CINI 2014 deepened health dialogue, built links, provided action for transformation between Canada and India

Finance Minister Michael de Jong
At the post-conference delegate dinner with Finance Minister Michael de Jong.
THE 2014 Canada India Networking Initiative (CINI) Conference hosted by Canada India Network Society (CINS) and co-hosted by Fraser Health and Simon Fraser University deepened South Asian health dialogue, built links, and provided action for transformation between Canada and India. The focus of CINI 2014 was “Health and Civil Society” – where health, economic impact, and development were examined in the context of South Asian health knowledge, international development and wisdom sharing, and trade for better health.

“CINI 2014 was a great success. I was very pleased about the signing of the three memorandums and express gratitude for the contributions received at the conference. The conference provided an opportunity to provide global leadership in South Asian health and through its partners and sponsors, a networking forum for South Asian health services was possible. CINS will encourage continued future collaboration with all stakeholders present at the conference. These activities will not only bring significant benefits to the BC economy, but also make an effective contribution to health systems in both countries and improve multilateral capacity for health security,” said Dr. Arun Garg, Chair of CINI 2014 and CINS.

By the end of the three-day conference, three memorandums of understanding were signed, the facilitation of strengthening relationships of both countries, and the provision of a platform to discuss challenges in health for the South Asian population. While the scientific outcomes summary will be released in the next few weeks, there was a consensus among participants (leaders in academia, healthcare professionals, physicians, industry professionals and community members) that advocacy efforts need to be intensified and South Asian health become mainstreamed at national and international levels, including among public and private sectors operating in both countries.

“I want to offer my sincerest congratulations to conference Chair Dr. Arun Garg and all attendees of the highly successful 2014 Canada India Networking Initiative (CINI) Conference held June 19-22 at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel,” said Finance Minister Michael de Jong. “As a former Minister of Health in British Columbia, I recognize the importance of such a conference, particularly since it also included Fraser Health and Simon Fraser University. The agenda was outstanding, and I am certain everyone came away with a far great appreciation of the value of such international conferences.”

CINI 2014 had four sessions:

Session 1 highlighted allied health training. Specifically, the Government of India through Public Health Foundation of India’s establishment of a National and Regional Institution for allied health training. BCIT through its Health Sciences division highlighted their provision of knowledge transfer on standards and training requirements.

Session 2 focused on technology and its role in health and impact on economy. This session was supported by Innovation Boulevard – City of Surrey, Surrey Board of Trade, Simon Fraser University, Medtronic Canada, Roche Diagnostics Canada, University of BC, and International Trade BC.

Session 3 focused on the primary care program of Fraser Health and Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice. This session exemplified the leadership in an innovative model of management of chronic disease management.

Session 4 focused on the role and modernization of yoga within health care. This session highlighted the scientific basis of yoga in cardiac, metabolic diseases, and in mental health and addiction within the South Asian population. The session also highlighted the therapeutic use of yoga in these conditions.

“It is my pleasure to support the Canada India Network Society and all its members for helping to develop innovative programs and networking opportunities that support economic, cultural, and social links between our two countries. I applaud Dr. Arun Garg, Chair and President of CINS, and Dr. David Ostrow, President and CEO of Fraser Health, for their leadership in making this conference possible and bringing the importance of the forum’s theme, Health and Civil Society, to the forefront,” said Senator Asha Seth.

Highlights of the Conference:

* The Ministry of International Trade planned a preconference workshop with Life Sciences BC as co-host. The workshop was attended by CINI delegates and industry / business leaders from India and BC.

* The opening ceremony set the conference agenda and included the signing of a MOU for a landmark study to be launched between Surrey Innovation Boulevard, the Fraser Health Authority, the South Asian Health Institute and the Sagol Neuroscience Research Center of Sheba Medical from Israel. The joint research project will explore the links to diabetes that lead to dementia, with a focus on the South Asian population.

* An MOU between IC-IMPACTS and CINS was signed to collaborate in the development of conferences and workshops and will work to develop enhanced multi-sector partnerships in the areas of Public Health and Disease Prevention.

* Signature Fundraiser Banquet of 600 guests featured Pavi Mehta from the Aravind Foundation India as keynote speaker. As a storyteller who comes from a family of 25 eye surgeons who busted the myth that compassion is inherently at odds with efficiency, she shared a business model that defies the assumption that profitability and success demand narrow self-interest and that generosity threatens competitive advantage.

* The closing ceremony summarized next steps and featured provincial Finance Minister Michael de Jong and Senator Seth. It also included the signing of a third MOU between CINS and Sansar, a non-profit located in Ontario that focuses on promoting cardiovascular health for South Asians through community awareness, research, and education

* An open house of the South Asian Health Centre, a joint project of the Surrey-North Delta division of Family Practice and Fraser Health was the major public event of the conference on Sunday, June 22.

* CINI 2010 had a specific recommendation for the establishment of a South Asian Health Institute in Fraser Health, which was implemented in 2013 by Fraser Health. CINI 201 (Minnie Downey-Chair) included the signing of a MOU between CINSI and SAHC to further advance the relationship.

* An invitational international networking research workshop on South Asian Health took place on Monday June 23.