Program and Registration



This program has been accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Saskatchewan Chapter for up to 14.75 Mainpro-M1 credits.

This program has been accredited by the Addictions Professionals Association of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Addictions Counsellors Certification Federation for up to 13 Addictions Counselling Core Specific credits.

This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and accredited by the Division of Continuing Medical Education, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan for up to 14.5 MOC credits.


10:20 a.m. – Keynote Presentation
Childhood: The Ideals and Realities – Anna Mazurik, Logan Martin-Arcand, Sarah Grummett, Drama Students, University of Saskatchewan; Dr. David Butler-Jones, Senior Medical Officer and Atlantic Region MO, Health Canada

This session will present a dramatization of the life experiences of three young adults and engage the audience in considering the impacts that childhood experiences have on development and trajectory into adulthood. Dr. David Butler-Jones, who has extensive experience both nationally and provincially, will respond to the stories. We thank the Drama Department, University of Saskatchewan, for its cooperation in planning this session.

1:00 p.m. – Workshops and Concurrent Session
Workshop A
What Do Educators of Young Children Need to Know About the Impact of Stress on Brain Development? – Debbie Thompson, Senior Policy and Program Consultant, Ministry of Education

There are many negative effects on day to day living and even long term health effects when adults are faced with high levels of stress, but are you also aware that stress, whether due to trauma or ongoing adverse circumstances, has a negative effect on children as well?

This session will provide an overview of current research on the impact of stress on the brain development of young children with the majority of the session focusing on how educators in early learning programs or others who work with young children can respond to this information to reduce stress levels for children. Information will be shared and explored about providing environments and activities for young children which ensure a healthy level of stress and which build resiliency in children.

Workshop B
Preventing FASD in an Alcogenic Culture: Relationship, Contraception, and Alcohol Practices of 20somethings – Danna Ormstrup, Executive Director, Foothills Fetal Alcohol Society

The FFAS hosted round-table conferences of over thirty women from May 2014 – March 2015, collecting commentary on women and alcohol from women aged 20-29. We are indebted to their frankness and were shocked by many of their stories. This presentation will depict the collected qualitative data, giving participants a sense of the cultural and social realities these young women noted as connected to their alcohol and contraceptive behaviours. We will discuss feminist theories in order to deepen our understanding of the issues they brought to our attention.

Themes of the workshop include the evolution of alcohol consumption and contraception for women, stereotypes surrounding female drinking and sexual practices and behaviours, and the alcohol industry’s targeting of female consumers. Workshop participants will hear anecdotes from the intimate discusions with 20somethings about their alcohol, contraception, and relationship experiences. These anecdotes will be used to spark conversation and encourage a critical evaluation. An intersection between real social commentary and feminist theory will be used to critically evaluate our society’s perceptions of women, contraception, and alcohol, and discuss what this may mean for FASD prevention and awareness.

Workshop C
“My Curious Brain” (Book, Curriculum and Song): Emotional Regulation Strategies for Parents, Daycares, Schools, and Therapists – Rhonda Berard, Supervisor, KidsFirst Program; Lana Larson, KidsFirst Program

Have you ever wondered how to teach Children and Caregivers about brain development? KidsFirst (Yorkton) and Community partners have created a 3-part resource for Caregivers, Daycares, and other helping professionals that introduces a thoughtful way of talking about neurobiology and how the brain functions. This workshop provides an introduction to how the brain is built and explains how it can affect behaviour. The three parts include a story, curriculum, and song. Recently, there has been a great deal of research on neurobiology; however, this wonderful information is often inaccessible to parents and caregivers. This resource is one way to put the research into the hands of Caregivers and Children, putting theory into practice. This can be a starting point for children and caregivers, providing a meaningful way to understand what’s going on inside their brain. When children and parents have a greater understanding of how their brain works, they will then know how to support their child and help create a healthy brain.

This story speaks about how three characters work together to form a healthy and growing brain. Paul McLean’s Truine Brain Model (1973) offers us a user-friendly foundation to discuss how the brain works and the different responsibilities that each area of the brain has. Throughout the story the areas of the Truine Brain are represented by a dinosaur (brainstem), mischievous monkey (limbic system), and a wise owl (neocortex). The curriculum was developed by the Yorkton KidsFirst team to go inside the home and deliver the emotional regulation concepts in an engaging way. The language gives children understanding of their brain, and caregivers an opportunity to see their child’s behaviour from a different perspective. The story is meant to spark children’s curiosity about how their brain works and provide caregivers with the tools to support their children’s brain health. The workshop offers a variety of exercises for both parents and children that will calm the monkey, and allow the wise owl to work in harmony with the rest of the brain.

Concurrent 1A
Aboriginal Maternal Mental Health and Resilience – Angela Bowen, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan

Maternal mental health is a serious problem for childbearing women and their families. Aboriginal women are at higher risk for depression, related to their social vulnerabilities. Nurses have an opportunity to promote maternal mental health and resilience. This presentation discusses the prevalence and risk factors for maternal mental health problems in Aboriginal women in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. It will also relay recent research experiences promoting resilience and positive childbearing with Aboriginal maternal mental health researchers in Australia.

2:00 p.m. – Workshops (continued) and Concurrent Session
Concurrent 2A
ENRICH First Nations – Richard Oster, Senior Research Coordinator, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta
Perceptions of Weight Gain during Pregnancy in First Nations Women in Saskatchewan and the 5As of Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain – Rhonda Bell, Full Professor, Division of Human Nutrition, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Alberta

Richard Oster will provide an overview of an ongoing community-based research project aimed at improving pregnancy-related health in collaboration with a large First Nations community in Alberta. The ENRICH Program encompasses a series of studies aimed at ultimately promoting health and healthy weights in pregnancy and postpartum, and includes an Aboriginal focus (“ENRICH First Nations”). Rationale, approaches, experiences, and progress to date of ENRICH First Nations will be discussed.

Rhonda Bell will discuss the 5As for Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain framework. The Canadian Obesity Network convened a working group of nurses, midwives, primary care physicians, obstetricians, researchers, and policy makers to adapt the 5As of Obesity Management for pregnancy. This modified 5As framework, which identifies five Key Principles of healthy pregnancy weight gain, is intended to help health care providers discuss and manage gestational weight with their patients.

3:30 p.m. – Workshops (continued) and Concurrent Session
Concurrent 3A
What’s on Mom’s Plate? A Voucher Intervention to Address Low Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Vulnerable Pregnant Women – Joelle Schaefer, Graduate Student, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan; Donna Nelson, Registered Dietitian, Food for Thought and Healthy Mother Healthy Baby Programs, Saskatoon Health Region

The Healthy Mother Healthy Baby Program (HMHB) is part of Primary Health Care within the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR). Its primary purpose is supporting vulnerable pregnant women within the SHR to have the healthiest pregnancies and babies possible. In September 2014, the program, which has been running since 1983, undertook a new and innovative nutrition intervention. It partnered with CHEP Good Food Inc. to provide participants who enroll in the HMHB program over a one-year period with vegetable and fruit vouchers. The vouchers were provided bi-monthly, in addition to milk vouchers already being distributed. There is a significant gap in the research regarding vegetable and fruit voucher initiatives in the Canadian context. The program staff partnered with the Public Health Observatory and the University of Saskatchewan to evaluate the impact of the vegetable and fruit intervention with HMHB clients. The study consists of pre- and post-intervention data collection to determine effectiveness of the intervention, in addition to describing the nutritional status and household food security of participants in the HMHB program.

This presentation will consist of the following components:

  • Discussion of the Healthy Mother Healthy Baby Program including a history of the program, design and unique features of the program, an examination of dietary habits and demographics of clients, and past successes of the program.
  • Discussion of current literature of fruit and vegetable voucher interventions, preliminary results of the study including significant quantitative findings from the study, how these results will guide the qualitative data collection and future considerations.

This collaborative partnership has allowed for a unique opportunity to study the dietary habits of pregnant women who live in conditions at risk. This investigation will add needed research to the Canadian literature.

