skip to main content

John N. Lavis


John Lavis is relied on by policymakers and stakeholders in many countries to build capacity to clarify health-system problems and their causes, frame options for addressing these problems, and identify implementation considerations. His research focuses on how to support the use of research evidence in health policymaking, both in high-income countries like Canada and in a broad range of countries internationally. He founded and continues to direct the McMaster Health Forum, including its Impact Lab. He founded and oversees the continuous updating of Health Systems Evidence, the world’s most comprehensive, free access point for high-quality evidence about how to strengthen or reform health systems, or how to get cost-effective programs, services and drugs to those who need them. He also founded and oversees the periodic expansion of Health Systems Learning, which combines online and face-to-face learning opportunities for health system policymakers and stakeholders about how to find and use research evidence and how to set agendas and develop and implement policies. He leads one of the five teams contributing to the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, which provides the world’s best research evidence about optimal aging, specifically packaged for citizens, clinicians, public health professionals and policymakers. 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 Advisory Committee on Health Research.

He holds an MD from Queen's University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a PhD from Harvard University.

Other roles

  • Director, Forum’s Impact Lab
  • Canada Research Chair in Evidence-Informed Health Systems
  • Professor, Department of Health Evidence and Impact (HEI)
  • Associate Member, Department of Political Science
  • Associate Director, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA)
  • Adjunct Professor of Global Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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


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