CINI2018 opening session with (l-r) Victoria Lee, Fraser Health, BC Health Minister Adrian Dix, CINI2018 chair Arun Garg, SFU VP External Relations Joanne Curry and SFU Surrey Executive Director Steve Dooley.

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Health experts from Canada, India focus on social innovation, technology at CINI 2018

June 11, 2018
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Health experts from Canada and India converged on SFU’s Surrey campus over the weekend to share details on how innovation and technology are advancing health care in these countries.

Organized by the Canada India Network Society (CINS) and co-hosted by Fraser Health and SFU, the 3rd CINI conference (also held in 2014 and 2010) focused on Health Civil Society: Building links between Canada and India via Sustainable Health through Patient engagement, social innovation and technology.

The event aims to bridge efforts in both countries through the exchange of ideas and new collaborations. Among international participants were members of the Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin.

CINI 2018 Chair Dr. Arun Garg, an SFU adjunct professor and medical director of Fraser Health’s South Asian Health Institute, says as with past CINI events, the recommendations of leaders, experts, change agents and transformers will carve out new solutions to battling disease globally as their ideas move forward.

Health Minister Adrian Dix

Garg says the conference set out to “declare war on lowering the burden of diabetes, introduce mental wellness as prevention, inform on cross-cultural attitudes on end-of-life quality care, and provide holistic integrative modes of care, all with enhanced leadership, quality and best use of emerging technology.”

SFU advances in social innovation and alternative health practices were also shared by SFU faculty.

Senior lecturer Paola Ardiles’ students in Surrey are using technology to solve complex health issues through SFU’s Health Change Lab. For the past two years the lab, based in Surrey, has involved health sciences students in developing social innovation solutions that target food security, youth engagement, substance abuse and transportation for social activities for seniors.

Among alternative health practices, SFU health sciences professor John O’Neil is involved in a pilot project he and colleague Rachel Eni developed with the First Nations Health Authority, Tzu Chi Foundation and the Snuneymuxw First Nation to explore the feasibility of providing traditional Chinese medicine services to First Nations in BC. The project is a unique example of integrative medicine where traditional Indigenous and Chinese approaches to healing are offered together with western medicine.

“CINI 2018 will strengthen links in areas of research strength for both SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences and partner institutions in India,” says FHS Dean Tania Bubela, who serves on the event’s steering committee and also co-chaired a session on leadership and health. “We share a commitment to creating sustainable and equitable health systems that address the needs of our respective populations, including the most vulnerable in our communities.”