The Secretariat for the Evidence Commission is housed at the McMaster Health Forum, known for its agility, collaborative spirit, and impact orientation. Our work builds from the COVID-19 Evidence Network to support Decision-making (COVID-END)—the world’s most trusted source of best evidence about the COVID-19 response and a partnership among 55 partners drawn from diverse evidence synthesis, technology assessment and guideline groups. Learn more about our connection to COVID-END below.
The secretariat included two scientific co-leads (John Lavis and Jeremy Grimshaw) and an executive lead (Jenn Verma), and many full-time and contract staff of the McMaster Health Forum (unless otherwise noted). Secretariat members played many roles over the life of the commission, including the following roles specific to the final report.
- John Lavis acted as the lead report writer and led the drafting and revising of the text (including text in visuals) and recommendations
- Jenn Thornhill Verma led the creative process of making the report’s visuals as engaging as possible and led much of the engagement with commissioners, advisors and funders
- Jeremy Grimshaw (from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute) helped shape the report and provided feedback on early drafts of key sections
- Kaelan Moat led many of the evidence reviews drawn on in drafting the text
- Kartik Sharma led many of the analyses drawn on in drafting the sections related to global commissions
- Hannah Gillis contributed to many of the analyses drawn on in drafting the sections related to global commissions
- David Tovey (a senior advisor to COVID-END) provided a synthesis of the papers that formed the foundation of section 4.12 (weaknesses in a health-research system) and provided feedback on select other sections
- Jorge Barreto (from Fiocruz Brasilia) supported the engagement of our Brazilian commissioner
- lleana Ciurea provided overall project management and coordinated the involvement of key staff at the McMaster Health Forum, including:
- Brittany Dinallo who provided marketing advice
- Cristian Mansilla who undertook the analyses of COVID-END database content drawn on in drafting select sections and who helped with checks of the Spanish translation of the report
- François-Pierre Gauvin who provided input to the citizen-related aspects of the report and who provided oversight of the French translation of the report
- James McKinlay who undertook the analyses of Social Systems Evidence content drawn on in drafting section 4.5
- Julie Baird who provided operational support
- Kerry Waddell who helped with citation management
- Paul Ciurea who helped with ensuring alignment between the Word and InDesign versions of the content
- Saif Alam who helped with citation data entry
- Sarah Holden who helped with some early graphic-design work
- Steven Lott who provided communications support
- Christy Groves led the graphic design of the infographics and other visuals and full report
- Amy Zierler led the initial report-editing process
- Sue Johnston led the final copy-editing process
The bios and contact information for many members of secretariat members based at the McMaster Health Forum can be found on the Forum’s website.
The secretariat benefited significantly from input from the COVID-END Advocating working group and from input received in its role as a cosponsor (with WHO) of the Cochrane Convenes event held in October 2021.