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REF NO.: 59

SUBJECT: Memorial University to host session on health care and workshop on regional development in Exploits Valley region
DATE: Nov. 13, 2007

What are the challenges in delivering quality health-care services in Central Newfoundland? What can be done to improve the system? What is the role of post-secondary educational facilities, health-care professionals, the regional health board and citizen groups in ensuring a high level of health care?
These are some of the questions which will be addressed at a public lecture organized by Memorial University on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 22, at the Mount Peyton Hotel in Grand Falls-Windsor. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. and admission is free.
Dr. James Rourke, the dean of medicine at Memorial University and a renowned expert in rural health care, will lead the discussion. According to Dr. Rourke, the focus of rural health care is to provide quality care as close to home as possible. “Health care in a rural setting requires a stable and well-qualified workforce functioning in modern facilities, within a system that supports multi-professional teams,” says Dr. Rourke. “And community involvement is vital at every level.”
Dr. Rourke will be joined by a panel consisting of Rosemarie Goodyear, the vice-president of Community Services with the Central Regional Integrated Health Authority, based in Gander; Teresa Greene, an advocate for rural health care and a town councilor of Millertown; and Kim Osmond, a primary health care consultant also with the Central Health Authority, based in Twillingate.
The lecture will be followed by a discussion session with the audience, where the issues can be debated in detail. The evening will close with a reception hosted by Memorial University.
The lecture is organized by Memorial University’s Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development. The centre has a mandate to create forums where important issues of public policy are debated in an open and non-partisan manner. This lecture is a unique opportunity for citizens of Central Newfoundland to take the pulse of their health-care system and to engage in a discussion with experts in the field.
The following day, the Harris Centre and the Exploits Valley Economic Development Corporation will be holding a day-long workshop to identify new collaboration opportunities between Memorial University and local organizations.  It is hoped that between 20 and 30 new opportunities will be identified where the faculty, staff and students of Memorial will be able to work with local leaders to help develop the economy and improve the quality of life of the Exploits Valley region.
This workshop is open to the public, and a special invitation is extended to organizations dealing with health care, education, economic development and labour market development. Municipal counsellors and employees, as well as government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations are especially invited to attend. There is no cost to register, however pre-registration is required. Meals and coffee breaks will be provided by the Harris Centre. The workshop will be held at the Mount Peyton Hotel, beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding at 4:30 p.m.
For more information about the lecture and the workshop, contact Rod French, executive director, at the Exploits Valley Economic Development Corporation, at (709) 489-8700 or www.exploitsvalley.nf.ca.

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