

Workshop Summary

This afternoon workshop is intended for junior researchers, clinicians and health authority employees who are interested in conducting research or have research ideas but need direction and confidence to move forward. During this interactive session, we will: explore and discuss research ideas; learn how to refine and develop research questions; define strategies for developing research questions; and explore appropriate methodologies to carry out such research questions.


The goal of this workshop is to work with participants to develop their research ideas into project proposals. The objectives of this workshop are:

  1. step by step approach to developing a research idea and organizing methods to answer the research question with examples from participants research ideas.
  2. A pragmatic approach to managing your data
  3. To facilitate a discussion around research that matters to rural practice with emphasis on health services research

Stefan Grzybowski (MD, MClSc), is a Professor in the Department of Family Practice at UBC and a family physician with many years of rural clinical experience. He was Director of Research in the Department of Family Practice at UBC for 10 years and currently holds a Michael Smith senior scholar award. He has an abiding focus on rural health services research and building research capacity, both of which are exercised through his current position as co-Director of the Centre for Rural Health Research. Specific research foci include the safety of small rural maternity services with and without cesarean section capacity and supporting primary care clinician investigators. Dr. Grzybowski is also the director of the Rural Health Services Research Network of BC.

Working with Indigenous Communities
"Documenting northern wisdom: working with rural, remote and Indigenous communities"

13:00 – 16:00
Civic Centre
Josée Lavoie, Associate Professor in Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Northern British Columbia

Workshop Summary

Rural, remote and Indigenous communities generally have poorer access to health services than other residents in British Columbia, as a result of a multiplicity of factors, including geography, economic factors, recruitment and retention issues, among others. Although improving access to care is an important in healthcare reforms, to date, most health system research has focused on urban-centric concerns and privileged urban-centric solutions that poorly fit rural, remote and Indigenous contexts. Across Canada, northern communities and Health Authorities serving these communities have been left to improvise based on common sense. Some communities have created approaches that may be of benefit to others.

In this interactive 3-hour workshop, Dr. Josée Lavoie will draw on her diverse experiences to share her expertise and knowledge on working to promote health within Indigenous and rural communities. During this interactive workshop, Dr. Lavoie will introduce participants to the challenges of generating evidence to inform healthcare delivery in rural, remote and Indigenous communities. She will then discuss the advantage of forming meaningful partnerships that build on the strength, creativity and wisdom of northern communities.


  • 1:00 - 1:30 Introductions to participants and their communities’ strengths
  • 1:30 - 1:45 Northern Health communities: diversities, wisdom and opportunities
  • 1:45 - 2:15 Round table: What innovations have you seen in your communities, what are the lessons?
  • 2:15 - 3:00 Break
  • 3:00 - 3:15 Partnerships: guidelines, thoughts, complexities and opportunities for innovation
  • 3:15 - 3:45 Round table: how does this compare to your experience?
  • 3:45 - 4:00 Wrap-up and Take Away

Josée Lavoie is currently an Associate Professor in Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Northern British Columbia. Prior to pursuing an academic career, she spent 10 years working for indigenous controlled primary health care services in Nunavut and northern Saskatchewan. Currently, Dr. Lavoie retains an affiliation with the University of Manitoba Centre for Aboriginal Health Research and a Faculty Appointment with the Department of Community Health Sciences. She is also affiliated with the UBC Centre for Health Sciences and Policy Research. Her research interests include: the engagement of the non-government and indigenous sectors in health care delivery, health care policy and financing; primary health care delivery, health care policy and financing; and health care planning and implementation challenges in remote environments.

The Way We Work

12:30 – 3:30pm
Prince George Civic Centre
Agnes Snow & Theresa Healy

Workshop Summary

Cultural Competence refers to the attitudes, knowledge, skills, behaviours and policies required to better meet the needs of all the people we serve. Cultural Competence can work to reduce disparities in health services, address inequitable access to primary health care and respectfully respond to the diversity of [Northerners] such as: race, ethnicity, language, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, (dis)ability, spirituality, age, geography, literacy, education and income, etc. (Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness, 2011, p. 17). At the heart of cultural competency is self-care.

First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples, including those residing in urban settings, comprise the highest concentration of Indigneous people in the province of British Columbia when compared to other regions. In recognition of this population and diversity, the Aboriginal Health team within Northern Health has developed a series of workshops, starting with delivery in First Nations communities across the North. The menu of workshops was designed and developed in partnership and based on the advice of individuals from northern Aboriginal communities. These workshops are delivered where trusting relationships exist and invitations are forthcoming from the communities.

This workshop provides a ‘hands on’ experience of one of the community workshops: a self-care workshop entitled, “Paddle your own canoe”. This workshop focuses on becoming self-aware and identifing strategies and actions that can inform your personal learning, as well as your professional pracitice. Participants will also engage in identifying and describing characteristics of excellent cultural competency practice. Specific emphasis is placed on the sustainability of the workshop strategies over time for participants themselves, as well as identifying opportunities for sharing the information and learning with others, including their professional colleagues and the communities of practice they work in.

Agnes Snow is Northern Health’s regional director of Aboriginal health. She started her career in health as a licensed practical nurse in Vancouver, and then moved back to her home community of Canoe Creek where she worked as an additions counselor and then as an elected leader. Agnes originally came to Northern Health as a counselor and treatment therapist at the Nechako Treatment Centre, and then moved to Aboriginal health as the Community Engagement Coordinator, before taking on her current role.

Theresa Healy is the regional manager for healthy community development with Northern Health’s population health team and is passionate about the capacity of individuals, families and communities across northern B.C. to be partners in health and wellness. As part of her own health and wellness plan, she has taken up running and, more recently, weight lifting. She is also a “new-bee” bee-keeper and a devoted new grandmother. Theresa is an avid historian, writer and researcher who also holds an adjunct appointment at UNBC that allows her to pursue her other passionate love - teaching.

Evidence Informed Public Health and Critical Appraisal of Research Evidence

Full Day
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Introduction to Evidence-Informed Decision Making in Public Health
1:00 PM – 3:30 PM Critical Appraisal of Research Evidence for Public Health*
Prince George, BC Civic Centre
Dr. Maureen Dobbins, PhD

This full-day workshop will review the overall process of evidence-informed public health, specifically focusing on the critical appraisal of research evidence. The hands-on practical workshop will be divided into two sessions presented by Dr. Maureen Dobbins, PhD of the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools.

Workshop Description

The morning session will demonstrate the overall process of evidence-informed decision making in public health, including how to find and apply the best available research evidence in program planning and practice. During this session participants will be introduced to the seven steps of evidence-informed public health and will learn how to implement an evidence-informed approach with the support of methods and tools for knowledge translation in public health.

In the afternoon, participants will have the opportunity to work with a current research article. Emphasis will be on learning how to develop or enhance skills in the critical appraisal of research evidence. Topics of discussion will include the interpretation of results and application of research evidence to a public health decision.

*Please note: Individuals interested in the afternoon session need to be familiar with the seven-step process of Evidence-Informed Public Health and therefore must attend the morning session.


  1. To clearly frame an answerable evidence search question.
  2. To know where and how to find high quality relevant research.
  3. To develop or enhance skills in the critical appraisal of a systematic review or primary study.
  4. To practice integrating the research evidence with other important factors that contributes to public health decisions.
  5. To use research evidence in planning for implementation and evaluation.

Target Audience

Public health practitioners, program managers/directors and staff responsible for the planning and delivery of public health programs and services.

Teaching and learning strategies

  • Brief pre-workshop reading
  • Large-group presentations and demonstrations
  • Small-group discussion facilitated by expert tutor
  • Application of evidence to a practice scenario