8:30 a.m. – Keynote Presentation
From Research to Action – Examining the link Between the Early Years, Population Health and Health System Performance – Jean Harvey, Director, Canadian Population Health Initiative (CPHI); Dr. Julie Kryzanowski, Deputy Medical Health Officer, Saskatoon Health Region

The early years of life are crucial in influencing a range of health and social outcomes across the life course. Many challenges in adult society – mental health problems, obesity/stunting, heart disease, criminality, competence in literacy and numeracy – have their roots in early childhood. All of these add to the burden and cost to society, including the health system. The social determinants of health are central to such challenges that Canadian children face with respect to their health. This session will highlight findings from a pan-Canadian comparison of vulnerability rates in children and highlight research being done in Saskatchewan along with promising interventions. There will be discussion with the audience on how best to intervene in the early years to make a difference.

10:15 a.m. – Workshop and Concurrent Sessions
Workshop D
Building Developmental Assets in Children: The Power of Relational Connection – James Conway, Search Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota

This interactive workshop will introduce Search Institute’s framework of developmental assets and the implications of that research for those who work with children. The session will explore the power of positive relationships in shaping young lives and simple strategies for building the kind of adult-child relationships that matter.

Concurrent 4A
Interactive Health Promotion Practices to Engage Youth – Jackie Eaton, Sexual and Reproductive Health Program Coordinator, Saskatchewan Prevention Institute; Róisín Unsworth, Youth Action for Prevention (YAP) Program Coordinator, Saskatchewan Prevention Institute

Many youth experiment with risky behaviours which may include substance use or unprotected sexual intercourse. Research indicates that youth who consumed drugs or alcohol prior to having sexual intercourse were less likely to use a condom, making them vulnerable to contracting sexually transmitted infections and/or having unplanned pregnancies (Ministry of Health, 2009). There are many other health risks (e.g. mental health issues, addictions, and violence) that are linked with the misuse of alcohol which in turn can lead to a high risk lifestyle.

Two areas of focus at the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute that are of key importance to youth are prevention of alcohol-related harms (including the prevention of FASD) and the promotion of sexual health. The goal of the Institute is to provide youth with the information necessary to understand the impact their current lifestyle choices make on their future health. Youth engagement is a key measure in health promotion and has resulting positive health outcomes. This session provides an overview of youth engagement and shares examples of strategies and resources to encourage the meaningful participation and sustained involvement of youth so they can make informed decisions about their alcohol use and sexual health.

Participants will have an opportunity to try out clicker technology while participating in discussions throughout the session.

Concurrent 4B
The Impact of Maternal Mental Health Concerns on Early Childhood Mental Health – Lee Hinton, Health Promotion and Education Coordinator, Saskatchewan Prevention Institute

Approximately 10% of mothers experience postpartum mental health concerns, although this number may be higher due to underdiagnosis. Postpartum mental health concerns impact every aspect of a mother’s life, including her body, mind and spirit; her extended family; friends; partner; and her baby.

This presentation will explore the impact of maternal mental health on the mental health and development of babies and infants. Particular focus will be placed on attachment and brain development.

Concurrent 4C
Building Partnerships to Reduce Crime: HUB and Community of Responsibility (COR) Model for Community Safety and Wellness – Matthew Gray, Building Partnerships to Reduce Crime, Ministry of Justice, Government of Saskatchewan

Identified as one of four cross government strategies under the Saskatchewan Child and Family Agenda (SCFA), Building Partnerships to Reduce Crime (BPRC) is the province’s strategy directed toward building safer and healthier communities throughout the province. This is achieved by breaking down silos and bringing together Police and Human Service agencies to work towards innovative, unique, and research-based approaches. Emerging at the forefront of this evidence based risk-driven, collaborative approach to community safety and wellness is the BPRC Hub and Community of Responsibility (COR) Model.

Several innovative projects have been implemented across the province, both large and small in scale. Working with the communities, the BPRC’s goal is to drive change in the way crime and victimization is approached: to look at it not just as a policing issue, but as a social wellness issue and to really address those individuals in need.

The Hub process mobilizes cross sector resources for immediate, coordinated, risk driven and pre-emptive response to individuals and families experiencing acutely elevated levels of risk, as recognized across multiple service providers. The role of the COR is to engage in collaborative analysis of Hub data and other recognized trends and data sources which serve to inform the identification of high value opportunities for systemic change.

11:15 a.m. – Workshop (continued) and Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 5A
Maternal Health and Well-being: Why it Matters for Fetal and Child Health – Megan Clark, Research and Evaluation Lead, Saskatchewan Prevention Institute; Krista Kaminski, Perinatal and Infant Health Coordinator, Saskatchewan Prevention Institute

This session will focus on the importance of maternal health and wellbeing, and increase understanding of the ways in which maternal health and environment influence fetal and child health and development. Topics covered will include the importance of maternal healthy weight, oral health, and environmental health during pregnancy.

Emerging research in these areas has underlined the importance of maternal health and well-being for the developing fetus, the newborn, and for the long-term health and development of the child. Maternal obesity and excessive gestational weight gain have been found to have impacts on birth outcomes as well as the long term health of the child, specifically the tendency towards overweight and obesity and associated health concerns. Maternal Oral Health can impact the mother’s health during pregnancy, may contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes, and can influence the child’s oral health within the first year of life. Exposure to environmental toxicants during pregnancy can influence fetal and child development and lead to health issues later in the child’s life.

We will review the current evidence regarding the impact of maternal health and well-being in each of these areas, as well as provide ideas of how to address each of these issues with pregnant women and their supports, including highlighting promising tools and approaches.

Concurrent 5B
Ouch! A brief Introduction to Child Injury Prevention – Kate Dunn, Child Injury Prevention Program Coordinator; Travis Holeha, Child Traffic Safety Program Coordinator

This session will provide an understanding of injury prevention with a specific focus on childhood injuries. Kate and Travis will examine current childhood injury trends in Saskatchewan. They will also provide an overview of specific programs such as “The Child Traffic Safety Program” and the “E-Learning Child Injury Prevention Curriculum”.

Concurrent 5C
Baby’s Best Start Prenatal Program – Veronica Hawley, Public Health Nurse, Five Hills Health Region; Erin Hewitt, Public Health Nurse, Five Hills Health Region

The primary purpose of prenatal care is to improve and maintain the health and well-being of mothers, babies, and families. Traditional prenatal classes do not always appeal to or meet the needs of at risk populations. Many of these families experience barriers to accessing prenatal education, care, and nutrition during their pregnancies.

The overall goal of “Babies Best Start” (BBS) is to reach and support vulnerable pregnant women and families that may not have access to or may be under-served by mainstream health services. Our focus is to build on strengths within individuals in order to build confidence and capacity to grow a healthy baby and family. We utilize a holistic approach, recognizing the correlation between the multiple challenges and barriers the families of BBS experience. These barriers often include: low-income, mental health issues, cognitive impairments, low literacy level, insecure access to food, low social support, and a history of substance abuse. We practice facilitation, not instruction, and understand that basic needs should be addressed before parenting issues can be solved. We have established partnerships with other disciplines in order to provide better integration of services, referrals to other community agencies, and a client-centred circle of care.

This presentation will provide the attendees with an overview of the BBS program and the opportunity to utilize and implement a similar model of care in their community. It is our hope that by sharing the successes and challenges we have encountered within our program with other health care professionals, they will return to their home communities and advocate for similar programming.

Strategies for interactivity will include a formalized case study. Opportunities for discussion and questions will be provided throughout the presentation.

1:15 p.m. – Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 6A
Population and Public Health: Early Years Health and Developmental Strategy: 2013-2016 – Melissa Kelsey, Early Years Health and Development Strategy Coordinator, Healthy Families Department of Population and Public Health; Dr. Julie Kryzanowski, Deputy Medical Health Officer, Saskatoon Health Region

The 2012 report of the Chief Medical Health Officer on the health status and development of young children (Healthy families + healthy communities = healthy children) found that 30% of Saskatoon Health Region children were not ready to learn by the time they reached kindergarten. Given that early child development is foundational for a lifetime of health and well-being and that Population and Public Health (PPH) services play a key role in early development, in 2013 the Early Years Health and Development Strategy (EYHDS) was developed. The EYHDS promotes population health by focusing on early child health and ensuring that services provided by PPH are equitable. The EYHDS was informed by an earlier project team report and encompasses four key pillars: 1) Establish strategic targets and monitor progress; 2) Promote intersectoral action for healthy public policies; 3) Improve access to early childhood services; and 4) Protect health and prevent illness in early childhood. Each pillar has a series of goals and objectives. Actions in each of these key areas will help to improve the number of children that are ready to learn by kindergarten in our communities.

