Past Event: Healthy Outcomes Conference

June 09-10, 2016
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Toronto

The annual Healthy Outcomes Conference (HOC) is an exclusive forum for approximately 35 senior-level decision makers from plan sponsor organizations to discuss improving employee health outcomes and enhancing organizational performance. This closed-door two-day interactive meeting will feature expert presentations and help facilitate dialogue about common challenges and innovative solutions for improving employee health and productivity.

The 15th Annual Healthy Outcomes Conference will take place on June 9-10, 2016 at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto.

The theme of this year’s conference is:

Getting to the Roots of Chronic Disease
Did you know that approximately one-half of Canadians twenty years and older have a chronic disease? The high prevalence of chronic disease in the working-age population is costly for employers because of direct healthcare spending and indirect costs associated with lost productivity. So what can you do to get chronic disease, and its associated costs, under control? What are the root causes of chronic disease? What can you do to prevent your employees from developing chronic diseases? And what if it’s too late? How can you treat and manage chronic diseases in your workplace? This year’s Healthy Outcomes Conference will answer these questions and help you create a healthier workforce.

Interested in attending?

This event is open to *qualified employers.

There are 2 conference packages available:
1) A registration fee of $699 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 $599 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 to find out if you qualify.

Interested in testimonials?

“An excellent conference‎ with top notch speakers, highly relevant topics and an opportunity for networking and dialogue with industry leaders. Definitely a conference not to miss!”- Lisa Gilmour, Manager, HSW Initiatives, Health, Safety & Wellness, Human Resources Portfolio, Hamilton Health Sciences

"Congratulations on hosting another successful HOC last week! I feel fortunate to have attended a few HOC and ever since my first have said "If I go to one conference a year – this is the one". I still today refer to notes taken from the first HOC in Whistler. The structure and size of the conference lends itself to informative dialog and sharing of ideas with industry leaders and like minded attendees. Really appreciated the opportunities to network and discuss ideas and programs with peers and leaders from across the country. The speakers, location and hospitality was first class – thanks for looking after us so well.To organize and deliver an event such as the HOC is not easy yet you and your Team pulled it off without a hitch. Please pass along my sincere appreciation to the many others (including the sponsors) that make the event so meaningful.Thank you again – in good health - all the best."- Steve Sproule, Team Lead, Health, Benefits & Retirement, Husky Energy Corporation, Calgary

"This is my second year attending this event and once again I can say this is the best conference I have attended. The content and calibre of attendees and speakers is first rate. Thank you for the hard work that goes into making this a resounding success. - Ana Lopez, Director Human Resources, TransLink

"The conference was so valuable as the content was extremely timely to our institution. The conference was also extremely well organized. I truly appreciated meeting members of the Rogers team as well as the many new contacts from across Canada as a result of our time together at the HOC." - Lisa Morine, Senior Manager Health, Safety and Risk Management, McMaster University

Link to 2016 post-conference coverage

TwitterJoin the conversation!

Tweet your questions in advance at #HOC16 or at our handle, @BenCanMag

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

Healthy Outcomes Conference

June 9-10, 2016
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Toronto
(Please note this is a draft and subject to change)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Cocktails and Dinner

Friday, June 10, 2016

7:40 - 8:40 a.m.

8:40 - 8:45 a.m.
Opening Remarks

8:45 - 9:45 a.m.
Session 1 - Keynote Speaker: Workplace Stress and Employee Health: How to Foster a Resilient Workforce

Workplace stress is at an all-time high, particularly in today’s fast-paced and high pressure work environments. This is a serious concern, as work-related stress is related to employee health outcomes, such as heart disease, diabetes and depression. It is also linked to lower levels of job performance. In this session, Dr. McCarthy will draw from research in the areas of stress, illness, employee productivity, and resilience to elucidate the relation between work stress and employee health. This will be followed by an in-depth discussion of organizational strategies that can reduce stress and increase employee resilience.

