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Welcome to the SPARK Newsletter!

Delivered twice monthly, the SPARK: News e-bulletin provides members and other subscribers with valuable information through the following sections:

Leadership in Changing Times

Across the world, leaders are seeking a radically different health and care system for the future: one that addresses health inequity and builds sustainability, that regards patients and families as equal members of the care team, that improves the value of the contribution that healthcare service makes to health. This means confronting some big dilemmas for leaders at the heart of change; building new kinds of structures yet giving people power and autonomy; standardising care, yet personalising care; creating small changes that add up to big changes. In this provocative session, Helen Bevan will identify actions we can take to navigate the complex situations we face today in order to create a different system for tomorrow.

Register today for the full conference  
Hybrid event - Shaw Centre, Ottawa & Online
November 29 – December 1, 2022

Health Policies
If you are still undecided if you'd like to join #CHILDHEALTHCAN2022 in-person or virtually, rest assured the safety of all in-person attendees is of utmost importance to us! As a reminder, all conference attendees must show proof they have received 3 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during the onsite registration process, at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa. We are an inclusive organization and would like you to join the conference; if you are not vaccinated, we invite you to register to attend our conference virtually. Children’s Healthcare Canada is also requiring that all attendees wear a properly fitting mask while in the Children’s Healthcare Canada meeting space. Please visit our conference website to learn more about our Health Policies.
Sessions principales disponibles en français
Vous vous demandez si le contenu sera disponible dans votre langue principale? Nous sommes heureux de vous annoncer que les délégués, qu'ils soient en personne ou virtuels, auront la possibilité de profiter de tout le contenu de la scène principale en français grâce à la traduction simultanée!

Register Now
Children’s Healthcare Canada CEO Emily Gruenwoldt Testifies Before the House of Commons Committee on Health 

On November 15, 2022, Children’s Healthcare Canada CEO Emily Gruenwoldt was called to testify once again before the House of Commons Committee on Health (HESA). In this instance, the Committee was studying the impacts of shortages of over the counter analgesics for children. Ms. Gruenwoldt shared testimony speaking to the historic volume of patients visiting children’s hospitals across the country, and how the shortages of common pain-relieving medications in the community were exacerbating demand for emergency services. Ms. Gruenwoldt’s speaking notes can be found online. 

The Family Network is Seeking Your Input!

Children’s Healthcare Canada’s Family Network wants to understand how the pandemic has changed the way child health organizations engage, consult and partner with family partners. The results of this survey will be used to illustrate the current state of family partnership in Canada. The Family Network will use the results to guide recommendations to inform the design of an improved, innovative, and integrated future family engagement practices.

This survey is intended for family partners who have ever participated with their local children's/community hospital, children’s treatment centre, or research centre as a family partner in a project currently or in the past? (ie: committee work, focus groups, research partnerships, etc.). To maximize it's impact we ask you share with any family partners in your network 

Thank you for support! This survey should take 10-15 minutes and can be completed in English or French. Survey closes November 28. 

The Choosing Wisely in Paediatrics Health Hub invites you to join its upcoming Community of Practice Webinar.
As we emerge from the pandemic, the call for resource stewardship and appropriate healthcare utilization is now more critical than ever for children and youth.  This webinar will highlight opportunities for partnerships to advance and support Paediatric Choosing Wisely initiatives and appropriate resource utilization.  
Date: November 30, 2022
Time: 2:00-3:00 PM ET
Format: Zoom  
You must register in advance for this webinar: 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.  
To learn more about the goals of the Community of Practice or to view past webinars, please visit the Children's Healthcare Canada Hub.  To be added to the Community of Practice mailing list, please email
November SPARK Theme: Leadership
Nov 29 - Dec 1, 2022
Annual Conference
Energy, Optimism and Leadership: A Bright Future for Child Health in Canada

Visit our website for more info!

Watch Now
Creating Community Partnerships for Greater Equity and Access to Children’s Health 

Watch the Recording

Now Available
Community hospitals: Key to an integrated healthcare system for children and youth 

Listen Now

The Impact of Intergenerational Trauma and Stress Workshop

Research shows that BIPOC parents are 40% more likely to experience a Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder (PAMD). In this workshop, we will dig into the WHY. How can we better support BIPOC families? Did you know that Racism is an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE)?

Our recent survey of BIPOC parents across Canada showed that 59% do not know where to access perinatal mental health services.