This presentation will provide a broad overview of the EYHDS and the initial stages of the formative evaluation process. The presenters will share the historical development of the Strategy, PPH current activities and planned interventions. There will be a discussion on the evaluation methodology and data findings, including the use of client feedback to inform the ongoing adjustment of the strategy. The challenges of applying a health equity lens to the strategy to ensure consideration of programs and services that are available, accessible, acceptable, and of a high degree of quality will be explored.

Concurrent 6B
Maternal and Infant Environmental Health: What Do Health Professionals and Service Providers Need? – Megan Clark, Research and Evaluation Lead, Saskatchewan Prevention Institute; Melanie Bayly, Senior PhD student, Culture, Health, and Human Development Program, University of Saskatchewan; Kirstian Gibson, Masters student, University of Saskatchewan Reproduction Lab

It has become evident that environmental exposures affect human health and development. The prenatal and infancy periods are especially vulnerable to these potential effects because of the critical stages of development that the fetus and infant go through. As well, certain characteristics of older infants and children make them particularly susceptible to exposures.

Prospective and current parents desire to be informed about possible risks and what they can do to limit potentially harmful exposures. Health care and service providers play an important role in informing the public about how to protect the health of their families, but this role is challenging, as the information is often unclear, conflicting, and evolving. They need to understand the current best evidence and how to frame it in the context. They need to be able to provide the message in a way that acknowledges the uncertainty but allows for informed decision making, while not creating harm. This is not an easy task.

The role of the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute is to support health and service providers with needed information, education, and resources. As a first step in this area, a Needs Assessment is being conducted. The purpose of this Needs Assessment is to determine the education and information needs of health care professionals and service providers who work with families planning a pregnancy, pregnant women, and families with young children. The information gathered from this project will be used to inform the development of resources and educational opportunities in order to facilitate the provision of accurate and helpful information regarding the impact of environmental exposures on the health of pregnant women and their offspring and how best to eliminate or mitigate such risks.

In this session we will review the latest evidence and the Needs Assessment findings, and invite input into how to proceed.

Concurrent 6C
Popping the Bubble Wrap: Promoting Risky Play for Child Health – Mariana Brussoni, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Most of us have memories of childhoods with long hours spent outdoors and away from watchful eyes of adults. Injury prevention efforts and fears for children’s safety have had a large influence on childhood. The childhood of today looks very different, with more time spent indoors, supervised, in structured activities, and in front of screens; and with allowance for outdoor play time and risk taking. The effect of these rapid lifestyle changes are just beginning to be understood. This presentation will explore the myriad of pressures limiting children’s outdoor play time and research examining the influence on children’s health and development. Participants will consider what can be done to restore balance and be provided some tools for talking to parents, educators, and others about the importance of risk taking.

Concurrent 6D
A Healthy Collaboration for Early Years Policy Adoption – Eat Well, Play Well and Healthy Start/Depart Sante – Gabrielle Lepage-Lavoie, Healthy Start Project Manager, Réseau Santé en Français de la Saskatchewan; Rhonda Teichreb, Regional Early Childhood Development Facilitator, Kelsey Trail Health Region; Louise Verklan, Primary Health Care Manager/Facilitator, Kelsey Trail Health Region; Angie Stevenson, Director, Stepping Stones Daycare, St. Brieux, SK

Now is the best time to incorporate healthy practices in early learning and childcare centres. Communities, parents, and early learning practitioners are looking for innovative ways to increase physical activity and healthy eating in the daily lives of the children in their care. This presentation aims to demonstrate how collaboration and partnership has increased opportunities for physical activity, healthy eating, and staff wellness in the early years. The adoption of healthy practices can be a daunting and challenging experience, but with the help of motivated individuals and organizations, many childcare centres in Saskatchewan are moving towards healthier practices and environments every day.

The presentation will feature some of the key stakeholders making a difference. The session will begin with a presentation from an early childhood director discussing her role as a health and wellness champion in her centre and throughout North East Saskatchewan. Secondly, presenters from Eat Well Play Well, Together We are Better, an intersectoral working group in North East Saskatchewan will showcase their work in rural communities to support, motivate, and influence healthy practices in licensed childcare. Finally, a segment on how Healthy Start/Départ Santé is providing training and support to increase healthy opportunities in early learning settings.

The shared vision and collaboration of these presenters has already influenced changes in awareness, practices, and policy in early learning environments in Saskatchewan. The collective impact of this partnership continues to gain momentum in moving forward the discussion on best practices that will impact the health and wellbeing of children in the province.

The issues surrounding childhood obesity are a serious public health concern. The tools and means are available to tackle this problem. Collaboration at a community level – sharing enthusiasm and excitement around adopting long-term healthy practices in the early years is only the beginning!

The presentation will include two interactive components with conference participants. First, there will be a group participation in a LEAP/HOP activity to create awareness on how easily educators, health care providers, and community members can incorporate physical activity in the daily routine of young children. Second, there will be a small group discussion and an opportunity for sharing strategies for the adoption of long-term healthy practices in early learning environments. There will also be a brief brainstorming exercise focused on identifying the key elements necessary for successful policy change: a) at the grass-roots level (in early learning and childcare environments); b) at the institutional level (Early Childhood Educator program); and c) at the decision-maker level (Ministry of Education, Early Years Branch); followed by a large group sharing of major themes.

2:15 p.m. – Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 7A
What is Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting? – Tanis Shanks, Nobody’s Perfect Parenting Program Coordinator, Saskatchewan Prevention Institute

Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting (PDEP) is an approach to parenting that teaches children and guides their behaviour, while respecting their right to healthy development, protection from violence, and participation in their learning. PDEP is appropriate for parents of children of all ages. It is based on research in children’s healthy development and effective parenting, and founded on children’s rights and principles. Neither permissive nor punitive, PDEP helps parents find long-term solutions that develop children’s own self-discipline and lifelong skills. It focuses on teaching non-violence, empathy, self-respect, human rights, and respect for others. Developed as a primary violence prevention program by Joan Durrant, PhD (University of Manitoba) and Save the Children Sweden, PDEP is being delivered on a non-profit basis in several Canadian provinces, and in 30 other countries. Participants in this workshop will be introduced to the approach and current findings on its impact will be presented.

Concurrent 7B
Unpacking the Health and Nutritional Risks of Newcomer Children – Virginia Lane, Senior Policy and Program Consultant, Medical Services Branch, Saskatchewan Health

This presentation will summarize research that the presenter undertook to characterize health and nutritional concerns among immigrant and refugee children and to identify opportunities for intervention. This study evaluated the health/nutritional status of newcomer children through a cross-sectional analysis of 299 participants aged three to thirteen years who have been in Canada for less than five years. Overall, the study results indicated that newcomer children are at risk for food insecurity, vitamin D deficiency, and poor dietary practices; while immigrants are at increased risk of obesity and obesity related diseases. These findings suggest opportunities for enhanced health promotion, disease prevention and screening activities with newcomer children, pregnant women and their families, as well as opportunities to develop supportive environments through community collaboration.

Concurrent 7C
“If They Never Take Risks, They Won’t Develop”: Fathers’ Perspectives on Child Injury Prevention – Mariana Brussoni, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Injuries are a leading cause of child death and safety interventions frequently target mothers. Fathers are largely ignored despite their increasing childcare involvement. Qualitative interviews with 64 families in BC and Quebec investigated fathers’ and mothers’ perspectives on balancing children’s risk engagement and child injury prevention. Most couples disagreed on acceptable levels of risk and safety and perceived men as more comfortable with risk than women. Three negotiation patterns emerged: fathers as risk experts; mothers countering fathers’ risk; and fathers acknowledging mothers’ safety concerns but persisting in risk activities. Contemporary fathering practices privileged men’s involvement in play with children and their perspectives on risk taking. Implications for injury prevention practice will be discussed and include the need for incorporating fathers’ views and the interdisciplinary evidence regarding children’s developmental need for risk taking.

