A Fruitful Gathering of Health Promoters – Alone we go faster, but together we go farther!

With Working Together, Moving Forward: a forum on healthy children, youth and families all wrapped up, the forum organizers (Healthy Start/Départ Santé, Health Promoting Schools Program, MEND, and Saskatchewan in motion) are very pleased with the participation and sharing that occurred in Saskatoon June 19th and 20th, 2014.  Thank you to the Réseau Santé en français de la Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan, College of Kinesiology for hosting the day and a half event.   The Forum brought together diverse sectors, key stakeholders and decision makers from across Saskatchewan as well as other provinces and focused on informing concrete actions for stronger partnerships aligned with provincial strategies and priorities. Thank you to the more than eighty participants who attended the Forum including provincial and federal government, health region and community representatives!

Here are some highlights – a featured motivational address by Dr. Louise Humbert, Associate Dean at the University of Saskatchewan College of Kinesiology gave insight into being physically active in a social media world and explained that being a partner means respect and working together.  Our keynote videoconference by Dr. Cameron Willis, Scientist at Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo, offered his thoughts on complex vs complicated partnerships – the key is measuring the impact of our partnerships.  The presentations by the four provincial organizing initiatives, all considered best practices in promoting healthy weights, helped set the stage on the great work in health promotion occurring in Saskatchewan.  And finally, the opportunity to showcase many unique organizations and their work through the “Pecha Kucha” format, helped stimulate conversation around improving our current practices, partnerships and sustaining our initiatives over the long haul.

So where does this forum leave us?  Did we achieve our objectives? We learned that these types of opportunities are a rare occasion; it was great to be able to bring forward such varied groups with common interests in promoting healthy lifestyles together.  We explored how our networks can better inform concrete actions by working together. We learned that working collaboratively and sharing our success stories and best practices across the province is useful and appreciated by all who participated.  We touched on core collective values that mean a lot to those who participated, like collaboration, sharing, empowerment, and transparency. What can we take away? Partnerships should be viewed as a critical success factor. They are messy and complex. We are all advocates. And it’s important to have fun!

Again, thank you to all who participated.  We acknowledge the funding support of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Saskatchewan in motion and the Réseau Santé en français de la Saskatchewan.  For more information on the forum please contact Gabrielle Lepage-Lavoie [email protected] or Amanda Clarke [email protected].

To access PDF versions of some of the PowerPoint presentations from the day and a half forum, please consult the following links:

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) presentation
Cameron Willis (Propel Centre for Population Health Impact) presentation
Healthy Start / Départ Santé presentation
Health Promoting Schools Program (Poster)
MEND presentation
• Saskatchewan in motion (Coming soon!)

Also, you can relive the action from the forum via this Twitter feed!

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