NAO Launch Event

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North American Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (NAO) Launch Event

The North American Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (NAO) is a collaborative partnership of interested researchers, research organizations, governments, and health organizations promoting evidence-informed health system policy decision-making. Due to the high degree of health system decentralization in the United States and Canada, the NAO is committed to focusing considerable attention to state and provincial health systems and to creating a foundation for more systematic health system and policy comparisons among substates.


  • The Honourable Roy Romanow
    Former Premier and Chair of the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada
    Chancellor, University of Saskatchewan
  • Dr. Bob Bell
    Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Ontario
  • Maureen O’Neil
    President, Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement
  • Dr. Richard Saltman
    Professor, Health Policy & Management, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta
    Associate Director of Research Policy, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Brussels

This event is hosted by Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, the Director of the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) at the University of Toronto, and Greg Marchildon, Ontario Research Chair in Health Policy and System Design at IHPME and the Founding Director of the NAO.

Speaker Biographies

The Honourable Roy Romanow, P.C., O.C., S.O.M., Q.C., has served in public office in Canada for more than 30 years. Romanow was first elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature in 1967. Between 1971 and 1982 he served as Deputy Premier and Attorney General of Saskatchewan. He then served as Premier of Saskatchewan from 1991 to 2001. Romanow retired from politics in 2001 and shortly thereafter was appointed head of the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada, which resulted in a final report entitled Building on Values.

Dr. Bob Bell was appointed Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, effective June 2, 2014. Prior to this role, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of University Health Network for nine years. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer at Princess Margaret Hospital and Chair of both Cancer Care Ontario’s Clinical Council and the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario. He is also an internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon.

Maureen O’Neil is President of the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI). Her previous positions include President of the International Development Research Centre, President of the North-South Institute, and Deputy Minister of Citizenship in the Government of Ontario. Ms. O’Neil was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for public service, recognizing her contributions to international development, gender equality and human rights.

Dr. Richard Saltman is a Professor of Health Policy & Management at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, and Associate Director of Research Policy at the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Brussels. Dr Saltman’s research focuses on the structure and behaviour of European health care systems. He has written extensively about numerous production side-topics including reforms in primary health care and in hospital organizations—particularly in tax-funded health systems in northern Europe. He has also edited volumes on decentralization and on social health insurance systems in Europe. Current projects include the relationship between stability and stasis in hospital organization, the impact of slower economic growth for national health policymaking, the changing nature of solidarity, and the expanding role of patient responsibility as part of co-production of health services. He is co-editor of the “United States of America: Health System Review” book published by the World Health Organization and the European Observatory on Health systems and Policies in 2013.


Wine & Cheese Reception 4:00 pm
Remarks by Speakers 4:30 pm
Reception continues 5:10 pm

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