Concurrent 7D
Advocate for Children and Youth: Using Children’s Rights to Advocate to Advance the Health and Well-being of Saskatchewan’s Children, Families, and Communities – Connie Braun, Investigator, Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth; Meredith Newman, Regional Advocate, Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth (SACY)

The Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth’s vision is that the rights, interests, and well-being of all children and youth are respected and valued in our communities as well as in government legislation, policy, programs, and practice. Using a rights-based lens, we advocate that prevention and early intervention services should be widely available, so all children get a good start in life.

Often, children are vulnerable due to risk factors in their families, such as poverty and its related conditions, intergenerational trauma, developmental disabilities, mental illness, addictions, and family violence. Many children and their families are reached too late, when they are facing major challenges that are difficult to overcome.

The Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth’s ability to advocate for better programs and services for children, youth, and their families is increased by a comprehensive understanding of the factors that put children at risk, grounded in the social determinants of health. In this way, we can help identify systemic issues, and advocate that governments and agencies address the root causes of these risk factors in legislation, policy, programs, and practice.

3:30 p.m. – Keynote Presentation
Engaging Families Using a Strength-based Approach – James Conway, Search Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Too much of today’s conversation about families is about what’s wrong with them: failures and problems as well as vulnerabilities and stresses. While the challenges and changes facing families are real, the keynote will review new research suggesting that using a strength-based approach to engaging, supporting, and empowering families can go a long ways in helping them to cope and even thrive.

8:30 a.m. – Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 8A
Stand by Your Plan: Empowering Families to Prevent Fires – Heather Sinclair-Birns, Program Facilitator, Regina KidsFirst program; Angela Prawzick, Public Education Officer, Regina Fire and Protective Services; Candace Liskowich, Public Education Officer, Regina Fire and Protective Services

Four children nearly died in a recent fire in Regina. These children were eleven, four, three, and two years old. The fire destroyed their home. The fire was started by the three year old playing with a lighter.

Every community experiences fire safety issues. Fires destroy lives and property. A total of 2,762 fires occurred throughout Saskatchewan in 2011. These fires resulted in 10 deaths and $555,624,411.00 in direct property loss. Organizations have tended to work independently to try and address these fire risks with their clients. However, a partnership between KidsFirst Regina and Regina Fire and Protective Services shows that, by working together, organizations will be more effective and successful in decreasing unintentional fires, fire-related deaths, and the devastating impact these have on families. There has been a significant decrease in fires started by children in the community as a result of the education provided.

As front line staff tasked with the responsibility of providing support to families, part of that work is ensuring families are safe. We don’t have to do it alone. We can tap into expertise that already exists within our communities. Effective and appropriate partnering will strongly motivate the families in our programs to take ownership of their own fire safety risk, and empower them to keep themselves and their children safe from fires. This learning at an early age will carry on throughout a lifetime, and will be passed on to future generations.

Concurrent 8B
Saskatchewan Child Abuse Protocol: Prevention? Public Education? – Ailsa Watkinson, Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina

This session will provide an informed critique of the merits and problems associated with the new Saskatchewan Child Abuse Protocol (2014). Child physical punishment is the most common form of violence against children and is linked to broad and enduring personal and societal harm. The United Nations has defined physical punishment as “any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light.”

The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate, using current research embedded in human rights principals, the harm caused to children by permitting the continuation of child physical punishment. Examples will be given of how other nations have dealt with this issue. The presentation will identify how we might work together to influence policy and create environments for lifelong health and well-being.

Participants will be given the opportunity to brainstorm how to move forward in a concerted effort to change attitudes toward child physical punishment based on work/evidence already available in this area.

Concurrent 8C
Regina Early Years Family Centre: Making a Difference – Lynda Gellner, Early Years Family Centre Site Developer and Instructional Consultant, Regina Public Schools; Mary Ann McGrath, Executive Director, Regina Early Learning Centre and Co-Chair, Early Years Family Centre Working Group

The Early Years Family Centres provides free drop-in resource programming for children ages 0-6 along with their caregivers. They are places to play, interact, and learn; make connections with other parents, caregivers and families; participate in child/parent as well as adult focused programming; and meet with healthcare, educational and community professionals.

The four focus areas of service at the Early Years Family Centre are Early Learning, Parenting Education, Family Wellness and Support, and Information and Referrals.

  1. Early Learning: The outcomes for children under this area of focus are to have positive play experiences and participate in advance programming.
  2. Parenting Education: The outcomes for parents under this focus area are enhancing parenting skills so that children develop in nurturing environments.
  3. Family Wellness and Support: The outcome in this area is the improvement in overall family health and wellness.
  4. Information and Referrals: The outcome being to link families to supports to help them raise healthy children.

The Early Years Family Centre concept emerged as a response to community awareness and concern for young children and their families. The research, analysis, and results of Understanding the Early years (UEY) Project, data from the Early Developmental Instrument (EDI), and Parental Interview and Direct Assessment of Children Survey (PIDACS) led to the development of a community action plan.

Concurrent 8D
Straight From the Horse’s Mouth – Danna Ormstrup, Executive Director, Foothills Fetal Alcohol Society; Pam Henheffer, Team Leader, Family Response Program, Foothills Fetal Alcohol Society

The Foothills Fetal Alcohol Society has been in both rural and urban centers for over 16 years, constantly updating information, designing prevention campaigns, and developing opportunities to promote their vision “Response Today for a World without FASD tomorrow”. The learnings from this work have led to insights from a variety of experiences that shape the Society’s work today.

By combining an examination of past, present, and future campaigns from a variety of sources, the participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to discuss attitudes and beliefs about pregnant women who use substances, and will also have some time to think about ways to promote alcohol-free pregnancies within their own communities.

9:30 a.m. – Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 9A
Working Holistically with Pregnant Women and Families in our Community – Donna Strauss, Executive Director; Jolene Furi, Prenatal Outreach Worker, Community Action Program for Children; Gabrielle Ermine, Prenatal Outreach Worker, FASD Strategy; Crystal Clarke, Prenatal Outreach Worker, FASD Strategy; Allison Gamble, Prenatal Outreach Worker, Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program; Rose Alcock, Prenatal Outreach Worker, Parenting Mentoring Program of Saskatchewan – Family Futures, Inc.

A panel of staff members will present the programs and services available through Family Futures, Inc. Programs will be discussed in detail, expanding on the voluntary nature of services and the popularity of the program within the community of Prince Albert. The panel will present the success of our program, including the challenges and successes of working holistically. Staff will explain how their work ties in with our goal to provide each family the opportunities to give their children the best possible start in life.

Family Futures, Inc. is a registered non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to providing support and services to pregnant women and families with young children to enhance their health and well-being. Working in partnership with other organizations in the community to bring forward families’ concerns and needs, Family Futures, Inc. works towards building a healthier community for all families.

The voluntary nature of the programs offered makes us strong advocates for our clients. When clients self refer, they are empowered to use the services and quickly develop a trusting relationship with staff as they welcome them into their homes. Participants quickly see that staff are there to help, they know we will not do more work for them than they are willing to do for themselves, and we help support them to find their own voices as parents, as women, and as human beings.

Time will be given during the session for questions and answers. In this way, it is hoped that participants will be able to integrate some ideas into their own workplaces.

Concurrent 9B
When to Suspect Child Maltreatment and What to do About it – Dr. Juliet Soper, Pediatrician, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region

Professionals and front-line community practitioners, at some point in their practice, will be confronted with children whom they suspect are being maltreated in the family or another setting. This concurrent session will provide an overview of the signs and symptoms that should cause the practitioner to suspect child maltreatment. Further, the session will provide a discussion on ethical and critical decision making that will provide a beneficial outcome for the child. Brief cases studies will be offered.

