Healthy Outcomes Conference

May 24-25, 2018
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

Untitled Document

Healthy Outcomes Conference

Inspiring Change:
A how-to for employers

In order to minimize illness and maximize performance, employers need to take a tailored approach to wellness. Innovative solutions start with understanding the wants and needs of plan members — but what comes next? This year’s conference will use valuable insights from some of the industry’s key players to provide employers with the information they need to manage employee needs and inspire change.

The Healthy Outcomes Conference will start with cocktails and dinner on the 24th, followed by a full-day of sessions designed to be interactive in an intimate setting. It will feature interactive workshops and dialogue about shared challenges and solutions for improving employee health and productivity.

Now in its 17th year, this event continues to prove its longevity and relevance, with senior-level plan sponsor delegates participating in all aspects of this conference in an intimate setting.

*Qualified employers are welcome to register.

Interested in Attending?

This event is open to employers.

This is a small group of approximately 40 people, of which 30+ are employers. As such, attendees are asked to join all aspects of the conference, including the opening reception, to maximize the collaboration amongst those present.

If you are interested in attending the Healthy Outcomes Conference as a delegate or as a corporate sponsor, please contact Francesca Allman, senior national account manager, to find out if you qualify.


Plan sponsor delegate testimonial from the 2017 event:

“Such a special event is Healthy Outcomes – without it and the many other events held by Benefits Canada throughout the year, there would be a huge void in our industry. To me, the HOC  is the most significant source of information and opportunity to collaboratively share strategic ideas we have in the Canadian benefit arena. “Healthy Outcomes”, when delivered through plan sponsors and  benefit / health suppliers, ultimately benefits all Canadians.” - Quote from a 5,000+ employee plan sponsor, energy sector

Plan sponsor delegate testimonials from previous years:

“… the caliber of the speakers and the topics were fantastic. Great variety, generally great presenters, and very timely topics.” - Barbara Whynot, manager, occupational health, safety & wellness, IWK Health Centre

"I believe that the event overall was very high quality, with well-chosen speakers and timely content … I was quite happy with my participation and the networking opportunities that unfolded as a result." - Michael MacDonald, manager, health services, Jazz Aviation LP

"Thank you and your staff so much for a wonderful day of learning. Some great topics were discussed, I look forward to attending other events put on by Benefits Canada." - Yatin Patel, program manager of pharmacy services at The Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan (ASEBP)

"This was the first time I had attended this particular event and I felt the conference was excellent! The quality of the speakers was great and the topics discuss flowed nicely together. The opportunity for making connections/networking was fabulous given the small group." - Samantha Lynn, benefits program manager, GE Canada

Link to 2017 post-conference coverage

TwitterJoin the conversation!

Tweet your questions in advance at #HOC18 or at our handle, @BenCanMag.

For more information regarding the agenda, please contact Lauren Harris, editor, conferences.

Healthy Outcomes Conference

May 24-25, 2018
Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto

**Please note that this agenda is a draft and may be subject to change

Thursday, May 24, 2018:

5:00-6:00 p.m.
Opening cocktail reception

6:00 p.m.

6:00-6:20 p.m.
Becoming the change you want to see in your organization

While everyone has an idea of what a healthy outcome looks like, the journey is often fraught with mental roadblocks and ingrained habits that are hard to break. In order to help your organization successfully navigate this journey, you must become the change you want to witness. Only then can you achieve success.

Join Gary LeBlanc for an entertaining session, where he will help you:
- Short-circuit bad habits while engineering good ones
- Declutter your mind by decluttering your life
- Design an environment that will make healthy decisions the norm

Allow him to help you take back control of your health. Prepare to leave the session more aware, more energized, and more powerful.

Gary LeBlanc, chief executive officer, Ikkuma

Friday, May 25, 2018:

8:00-8:55 a.m.

8:55 a.m.
Opening remarks 

9:00-9:45 a.m.
Maximizing the success of your workplace wellness program with gamification and social connectivity
Health promotion can produce real benefits in the workplace but only if participation rates are high and employee engagement remains strong beyond the first few months. Gamification and social connectivity are two techniques that have been proven to work with Canadian companies, hospitals, and the military. Recently completed research will provide examples that have been proven to sustain employee engagement and provide measurable benefits in physical and mental health outcomes.

