Healthy Outcomes Conference

June 13-14, 2017
Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto

Untitled Document

Taking Action: Inspiring Employers to Move Toward Healthier Outcomes

Balancing a healthy lifestyle with work in this day and age is a challenge that many can relate to. With chronic disease rates increasing at 14% each year*, it is critical that employers take steps toward healthier outcomes for their plan members. What can employers do to encourage a healthy workforce? How can benefit plans promote well-being? How can employers ensure members are optimizing their wellness plans?
The Healthy Outcomes Conference will start with a dinner followed by a full day session designed to be interactive in an intimate setting.

It will feature interactive workshops and dialogue about common challenges and innovative solutions for improving employee health and productivity.

Now in its 16th year, this event continues to prove its longevity and relevance, with approximately 35 senior-level plan sponsor delegates participating in all aspects of this conference in an intimate setting.


*The Public Health Agency of Canada:


Interested in attending?

This event is open to *qualified employers.

There are 2 conference packages available:
1) A registration fee of $799 plus HST, which includes hotel accommodation for June 9th, conference registration fee and conference meals. Any additional nights will be at your own expense.
2) A registration fee of $699 plus HST, which includes the conference registration fee and conference meals.

All attendees are asked to join the opening cocktail reception and dinner 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.

Interested in testimonials?

“… 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 2016 post-conference coverage

TwitterJoin the conversation!

Tweet your questions in advance at #HOC17 or at our handle, @BenCanMag.

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

Healthy Outcomes Conference

June 13-14, 2017
Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto
(*Please note this is a draft and subject to change)

7:35 - 8:25 a.m.
Breakfast and Registration

8:25 - 8:30 a.m.
Opening Remarks

8:30 - 9:15 a.m.
Checking Health off the List: An Employer's Guide to Chronic Disease

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while juggling work and personal commitments can be challenging. With sedentary lifestyles prevailing and an aging workforce trending, it’s no surprise that chronic disease rates are soaring. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, approximately 52 per cent of Canadians live with one major chronic disease and 15 per cent are living with two or more. In this session, Dr. Alain Sotto will examine some of the most prevalent chronic diseases to help plan sponsors understand what they can do to promote health in the workplace, and ultimately help members lead healthier lives.

Dr. Alain Sotto, occupational medical consultant, Toronto Transit Commission, director, Medcan Year-Round Care and Wellness  clinic, investigative coroner, York Region

9:15 - 10:30 a.m.
Depression – Diagnosing, Treating and Supporting

This session will take us on an educational journey through the complicated diagnosis and treatment of “depression” in today’s health care system, as well as look at the supportive role an employer can play in the process. Plan sponsors will walk away with a better understanding of this disease and how the system is set up to support patients.

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

10:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Networking Break

11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Improving Health Outcomes while Managing Costs: How Pharmacy can Help!

As the prevalence of chronic disease in the workforce increases, the need to improve health outcomes while managing drug plan costs has never been more important. This session will discuss how pharmacy has the opportunity to be a part of the solution, and subsequently free up room for employers to invest in preventative health and wellness solutions.

Mark Rolnick,
vice-president, payor partnerships and plan sponsor innovation, Shoppers Drug Mart

11:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Improving Workplace Health: A Closer Look at the Costs and Prevention Solutions

An estimated 87 per cent of Canadians are likely to be affected by one or more chronic disease or major illness over the course of their lifetime.  For employers that translates into direct costs such as absenteeism, presenteeism and increased short- and long-term disability claims. It’s clear that we have to change the way we approach these issue at home and in the workplace.  Join Joe Farago from Innovative Medicines Canada and Eileen Dooley, the chief executive officer of HealthPartners Canada, as they explore innovative approaches to prevention of chronic disease and building healthier workplaces.

Joe Farago, executive director of healthcare innovation, Innovative Medicines Canada
Eileen Dooley,
chief executive officer, HealthPartners Canada

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

1:00 - 1:40 p.m.
Interactive Workshops: Taking Action on the Connection Between Drug Plans and Employee Health
During these workshops, delegates will engage in moderated group discussion to better understand the impact of drug plan offerings on employee health outcomes.