Concurrent 9C
The Importance of Early Childhood Development in the Saskatoon Region – Colleen Christopherson-Cote, Community Partnership Facilitator, Saskatoon Early Years Partnership; Terry Lowe, Director of Community Programs, Catholic Family Services

Saskatoon has a rapidly growing demographic of pre-school age children. Unfortunately, as many as one-third of these pre-school children live in disadvantaged conditions, characterized by poor housing, low socio-economic status, inadequate parenting, and poverty. The result of these conditions during all developmental stages is poor health, behavioural and emotional problems, insufficient learning opportunities, and a general lack of learning readiness. At-risk, vulnerable children are found in all types of families; from low socio-economic groups to middle class families where parents are consumed by the demands of their work.

The main purpose of the Saskatoon Regional Intersectoral Committee (SRIC) is to work towards removing barriers and closing gaps through interagency cooperation and collaboration and to reduce duplication in the delivery of human services. In 2012, the SRIC commissioned Garven & Associates to produce a briefing about early years’ supports and services in the Saskatoon Region. This report indicated 6 strong research rationales for Early Years’ Investment and 7 recommendations for action.

It is the purpose of this presentation to outline the work leading up to, and including the formation of the Saskatoon Early Years Partnership (SEYP). The work done to date will be highlighted, including how the SEYP has created a conduit for communities and partners to share information, influence policy, and identify preventative, upstream ideas that take into account the social determinants of health in programming, services, and policy development. The focus remains to improve the overall health and wellbeing of families, their children, and their communities.

Concurrent 9D
Taking Care of Yourself While Caring for Others – Donna Bowyer, Friends For Life Provincial Director, Canadian Mental Health Association

With a hectic life we are pulled in so many directions. We care for family, friends, clients, and their families. Their needs seem to be so important that we often don’t take the time we need for ourselves. In my presentation, I will be talking about when we leave ourselves for ‘later’, we are not helping others by not taking time. In fact, ‘later’ often never comes. We will look at some barriers and some strategies to make sure we take care of ourselves. We need to not just be managing our life but thriving. What we ultimately want is Happiness, in our home life and our work life.

This presentation will provide a broad overview of the EYHDS and the initial stages of the formative evaluation process. The presenters will share the historical development of the Strategy, PPH current activities, and planned interventions. There will be a discussion on the evaluation methodology and data findings, including the use of client feedback to inform the ongoing adjustment of the strategy. The challenges of applying a health equity lens to the strategy to ensure consideration of programs and services that are available, accessible, acceptable, and of a high degree of quality will be explored.

10:45 a.m. – Closing Plenary
You Make a Difference – Tom Hierck, Consultant/Author, British Columbia

Education is about people working and learning together. It is about building relationships with each other in an effort to create a learning community. How we treat each other and the way we interact with one another will set the tone for everything else we do.

This presentation is about building trust in relationships. It is based on the premise that we make a difference in the lives of others by creating a positive climate that is conducive to collaborative learning for all. It is one thing to say that we should be part of a learning community, but it is another thing to translate that into action.

How we treat each individual matters. The behaviours that we model and expect make a difference. The depth of our tolerance and height of our expectations set the tone. The adaptations and accommodations we make for individual differences, at both the low and high end of the spectrum, create opportunities for success for all.

Tom will tie together the themes of the conference and send participants home with a message of hope and a belief in their individual and collective capacity to make a difference.


Rose Alcock
Rose Alcock – Concurrent 9A

Rose Alcock is the Parenting Mentoring Program of Saskatchewan’s Prenatal Outreach Worker. Rose has been with Family Futures for 1 year and has a background in Social Work and Addictions.

Melanie Bayly
Melanie Bayly – Concurrent 6B

Melanie Bayly is a senior PhD student in the Culture, Health, and Human Development Program at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research is focused primarily on maternal and reproduction-related experiences, beliefs, and values. Melanie has a strong interest in research which can increase the capacity of health care providers and others to support the needs of women prenatally, during labour and delivery, and in the postpartum, and their endeavors as mothers. In line with this perspective, Melanie believes in the importance of educating women on reproduction and parenting-related issues and concerns, in ways which are supportive and empower women to be able to make informed decisions about their own health and that of their child/ren.

Rhonda Bell
Rhonda Bell – Concurrent 2A

Rhonda Bell is a professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences, at the University of Alberta. She has a long-standing interest in promoting maternal-child health through optimal dietary intake and nutrition. Rhonda’s research group conducts studies with humans and in animal models to examine the interactions between maternal nutritional intake in pregnancy, particularly refined sugars, and the long-term health of mothers and their offspring. Most of her work focuses on health outcomes related to increased adiposity, insulin resistance, impaired insulin secretion, increased risk of diabetes, and compromised nutritional intake.

Some of the recent studies Rhonda has been involved with include a large pregnancy cohort in Alberta (Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON)), a study of sugar intake during pregnancy (Sweet Moms), and studies promoting health and healthy weights in pregnancy and postpartum (ENRICH). Rhonda has more than 70 peer-reviewed research publications and is interested in applying results from her findings in different ways to make a difference to women and their care providers.

Rhonda Berard
Rhonda Berard – Workshop C

Rhonda Berard has been working in the field of Early Childhood for over a decade. She has been a Supervisor with the KidsFirst program for 13 years and teaches Early Childhood Education courses at SIAST for the past 8 years. Much of her work focuses on understanding early childhood development within the context of family systems. Her passion is supporting parents and professionals to understand that early childhood brain development is at the center of why children do what they do. Information from the book “My Curious Brain”, accompanied with activities and music, will provide participants with an interactive way to learn and future facilitate discussion with others about this important topic. Rhonda is a parent, teacher, coach, facilitator, and advocate for Early childhood while at work and within her personal life. She is currently active in her role of Chairperson on a daycare board and parenting a vibrant, energetic young son.

Angela Bowen
Angela Bowen – Concurrent 1A

Dr. Angela Bowen is a Registered Nurse and a trained midwife with a PhD in Community Health and Epidemiology. She has extensive clinical, educator, and administrator experience in obstetrics and mental health. Her research focus, Maternal Mental Health, brings these areas together.

Donna Bowyer
Donna Bowyer – Concurrent 9D

Donna Bowyer has been with the Canadian Mental Health Association for almost 25 years, working with people with life experience of mental illness, their families, and friends. She also works with businesses, organizations, schools, and government agencies. She is a certified trainer in Mental Health First Aid, ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), SafeTALK, SuicideTALK, Tattered Teddies, Straight Talk, and a trained facilitator for Living Life to the Full, and through the Grief and Loss Institute. She is married with four adult children, living in Moose Jaw, and is a part of the clubhouse sandwich generation, with boomerang children.

Connie Braun
Connie Braun – Concurrent 7D

Connie Braun is an Investigator with the Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth, where she conducts investigations of critical injuries and deaths of children and youth receiving services from child-serving ministries. In this role, she works to advance the rights, best interests, and well-being of all children and youth in Saskatchewan. Connie has many years of experience as an investigator, previously working with the Saskatchewan Ombudsman, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, and the Correctional Service of Canada. She has undergraduate and master’s degrees in sociology from the University of Saskatchewan, and is a member of Sturgeon Lake First Nation.

Mariana Brussoni
Mariana Brussoni – Concurrents 6C and 7C

Dr. Mariana Brussoni is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and with the British Columbia Injury Research & Prevention Unit. She is a developmental psychologist investigating parents’ perceptions of children’s risk engagement and safety, the influence of nature-based challenging play on child health and development, and promoting developmentally appropriate opportunities for children’s risky play.

David Butler-Jones
David Butler-Jones – Keynote Presenter

Dr. David Butler-Jones was the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada (Head of the Public Health Agency of Canada) from 2004 to 2014. He was the first person to hold this office. Throughout his distinguished career, he has worked in many parts of Canada in both Public Health and Clinical Medicine.

He has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and has been actively involved as a researcher in public health issues. He is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, as well as a Clinical Professor with the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine.

