McMaster Health Forum and WHO partner to strengthen health systems and inform health policy

Recognizing the valuable contributions made by the McMaster Health Forum over the past four years, the World Health Organization (WHO) renewed the Forum’s designation as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Evidence-Informed Policy for another four-year term. In this capacity, the Forum will continue to design and coordinate plans for advancing the priorities of WHO and its regional office in the Americas (the Pan American Health Organization) in the field of supporting evidence-informed policymaking. The re-designation will present the Forum with many ongoing opportunities for extending the reach and impacts of its innovative initiatives to ensure that the best available evidence is incorporated into decisions on health system policies around the world.

"The Forum aims to harness the best available evidence, engage the best people and strive for excellence in all we do,” said Forum Director John Lavis. “As such, we look forward to continuing our collaboration with WHO and PAHO to extend the reach and impacts of our innovative initiatives to support evidence-informed policy.”

Among the projects undertaken during the past four years, the Forum has worked with WHO to support, monitor and evaluate Evidence-Informed Policy Networks (EVIPNet) in dozens of countries around the world, and with PAHO to integrate Health Systems Evidence into the EVIPNet Virtual Health Library. Health Systems Evidence is the Forum’s renowned, continuously collection of the world’s best evidence about strengthening health systems and getting cost-effective programs, services and drugs to those who need them.

The Forum — a cross-university initiative that extends McMaster’s global reputation from evidence-based medicine to evidence-informed health systems, and from problem-based learning to collective problem-solving — and WHO will continue to co-ordinate activities in several areas of common interest.

The two groups plan to continue to co-operate on initiatives such as organizing stakeholder dialogues about pressing health challenges, building capacity for evidence-informed policymaking, and contributing towards institutional strengthening within WHO member states.

About PAHO
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), founded in 1902, is the world’s oldest international public health agency. It provides technical cooperation and mobilizes partnerships to improve health and quality of life in the countries of the Americas. PAHO is the specialized health agency of the Inter-American System and serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO). Together with WHO, PAHO is a member of the United Nations system.

About the McMaster Health Forum
The McMaster Health Forum aspires to be recognized as a leading hub for improving health outcomes through collective problem solving. For concerned citizens and influential thinkers and doers, the Forum harnesses information, convenes stakeholders and prepares action-oriented leaders to meet pressing health challenges creatively.

Building on McMaster's tradition of evidence-based medicine and problem-based learning, the Forum draws on an unparalleled breadth of synthesized evidence to empower stakeholders to set agendas, take well-considered actions and communicate the rationale for actions effectively. The Forum’s innovative methods have earned recognition at the local, regional, national and international levels, and contributed to its designation as the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Evidence-Informed Policy.

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For more information:
Steven Lott
Senior Lead, Communications
McMaster Health Forum
1.905.525.9140 Ext.22121