Joe Farago, executive director of healthcare innovation, Innovative Medicines Canada
Kirsten Garces,
value and access, senior manager, Amgen Canada
Carmen Hogan,
vice-president, sales and service , Green Shield Canada
Kathy Sotirakos,
senior manager, market access private insurance, Amgen Canada

1:40 - 2:10 p.m.
Mental Health and Disability Management: A Call to Action

This session will review why mental health is so relevant to absence and return to work. In order to proactively tackle the pervasive issue of mental illness as a claim and absence driver, employers must look broadly at their workplace’s practices. Judith will challenge your thinking, your spending and your commitment to real cultural change. Prepare to be challenged and motivated to take action!

Judith Plotkin, vice-president, growth and strategy, Reed Group

2:10 - 2:40 p.m.
Networking Break

2:40 - 3:00 p.m.
Workshop Takeaways
Designated moderators will have aggregated ideas over the course of the workshop and will present those key takeaways to the entire group. Each moderator will have five minutes to present. 

3:00 - 3:45 p.m.
Taking Little Steps Toward Action
When it comes to employee health, the journey is just as important as the destination. While often overlooked, the little steps toward action are an essential part of the process. What was the reason for implementing a wellness initiative? How was internal buy-in received? What kinds of questions had to be asked? Who was involved? This panel will feature a variety of employer perspectives that will help to better understand the little steps that lead to a healthier workforce.

Lisa Gilmour,
manager, health, safety and wellness initiatives, Hamilton Health Sciences
Shana Kapustin, Canadian director, human resources and global talent acquisition, Synnex Canada
Lyne Moussa, manager, wellness, safety and disability, Coast Capital Savings
Heather Ricketts, national director, human resources, Sleep Country Canada

3:45 p.m.
Closing Remarks

Healthy Outcomes Conference Speakers

June 13-14, 2017
Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto



Dr. Alain Sotto

Dr. Alain Sotto

Since June 2014, Dr. Alain Sotto was named director of the Medcan Wellness Clinic, with Medcan being Canada’s largest executive health care clinic. From 2001 till 2014, he was the chief physician of the wellness division for Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in Toronto and Pickering. Since 2006, Dr. Sotto has been the occupational medical consultant for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). He is a highly respected public speaker who is sought after to present on a variety of topics including cancer and mental health screening in the workplace, chronic disease prevention, and the business of aging. His primary area of interest is focused on “saving lives in the workplace one life at a time with integrated health strategies at work for preventing or delaying the onset of chronic diseases. Dr. Sotto has held a number of medical consultant positions for large, national organizations, and he has been appointed to numerous medical and professional advisory boards. In May 2013, Dr. Sotto was named the Honorary Chair for the ROI of One Life conference held in Toronto, Ontario. In 2016, Dr. Sotto implemented a cardio-metabolic onsite screening program to all TTC employees with a focus on diabetes screening within the workplace. (See article in Benefits Canada April 2016). In 2012, Dr. Sotto led OPG’s Corporate Health and Wellness Strategy analyzing drug and benefit utilization with chronic disease management. The company was one of the top 3 finalists in Canada for the Best Employer in the Workplace Health and Benefits’ Award. In addition, he was the lead consultant on a cross—functional team during the SARS epidemic. As a result, OPG was used as the “model employer” by the Rotman School of Business. Dr. Sotto wa s  the founding member of the OPG-Pandemic Steering Committee. In 2009, Dr. Sotto was appointed as an examiner for the Canadian Board of Occupational Medicine and in 2008, he was appointed by an Order in Council in the Ontario Parliament as Investigative Coroner for York Region performing death scene investigations. In March 2009, Dr. Sotto was invited by the French Government’s Civil Defense Force to speak in Paris on pandemic planning with antiviral programs. Dr. Sotto appeared on Rogers TV and his articles on workplace health and wellness have been published in various magazines including several in Benefits Canada, The ROI of One Life: Cancer, Courage and Patient’s Voice.



Eileen Dooley

Eileen Dooley

Eileen Dooley is the chief executive officer of HealthPartners, a collaboration between 16 of Canada’s most respected health charities. Dooley is leading the growth of workplace giving across both private and government sectors. Combining a career long commitment to building healthier communities, Dooley’s background includes working as vice-president of community services with the United Way Ottawa. She holds a bachelor of communications from the University of Ottawa. Inspired by the fight against chronic disease and saving lives through medical research, Dooley has an unrelenting commitment to achieving greater recognition of the impact of disease on our families, communities and Canadian productivity.



