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PAHO’s Advisory Council of Health Research hosted by the Forum | machealthforumfellowfiles

11/10/12 2:08

machealthforumfellowfiles NOVEMBER 9, 2012 · 2:30 PM

PAHO’s Advisory Council of Health Research hosted by the Forum

Students and PAHO guests mingle during the speed-mentoring session

The McMaster Health Forum recently hosted the 45th annual Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Advisory Council of Health Research (ACHR), a three day event. Students affiliated with the Forum, the student subcommittee, as well as the greater McMaster community, were able to benefit from this unique, once in a lifetime opportunity which brought many great researchers and professionals in global health to McMaster’s campus. As a Forum Fellow, I was very much in the thick of the planning and execution of a number of events organized around the main ACHR meeting, and could not have been more excited about the first day of the conference when the Forum hosted three big events open to students and the Hamilton community at large. The first event was an afternoon speed-mentoring session hosted by the student subcommittee at University Club. This was the second speed-mentoring event the student subcommittee ran this year, and we were lucky to have 16 of the esteemed PAHO guests volunteer their time to participate. In a speed-mentoring session students are able to speak, individually or in groups of two, with a single health professional, to ask questions about their work, how they got to where they are today, and what path their careers took. Groups rotate every eight to ten minutes and therefore as a student you have a chance to speak http://machealthforumfellowfiles.com/2012/11/09/pahos-advisory-council-of-health-research-hosted-by-the-forum/

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PAHO’s Advisory Council of Health Research hosted by the Forum | machealthforumfellowfiles

11/10/12 2:08

with many participants. The responses of the health researchers provided students with insight into how to navigate a career in the health field. PAHO participants in attendance brought a diverse representation of careers, including medical doctors, specialists, academic and clinical researchers, lawyers, and health communicators. If you are a student interested in a career in the health field, I cannot urge you enough to attend a speed-mentoring event, if given the opportunity, as they are valuable ways to learn not only about different professions, but also to reflect on your own ambitions and assist you in discovering where you fit in the healthcare system puzzle. The second event was an evening lecture, titled ‘Health in the Americas: Charting our progress’ given by Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, the director of PAHO. This event packed the lecture hall with an equal mix of students and professionals, gathered to hear from Dr. Roses, in her tenth and final year as director of PAHO. Her presentation (which, might I add, was accompanied by a colourful, hip and engaging Prezi presentation) was, as the name suggests, a reflection of the health in the Americas for the past ten years, but also provided interesting insight into the future direction of health in the Americas. The slides from the presentation are available here via the Forum website. Finally, there was a digital art exhibit associated with the PAHO ACHR conference, which was showing in the Lyons New Media Centre (thanks to the partnership between Lyons and the Forum) for all three days of the conference. When I first heard of the exhibit, ‘Art for Research’, I was a bit skeptical as to how artists would be able to communicate research (which, let’s face it, isn’t the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of art) in an artistic and engaging way. However, after attending the launch of this exhibit, and seeing the exhibits first hand, I can assure you that the artists, Theo Chalmers, fine art photographer and Jane Dempster, documentary photographer, not only succeeded in communicating important and impactful research developments through images, but also in creating beautiful, intriguing and very unique art. The exhibit consists of two components: ‘Shaping the World’ is a striking exhibition of photographic portraits that invite the viewer to explore the stories behind some of the most influential changes in health, development and innovation, and ‘Research on the Move’ captures success stories from Latin America that came about as a direct result of health research. The art can be viewed here. As a final reflection of the PAHO ACHR conference held at McMaster, I feel it is important to note how kind and friendly all of the PAHO guests were. The guests, from all over the Americas, brought an energy and excitement to the Forum that rivals, though on a much smaller scale, the enthusiasm that fills campus during welcome week at the beginning of September each year. Their friendliness and inclusivity of students such as myself was very appreciated, and their effort to engage students in conversation surely made the three day event more enjoyable for all.

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PAHO’s Advisory Council of Health Research hosted by the Forum | machealthforumfellowfiles

11/10/12 2:08

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Students comment on 45ACHR at McMaster  

The Student's media reports on the events sorrounding PAHO's Advisory Committee on Health Research

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