Dr. Julie McCarthy, associate professor, organizational behavior, department of management, University of Toronto

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9:45 - 11:00 a.m.
Session 2 - Health Benefits Strategies for Millennials: How to Keep Them Healthier Than Their Parents

In the introduction to their landmark book, Boom Bust and Echo, David Foot and Daniel Stoffman claim that demographics explain two thirds of everything. If this is true, then plan sponsors need to seriously consider the habits, interests and behaviours of millennials, or those born between 1980 and 2000 (the “Echo” of Boom Bust and Echo). Millennials may very well be the largest generational cohort in history and are poised to reshape the economy. This session will explore public health data, survey data and the presenter’s original claims data in order to develop a clearer picture of this cohort. It will also explain the similarities and the differences between millennials and previous cohorts. In this session, learn how to create a benefits approach which has the potential to engage this generation in the effective management of their own health.

Peter Gove, innovation leader, health management, Green Shield Canada (GSC)

This presentation is not available for download at this time.

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

11:30 - 11:50 a.m.
Session 3 - Cardiovascular Disease and Its Impact on Your Workplace

Improvements in cardiovascular disease management have significantly reduced the number of heart attacks and related complications due to cholesterol lowering medications. However, some high risk patients cannot control their cholesterol levels using current therapies, and cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide. Increasing economic burden imposed by this disease includes growing hospitalization costs and loss of productivity and potential lifelong disability. This session will explore this chronic disease and highlight new advancements in treating cardiovascular disease that ultimately will allow for a more productive working environment.

Dr. Milan Gupta, cardiologist, Osler Cardiology (Participation made possible by Amgen)

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11:50 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
Session 4 - Chronic Disease Management in the Workplace: Your Opportunity to Head Health-care Reform

Today, plan sponsors are faced with providing competitive health benefits which will both motivate and protect their employees’ health and that of their dependents. In today’s environment, health benefits costs for aging employees who typically have one or more chronic condition are on the rise. Plan sponsors are challenged with managing the finance department’s bottom line with the healthy productivity of their workforce. This will require a greater understanding of the value of these costs and taking a greater role in advocating for these costs not only in terms of their company’s return on investment but also at a societal level. Chronic disease management for such diseases as diabetes represents a number of challenges that can have significant impact on treatment success and long term employee outcomes. The presenter will challenge plan sponsors to think outside the box and perhaps go to new frontiers to ensure future sustainability of private benefits and return on their investment.

Joe Farago, executive director, healthcare innovation, Innovative Medicines Canada

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12:10 - 12:55 p.m.

12:55 - 1:05 p.m.
Icebreaker Activity

1:05 - 2:20 p.m.
Session 5 - Obesity as a Workplace Chronic Disease

Dr. Freedhoff will share his experience and expertise in helping people with obesity better manage their disease and improve their overall health. What are the current facts and myths around obesity as a chronic disease? What are the broader attitudes and perceptions around this often misunderstood disease, and how do these attitudes show up in the workplace? What needs to change in the workplace if real progress is to be made, and what are the obstacles preventing this? The session will look towards how to create better workplaces for people with obesity, with the goal of helping, supporting and empowering plan members – while also delivering better outcomes for employers.

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, medical director Bariatric Medical Institute (Participation made possible by Novo Nordisk)

This presentation is not available for download at this time.

2:20 - 2:40 p.m.
Session 6 - Integrating the Pharmacist into Effective Strategies for Optimizing Employee Health Outcomes

With the continuing quest to achieve work-life balance, health and wellness can be quickly overlooked and even ignored by many employees. With the increasing pressures of managing careers coupled with the additional stress of caring for family members, very little time is available for people to care for themselves. This session will look at the ever changing nature of the Canadian health-care ecosystem and the evolving role that a pharmacist can play.

