Overview | February 17 (Pre-Conference) | February 18-19 (Main Conference) | Program | Speakers


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Pre-Conference Sessions

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

PC1 - Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC)
Andrea Bodkin, HC Link Coordinator, Health Nexus
Gillian Kranias, Bilingual Health Promotion Consultant, Health Nexus
Ruth Schofield, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, McMaster University; past President and current Chair, Leadership Competencies for Public Health Practice, Community Health Nurses of Canada (CHNC); Co-chair, Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) Task Force on Public Health

Sharon Lobo, Physician Outreach Specialist, Peel Public Health
Teri Sousa, Public Health Nurse, Region of Waterloo Public Health
Mary-Jean Watson, Program Manager, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

**NOTE: This session is available to ALL HBHC Program Staff (Managers, Public Health Nurses, Family Home Visitors and interested partners)

Strong community partnerships are a critical component to the success of HBHC programs. This one day workshop will provide Screening Liaison Nurses and other HBHC providers, who are actively building relationships with community partners, with knowledge, skills and strategies to develop strategic partnerships and strengthen existing partnerships. Community partnerships can facilitate the screening of families as well as support streamlined processes for appropriate referrals into HBHC and referrals of HBHC clients to additional community services. Potential community partners include: hospitals, family health teams, OB-GYNs, pediatricians, family physicians, midwives, preschool speech and language and even other programs within your own health unit.  

At the end of the workshops, participants will be able to:

  1. Summarize the Community Health Nurses of Canada standards of practice and PHN competencies related to partnership development.
  2. Determine the motivators and communication needs of different community partners.
  3. Identify potential local community partners and select the ways to best communicate and collaborate with each of them.

PC2 - La discipline positive: Comment soutenir les parents et leurs enfants (9:00am - 4:00pm)
Kathleen Patterson, M. Ps., Consultante en santé mentale

Cet atelier est conçu pour aider les professionnels à intervenir de manière positive auprès des enfants âgés de 0 à 6 ans et à offrir aux parents des stratégies similaires de discipline positive à utiliser avec leurs enfants. Cet atelier est basé sur la campagne de sensibilisation Les enfants voient... Les enfants apprennent du Centre de ressources Meilleur départ.

Objectifs d'apprentissage:

  • Les participants vont comprendre l’impact négatif des châtiments corporels et psychologiques sur les enfants.
  • Les participants pourront expliquer les fondements de la discipline positive et de son application.
  • Les participants connaîtront des stratégies  d’intervention à utiliser auprès des enfants et des parents pour réduire l’utilisation des châtiments corporels et psychologiques auprès des enfants.

PC3 - Providing Targeted Breastfeeding Support: Results and Lessons Learned from Breastfeeding Community Projects
Penny Van Esterik, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, York University
The event will also feature a number of presenters from community projects.

Over the last two years a number of organizations received grants from the Best Start Resource Centre to develop or enhance breastfeeding services or programs to support populations with lower rates of breastfeeding. This event will showcase the results and lessons learned from a variety of breastfeeding community projects. Participants are expected to:

  • Gain interest in the Ontario Government’s targeted breastfeeding support strategy.
  • Consider developing breastfeeding programs or resources to meet the needs of women from populations with lower rates of breastfeeding in their communities.
  • Celebrate the successful completion of round one and two or the breastfeeding community projects.

PC4 - Prenatal Education Spotlight
Penny Simkin, PT, Author, Doula, Childbirth Educator, Birth Counselor
Matthuschka Sheedy, Health Promotion Consultant - Prenatal Education, Best Start Resource Centre
Jo-Anne Robertson, Health Promotion Consultant, Best Start Resource Centre
Wendy Katherine, Project Director, OMama Project  

Best Start Resource Centre is pleased to provide the first pre-conference day just for prenatal education providers. The esteemed Penny Simkin has graciously accepted our invitation to provide the keynote address, in order to help celebrate the launch of the long awaited Prenatal Education Key Message for Ontario.  There will be an opportunity for all to attend sessions on the following topics:

  • Teaching comfort measures (Penny Simkin)
  • Using the Prenatal Education Key Messages (Matthuschka Sheedy)
  • Discussing intimate partner abuse in prenatal education (Jo-Anne Robertson)
  • The OMama project (Wendy Katherine)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

8:30 am - 9:00 am - Welcome

Opening Keynote

9:00 am - 10:30 am

K1 – Learning Through Play: Naturally
Pierre Harrison, M.Sc, B.Ed, OCT/EAO, PLAYLearnThink

It is well established through practice and research that unstructured, child-led play is an essential developmental need for children. Play is so central to a child's healthy development that the United Nations has declared that play is a fundamental right of the child. Play is an evolving set of behaviours becoming more complex as children grow older - it is how they explore their environment. Through play, children experience awe for the world around them and joy in the freedom of their play. This leads to strong connections to the natural world and the development of a positive sense of self within this world. This presentation will explore different aspects of free, spontaneous play with a focus on the importance of outdoor play in a natural environment.