Dr. Steven Grover, professor of medicine, McGill University

9:45-11:00 a.m.
Are wellness/health management programs accessible to all?
Today, with an increasing number of employees working from home, on the road, travelling or with no regular place of business, more than ever before, employers need to be able to meet the needs of a diverse workforce. In this session, learn about how Canadian plan sponsors have utilized online health management platforms to deliver health promotion programs and activities to their employees. Hear about what works well, the challenges and opportunities to improve in executing these programs, and the best strategies for success.

Peter Gove, innovation leader, health management, Green Shield Canada

11:00-11:30 a.m.
Networking break

11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Motivational interviewing – the power to change behaviours and improve outcomes

Most healthcare professionals still use an authoritative style when communicating with patients. When lifestyle behaviour changes are required, using motivational interviewing can be an effective technique to move patients past their resistance to change and take action. This session will explore how motivational interviewing compliments health coaching and produces positive health outcomes for employees. Find out how this technique can improve your workplace.

Ann Stirling, senior director, CAREpath Inc.


12:00 -12:30 p.m.
Taking action on obesity

Obesity is recognized by leading health organizations, including the Canadian Medical Association and the World Health Organization, as a chronic medical disease; however, despite this, it is not often treated as such in the workplace. This session will preview the results of the “Awareness, Care, and Treatment in Obesity Management” (ACTION) study – the first national Canadian study investigating perceptions, attitudes and barriers to obesity management in persons with obesity (PwO), healthcare providers (HCPs) and employers – and discuss initial steps employers can take to help support their employees living with obesity.

Noel MacKay, director, national benefits consulting, Cowan Insurance Group

(Session made possible by Novo Nordisk.)

12:30-1:30 p.m.

1:30 -2:00 p.m.
Impact of migraine on the workplace

Most of us have heard of migraine but how many of us truly understand how debilitating they can be – both in our personal lives and at work? Migraine has been a neglected neurological disease. For the first time in a decade, new research and classes of medications are coming to market, offering new hope for migraine sufferers. This session will explore the burden of migraine for Canadian patients, employees, and employers and how we can reduce its impact in the workplace.

Rob Grein, partner, PMG Intelligence

(Session made possible by Novartis.)


2:00 -2:45 p.m.
More information to be announced shortly.


2:45 -3:15 p.m.
Networking break


3:15 -3:45 p.m.
More information to be announced shortly.


3:45 -4:15 p.m.
CAA’s wellness journey
Learn how CAA Club Group developed an integrated wellness strategy that empowers their employees to adopt and make healthy lifestyle choices both at work and at home. This session will take you through their journey, from the inception with no budget, to a holistic program that continues to be a pivotal part of their overall employee value proposition. 

Mara Notarfonzo,
assistant vice-president, compensation and benefits, CAA Club Group

Healthy Outcomes Conference

May 24-25, 2018
Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto




Gary LeBlanc

Dr. Alain Sotto

Gary LeBlanc is the chief executive officer of Ikkuma Inc. He coaches individuals towards finding their purpose. Although LeBlanc found success in the corporate world, his former career as a vice-president for a tier one company left him searching for his own purpose. When a close friend got diagnosed with cancer, LeBlanc realized that helping people live their best life was more than just an interest, it was his passion. Spending the better part of 20 years researching the latest diet, health, and fitness trends, LeBlanc now empowers people to live their purpose. He is a life engineer, certified coach, personal trainer and the published author of Find Your SuperHuman. He's helped countless people and organizations foster deeper connections and begin their journey to become healthier and happier, naturally. LeBlanc holds a bachelor of engineering and a master of business administration.




