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John N. Lavis


John Lavis is relied on by policymakers and stakeholders in Canada and a broad range of countries internationally to harness research evidence, citizen values and stakeholder insights to strengthen health and social systems and get the right programs, services and products to the people who need them.

He founded and continues to direct the McMaster Health Forum and has now launched Forum+ to expand the Forum’s work into social systems and supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. He is committed to helping policymakers and stakeholders to: 1) learn how to make decisions based on the best available research evidence; 2) find evidence through the Forum’s own products and the best available sources of pre-appraised, synthesized research evidence (including the Forum’s Health Systems Evidence and Social Systems Evidence and the Forum-supported and citizen-targeted McMaster Optimal Aging Portal); 3) spark action through stakeholder dialogues, citizen panels and more; 4) embed supports for evidence-informed decision-making, by institutionalizing promising and proven approaches; and 5) evaluate innovations in supporting evidence-informed decision-making.

He is co-chair of the World Health Organization (WHO)-sponsored Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Global Steering Group, and a member of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region’s Advisory Committee on Health Research. He holds an MD from Queen's University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a PhD (in Health Policy) from Harvard University.

Other roles

  • Director, Forum’s Impact Lab and Forum+
  • Co-Director, World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Evidence-Informed Policy
  • Associate Director, Michael G. DeGroote – Cochrane Canada Centre
  • Canada Research Chair in Evidence-Informed Health Systems
  • Professor, Department of Health Evidence and Impact (HEI)
  • Member, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA)
  • Associate Member, Department of Political Science

Activities and outputs

Contact information

McMaster Health Forum
1280 Main St West, MML-417
Hamilton, ON Canada  L8S 4L6

McMaster Health Forum’s 
Impact Lab
Location: CRL-209

John recommends


2017 Graduate Student Awards: Forum Director and graduate student recognized for outstanding contributions

Oct 12, 2017|
The winners of the 2017 Graduate Student Awards have been selected and we're pleased to announce that two members of the Forum team are amongst those ... Read more


Ontario’s health system – key insights offered in interactive ebook

Aug 30, 2017|
Ever wondered how the Ontario health system works? You can find answers in our new ebook ‘Ontario’s health system: Key insights for engaged citizens, ... Read more


McMaster Health Forum programs

Learn more about the Forum's programs and opportunities to collaborate. Read more


Forum +

As Forum+, we’ve moved beyond the health sector to strengthen social systems and get the right social programs, services and products to those who nee... Read more