Outcomes are many and will vary for each participant:

  • Participants will deepen their understanding of play and its role in child development.
  • Participants will acquire knowledge to help them develop their indoor/outdoor space to help support children's unstructured, spontaneous play.
  • Participants will add to their understanding of the need to document their observations of children at play in order to nurture the child's learning and to evolve the participant's work (co-constructing with children).

10:30 am - 11:00 am - Break

Concurrent Sessions A (1-5)

11:00 am - 12:30 pm

A1 - In the Spirit of Creation - Traditional Tools and Ceremonies for Nurturing Native Children with FASD
Laurie McLeod-Shabogesic, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Program Coordinator, Union of Ontario Indians

It is Anishinabek belief that to be entrusted with the care of a child is a sacred responsibility, for when you are raising a child, you are also raising your grandchildren. Through this workshop, you will learn about traditional ceremonies and how they support the development of all Native children. We will also discuss how certain components also innately include protective factors for children with special needs including those with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

The workshop will discuss the importance of traditional parenting tools such as the Ojibway Moss Bag, cradleboards, moccasins, etc., as well as the traditional teachings associated with these tools. As we discuss children's ceremonies and traditional parenting practices, we will explore how these practices nurture the self-esteem and well-being of all children. We will also discuss the particular importance of these practices when working with children with FASD.

We will look at the traditional roles of mothers, fathers, extended family and community as they pertain to the nurturing of all children.  We will look at elements of traditional teachings from the cradleboard to the Berry Fast and how these teachings can be used by both native and non-native families living on- or off-reserve, while still ensuring that critical elements of these sacred ceremonies are protected and intact.

A2 – Physical Activity and Early Childhood: Building Lifelong Habits
Lindsay Siple, Health Promotion Consultant, Best Start Resource Centre

Physical activity is an important part of a child’s development but only 14% of children 5-11 are meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. During this interactive and engaging workshop, participants will learn about why the early years are such a critical period for healthy development and how physical activity at this age can lay the foundation for an active life. Attendees will also learn about strategies and activity ideas to increase the number of opportunities for physical activity for young children in childcare, at school, in the community and at home.

By the end of the session, participants will:

  • Build their capacity and confidence to positively impact physical activity and physical literacy levels of young children.
  • Understand the importance of physical activity and physical literacy for young children.
  • Learn about strategies which will increase the physical activity and physical literacy levels of young children.
  • Participate in hands-on games and activities which can be incorporated into programming for young children.
  • Work through common barriers which prevent physical activity in young children and identify solutions.

A3Addressing the Special Needs of Premature and Ill Infants: The Expansion of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative into Neonatal Care
Dr. Laura Haiek, Direction Générale de la Santé Publique, Québec’s Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux; Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, McGill University
Dr. Sonia Semenic, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University; Nurse Scientist, McGill University Health Centre

The session will present the expansion of the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) to neonatal care - or “Neo-BFHI” – which addresses the specific needs of premature and ill infants. The expansion was developed by an expert working group involving representatives from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Quebec (Dr. Haiek), and was based on a review of the evidence, expert opinion and consultation in two international conferences. The group has published two peer-reviewed articles describing the expansion, and has produced a Neo-BFHI package containing a core document with the recommendations, educational materials and a self-assessment tool. We will focus the discussion on the new or adapted standards added to the original BFHI’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, such as continuous skin-to-skin contact/Kangaroo Mother Care (Step 4); acceptable criteria for initiation of feeding at the breast (Step 5) and practical opportunities for parents’ unrestricted presence in neonatal units (Step 7). Three Guiding Principles were added to ensure that the recommended practices focus on respect for mothers, a family-centered care approach, and continuity of care in hospital and after discharge. Participants will have opportunity to review the Neo-BFHI package and discuss potential facilitators and barriers to the implementation of the Neo-BFHI.

