Health and Wellness: Complex, Not Just Complicated
Full-time, 15 credits (DIAL 390W, 391W, 392W)
Canadians take healthcare seriously and see our universal system as a key component of our national identity. Although perceived as universal, the connected beliefs that the system covers everyone equally and provides excellent health care are misplaced. Commonwealth Fund rankings put Canada at 10th out of 11 countries surveyed, including Australia, New Zealand, France, Sweden and the UK. Only our neighbor to the south has poorer performance.
Why don’t Canadians perceptions match the reality? What implication does this have for transforming our health and wellness systems? What can and should be done to address quality, sustainability, universality?
Healthcare uses the largest portion of our provincial tax dollars and like most large systems, transformation is fiendishly complex. The economics of healthcare demand some form of rationing, human biology and behavior are intricate, and the organizing principles on which healthcare is based were developed in a different era.
The Spring 2018 Semester in Dialogue will explore solutions to health and social care challenges through dialogue, as well as a framework focused on complex adaptive systems. We’ll use dialogue and systems thinking as a substrate to examine the nature of health, inequalities, delivery of health care, and the boundary between health and other societal issues. The course will probe the complexities of health and wellness systems that correspond with our values and ethics while being effective and financially stable.
Specific themes that may be explored with thought leaders and through assignments and projects include:
- Mental health and addiction
- Aboriginal health and wellness
- Aging, dementia and home and community care
- Precision health and personalized medicine
- Disability and Diversability in the community
- Obesity and chronic disease prevention
Students will develop solutions appropriate for complex problems, and present them to appropriate stakeholders as well as publicly through a dialogue event they will develop and facilitate.
Course runs Monday through Friday 9:30-3:30
ABOUT THE COURSE INSTRUCTORS
Dr. Diane T. Finegood is an experienced research leader and strategic thinker with an excellent track record of heading national and provincial health research organizations. She served as President & CEO of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (2012-2016) and inaugural scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (2000-2008). Diane is currently a Professor in the Centre for Dialogue and Semester in Dialogue at Simon Fraser University.
As a bridge-builder and systems thinker, she has successfully facilitated the needs of disparate stakeholders to carve out common ground for effective dialogue, collaboration and outcomes. Diane is also an internationally recognized researcher whose work and expertise range from cell biology, physiology, and mathematical modeling, to population and public health, health policy and knowledge translation. She has received a range of awards, which reflect her impact as a leader, scientist, partner and mentor.
Mark L. Winston is Professor and Senior Fellow at SFU's Centre for Dialogue. He has had a distinguished career researching, teaching, writing and commenting on bees and agriculture, environmental issues, and science policy. More recently, he has utilized dialogue in classrooms, corporations, non-profit organizations, government, and community settings to develop leadership and communication skills, conduct strategic planning, inspire organizational change, and thoughtfully engage public audiences with controversial issues. Winston's work has appeared in numerous books, commentary columns for the Vancouver Sun, The New York Times, The Sciences, Orion magazine, and frequently on CBC radio and television and National Public Radio. His research, communication, and dialogue achievements have been recognized by many awards, including the Manning Award for Innovation, Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy, British Columbia Gold Medal in Science and Engineering, Academic of the Year, Eve Savory Award for Science Communication, Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion, a prestigious Killam Fellowship from the Canada Council, election as a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada, and the 2015 Governor-General's Literary Award for Nonfiction, for his book Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive. Dr. Winston is a Professor of Biological Sciences and was the Founding Director of the Semester in Dialogue (2002–2014) and the Centre for Dialogue (2006–2014).
Robert A. Daum is Fellow and Lead in Diversity and Innovation at SFU’s Centre for Dialogue. He is a senior consultant for universities and government on institutional strategic change, public engagement, diversity, equity and inclusion, innovation in teaching and curriculum, leadership development, and conflict management. A researcher-practitioner in complexities of ideas, institutions, and cultures, he regularly moderates public programs on social issues. Dr. Daum is a Collaborator-Facilitator in www.diversitycircles.ca, an applied research project funded by BCIT’s first-ever SSHRC award, which supports BCIT’s faculty and staff in effectively engaging with increasingly diverse students through an Indigenous framework, beginning with the School of Public Health and the School of Business. He is Chair of The Laurier Institution and a founding Director of Reconciliation Canada. Dr. Daum is a member of the UBC Strategic Plan Steering Committee and the editorial board of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation’s refereed journal, Directions. He co-convened the Intercultural and Civic Engagement Strategy Group for the Vancouver Immigration Partnership. A Collaborator on two UBC-led, SSHRC-funded humanities research projects, Dr. Daum co-leads an international, interdisciplinary research consortium. His work has appeared in leading academic journals, and he has presented his research at international conferences in Canada, China, France, Spain, Sweden and the United States.