Dr. Steven Grover

Dr. Alain Sotto

Dr. Steven Grover is the director of the McGill Comprehensive Health Improvement Program and a professor of medicine at McGill University. After graduating with a medical degree at McGill University, he completed his clinical training at the University of California in Los Angeles, McGill University, and Harvard Medical School. He also completed research training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital while completing a master of public administration at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Dr. Grover’s research interests include the importance of exercise, healthy eating, medication adherence and other lifestyle interventions to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia. More recently, he has focused on the impact of web-based health promotion on measurable outcomes. To support this work, his research team has developed the myhealthcheckup and nvigorus web-based platforms which have now been used by the Canadian Medical Association, members of parliament and Senators in the Canadian House of Parliament, employers, the Canadian military, and over 300,000 individuals worldwide. Dr. Grover is an avid, but slow jogger, and enjoys walking everywhere in any weather. He has been happily married for over 35 years to his wife, Mara, who is also a physician. They have four sons who never listen to them and two dogs that occasionally do.



Peter Gove

Peter Gove

Peter Gove is the innovation leader of health management with Green Shield Canada (GSC). In this role, he has oversight for initiatives under GSC’s Change4Life banner. Prior to coming to GSC, Gove was responsible for the national disability management and life insurance claims program for a large Canadian life insurance company. Gove has a master’s degree in social work and is a registered social worker. Continuing his education, he started a doctorate program in applied health science at the University of Waterloo. He has presented internationally in the areas of health management and disability management and was the recipient of the 2014 Vision and Values award presented by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association.



Rob Grein

Rob Grein

Rob Grein is the founder of PMG Intelligence and has more than 25 years of public and private sector market research experience. For the past decade, Grein and PMG have executed extensive investigations on a variety of diseases and chronic health conditions and the relative impact on the workforce. Conditions examined in recent years include, but are not limited to: diabetes, asthma, COPD, Crohn’s, colitis, arthritis, and migraine. Additionally, Grein and his team have also played a key role in testing the impact of health case management and step therapy strategies used to support cost containment initiatives in plan design at an insurance level. Over the course of his tenure in the industry, Grein has played an active committee role with client organizations, facilitating and working through implementation of market research insights as it relates to product development, marketing, and strategic planning initiatives.


Noel MacKay

Noel MacKay

Noel MacKay is the director of national benefits consulting at Cowan Insurance Group. He has more than 29 years of experience working in the employee benefits field, including program design, corporate health strategies, and prescription drug formulary design and carrier service management. MacKay is a graduate of Wilfred Laurier University, and holds the certified employee benefit specialist (CEBS) designation through the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans (IFEBP) and Dalhousie University. MacKay has also been a CEBS course instructor at Fanshawe College, and Sheridan College and for the IFEBP’s certificate in Canadian benefit plans program for US employers. He has also presented on employee benefit plan trends at Conference Board of Canada, Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association and numerous other industry events. 


Mara Notarfonzo

Mara Notarfonzo

Mara Notarfonzo is the assistant vice-president of compensation and benefits at CAA Club Group. In this role, she oversees the design, development and delivery of programs to enhance the employee experience. Her deep understanding of how human resource practices support business outcomes results in effective and sustainable programs that support the overall well-being of employees and drive business results.



Ann Stirling

Ann Stirling

Ann Stirling is currently the senior director of CAREpath Inc., with primary responsibilities for managing the HealthCareAssist navigation program.  She commenced her clinical career in post-surgical care in Hamilton and later at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, as an intensive care unit nurse. After these positions, she transitioned to a full time clinical nursing professor at George Brown College and later to a clinical educator at the Credit Valley Hospital, where she utilized her extensive experience implementing both adult and pediatric patient-centric programs. Prior to her current role she worked as the director for a community care access centre, managing a variety of homecare programs for patients of all ages and disease conditions.  This is Stirling’s fourth year at Bayshore utilizing both her clinical and adult education expertise to develop effective chronic disease management programs, utilizing the principles of health coaching and motivational interviewing. Stirling is a registered nurse, holding both a bachelor of science in nursing, and master of education.  



For information, please contact Lauren Harris, conference editor.

Healthy Outcomes Conference

More information to be posted shortly.

For more information related to logistics, please contact Joanne Boccia, Event Manager, Benefits Canada

For sponsorship information contact Francesca Allman at

For information on the agenda, please contact Lauren Harris, Conference Editor, Benefits Canada