A4 – Physician Outreach: Communicating with Physicians to Influence Practice
Sharon Lobo, Physician Outreach Specialist, Peel Public Health

Have you ever wanted physicians to do what you want? The need to communicate urgent and routine messages and influence their clinical behaviour occurs regularly in public health.  In a time when everyone, not only physicians, is overwhelmed by advertising and messaging  – from emails to text messages, Facebook, Twitter and other forms of Social Media - how do we engage and capture their attention?

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe effective evidence-based strategies for communicating with physicians.
  • Develop a successful organizational physician outreach strategy.
  • Apply these strategies to their everyday work in preconception health, prenatal health and early child development by working through examples and case studies.

A5 – What To Expect: Maternal Cannabis Use during Pregnancy and the Impacts on Offspring
Dr. Amy Porath-Waller, Director, Research and Policy Division, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
Katie Fleming, Knowledge Broker, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
Dr. Alice Ordean, Medical Director, Toronto Centre for Substance Use in Pregnancy (T-CUP), St. Joseph’s Health Centre; Associate Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto

This session will review the effects of prenatal cannabis exposure on the development and behavior of offspring. Dr. Porath-Waller and Ms. Fleming will identify some of the implications of maternal cannabis use during pregnancy and how the impacts of prenatal cannabis use can affect cognitive function, behavior, academic achievement, substance use and mental health. The majority of information reviewed in this session is based on three prospective longitudinal studies. In addition to reviewing the research, Dr. Ordean will also discuss approaches to health teaching for pregnant women who use cannabis. Dr. Ordean will speak to her clinical experience and will give participants examples of tools and approaches they need to address the public health problem of substance use during pregnancy.

12:30 pm - 1:20 pm - Lunch

Afternoon Keynotes

1:20 pm - 1:30 pm

Annoucement – Clinical Tool: Prevention of Childhood Obesity
Dr. Daniel Flanders, Pediatrician; Childhood Obesity Specialist; Owner/Executive Director, Kindercare Pediatrics

As part of its Knowledge Translation in Primary Care (KTinPC) Initiative aimed at developing and disseminating clinical tools and resources for primary care providers, the Centre for Effective Practice (CEP) has developed a clinical tool to help support providers with the prevention of childhood obesity in their practices. This tool was developed through the engagement of primary care providers at multiple points throughout the development process, including a comprehensive needs assessment, the use of a clinical working group, focus groups and usability sessions.

The three over-arching objectives of the tool are:

  • To reinforce the message that providers should discuss healthy lifestyle and nutrition with all patients and their families regardless of weight, as weight is not necessarily reflective of a healthy lifestyle.
  • To convey the need for accurate and consistent measurement and monitoring of growth data (e.g. BMI, weight) at every periodic health appointment and the use of the appropriate 2014 WHO Growth Charts for Canada to plot and interpret changes in growth accurately for children and adolescents.
  • To serve as a guide for providers when initiating conversations with patients and their families about making healthy changes to their nutrition and lifestyle habits and providing strategies to identify and address barriers to achieving and maintaining these changes.

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

K2 – Let's Do Reconciliation: The Children's Version
Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada; Associate Professor, University of Alberta

The Truth and Reconciliation of Canada’s top Calls to Action are for equity and reform in child welfare, Jordan’s Principle and education.  This presentation describes how ongoing inequalities for First Nations children continue to undermine their success and what every Canadian can do about it.  Participation of children in reconciliation will be emphasized.

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm - Break

Concurrent Sessions B (1-5)

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

B1 - Creating a Made-in-Nunavut Parenting Program: The Story of Inuunguiniq
Gwen Healey, Executive and Scientific Director, Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre (AHRN-NU)

For many years, community members in Nunavut have highlighted the need for parenting support. In 2009, the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre in Iqaluit, NU set out to develop a parenting program based on Inuit perspectives on childrearing and family. The Inunnguiniq Parenting Program was the result of 5 years of research and consultation with many organizations and communities. Qaujigiartiit piloted, evaluated and revised this evidence-based, culturally-responsive parenting program prior to releasing it for use in Nunavut in 2015. Ten communities completed pilots of the Inunnguiniq Parenting Support Program between 2012 and 2014.

