April 2019, Dr. Fran Scott, Acting Director, MIHE and Associate Professor (PT), Departments of Family Medicine and Health Aging and Society, McMaster University attended the 23rd World Conference on Health Promotion in Aotearoa, New Zealand. This event was co-hosted by the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand and the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (www.iuhpe.org), and is a major global health conference, held every two to four years.
The central theme of the conference was the indigenous Māori concept of Waoira, which, in the words of the conference organizers, refers to the interconnectedness of our physical and spiritual worlds with our own environment. The primary goal of IUHPE 2019 was to foster an opportunity to establish the contribution of health promotion to the health and well-being of the planet and humanity. Moreover, the 2019 conference also demonstrated the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and highlighted how the SDGs contribute to health and well-being. It set the direction and intent of the conference, attracting health promoters of all horizons (researchers, practitioners and decision makers) and their partners from all relevant sectors to Rotorua, the first city to be bi-lingual.
Fran had the opportunity to engage in the poster circle session, Making Way for Equity in Curricula, where she presented the MIHE abstract, titled, Creation of an Institute for Health Equity and Policy at McMaster University. Fran underscored the key tenants and value of the new McMaster Institute for Health Equity (MIHE), explaining that the Institute will push for better interdisciplinary understandings of the social, economic, cultural, political, and bio-physical forces that lead to inequities, known as “the causes of causes”, as noted by Sir Michael Marmot. During this poster session, Fran cultivated a dialogue amongst attendees which embraced the utilization of evidence-based, collaborative, and interdisciplinary action on health inequities.