Angelo Tsebelis, director, payor partnerships, Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw Pharmacy

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2:40 - 3:10 p.m.
Networking Break

3:10 - 3:55 p.m.
Session 7 - Healthy Employees = Healthy Performance

Campbell Canada has been on their health & wellness journey for more than 10 years and has evolved based on the demographic shifts of their employees and the evolution of the organization. Looking at the wellness programs from a holistic perspective has enabled them to create sustainable employee & employer programs that have resulted in healthier employees and a healthier corporate bottom line. In this session, Laura will share Campbell's journey and some key insights as to their success.

Laura Lee-Blake, vice president, human resources, Campbell Company of Canada

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3:55 p.m.
Closing Remarks

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


Julie McCarthy

Associate Professor, Organizational Behavior, Department of Management
University of Toronto

Julie McCarthy

Julie's research examines how organizations can ensure that their policies and practices are viewed favorably by job applicants and employees. She also investigates strategies individuals can use to build resilience and achieve success in their work and home lives. Her work is published in leading academic journals, including The Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and Psychological Science, as well as book chapters in the influential Oxford Handbook Series. Her work is generously supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and she has received numerous awards and recognitions for her research contributions. In addition, Julie's work has received a considerable amount of media attention. In the corporate sector, Julie has developed training programs, performance management systems and personnel selection tools on behalf public and private corporations.


Joe Farago, executive director, healthcare innovation
Innovative Medicines Canada

Joe Farago

Joe Farago was hired as the executive director of healthcare innovation for Innovative Medicines Canada in January, and is responsible for the private payer market. Shortly after joining the organization, Farago identified the rapid changes and challenges taking place in the private payer space that impact future patient access. He has been responding by mobilizing resources to focus on bringing discussions and solutions to the stakeholder table that will ensure the sustainability of the private market insurance in Canada. Farago is leading the industry's efforts in taking a more proactive approach to addressing today's issue to ensure tomorrow's workforces in Canada have strong private market coverage best suited to meeting their needs. 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 brings a strong understand of market access success and organizational development. Farago started his pharmaceutical career with Servier Canada in 1989 until he entered the Plasma Protein Specialty market with CSL Limited in 2007. There, he was instrumental in establishing and building the Canadian organization to a market leader. Farago attended Carleton University, graduating in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science.

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, medical director
Bariatric Medical Institute

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff

Dr. Freedhoff is a renowned expert in obesity, recognized by the Canadian Obesity Network. He is also very experienced in nutrition and policy and is referred to as Canada's "nutritional watchdog" by the Canadian Medical Association Journal. He engages with the Canadian government, Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, non-profit organizations, and the public, to advocate for optimal policies in Canada related to obesity and nutrition. Dr. Freedhoff has extensive presence in the area of health, obesity, nutrition and policy, appearing on television, in newspapers, at conferences and events, and on his own award-winning blog, Weighty Matters. He is an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa and the medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute, which he founded in 2004. He's also the author of the #1 National Canadian bestseller The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work.

Peter Gove, innovation leader, health management
Green Shield Canada

Peter Gove

Peter Gove is innovation leader of health management with Green Shield Canada (GSC) aand has oversight for initiatives under GSC's Change4Life banner. Change4Life is aimed at supporting Canadians to better manage their health. The initiative utilizes advanced analytics to proactively identify plan participants who are at risk of developing, or who have developed a chronic disease and to reach out to them with focused programs. 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 PhD 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.

Dr. Milan Gupta, cardiologist
Osler Cardiology

Dr. Milan Gupta

Dr. Milan Gupta is a cardiologist who has been in practice for over 20 years. He is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in both internal medicine and adult cardiology. He has also been certified by the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, the Heart Rhythm Society, and the American Board of Internal Medicine. He received his MD from the University of Toronto, where he then completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiology. He runs a busy clinical practice in Brampton, is an associate clinical professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. In addition, he holds the positions of adjunct scientist in the division of CV surgery and affiliate scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Gupta is actively engaged in clinical research, physician education, and professional advocacy. He holds a number of research grants and has published over 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts. He also serves on numerous professional advisory boards and guidelines writing committees. He is the medical director of the Canadian Cardiovascular Research Network, and is past treasurer and executive member of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. He is co-founder and past chair of the Greater Toronto Area Community Cardiologists (GTACC), and past board member of the Cardiac Care Network of Ontario. He also chairs the board of directors of SANSAR, a national charity whose mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in South Asians. Dr. Gupta lectures widely on a variety of topics, and has a strong interest in developing innovative continuing medical education initiatives. His research interests include ethnicity and heart disease, acute coronary syndromes, atrial fibrillation, and emerging risk factors in vascular disease. He is a recipient of the Dr. Harold Segal Award of Merit (2008) from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and in 2014 received the Colin Woolf Award for Excellence in Course Coordination from the University of Toronto.