In this presentation, the story of the creation of the program will be shared and a broad overview of the core content will be provided. Program successes and challenges will also be discussed. Qaujigiartiit is an independent, non-profit community research centre governed by a volunteer board of directors. Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre enables health research to be conducted locally, by Nunavummiut, and with communities in a supportive, safe, and culturally sensitive and ethical environment, as well as promote the inclusion of both Inuit Qaujimajatugangit and western sciences in improving the health of Nunavummiut.

B2 - Small Wonders: Designing Landscapes to Nurture Child Development
Mr. Cam Collyer, Executive Director, Programs, Evergreen

There is untapped potential for school grounds and parks to be vibrant landscapes for play and learning, where children can explore nature on a daily basis. This workshop will explore design and programming of children's spaces in cities. Case studies from Canada, the US and Europe will be featured to stimulate the discussion with a particular emphasis on connecting children with nature, self-directed play and the role of risk in play. A design framework will be shared that makes tangible links to children's developmental domains as well as local ecology and community. Participants will leave with an understanding of key principles employed by leading international designers of spaces for children.

B3 – Formula Feeding: Exploring a New Parent Resource
Sonya Boersma, Health Promotion Consultant, BFI Implementation for Ontario

In the last year, the BFI Strategy for Ontario worked extensively with key stakeholders across Ontario to develop an evidence-informed provincial formula booklet. In this session, participants will be introduced to this developing resource, and will explore common practical challenges related to the use of a formula feeding booklet including how to manage informed decision-making and best practices around formula supplementation and preparation.  Participants will learn how we are working to align the content with key breastfeeding and nutrition guidelines. In addition, an interactive activity will provide participants with the opportunity to practice using the draft resource in a variety of scenarios.

B4 – Show Me the Evidence!
Kara DeCorby, Senior Product Development Advisor, Health Promotion Capacity Building, Public Health Ontario
Jackie Muresan, Analyst, Research & Policy, Family Health Division, Peel Public Health

There is often pressure to use evidence or take an evidence-informed approach. But we are all challenged by not having enough time. In this workshop, you will learn about strategies, tools and resources to save time and to increase your confidence so that you can find and use the best available evidence. Participants will leave the workshop as more critical consumers of information and more confident producers of evidence-informed resources.

Questions this workshop will answer include:

  • What constitutes evidence and how do I know that it is the best available evidence?
  • What other factors need to be considered, along with evidence?
  • What are the ways I can save time AND use evidence so I can confidently make suggestions that have taken evidence into account?

Participants will become familiar with and will learn to apply the concept of best available evidence, specifically with strategies to save time in doing the “work” of using research evidence to inform key messages, programs or policies.  The interactive format of this session will allow participants to discuss how an evidence-informed approach can be applied to their work in maternal and child health. The workshop will offer an opportunity to address challenges and problem solve where challenges exist.

B5 – NutriSTEP® 2015: Collaborating to Build Healthy Children Through a Community Screening Tool
Candace Aqui
, NRC Consultant, Ontario Public Health Association, Nutrition Resource Centre
Joanne Beyers, Foundational Standard Specialist, Health Promotion Division, Sudbury & District Health Unit
Heather St. Bernard-John, Nutrition Promotion Consultant, Toronto Public Health

Nutrition is vital for support of optimal growth and development. Young children with nutritional issues are at risk for growth, behavioural and developmental problems. Screening to facilitate early action, where intervention may be less intensive and costly is a valuable tool in an effective primary health/public health care model. NutriSTEP® is a nutrition risk screening program that includes valid and reliable questionnaires for nutritional risk screening in toddlers (ages 18-35 months) and preschoolers (ages 3-5 years). In this workshop, participants will:

  • Hear about the NutriSTEP® program milestones to date both in research and in practice
  • Walk through the updated resources now available in the refreshed NutriSTEP® Implementation Toolkit
  • Learn about NutriSTEP®’s role in public health accountability and beyond
  • Discover the collaborations and partnerships that help make implementation successful
  • Gain insight into new developments for NutriSTEP®

In addition, participants will engage in groups facilitated by presenters to discuss the nuances of implementation and opportunities for working with potentially high-risk populations.