How do we fill these gaps?

Join us for this one-hour recorded workshop with Dr. Stuart Shanker as we dig into the neuroscience of intergenerational trauma and it's impact on the brain to help you understand the answer to WHY BIPOC families are more likely to experience a PMAD. And most importantly, what you can do to better support these families.
It's crucial for service providers and those who work with parents and children to understand the impact of trauma, systemic racism, inherent biases and how each affects marginalized communities.
Suppose the link between trauma and outcomes in racialized and marginalized communities is missed. In that case, we miss the opportunity to make crucial connections that allow us to provide better, more empathic, and culturally sensitive care.

 Learn more and register online.
In Their Own Words – Reflections by Youth on the Pandemic

The Young Canadians Roundtable on Health, in partnership with The Sandbox Project, Healthy Debate and the Healthy Communities Initiative, are once again looking for youth ages 12 to 25 for the continuation of our project called “In Their Own Words - Reflections by Youth on the Pandemic.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge and lasting effect on the entire Canadian population. It dominates the national conversation. Many voices have been heard in the media, including health professionals, scientists, politicians, media personalities and other adults. Yet, there is one group whose stories have not been told, and whose perspectives have not been sought - Canada’s youth. This is in spite of the fact that youth will be forced to deal with the long term and lasting consequences of the pandemic.

We want to partner with youth from communities across Canada to provide a direct platform to share their experiences and stories about their educational experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Youth story submissions can be in any form including written pieces, visual art, music, video and/or audio. Youth who participate and are selected to showcase their story will receive monetary compensation ($60 honorarium) once the project is made live.

Visit the website for more information.

HEAL Launches a National Pan-profession Healthcare HR Survey

Children's Healthcare Canada is a member of HEAL, Organizations for Health Action. This is a coalition of 40 national health organizations in the public and private systems, dedicated to improving the health of Canadians and the quality of care they receive. Working together this coalition is able to advance issues and policies with a unified voice.
We know that Canada is in the midst of a healthcare human resource crisis across the system and this has been identified as a priority among members. HEAL is at the table with the federal government advising on short-, medium-, and long-term solutions. To support these efforts HEAL is launching a national pan-profession healthcare HR survey with a unique and specific focus on steps to improve retention within the sector.
The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Responses are anonymous and only analyzed in aggregated form to identify national trends. Findings will help HEAL develop specific recommendations and solutions on how to address the Healthcare HR crisis.
We strongly encourage you to share this survey with all care providers and to join your fellow healthcare professionals in having your voice included and experience represented.
Take the 10-minute survey now

English Survey
French Survey
The survey will be open until Friday, November 25, 2022. Thank you for your participation.
If you have any questions, please contact
Looking for a career in the healthcare community?

Do you know someone who may be a great fit for one of these roles? Please forward along the newsletter and help our friends and partners fill these roles.

Head, Department of Pediatrics | Queen's Health Sciences

Canadian Pediatric Cancer Consortium (CPCC) | Executive Director

Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) | Vice President, Child Development and Community Services

Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) | Director, Nursing Practice and Chief Nursing Informatics Officer

Check out the External Job Postings page on our new website.

Talking to Your Children About Cannabis 

National Addictions Awareness Week is November 20–26. To mark this, AboutKidsHealth is sharing information on talking to children about cannabis use.

It is important for parents to be prepared before having a conversation with their children about cannabis and to be prepared to answer any questions their children may have. Preparing for the conversation includes thinking about the time and place the conversation will happen and approaching the conversation in a non-judgmental way. During the conversation, be aware of body language including tone of voice, eye contact and avoiding crossed arms, and acknowledge any emotions that come up, such as fear or anger.
It is important to remind teens that it is illegal for anyone younger than 19 (younger than 18 in Quebec) to buy, use, possess or grow cannabis and its products in Canada. Ask teens what they know about cannabis and discuss the facts about short-term and long-term effects of cannabis use.

For more information about the effects of cannabis use and what is and is not known about cannabis and health and safety, please see the article
Cannabis: How to talk with your teen.

AboutKidsHealth is SickKids’ health-education website and features more than 3,500 articles on a range of health topics. For more information on cannabis and other health topics, visit

SPARK Newsletter Member Content

Children's Healthcare Canada members are invited to submit content (300-word submission with a banner image and URL link). If you are interested in posting an article, resource, or news via SPARK: News, please contact us at .

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