April 7 Webinar – Addressing Today’s Community Health and Wellbeing Priorities: Opportunities for Transportation

When: April 7, 20201
Icebreaker Social: 12:00 – 12:15 PM (MDT)
March 7 @ 12:15 – 1 PM (MDT)

Non-communicable diseases such as heart disease and strokes, diabetes, cancers and mental health conditions are now the leading causes of mortality and morbidity, and healthcare costs, across provinces in Canada. Many such chronic diseases are also risk factors for severe infection for COVID-19. Our populations are also aging. The scientific evidence is growing about the role that community and street designs play in impacting people’s ability to be regularly active through active transportation like walking, cycling and transit use, and in people’s ability to access healthy foods and beverages and active recreation opportunities which also support healthier dietary behaviours and physical activity. Community and street designs supportive of active transportation modes have also been shown to be associated with decreased social isolation, sense of stress and crime, and with increased economic benefits such as retail sales and job creation.

This presentation will discuss these issues and case studies illustrating global best practices and the opportunities for collaboration between transportation and health professionals.

Dr. Karen Lee, MD, MHSc, FRCPC is author of the recent book Fit Cities.  She is Associate Professor in the Division of  Preventive Medicine, Dept of Medicine at the University of Alberta. She also directs the Housing for Health Project, bringing together over 150 multi-sector partners across multiple Canadian provinces to improve housing developments, and neighbourhoods and streets for active living, healthy food access and social connections. Dr. Lee returned to Canada in 2018 after a decade and a half away in the U.S., first working for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Epidemic Intelligence Service, then for ~9 years in New York City’s (NYC) Health Department as Inaugural Director of Healthy Built Environments and Deputy to the Assistant Commissioner of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control during Mayor Bloomberg’s administration. There she worked closely with colleagues in NYC’s Department of Transportation as well as Planning and Public Works among others. She has acted as Special Advisor to multiple World Health Organization regional offices on intersectoral collaboration to address environmental and social determinants of health, and improve health equity.  Dr. Lee was awarded the Canadian Institute of Planners President’s Award in 2017.

Dan Finley has been a member of the Pacific Western Transportation Executive Team since 2012 and has led the organization in a variety of functions such as HR, Operations, Business Development, Communications, Government Relations, Process Improvement and Advancing Transportation Technology. He has developed and implemented PWT’s On Demand strategy and has led the start-up of multiple operations, working to transfer client vision to real-world operations. 

More information on her work and available free resources can also be found at www.drkarenlee.com.

Virtual Icebreaker Social

We will be holding a social from 12:00 to 12:15 PM to provide attendees the opportunity to mingle just like we would if we were back at the Faculty Club. Participants will be split into breakout rooms to facilitate conversations. This is optional, anyone who is not interested in the social may log in for 12:15 PM for the webinar. 

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