4:30 pm - Adjournment

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Aboriginal Networking Session

Friday, February 19, 2016

Concurrent Sessions C (1-5)

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

C1 Cultural Safety: Working with Aboriginal Peoples
Victoria Tenasco, Culture Coordinator, Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

Our Elders tell us that Cultural Safety is a system, a process. Cultural Safety is an outcome. It is related to cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity and cultural competence but moves beyond these as self-reflexivity is a vital building block to Cultural Safety. Found within the domain of understanding, it requires the service provider to acknowledge their own lens and how the lens impacts practice. The process of self-reflection often challenges personal biases and perspectives leading to safer care. The holistic and cultural approach used in the presentation is to empower you as a service provider on your learning journey. The workshop will provide you with wise practices needed to better the delivery of care and the tools to interact with Aboriginal Peoples in a way that decrease barriers while promoting understanding and finally to create safer spaces for Aboriginal Peoples to feel safe to be who they are and to feel they belong.

C2 – The Importance of Gestational Weight Gain for Both Maternal and Child Health
Dr. Kristi Adamo, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences and Faculty of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa; Founding Member, Healthy Active Living and Obsesity (HALO) Research Group, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (CHEO RI)

Recognizing that pregnancy is the most critical period of growth and development, this session will briefly touch on the developmental origins of health and disease and the contributions of maternal weight.  Specifically; what are the expectations/guidelines surrounding gestational weight gain, and what is the evidence supporting these guidelines.  Next we will discuss what can be done to mitigate excessive weight gain during pregnancy focusing on a tool recently developed in collaboration with the Canadian Obesity Network called the ‘5As of Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain’. This modified 5As framework is intended to help health practitioners discuss and manage gestational weight with their patients. This session will offer participants the opportunity to interact with one another, practice their patient engagement skills and subsequently identify strategies for implementing the 5As in their regular practice.

C3 – Navigating the Challenges of Becoming Baby-Friendly
Kristina Niedra, Project Manager, BFI Strategy for Ontario and City of Toronto MCIT Program
Linda Young, MScN, EdD, Director, Maternal Newborn Child Mental Health, Interprofessional Practice and Organizational Learning

From time to time, organizations may get stuck during a change process. Roadblocks are especially common in complex changes involving diverse stakeholders and multiple layers of practice change such as becoming Baby-Friendly. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to share and explore some of these challenges with colleagues who are involved in this work. Stories and case studies from a variety of organizations will be presented and discussed. Participants will also be invited to share their own challenges and to work with colleagues on identifying new ways to approach them. Participants will leave with new ways to navigate challenges that they may have experienced including a "getting unstuck" roadmap with takeaway advice and tools.

C4 – Positive Discipline - How to Support Parents and their Children
Louise Choquette, Bilingual Health Promotion Consultant, Best Start Resource Centre
Dr. Chaya Kulkarni, BA, M.Ed, Ed.D, Director, Infant Mental Health Promotion (IMHP), The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

This workshop is designed to help service providers intervene in a positive way with children and to help the parents offer similar positive discipline strategies to their children. It is a shortened version of the full-day regional workshops that were delivered across the province in the fall of 2015. The workshop will include information on the Best Start Resource Centre awareness campaign Children See… Children Learn.

C5 – Daddy and Me: On the Move
Brian Russell, Provincial Coordinator, Dad Central Ontario
Marie Brisson, Bilingual Health Promotion Consultant, Best Start Resource Centre

Sharing activities is a great way for dads and children to build a strong bond.  Daddy and Me: On the Move is a new booklet from the Best Start Resource Centre. It offers dads information about child development, the importance of doing activities with children, an overview of the different roles a dad can take and ideas of activities dads can do with their children age 0 to 6.

This workshop will give you exposure to the fundamentals of the father-child bond through activity sharing.  You will receive hands-on exposure to different activities fathers can to do with their children.  You will learn about key messages to build the most meaningful father-child relationship and ways to share these ideas with dads. Come prepared to have some fun!

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm - Lunch

Closing Keynote

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

K3 – "Mom, it's OK to be normal"
Dr. Vicki Van Wagner, RM, PhD, Member of Council, Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health; Associate Professor, Midwifery Education Program, Ryerson

In maternal and child health, more is not always better. This session will share activities underway at the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health (PCMCH) designed to promote a “systems of care” approach to maternal and newborn health services that promotes normal birth through innovation, standard care pathways, funding-reform and interprofessional practice. Through collaboration and adoption of system’s approach, PCMCH is aiming to create common ground across sectors and professions to advance a robust maternal care strategy in Ontario. The session should spark ideas and discussion on local, regional and provincial possibilities for quality improvement in client experience, outcomes and costs.

2:30 pm - Adjournment