Joe Farago

Joe Farago

Joe Farago joined the Innovative Medicines Canada association as the executive director of health-care innovation in January 2016. In this role, he is responsible for the private payer market and the national innovation strategy. Farago is leading the pharmaceutical sector’s efforts in taking a more proactive approach to addressing today’s issues in order to ensure that tomorrow’s workforces in Canada have strong private market coverage best suited to meeting their needs. Farago has been mobilizing resources to focus on bringing discussions and solutions to the stakeholder table, where the overall objective is to ensure the sustainability of the private market insurance in Canada. Over the last 27 years, Farago has acquired a vast knowledge of the Canadian pharmaceutical and specialty biopharmaceutical markets. He has a wide range of experience in access, government affairs, sales, marketing and operations. Farago has had the opportunity to be part of establishing two organizations in the Canadian market from the ground up and he has a strong understanding of market access success and organizational development. He started his pharmaceutical career with Servier Canada Inc. in 1989, until he entered the plasma protein specialty market with CSL Ltd. in 2007, where he was instrumental in establishing and building the Canadian organization to a market leader. Farago graduated from Carleton University in 1989 with a bachelor of science degree.


Kirsten Garces

Kirsten Garces

Kirsten Garces is the senior manager of value and access with Amgen Canada. In this role, she is responsible for demonstrating the value of Amgen products to public and private payers as well as the eimbursement of several of Amgen’s products. Garces received her bachelor of science in chemistry from the University of Ottawa and her bachelor of science in pharmacy from the University of Toronto. She also completed a pharmacy residency program specialized in managed care with Express Scripts Canada. Garces joined CADTH in 2001 and led several programs including the environmental scanning program and the rapid review service and was responsible for the common drug review submission process.


Lisa Gilmour

Lisa Gilmour

Lisa Gilmour is the manager of health, safety and wellness initiatives at Hamilton Health Sciences. In this role, she supports the implementation and sustainability of prevention and promotion initiatives in the areas of workplace health, safety and wellness. Her teams support attendance management, musculoskeletal disorder prevention, ergonomics, wellness and psychological safety.With a unique background in occupational health, disability management, public health and workplace health promotion, Gilmour continues to evolve programs to strategically address organizational goals. Her passion for workplace health has lead to various research partnerships and the development of several very successful injury reduction and wellness programs.


Peter Gove

Peter Gove

Peter Gove is the innovation leader, health management with Green Shield Canada (GSC). As such, 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 of 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.


Carmen Hogan

Carmen Hogan

Carmen Hogan is vice-president of sales and service at Green Shield Canada (GSC), one of Canada’s largest health and dental benefit providers. Previously, she was the director of business development at Sun Life and director of sales and service at Manulife. With 30 years’ experience in the benefits industry, Hogan’s unique approach to sales strategy delivers innovation with cost efficiency, and is all backed by a foundation of superior customer service. Hogan thinks big — big ideas, big results, big savings, and big smiles on customers’ faces. She accomplishes big things by leading her sales and service teams to drive innovation by listening to customer priorities and then deliver with the most innovative and cost effective strategy possible. She is the Past Chair of the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute (CPBI) Council, Ontario Region.


Shana Kapustin

Shana Kapustin

Shana Kapustin has been working in the field of human resources for over 25 years. Coming from diverse industries such as print, managed outsourced services and real estate, she is now the Canadian director of human resources and global talent acquisition at SYNNEX Canada Limited. Joining six years ago, Shana oversees the human resources and health and safety functions within Canada, the global talent acquisition function across North America, as well as serving as the executive lead for Canada’s corporate social responsibility platform, in partnership with Kids Help Phone. Kapustin holds a bachelor of political science from York University, certificate in human resource management designation and certification from Ryerson University in occupational health and safety.


