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Concurrent Sessions

Call for proposals now open

On June 10-11, 2020, the Alliance for Healthier Communities will host Power in Community: A health system that works for everyone, our annual primary health care conference.

Coming at a strategic moment in Ontario’s transforming health system, this inclusive, action-oriented conference will challenge attendees to unpack issues of power and get to the root of structural and systemic inequities. Together we will explore the impacts of historical and current power imbalances and promising strategies to advance community-led and equity-focused primary health care.

This conference is an excellent opportunity to share knowledge and tools, build relationships, tap into new networks and open dialogue with a wide range of primary health care staff, board members, health system leaders, community partners, researchers, planners and policy makers.

Submit your proposal today! The deadline for submissions is January 10, 2020.

Before you submit your proposal, please review the priority themes, criteria, formats and terms and conditions.

Submit your proposal

Those submitting proposals will be informed of acceptance on or after January 27, 2020.

Conference Themes

The Alliance invites proposals for concurrent sessions and posters related to at least one of the following themes.

We are especially interested in proposals that include determinants of health and explore the theme of power in communities and addressing discrimination in multiple forms.

Theme One: Community leadership to address our climate emergency - The challenge of climate change has become a climate crisis. It is already impacting the health and wellbeing of people and communities in many ways. What are community health organizations doing to address climate impacts? What are some of the promising ways that community-led groups, organizations and networks are responding and adapting to the growing challenges presented by the climate crisis?

Theme Two: System integration and community-led systems change innovations – What can we learn about sustainable health system transformation from Ontario Health Teams and equity-focused and community-led systems interventions to advance the best possible health for everyone in Ontario?

Theme Three: Primary care in interprofessional health teams – In what ways are we breaking down silos and creating person-centred primary health care that truly connects clinical care and community development? How does your team draw links between health and social factors using approaches grounded in health promotion and cross-sector collaboration? Share the strategies, interventions, and innovations that your team has used to create a more inclusive workplace and build capacity for clinical leadership.

Theme Four: “Nothing about us without us” Community voices in harm reduction – What are the innovative community responses to the ongoing overdose and drug poisoning crisis? Share community-based interventions that are expanding access to harm reduction services and advancing access to a safe drug supply and decriminalization. 

Theme Five: Maximizing community-centred governance – What are the innovative examples of collaborative leadership roles for community boards in Ontario’s health system transformation and in the context of Ontario Health Teams? What can we learn together about high performing governance roles to champion equity-focused and integrated community health and wellbeing?

Theme Six: Building a Learning Health System – What does it look like to build a culture of evidence-informed and continuous collective learning in your organization? Share what your teams are doing differently from practical research and improving equity data collection and outcome measurement, to building on best practices with peers, clients, families and health system partners.

Criteria for proposals

  1. Relevance to conference theme and priority topics. Priority will be given to proposals that include both systemic and community-based perspectives on the conference theme and/or priority topics.
  2. Well organized proposal with clear description of the intended learning objectives and outcomes.
  3. The proposal includes facilitating interaction and audience engagement (particularly important for 90-minute sessions).
  4. The proposal includes perspectives from one or more (intersectional perspectives) from the Alliance’s priority groups including: Indigenous, Black, Francophone and LGBT2SQ+ communities.
  5. The initiative, program or project includes evidence or research-informed decision-making and has achieved, or is on-track to achieve, measurable results.
  6. The proposal includes perspectives from clients and/or communities with lived experiences.


Program and Practice Spotlights (30 min): A 15-20-minute story presentation about an effective approach, applied research initiative or an innovative practice or program followed by a 10-15-minute Q&A session.

Panel Presentations (60 min): A coordinated presentation by up to three panelists, and possibly a discussant, providing an in-depth, theme-based exploration of a current issue facing community-centred primary health care.

Skill Building Workshops (45 min): The presenter teaches or demonstrates a specific skill or practice required in a primary health care setting. These sessions will include an engaging interactive component that enables participants to explore how they might apply such skill or practices in their setting.

Transformation Labs (90 min): Spaces for innovative thinking and exploring complex systemic problems. Grounded in the idea that solving complex systemic problems requires looking at them from multiple perspectives (individuals, organizations/institutions, and their interactions at a system level), transformation lab sessions will tap into the experience of the participants to discover new approaches and actions to take together. Presenters will open with a 30-minute presentation of the concern, question or problem along with relevant context, including two different perspectives. Participants will then break into smaller mixed groups for a 30-minute discussion. In the last 20-30 minutes, presenters will facilitate a dialogue around the insights and ideas for action.

Practice and Research Posters: Present the work your team is doing, research or other innovation in a poster format. Poster presenters will engage with participants during a dedicated poster session on June 10.

Terms and Conditions

Notification of acceptance
The deadline to submit a proposal is January 10, 2020. 

All authors of accepted proposals will be notified on or after January 27, 2020. They will then have three days from the acceptance notification to confirm their participation in writing.

Please note: The conference program will include sessions from both the call for proposals and from invited speakers relevant to the conference themes. To achieve diversity and balance in the conference program and address time and space constraints, the conference team may suggest changing the session format or combining similar sessions into one.

Logistics and technical requirements
An LCD projector, screen and podium are provided in all session meeting rooms, if required. Please identify any additional requirements you may have on the proposal form.

Registration fees for presenters
If accepted, it is understood that the presenter(s) agree to complete and submit an online conference registration form, pay the appropriate conference registration fee, and make the presentation as scheduled.

Presenters are responsible for all expenses related to attending the conference, including travel, accommodation and printing of handouts.


For questions related to the terms, conditions and logistics, please email

For specific questions related to proposals, please contact Heidi Schaeffer, Special Projects Consultant,