From 1995 to 2002, Dr. Butler-Jones was Chief Medical Health Officer and Executive Director of the Population Health and Primary Health Services Branches for the Province of Saskatchewan.

In professional organizations, he has served as President of the Canadian Public Health Association; Vice President of the American Public Health Association; Chair of the Canadian Roundtable on Health and Climate Change; International Regent on the board of the American College of Preventive Medicine; Member of the Governing Council for the Canadian Population Health Initiative; Chair of the National Coalition on Enhancing Preventive Practices of Health Professionals; and Co-Chair of the Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st Century.

In recognition of his service in the field of public health, York University’s Faculty of Health awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

He is also a recipient of The Canadian Public Health Association Robert Davies Defries Award, its highest and honour and The Medal of Service from The Canadian Medical Association for “his outstanding and exceptional contribution to health care in Canada”.

Dr. Butler-Jones serves as Senior Medical Officer and Atlantic Region Medical Officer for the First Nations and Inuit Health division of Health Canada.

Colleen Christopherson-Cote
Colleen Christopherson-Cote – Concurrent 9C

Colleen Christopherson-Cote is the Community Partnership Facilitator for the Saskatoon Early Years Partnership. Colleen has worked in community development in both rural and urban communities and has a passion for building awareness for preventative strategies that support the health and wellbeing of families and their communities. Currently, she is living in Saskatoon with her husband and 2 children.

Megan Clark
Megan Clark – Concurrents 5A and 6B

Megan Clark is the Research and Evaluation Lead at the Prevention Institute. Megan has been with the Prevention Institute for over 10 years, and has continued to learn about new and emerging areas important to child health throughout this time. The developmental origins of child health has been an area that has particularly sparked her interest and Megan feels strongly that this information needs to be shared with women of childbearing age and their supports, in order for prospective parents to be able to make informed decisions about their future child’s health.

Crystal Clarke
Crystal Clarke – Concurrent 9A

Crystal Clarke is the FASD Strategy Prenatal Outreach Worker and has been with Family Futures for 2½ years. Crystal has many years of experience in this field and also holds a degree in Social Work.

James Conway
James Conway – Keynote Presenter and Workshop D

James (Jim) Conway is a veteran trainer and speaker with over 25 years of experience providing training and consultation to youth serving professionals and volunteers in educational and community-based organizations in the US and abroad. He has designed and delivered major training for Search Institute since 1995. For the last decade he also served as a lead trainer and presenter for Vision Training Associates. Conway has also served as a member of the national training team, National Institute on Out-of-School Time, Wellesley College, MA. Prior to beginning his career as a trainer and speaker on positive youth development, Jim served for 15 years in leadership roles of various programs for children and young adolescents.

Kate Dunn
Kate Dunn – Concurrent 5B

Kate Dunn is the Child Injury Prevention Program Coordinator at the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute. Her core efforts are focused on providing research and current evidence-based best practices to develop educational efforts aimed at reducing child injuries that result in hospitalization, disability, and death.

Jackie Eaton
Jackie Eaton – Concurrent 4A

Jackie Eaton is the Sexual and Reproductive Health Program Coordinator at the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute. The Prevention Institute strives to promote the importance of and bring about improvements in the reproductive, preconception, pre-, peri- and postnatal health of women and consequently, the health of infants and children. Jackie is responsible for developing resources and training opportunities specific to the Sexual and Reproductive Health program. Experience in the field of education and being the mother of three children aged 16, 21, and 23 fuels Jackie’s passion for sharing information for people to make healthy decisions about their personal sexual and reproductive health.

Gabrielle Ermine
Gabrielle Ermine – Concurrent 9A

Gabrielle Ermine is the FASD Strategy Prenatal Outreach Worker. Gabrielle came to work with Family Futures 2½ years ago, after she was a participant of the program. Gabrielle holds a degree in Social Work.

Jolene Furi
Jolene Furi – Concurrent 9A

Jolene Furi has been the Community Action Program for Children’s Prenatal Outreach Worker at Family Futures for 7 years. Jolene’s background is in Addictions. She has many years of experience working in the addiction field with at risk women.

Allison Gamble
Allison Gamble – Concurrent 9A

Allison Gamble is the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program’s Prenatal Outreach Worker. She has been with Family Futures for 2 years. Allison has a diploma in Correctional Studies and she is a former participant of the program.

Lynda Gellner
Lynda Gellner – Concurrent 8C

Lynda Gellner, B.Ed; MEd is currently employed as an Early Years Family Centre Site Developer and Instructional Consultant with Regina Public Schools. Lynda has been involved in early childhood education for numerous years and through the support of the Regina Regional Intersectoral Committee, has developed the Early Years Family Centers for Regina. The journey has had its peaks and valleys and this presentation will share the impact the Centers have made for individual children, families, and community members.

Kirstian Gibson
Kirstian Gibson – Concurrent 6B

Kirstian Gibson is a first year masters student working under Dr. Karen Lawson in the U of S Reproduction Lab. Although Kirstian currently researches communication between partners, she feels there is a strong need in academics and real-world research to focus on maternal and infant mental/physical health. With these beliefs, she began working for Saskatchewan Prevention Institute on the Maternal and Infant Environmental Health Needs Assessment Project. Experiencing such a strong interest in the current project, Kirstian hopes this is just the beginning of her reproductive research career.

Matthew Gray
Matthew Gray – Concurrent 4C

Matthew Gray is a member of the Prince Albert Police Service, currently under secondment as a consultant to the Government of Saskatchewan-Ministry of Justice, Building Partnerships to Reduce Crime. With 16 years of policing service with the Prince Albert and Edmonton Police Services, Matthew has worked in various aspects of law enforcement, specializing in Crisis Negotiation and Incident Command, and has participated in several community policing initiatives. It is his participation in the development of Community Mobilization Prince Albert and the nationally recognized Hub Model that has been a career highlight.

Jean Harvey
Jean Harvey – Keynote Presenter

As the Director of the Canadian Population Health Initiative, Jean Harvey is responsible for the strategic directions and implementation of CIHI’s population health program of work. Her core efforts are focused on supporting policy makers and health system managers in Canada in their efforts to improve population health and reduce health inequalities.

In this role, Jean manages the activities of CIHI’s Advisory Council on Population Health, an advisory group of experts who are committed to improving the population of Canadians, and provides guidance and leadership to the CPHI team who conduct research and analysis, evidence synthesis, and performance measurement. With her extensive knowledge and leadership in policy and data analysis, she has led the development of several innovative reports and eLearning education products, as well as high-level policy dialogues.

Mrs. Harvey joined CIHI as a manager in June of 2007 and was appointed the Director of CPHI in January 2008. She brings to the table many years of public health experience through her work at the City of Ottawa, where she made significant contributions to a number of programs. Prior to joining CIHI, Ms. Harvey served as the interim executive director of the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada. She brings a unique perspective to the work of CIHI with expertise that spans public and population health within the context of the Canadian Health System.

Jean has a BSc from Acadia University and a MHSc from the University of Toronto.

Veronica Hawley
Veronica Hawley – Concurrent 5C

Veronica Hawley is a Public Health Nurse working in the Five Hills Health Region and is one of the facilitators of the Babies Best Start Prenatal Program. Veronica is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan Nursing Education Program and has worked in the area of Public Health Nursing for the past 10 years. She has had the opportunity to work for Public Health in Northern British Columbia and in both rural and urban settings in the province of Saskatchewan. Her role as a public health nurse has varied over the years, but she has always had a passion for family health and enjoys working with young mothers and at risk families. Veronica loves spending all of her extra time with her husband, family, friends, and with her two school-aged children, Logan and Olivia.

Pam Henheffer
Pam Henheffer – Concurrent 8D

Before coming to the Foothills Fetal Alcohol Society, Pam Henheffer worked for 28 years as Assistant Manager in a family based Residential Program for Children in Social Services. Pam and her husband of 40 years, Alan, were also Directors of their own Supported Independent Living/Foster Care Program for 18 years. They have four children of their own, 10 Grandchildren, numerous foster children, and now many foster grandchildren. Pam has a wealth of knowledge and experience to bring to families living with this disability. She was a member of the steering committee when F.A.S was first brought to High River area. Many of the children that Pam worked and lived with throughout the years had this disability. Pam is the Team Leader of the Family Response Program.