Lyne Moussa

Lyne Moussa

Lyne Moussa is the manager of disability health and safety at Coast Capital Savings Credit Union. She has been a change agent for her organization in the area of wellness and disability management. She holds a bachelor of science, a post-baccalaureate in human resources, the chartered professional in human resources designation, diploma in disability and rehabilitation management, certificate in ergonomics, diploma in leading a mentally healthy workplace, certificate in mediation and conflict resolution. As a human resources professional, her passion for health and fitness combined with her experience and credentials, make this an ideal position for Moussa.  Her successful launch of Let's Act, a customized mental health for leaders workshop, has been embraced by the participants whose testimonials illustrate the immediate positive impact of lessons learned. Having raised three young men, while continuing education, volunteering both personally and professionally, Moussa has a tremendous appreciation of how health and productivity are interlinked. Leading by example, her mission is to enable self-care by helping others maintain a prioritized balance of mental, physical, and financial well-being. On evenings and weekends, she takes pride in enabling confidence in others to enjoy weight training and healthy meal preparation.

Judith Plotkin

Judith Plotkin

Judith Plotkin is the vice-president of growth and strategy for ReedGroup Canada. In this role, she is tasked with growing the business and developing strategic initiatives for the Canadian market. Plotkin’s high-level industry insight regarding return to work, mental illness, integrated absence and health and productivity is frequently published and keeps her in demand for media consultations and speaking engagements. Educated in social work, Plotkin received her bachelor of social work degree from Ryerson University and her master of social work degree from the University of Toronto.


Heather Ricketts

Heather Ricketts

Heather Ricketts is the national director of human resources with Sleep Country Canada. In her role, she oversees the organization’s human resources functions nationally, including employee/labour relations, recruitment and selection, health, safety and wellness. Prior to her role at Sleep Country Canada, Ricketts worked in human resources with Direct Energy and Rogers Communications. She has studied and worked in Japan, England and Spain and speaks three languages fluently. Ricketts graduated from the University of Toronto with an honours bachelor of arts in 2002 and a post-graduate certificate in human resources from Humber College in 2009. She currently works as a volunteer with Missionaries of the Poor, Sleeping Children Around the World and in 2016, initiated work on World Class Jamaica- a not-for-profit agency that brings technology to underserved schools in Jamaica.

Mark Rolnick

Mark Rolnick

Mark Rolnick is the vice-president of payor partnerships and plan sponsor innovation for Shoppers Drug Mart. He is responsible for leading the strategy and development of innovative sustainable solutions to help employers manage their drug plans and improve the health and wellness of their employees. Rolnick and his team work in partnership with insurance carriers, benefits consultants and advisors to implement and execute these initiatives. Prior to joining Shoppers Drug Mart, Rolnick spent over five years at Sun Life Financial in leadership roles in the group benefits product development area with a portfolio that included pharmaceuticals, disability and health and wellness. He also spent over 11 years at AstraZeneca, holding a number of roles with increasing responsibility, including market access, sales, marketing, strategic planning and business development. Rolnick practised pharmacy for many years and he also has a master of science in health economics and a master of business administration.

Kathy Sotirakos

Kathy Sotirakos

Kathy Sotirakos is the senior manager of market access private insurance with Amgen Canada. She joined Amgen in 2007 and was previously responsible for supporting the value and access department as the manager of patient access. She is currently responsible for overseeing Amgen’s private payer customer segment. This includes development of market initiatives that build awareness, educate and provide innovative approaches on the value of Amgen’s products to private insurance customers. Sotirakos is vice-chair of Innovative Medicines Canada’s Private Payer Core Team and previously served as chair of Rx&D Private Payer Sub Committee. Sotirakos also acts as Co-Chair of the Group Insurance Pharmaceutical Committee. She holds a bachelor of math for commerce from York University along with a bachelor of applied science in nutrition from Ryerson University. Her diverse background in both business and science allows Sotirakos to use her varied experience in customer service, operations, program management and nutrition to further support Amgen’s Market Access Department. Prior to joining Amgen, Sotirakos was the director of operations for Adjuvantz as well as the manager of operations from 2000-2007.

For more information on speaking at the Healthy Outcomes Conference, contact Lauren Harris.

Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto

The luxury, 5-star Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto provides comfortably appointed rooms and suites, and their excellent dining options and amenities ensure an unforgettable stay in the heart of downtown Toronto.

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188 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5H 0A3

Telephone:  (647) 788-8888

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