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September 26, 2008
Roy Romanow to present keynote at Determinants of Our Health symposium
Toronto Public Health (TPH) is partnering with the Centre for International Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at University of Toronto, and a number of other agencies to host a two-day symposium, October 30th - 31st, in celebration of 125 years of Public Health in Toronto.

“Determinants of Our Health: Toronto in a Global Village” will feature distinguished speakers, new research evidence and community dialogue on a range of topics related to themes set out in the recent report of the World Health Organization Commission on Social Determinants of Health.

The symposium’s keynote presenters include:
• Roy Romanow, the founding chair of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, on the vital importance of building a pan-Canadian initiative to measure and report on quality-of-life indicators that go beyond traditional measures such as the Gross Domestic Product
• Steven Johnson, best selling U.S. author of five books on the intersection of science, technology and personal experience. His most recent work is a thrilling account of one of the foundation stories of modern public health: “The Ghost Map: the Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic and how it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World”
• Margaret Whitehead, W.H. Duncan Chair of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Liverpool, and Head of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Policy Research on the Social Determinants of Health. Professor Whitehead’s focus is on the health equity impact of public policies and political context across the European setting. She will deliver the Charles Hastings Lecture in Public Health as the opening keynote.

Workshops will feature leading researchers and public health advocates exploring the interplay of issues that determine the health status of Toronto’s communities and populations: diabetes; mental health; economic hardship and income inequality; intervention strategies for community development; and the uses of evidence to shape public policy. More details are available at

The symposium will coincide with the opening on Oct. 30th of an exhibit at the Toronto Archives, “An Infectious Idea: 125 Years of Public Health in Toronto”. The opening reception for the exhibit will include presentation of the inaugural Public Health Champion Awards to two recipients, one individual and one agency.

Online registration for the Symposium is available at Fees are $125, professional and $25, student/low income. The symposium is being held at the historic Hart House and is supported by participation from the Centre for Research on Inner City Health (CRICH), the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Atkinson Charitable Foundation.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact: Anne Hillmer, Toronto Public Health Communications, 416-392-1494,



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