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Like each of you, COVID19 has dramatically impacted virtually every aspect of our lives and work. The past year is one that has stretched us in every way imaginable, and which has led us to change course and to delve into new areas of research.  We all look forward to a time when COVID19 does not dominate our thoughts, careers, home life and discussions. Before we do that, and as we continue to grapple with the realities of the pandemic, it is important to reflect on what we have observed and learned, what insights those lessons have resulted in, and how we can plan the way forward so that Canadians benefit and so that the health system is strengthened and made more equitable.

Virtually CAHSPR 2021 (#VCAHSPR21) provides us an opportunity to do exactly that with the vibrant and engaged health services and policy research community across Canada. Join us for 3 exciting days of sessions.

The program begins with a much-needed discussion about equity in Canadian healthcare. We are thrilled to welcome a panel of internationally known thought leaders.  Dr. Beverley Essue, Dr. Naheed Dosani, Dr. James Makokis and Ms. Sue Robins will engage in a not to be missed discussion led by Dr. Diane Finegood that will explore the experiences of vulnerable citizens and marginalized populations during COVID19 and beyond. The time is now for recognition of the inequities that are experienced in the health system and for a new way of thinking about healthcare in Canada.

We received more than 500 submitted abstracts and the Scientific Committee has put together a program of concurrent sessions that is broad, diverse and relevant to the research community. The calibre of research you will access at Virtually CAHSPR 2021 is excellent and is sure to generate insights that will contribute to the evolution of health policy and health services across the country. Along with the concurrent sessions, we have a great array of poster sessions that will be available throughout the conference for your review.

We have curated a series of special sessions to choose from; ranging from the experience in long term care, through work in the research community related to impact assessment, to how to better leverage the full participation of patients and caregivers in research programs. We will also be hosting a moderated dialogue centred on a “wicked” question that will no doubt be stimulating and will set the stage for future dialogues post conference!

The Hall Laureate, Dr. Jeffery Turnbull, will deliver his lecture and will build on the discussion about equity in healthcare from the opening session. Dr. Turnbull is a well known, and much-admired physician who now leads Ottawa Inner City Health as medical director.

Closing the conference will be a session dedicated to the path forward for care of the aging in Canada. Mr. Andre Picard along with Dr. Carrie Bourassa, Dr. Malcolm Doupe, Dr. Colleen Flood and Dr. Nathan Stall bring their insights about our experiences during COVID with aging Canadians and how these experiences have pointed to the way forward for care. This is a session you won’t want to miss.

There is much more to enjoy during the conference that cannot be fully described here; awards, special announcements and opportunities to network with colleagues, sponsors and friends. If you are a member, you can avail yourself of the special member registration rate, and if not, there is still time to purchase or renew your membership. This year’s event is Patient’s Included™ as we welcome a broad range of attendees and participants so that we have inclusive and robust conversation around these important topics.

Virtually CAHSPR 2021 will be an event to remember. Mark your calendars now, and register to attend here.