Laura Lee-Blake, vice-president, human resources
Campbell Company of Canada

As vice-president, human resources for the Campbell Company of Canada, Lee-Blake provides strategic human resource leadership for the Canadian division as well as participating on the Campbell America's human resources leadership team. Laura has more than 20 years of experience and a proven track record for supporting strategic and cultural change. She possesses a broad scope of human resources expertise including leadership coaching, talent management and acquisition, employee relations, wellness and diversity and inclusion. Prior to joining Campbell Canada, Laura held a variety of leadership roles within human resources, sales and customer service with Delano Technology and DHL International. In addition to her HBBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, Laura has completed many human resources related programs and is a Kolbe Specialist and certified DDI Facilitator. Away from Campbell's, Laura focuses her time with her husband and two daughters, as well as volunteering within her areas of passion. For the past five years, Laura has supported the St. Catharine's Female Hockey Association as a Hockey Trainer and passionate hockey mom. Laura's other key volunteer commitment is with the Canadian Cancer Society where she has been an active volunteer for more than 15 years holding a variety of grass roots and leadership roles in both Central West Region and the Ontario Division Board. She is currently on the Compensation Committee for the National Board of Directors.

Angelo Tsebelis, director, payor partnerships

Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw Pharmacy

As director, payor partnerships at Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw Pharmacy, Angelo Tsebelis is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and collaborative programs with various stakeholders in the payor community. Tsebelis and the health solutions team are focused on working collaboratively with Canada's leading employers, insurance companies and benefits advisors to drive innovation in benefits plan management and design that manage costs while promoting employee wellness and providing a positive plan member experience. Prior to this role, Tsebelis held various positions in the healthcare/pharmaceutical industry as director, pharmaceutical partnerships at Shoppers Drug Mart, as well as progressive leadership roles in pricing, government affairs and sales and marketing at a leading pharmaceutical company. Tsebelis also spent a number of years in in pricing and channel strategy roles with Bell Canada and an international consulting firm. Angelo holds a master of business administration from the Schulich School of Business and a honours bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto.

To discuss the speakers, please contact Lauren Harris, Conference Editor at or by calling 416-764-3958.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Toronto

From the moment you arrive at our luxury hotel, centrally located in the heart of Toronto, you will begin to explore the city's cosmopolitan culture through touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound.

First, relax and indulge your senses in the urban sanctuary of our acclaimed Spa My Blends by Clarins. Then, dine on sumptuous Mediterranean Fare at The Chef's Table in  TOCA, served upon beautifully hand-painted plates crafted by local artisans. Later, savor the aroma of fine wines and aged cheeses in our legendary cheese cave, one of only two that exist in Canada, housing more than 35 carefully sourced gourmet selections. Finally, return to your luxurious guest room, draw back your curtains and bask in the stunning views of CN Tower and David Pecaut Square. 

At The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, you will discover what it means when a luxury hotel plays to all five senses. We invite you to the total sensory experience what awaits you here in our Five-Diamond hotel.

Ritz Carlton, Toronto

Venue Address (with map)
Phone: (416) 585-2500‎

For information about hotel or logistics, please contact Joanne Boccia, senior experience manager.
For information about the agenda, please contact Lauren Harris, Conference Editor, Benefits Canada.
For sponsorship information, contact Francesca Allman, national account manager, Benefits Canada.