14 years of supporting evidence-informed policymaking

Over the past 14 years, the McMaster Health Forum has generated action on the pressing health and social issues of our time based on the best-available research evidence, as well as experiences and insights from citizens, professionals, organizational leaders, and government policymakers.

Since our 12-year anniversary report, we have extended our reach and accelerated our impacts by co-leading action-oriented networks at the provincial level (with RISE), national level (with COVID-END in Canada), and global level (with  COVID-END’s 50+ world-leading evidence-synthesis, technology assessment and guideline-development groups and with the Evidence Commission’s 25 commissioners, many citizen leaders and 35+ organizational partners). We have also introduced many new innovations (like rapid evidence profiles, horizon scans, and a visual redesign of our citizen panel products) while continuing to execute our existing programs to a very high standard.

Thanks to the dedication and perseverance of our talented team of staff and students, we’ve helped to make evidence, citizen values and stakeholder insights a regular part of the policymaking conversation in many parts of Canada and around the world. In recognition of our team members’ many achievements, we’re excited to highlight some key new roles and additions to our staff.

Mike Wilson is now the Forum’s Scientific Director, recognizing the integral role that he plays in our high-volume evidence synthesis and deliberative process work. Among other accomplishments, he is leading a CIHR grant on ‘Building a coordinated evidence-support system in Canada to inform policymaking about health and social systems’ and a new CIHR grant to conduct a living evidence synthesis about strategies to address misinformation. He also continues to lead an AGE-WELL platform grant on ‘Building technology-enabled, aging-focused rapid learning health systems in Canada’ that, in the coming year, will focus on efforts to join up innovation, research and evidence-support systems.

Kaelan Moat has expanded his role to Managing Director and Senior Scientific Lead, Evidence Products and Processes. This better recognizes his role not only in managing the development and implementation of our programs, but also his scientific leadership across a number of the Forums programs. 

As our Senior Scientific Lead, Citizen Engagement and Evidence Curation, François-Pierre Gauvin has been instrumental in re-evaluating our approaches putting evidence at the centre of everyday life.

Marcela Vélez has joined our team as our Senior Scientific Lead, Innovative Evidence Products and Spanish Outreach. She will help our work on supporting and strengthening evidence-informed policymaking and expand our network and impact in Latin American countries.

Kerry Waddell takes on a new role as Scientific Lead, Evidence Synthesis and Support to recognize the key role she plays in gathering, synthesizing and contextualizing evidence for the rapid response program, including living and rapid evidence profiles, rapid syntheses and evidence briefs. She also supports the Forum’s secretariat roles for select networks including RISE (leading the development of evidence products) and the Evidence Commission (supporting the first of three implementation priorities, namely to formalize and strengthen domestic evidence-support systems). In particular, she co-leads work at the provincial and territorial level and for select topics along with the Scientific Director.

Ahmednur Ali joins us as Scientific Lead, Equity-driven Evidence Support, and Editor of Health Systems Evidence. He will be working closely with our team to identify innovative ways to integrate equity considerations into its products and processes, with the aim of enabling government policymakers, organizational leaders, citizens and other stakeholders to make evidence-informed decisions that reflect an equity lens. 

We’re excited to see what the next year brings. Keep in touch through our e-newsletter, and engage with us on social media (Twitter | LinkedIn).