Celebrating the visionary leadership of Dr. Susan Denburg, Executive Vice-Dean and Associate Vice-President Academic

The Forum would like to thank Dr. Susan Denburg, Executive Vice-Dean and Associate Vice-President Academic, for her unwavering support over the past 14 years as she as she steps down from her position. Her leadership and vision will be missed.

Over her 45-year career at McMaster, Dr. Denburg has been firmly committed to initiatives that enhance innovative interdisciplinary health-related research and education. She served as Director of Collaborations for Health, a University-wide multi-year initiative that inspired the creation of the McMaster Health Forum in 2009. She then worked with the provost to secure our office and dialogue space in Mills Memorial Library and championed the Forum within the University, opening many doors to collaborators who wouldn’t otherwise have found us.

Perhaps most importantly, she provided the Forum with strategic advice at every major juncture in our 14-year history, including the development and launch of:

  • our stakeholder dialogue and citizen panel initiatives, which support collective problem-solving
  • the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, an easy-to-read, trustworthy source for healthy aging information
  • the Rapid-Improvement Support and Exchange (RISE) program, supporting Ontario’s health-system transformation
  • Health Systems Evidence and Social Systems Evidence, free tools to ensure policymakers and stakeholders have access to the best available synthesized research evidence
  • the COVID-19 Evidence Network to support Decision-makers (COVID-END), which helped decision-makers to find and use the best available evidence to address the COVID-19 pandemic
  • the Global Commission on Evidence to Address Societal Challenges, which is leading efforts to formalize and strengthen domestic evidence-support systems, enhance and leverage the global evidence architecture, and put evidence at the centre of everyday life.

She continues to oversee the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative, including the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, and champions the University’s commitment to aging as an institutional priority.

“We, and I in particular, will be forever grateful for Dr. Denburg’s support,” said John Lavis, Director of the McMaster Health Forum. “Thanks to her, we have moved farther, faster than we would have thought possible at each stage in our development.”

Read more about Dr. Denburg’s contributions to McMaster in the message from Paul O’Byrne, Dean and Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences.