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Best Brain Exchange


In November 2017, the Canadian Institutes of Health in collaboration with Health Canada sponsored the “Best Brains Exchange” to ensure that Canadians living in rural communities have equitable access to health care services. Rural communities are defined as locations with a core population with fewer than 10,000 people and where less than 50% of the population commutes to larger urban centres for work. The Best Brains Exchange is an informal forum for interaction, exchange and mutual learning between researchers and decision makers in order to support and facilitate evidence-informed policy making.

The Best Brains Exchange was tasked with sharing research and implementation evidence to create an inventory of practical, cost-effective and innovative approaches that could be implemented over the next 10-15 years.


Invited panelists included:

  • Janice Keefe, Professor and Director, Nova Scotia Centre on Aging, Mount Saint Vincent University [presentation]
  • Samir Sinha, Director of Geriatrics, Sinai Health System and Associate Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto [presentation]
  • Grace Warner, Associate Professor, School of Occupational Therapy, School of Nursing, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University [presentation]
  • Paul Williams, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto [presentation]


They were asked to address the following key questions.

  1. What promising practices and activities exist that integrate home and community care with primary health care for elderly persons in rural Canada?
  2. What are the key characteristics of these activities and promising practices that enable rural seniors to stay in their homes longer?
  3. What are the critical lessons learned, including elements of success and common pitfalls, for integrating primary health care with home care and community care for seniors living in rural communities? 




The CRNCC is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Ryerson University
The HSPRN is supported by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC)