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Coast to Coast Seminar Series

The Coast to Coast Seminar is an hour-long presentation given on a scientific topic and made accessible to audiences at a number of remote sites through collaboration technology. C2C seminars are held every two weeks throughout the academic year alternating between the West Coast and the East Coast of Canada.

The topic of the Spring 2015 C2C seminar series is "The power of linked administrative health data for population health research: robust data and progressive data analytics".

Please contact us at if you want to attend one of these seminars.

The first lecture in the series will be broadcast on September 30, 2014

Details can be found at

January 20, 2015 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Coast to Coast Seminar Series - Border Air Quality Study: Does where you live affect your health?

Dr Michael Braer, Faculty of Medicine, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia


The Border Air Quality Study is a cluster of research projects that was designed to support the development of an international strategy for the Georgia Basin-Puget Sound airshed. The University of British Columbia’s efforts were focused on establishing cohorts to examine the impact of air pollution on birth outcomes, the development of childhood respiratory disease and adult cardiovascular health using multiple administrative health databases linked to geospatial environmental exposure information developed by the research team. Over 40 researchers from the University of British Columbia, the University of Washington and the University of Victoria were involved in the project which was funded by Health Canada.

About the Lecturer:

Michael Brauer joined the UBC faculty in 1991 in the Department of Medicine. He was an inaugural member of the Occupational Hygiene Program and served as Director of the School of Environmental Health from 2003-2008 and as as the Occupational and Environmental Health theme co-lead in SPPH from 2011-2014. He is currently Director of the Bridge Program, a strategic training fellowship program linking public health, engineering and policy. He also holds associate appointments in the Division of Respiratory Medicine and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC.

Dr. Brauer received bachelor’s degrees in Biochemistry and Environmental Sciences from the University of California-Berkeley (1986) and a doctorate in Environmental Health from Harvard University (1990). He was a visiting scientist at the Institute of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at Arhus University in Denmark (1991), at the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences at Utrecht University in The Netherlands (2000) and at the East-West Center in Hawaii, USA (2008). His research focuses on the assessment of exposure and health impacts of air pollution, with specific interest in air pollution and global health, transportation-related and biomass air pollution. He has participated in monitoring and epidemiological studies throughout the world and served on advisory committees to the World Health Organization, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the US National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada, the International Joint Commission and governments in North America and Asia. He is an Associate Editor of Environmental Health Perspectives and a member of the Core Analytic Team for the Global Burden of Disease.

February 3, 2015 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Coast to Coast Seminar Series - From late effects research to quality care: The Childhood, Adolescent, and Young Adult Cancer Survivor Program (CAYACS)

Mary McBride, Program Leader, The Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivor Program (CAYACS), BC Cancer Agency


The goal of this research project is to generate and transfer knowledge of late effects and care of young cancer survivors to optimize survivor and care outcomes.  
Key Objectives:
• Develop a resource for childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancer survivorship research
• Determine risks and predictors of late-occurring and long term medical problems
• Examine patterns and quality of (health) care in relation to these risks
• Transfer knowledge for change in (health) care policy and practice

About the Lecturer:

Mary McBride's research interests include childhood and young adult cancer issues, non-ionizing radiation as a cause of cancer, and cancer registries. She is a member of the Agency's Paediatric Tumour Group, a committee member of the Cancer in Young People Surveillance Program of the Public Health Agency of Canada, and a member of the C17 Canadian childhood cancer research group. She has served on committees for the Ethics Office of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. She was a member of an Expert Panel for the Royal Society of Canada in a review of potential health risks of radio-frequency fields from wireless communication devices (1999), and a member of an expert Advisory Committee for a National Tower Policy Review sponsored by Industry Canada (2005).

She is a member of several professional associations, including the Children's Cancer Group (COG) (a North-America-wide clinical research group for childhood cancer), and the International Society for Pediatric Oncology (an international professional society).

February 17, 2015 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Coast to Coast Seminar Series - The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project: Canada's Platform for Chronic Disease Prevention Research

Dr John Spinelli, Faculty of Medicine, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia


The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP) is a national, long-term study that will follow over 300,000 men and women for up to 50 years. The CPTP aims to investigate environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors related to the development of cancer and other chronic diseases. This cohort study has enrolled Canadians between the ages of 35 and 69 years old from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and the four Atlantic provinces. Participants have completed a baseline questionnaire and consented to future contact and linkage with administrative databases. Currently over 120,000 participants have also provided a blood and urine sample, and by 2017, samples will be collected from over 180,000 participants. The study has also collected baseline physical measurements on over 85,000 participants. The CPTP is by far the most ambitious and powerful platform ever created in Canada, and has been designed to be able to combine with other cohort studies around the world to answer questions on rare diseases or exposures. It will support novel, leading edge Canadian and international trans-disciplinary chronic disease research long into the future.

About the Lecturer:

John Spinelli is the Head of Cancer Control Research at the BC Cancer Agency, Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at Simon Fraser University. He is the principal investigator for the BC Generations Project, part of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, the largest health study ever undertaken in Canada.

March 3, 2015 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Coast to Coast Seminar Series - Quality and Costs of End-of-Life Cancer Care: The Effect of Homecare Nursing in Three Provinces

Reka Pataky, Health Economist and Data Lead Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control (ARCC)
Hsien Seow, Cancer Care Ontario Research Chair in Health Services Research, Escarpment Cancer Research Institute, McMaster University


Providing homecare nursing to cancer patients in the last months of life can potentially improve the quality and reduce the cost of end-of-life (EOL) care. Previous work in Ontario found a strong association between increased homecare nursing use and decreased risk of hospitalization in the last two weeks of life. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether the same relationship between homecare nursing and hospitalization exists across three Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia) for cancer patients in the last 6 months of life, and to extend the analysis to measure the relationship between homecare nursing and hospitalization costs. In this presentation some of the study's key findings and policy implications will be described. 

About the Lecturer:


March 17, 2015 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Coast to Coast Seminar Series - How do I love data? Let me count the ways … Using linked databases for work and health research

Dr Mieke Koehoorn, Faculty of Medicine, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia


The key focus of my program of research is the use of workers’ compensation claims data, linked to other databases, for policy-relevant research on work and health. As co-lead of the Partnership for Work, Health and Safety at the University of British Columbia and professor in the university's School of Population and Public Health, I will share examples of the contribution of research to informing workers' compensation policy and programs in British Columbia, Canada. Research examples include the surveillance of occupational injuries and cancers, the occupational epidemiology of cardiovascular disease among emergency workers, and the evaluation of compensation policies and procedures, including the effect of expedited surgical fees and private surgical clinics on work disability duration and the effect of faller certification on injury rates in the forestry sector. I also hold a research chair in gender, work and health and will discuss the importance of integrating sex and gender based analysis in workers’ compensation research. Finally, the talk will discuss the potential use of the linked health data for comparative research across compensation systems in Canada and with other jurisdictions.

About the Lecturer:

Coming soon

March 31, 2015 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Coast to Coast Seminar Series - Primary Health Care Utilization Care for Alcohol-Attributed Diseases in British Columbia

Amanda Slaunwhite, University of Victoria


In the past 5 years there has been a renewed focus on the importance of primary health care to reducing health inequities through regular screening and health promotion counselling that work to detect illnesses early in their development and address negative health behaviours among patient populations. The importance of primary health care to the identification of persons at risk of developing mental and physical health conditions is highly apparent in relation to alcohol consumption, which is a significant contributor to premature mortality in Canada. Previous research on health care use and alcohol consumption in BC has focused on secondary and tertiary level services that are accessed by only a small proportion of all at-risk drinkers in the province. The purpose of this project was to address this significant knowledge gap by measuring variations in general practitioner visits for alcohol-attributed diseases using physician-billing data from 2001-2011.

About the Lecturer:

Amanda Slaunwhite is a Research Affiliate of the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia. Her research contributions have focused on identifying new and emerging methods for answering some of the most important health services issues in the area of mental health, including how to improve access to services in rural and remote places. She has contributed to projects at the BC Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Canadian Policy Research Networks, Queen's University, the Social Planning Council of Kingston and Area, Dalhousie University, and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.