Erin Hewitt
Erin Hewitt – Concurrent 5C

Erin Hewitt is a Public Health Nurse working in the Five Hills Health Region and is one of the facilitators of the Babies Best Start Prenatal Program. Erin is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan Nursing Education Program and has been nursing for over 15 years. Her nursing career began in acute care, working in the field of pediatrics and infection control. She was given the opportunity to work in Public Health Nursing and has found this to be her passion. She is a caring and empathetic nurse who feels that holistic and family centered care is the best way to provide optimal care for her clients. Erin is a busy wife and mom of two children. In her spare time, she likes to read and walk her energetic beagle.

Tom Hierck
Tom Hierck – Closing Plenary

Tom Hierck has been an educator since 1983 in a career that has spanned all grade levels and many roles in public education. His experiences as a teacher, administrator, district leader, department of education project leader, and executive director have provided a unique context for his philosophy.

Tom is a compelling presenter, infusing his message of hope with strategies culled from the real world. He understands that we face unprecedented challenges and knows which strategies will best serve learning communities. Tom has presented to schools, businesses, and community groups across North America with a message of celebration for those seeking to make a difference in the lives of others. His belief that “every student is a success story waiting to be told” has led him to work with people to create positive cultures and build effective relationships that facilitate learning for all. Tom is a bestselling author with ten books bearing his name and he is currently writing three others.

Tom and his wife of 33 years, Ingrid, are the proud parents of three children and grandparents to two amazing granddaughters and two delightful grandsons. In his spare time Tom likes to run and he has completed over 45 marathons.

Lee Hinton
Lee Hinton – Concurrent 4B

Lee Hinton is currently the Health Promotion and Education Coordinator at the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute, an organization that strives to increase the health of children living in Saskatchewan. Lee is trained as an Art Therapist and Social Worker. Throughout her career, she has worked front line and in the areas of community development and health promotion with women and children. She has a particular interest in the areas of trauma, early childhood mental health, and resiliency.

Travis Holeha
Travis Holeha – Concurrent 5B

Travis Holeha began working at the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute in February 2009. His first role was in Childhood Injury Prevention for a short period of time before becoming the Child Traffic Safety Program Coordinator. Travis manages the province’s Child Passenger Safety Program, is the lead instructor/trainer for the Children’s Restraint System Technician Course, and works throughout the province assisting children who have special transportation needs.

Krista Kaminski
Krista Kaminski – Concurrent 5A

Krista Kaminski has her Masters of Public Health and is the Perinatal and Infant Health Coordinator at the Prevention Institute. She is passionate about providing expectant families with the most current, evidence based information available to make informed decisions throughout their pregnancy, birth and baby’s first year. Previous to her work at the Institute, Krista worked in congenital anomaly surveillance and has brought her interest of how pregnancy outcomes are impacted by maternal exposure to environmental contaminants, to the Institute.

Melissa Kelsey
Melissa Kelsey – Concurrent 6A

Melissa Kelsey has over 20 years of human services work experience. She has worked for a multiple of sectors within the Saskatoon region and abroad, but mostly for the Saskatoon Health Region, providing system navigation and direct service coordination to the adult population. In the summer of 2014, she started her term position as Early Years Health and Development Strategy Coordinator with the Healthy Families Department of Population and Public Health (PPH). Melissa is trained as a Masters level Social Worker and her frontline work experience, both in community and acute care, has allowed Melissa to make linkages across the continuum of care.

Julie Kryzanowski
Julie Kryzanowski – Keynote Presenter and Concurrent 6A

Dr. Kryzanowski is a Deputy Medical Health Officer for the Saskatoon Health Region. She received her medical degree from Queen’s University, a Master of Science degree in Community Health Sciences from the University of Calgary, and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada with certification in the specialty of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

In the Saskatoon Health Region, Dr. Kryzanowski is the MHO responsible for the Population and Public Health’s Health Promotion Department, Public Health Observatory and Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Saskatchewan. She has a strong interest in promoting health equity in public health and across the health region. Born in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, she and her family are happy to call Saskatoon home.

Virginia Lane
Virginia Lane – Concurrent 7B

Virginia (Ginny) Lane is a registered dietitian and a Ph.D. candidate in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Nutrition. She completed her Master of Arts in Social Studies, which focused on the social factors that influence breastfeeding, at the University of Regina. Ginny has worked in a variety of community development and health system settings. She has previously worked as a community nutritionist/ outreach worker, and research consultant focused on community health programs. She is currently employed as a Senior Policy and Program Consultant at Medical Services Branch, Saskatchewan Health. Her current research focuses on the health of newcomer children.

Lana Larson
Lana Larson – Workshop C

Lana Larson joined the KidsFirst team 2½ years ago after 12 years in a Leadership role in the Hospitality and Tourism industry. Following the birth of her son in 2007, Lana knew that a change in careers was in her future. In 2012, Lana followed her heart and applied with the KidsFirst program. Lana finds working with families and delivering curriculum in a fun, interactive setting a rewarding experience. Having actively participated in the activity designs of the My Curious Brain book and being able to deliver the book and activities to the KidsFirst families that she works with has been an amazing experience. Lana currently resides in Yorkton with her partner James and son Jaxon. Lana values her family and friends, and is proud of the relationships that she has made in her life, both personally and professionally.

Gabrielle Lepage-Lavoie
Gabrielle Lepage-Lavoie – Concurrent 6D

Gabrielle Lepage-Lavoie has a bilingual degree, Bachelors ès Arts at the Faculté St-Jean at the University of Alberta, and has a Business Administration certificate from the Université de Sherbrooke. She is currently the Healthy Start Project Manager with the Réseau Santé en Français de la Saskatchewan. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the Fransaskois Parent Association, a provincial non-profit organization dedicated to promoting francophone education. Gabrielle is inspired and passionate about community development and her involvement includes volunteering and sitting on various committees. She particularly values working in the early years and in promoting new and innovative ways to encourage families to lead healthy lifestyles.

Candace Liskowich
Candace Liskowich – Concurrent 8A

Candace Liskowich is also a Public Education Officer at Regina Fire and Protective Services. She works primarily in the area of fire and life safety education. Working with community organizations such as schools, police, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, and social services providers, her main task is to develop community specific fire safety programming. Candace has been with Regina Fire and Protective Services for 11 years. Prior to joining the Department, Candace worked for the Provincial Ministry of Social Services and various ‘youth at risk’ community agencies. She has earned two Bachelor Degrees from the University of Regina, majoring in Psychology and Social Work. Most recently, Candace received the Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Specialist Level 1 & 2 certification through the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Candace Liskowich
Terry Lowe – Concurrent 9C

Terry Lowe is the Director of Community Programs at Catholic Family Services where she has worked for the past 18 years. She is co-chair of both the Saskatoon Early Years Partnership and the Canadian Certified Family Educators Recertification Committee, as well as past co-chair of the Family Education Section of the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology. Along with her husband, Howard, she is the parent of two grown children and their partners as well as four wonderful grandchildren.

Mary Ann McGrath
Mary Ann McGrath – Concurrent 8C

Mary Ann McGrath is the Executive Director of the Regina Early Learning Centre and Co-Chair of the Early Years Family Centre Working Group. The Regina Early Learning Centre supports the healthy development of young children by providing a range of education and support services for young children and their families. These programs help create brighter futures for children, families, and our community as a whole.

Donna Nelson
Donna Nelson – Concurrent 3A

Donna Nelson is a Registered Dietitian with the Saskatoon Health Region. She currently works for the Food For Thought and Healthy Mother Healthy Baby Programs. Both programs work directly with pregnant women who live in conditions of risk in Saskatoon and area. Donna has a passion for helping mothers get a good start as they embark on the hardest job in the world – parenting. Donna has been with both programs for 7 years. Prior to her work with mothers, she worked with youth in Mental Health and Addictions Services.

Meredith Newman
Meredith Newman – Concurrent 7D

Meredith Newman is a Regional Advocate with the Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth (SACY), where she works to advance the rights, interests, and well-being of children and youth. After completing a sociology degree at the University of Saskatchewan, she worked in La Ronge as a Resource Worker with Young Offender Programs in the Ministry of Justice, Corrections and Policing. While there, she enrolled in a social work degree with the University of Regina. Meredith first came to the Advocate’s office for her major social work practicum. After completing her social work degree, Meredith continued her work with the Advocate as an Early Resolution Advocate and then moved into regional advocacy.

Danna Ormstrup
Danna Ormstrup – Workshop B and Concurrent 8D

Danna Ormstrup is the Executive Director of the Foothills Fetal Alcohol Society, a non-profit Society that provides services to rural communities in Southern Alberta. She began her career working with children, youth and adults with Learning Disabilities, continued working with children in a variety of school settings, and worked as a manager with a rural agency that places people with developmental challenges in inclusive work and community settings. Danna and her family are residential support providers to a young man with developmental challenges.

Danna believes that FASD is often misunderstood. She believes that with compassion, understanding, and a creative spirit, great things can happen, both in the areas of support and prevention in the world of FASD.

Richard Oster
Richard Oster – Concurrent 2A

Richard Oster is the Senior Research Coordinator with the Believing we can Reduce the Aboriginal Incidence of Diabetes (BRAID) research group at the University of Alberta, in the Department of Medicine. In this position, Richard utilizes mixed methods approaches (including community-based methods) to address Indigenous health concerns related to diabetes and other chronic diseases, pregnancy and maternal health outcomes, and the social determinants of health. Richard’s interests lie in collaborating to diminish the health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Angela Prawzick
Angela Prawzick – Concurrent 8A

Angela Prawzick has been with Regina Fire and Protective Services for 20 years, where she is one of two Public Education Officers. She tries very hard to work herself out of a job by persuading and motivating people not to have any fires. Angela works in the area of fire and life safety education. This allows her to work within the heart of the community in developing creative and engaging programs specific to the various life safety needs of Regina’s families. Prior to joining the Fire Department, Angela worked in the field of emergency management, at both municipal and provincial levels. She was also Senior Researcher with the Emergency Communications Research Unit at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Joelle Schaefer
Joelle Schaefer – Concurrent 3A

Joelle Schaefer is a graduate student in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan. Joelle’s research interests are geared towards examining upstream interventions to decrease health disparities within Canada, with current thesis work directed at examining the fruit and vegetable intervention with high-risk pregnant women in the Healthy Mother Healthy Baby Program. Prior to graduate school, Joelle completed a BSc. in Kinesiology from the University of Saskatchewan. Joelle worked at the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute from 2010 until 2014, helping her discover an interest in researching the root causes of health disparity and advocating for effective, sustainable, and community-based initiatives to improve the health outcomes of all people.

Tanis Shanks
Tanis Shanks – Concurrent 7A

Tanis Shanks is the Nobody’s Perfect Parenting Program Coordinator for the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute. For almost a decade, Tanis has worked with parents and children in numerous capacities, including program development, facilitation, mentorship, childcare, and administration. As a parent herself, Tanis is very passionate about parenting education, healthy child development, violence prevention, and human rights. In her role, Tanis organizes and delivers trainings, presentations, and workshops around Saskatchewan on the Nobody’s Perfect Parenting Program and Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting. Tanis’ educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts (Hon.) majoring in Native Studies from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina. She is currently completing her Masters in Social Work through the University of Regina.

Heather Sinclair-Birns
Heather Sinclair-Birns – Concurrent 8A

Heather Sinclair-Birns is currently the Program Facilitator for the Regina KidsFirst program. Her primary roles are training, family assessment and intake, cultural broker, and other administrative duties. Heather has worked in the KidsFirst program for the past 11 years and has an Education Degree with a specialization in Cross-Cultural Education. Heather loves working with the families in the program and consistently is learning from those around her.

Juliet Soper
Juliet Soper – Concurrent 9B

Dr. Juliet Soper graduated MBChB from the University of Auckland in 1997. She completed her pediatric training at Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand. Her interest in child maltreatment pediatrics began during a rotation at Puawaitahi, the state of the art multi-agency children’s advocacy centre in Auckland New Zealand. Since 2012, she has been in Saskatchewan working at Regina General Hospital as a general pediatrician doing child maltreatment pediatrics, acute care pediatrics, and developmental pediatrics. In addition, she is currently Head of the Department of Pediatrics at Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region and a member of the clinical faculty of the University of Saskatchewan. She holds fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal Canadian College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Angie Stevenson
Angie Stevenson – Concurrent 6D

Angie Stevenson graduated from SIAST in 2001 with an Early Childhood Education Diploma course and has been working in childcare ever since. She has been the Director of a 74 space facility called Stepping Stones Daycare in St. Brieux, SK for the past nine years. Angie is the Chairperson for the Saskatchewan Early Childhood Association (SECA), as well as the North East Daycare Directors Co-operative. In addition, she has been part of Eat Well, Play Well since its inception.

Donna Strauss
Donna Strauss – Concurrent 9A

Donna Strauss is the Executive Director for Family Futures, Inc. Donna has been with Family Futures for 9½ years and has a background in Finance and Management.

Rhonda Teichreb
Rhonda Teichreb – Concurrent 6D

Rhonda Teichreb, B.Ed. works as the Regional Early Childhood Development Facilitator with the Kelsey Trail Health Region. Rhonda’s role is prevention-based and focused on the 0 to 3 population to support families, caregivers, and communities within KTHR as they strive to meet the physical, social, emotional, language, and cognitive needs of their children.

Debbie Thompson
Debbie Thompson – Workshop A

Debbie Thompson B.Ed. B.A. (Psy) is a Senior Policy and Program Consultant with the Ministry of Education, Early Years Branch, focusing on social emotional development of children. She has worked with children for over 20 years as a teacher, early childhood educator, child care centre director, and early learning and child care consultant. She is passionate about early learning and providing children with quality experiences, environments, and opportunities to allow all children to develop to their individual potential.

Róisín Unsworth
Róisín Unsworth – Concurrent 4A

Róisín Unsworth is the Youth Action for Prevention (YAP) Program Coordinator for the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute. Róisín is passionate about working in the area of alcohol prevention and harm reduction among youth. She obtained her Master of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of Saskatchewan and has a wide range of work experience with youth including health promotion, counselling, and mentorship. As the YAP Program Coordinator, she travels to communities across Saskatchewan providing presentations, resources, and encouraging young people to create projects that raise awareness of FASD and other alcohol-related harms among their peers. She also helps coordinate girls’ mentorship programs, and supports community initiatives at the local, provincial, and national levels. Róisín’s work extends to a variety of areas, including health education, resource and program development, evaluation, and youth engagement activities.

Louise Verklan
Louise Verklan – Concurrent 6D

Louise Verklan is a graduate of Kelsey Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences with a RN Diploma and BSN from the University of Saskatchewan. She is currently a Primary Health Care Manager/Facilitator for the Kelsey Trail Health Region. Louise has held positions in delivering direct health care and management positions in acute care, health promotion, home care, and primary health care settings. Accomplishments that she has achieved, along with others, include co-developing and conducting community wellness assessments for a rural health region; developing and facilitating community based primary health care provider teams; and the development of a regional Healthy Weights Working Group (EAT WELL, PLAY WELL…Together we are better), which she currently chairs. Louise is passionate about working collaboratively to create healthier environments.

Ailsa Watkinson
Ailsa Watkinson – Concurrent 8B

Ailsa M. Watkinson is a Professor with the Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina. Her research interests focus on a wide range of human rights issues. She has published books and journal articles on such topics as women’s and children’s equality rights, employment equity, religion in public spaces, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as policy advocate, child physical punishment, student rights, women prisoners and the administration of equality rights. She instigated a Charter challenge to the use of physical punishment on children. The case was eventually heard by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2004.