Calgary Benefits Summit

May 22, 2019
Fairmont Palliser Hotel, Calgary

The 2019 Calgary Benefits Summit

The theme of this year's conference is:

Changing with the times
As today’s employees change and become more health conscious, so too must employer benefits plans. What can you do to ensure your plans are evolving with the needs of employees? Are you covering the treatments they need and offering them support to help manage their health?

At the Calgary Benefits Summit, learn how to make your organization its healthiest by starting with your benefits plans.  

This event is designed for brokers, plan advisors and senior level personnel within plan sponsor organizations in both the public and private sectors.

Who Should Attend?

All employers responsible for benefits plans, as well as brokers and benefits consultants, are welcome to attend.

This full-morning conference will cost $139+tax to attend.

This event sells out quickly. Register now to guarantee your spot!


Francesca Allman

Lauren Harris
Emma Ramsey

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Calgary Benefits Summit

May 22, 2019
Fairmont Palliser Hotel, Calgary

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

7:30 – 8:25 a.m.
Breakfast and registration

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

8:30 - 9:00 a.m.
Session one
A journey to becoming Canada’s first Blue Zone

The community of Airdrie is serious about their health and wellness. They want to live longer, be healthier and become Canada’s healthiest community and first Blue Zone. Learn how to get your organization Blue Zone ready — improve people’s lives and enhance the places where they live, work and play.

Mark Seland, chief executive officer, Abrio Health

(This session has been made possible by Alberta Blue Cross.)

9:00 - 9:30 a.m.
Session two
Take 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. This session will provide a review of the complex nature of obesity, and an overview 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.

Dr. Shahebina Walji, medical director, Calgary Weight Management Centre

(This session has been made possible by Novo Nordisk.)

9:30 - 10:00 a.m.
Session three
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – What is it, why is it so popular, and what is with this e-therapy stuff?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the subject of many recent articles relating to benefit plan design and disability management. In addition, a variety of digital therapy products are emerging in the marketplace. The problem is that few people outside of the world of psychology and psychotherapy actually know what CBT is, let alone understand the digital versions of CBT. Learn how CBT works, how it is different than counselling, and about other evidence-based psychotherapies. This session will be of interest to anyone who is considering adding a digital product to a benefit plan, or who already has a digital product.

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

10:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Networking break

10:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Session four

More details to be announced shortly.

11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Session five

More details to be announced shortly.

11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 
Session six

More details to be announced shortly.

12:00 -12:05 p.m.
Closing remarks

Calgary Benefits Summit

Calgary Benefits Summit - Speakers CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Mark Seland

Mark Seland

Mark Seland is currently the chief executive officer of Abrio Health - formerly Airdrie & Area Health Cooperative. The organization was established in the city of 70,000 to use private capital to develop and construct a self-sustaining public health and health care facility and community health programming. In other international jurisdictions, similar applications have improved quality and longevity of life and reduced health care costs by 30 per cent. This is an innovative model being implemented and studied within Alberta for possible province-wide application. Abrio Health works with various government health and social services departments, provincial and local agencies and not for profit service delivery organizations, as well as for profit health related organizations, including Alberta Blue Cross, to impact the social determinants of health across all sectors from workplaces to schools, to food sources and development policy and planning. Seland has worked in government, private sector and not for profit organizations with background in government affairs, policy development, change management, organizational behaviour, system integration, pension plan and group benefits programs.


Dr. Shahebina Walji

Dr. Shahebina Walji

Dr. Shahebina Walji is the medical director of Calgary Weight Management Centre, a community-based clinic that provides comprehensive and evidence-based care to patients who struggle with their weight. She received her medical degree from McMaster University and her family medicine designation from the University of Toronto, and she is a Diplomate with the American Board of Obesity Medicine. Dr. Walji is an assistant clinical professor with the University of Calgary, offering both didactic and clinical teaching to family medicine residents, and she is currently working to formally build obesity education into the family medicine curriculum.  She is also extensively involved in the development of educational programs to: increase knowledge about obesity and its treatments to practicing health professionals, enhance public education about obesity and improve care access to obesity interventions. Dr. Walji co-founded the Calgary chapter of Obesity Canada and served as co-chairperson for three years.  Currently she is on the scientific committee for Obesity Canada at the national level and is an invited co-author of the soon to be published Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Obesity. In her "spare" time, Dr. Walji enjoys cooking and spending time with her kids.


More speakers to be posted shortly.

Event Details

Fairmont Palliser Hotel
133 9th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Fairmont Palliser Hotel
Calgary's premiere hotel, the Fairmont Palliser, is admired for its stunning architecture and impressive history. Centrally located, this landmark is near the city's financial and business district, and is just a short walk away from Calgary's lively shopping scene and ars, entertainment and culture venues. The hotel offers distinctive accommodation, and guests have referred to it as both majestic and classic. Since opening on June 1, 1914, the Fairmont Palliser has delivered outstanding hospitality, and it is the top choice to celebrate special occasions and to stay during business and leisure trips. With comfortable, luxurious accommodations and a prime location, the Fairmont Palliser Hotel is where you want to be.

Fairmont Palliser Hotel

For more information about event logistics, please contact Alyah Mann at

Getting there:

By bus:

• The Greyhound Bus Depot is on the same street as the hotel. To get from the station to the Fairmon Palliser, it is about a five-minute taxi ride away.

By car:

From YYC Calgary International Airport:

• Take Barlow Trail North
• Left on Airport Trail
• Deerfoot Trail South
• Right on 16th Avenue
• Right on 6th Avenue
• Left on 3rd Street SW
• Left on 9th Avenue

From the North (Edmonton):

• Take HWY-2 South Towards Calgary
• Take Memorial Dr exit, EXIT 256
• Merge onto Memorial Dr West
• Take the ramp toward 4 Ave S
• Turn slight left ontop 4 Avenue Flyover
• Left onto 1 St SE
• Right onto 10 Ave SE
• Take the 1st right onto 1 St SW
• Take the 1st right onto 9 Ave SW

From the East or West (Kananaskis):

• Take TransCanada Hwy 1 East to 16th Avenue
• Turn on Centre Street (Southbound)
• Turn right onto 6 Ave SW
• Turn left onto 3 St SW
• Turn left onto 9 Ave SW
• The Fairmont Palliser is just past 1 Street SW

From the South:

• Take Hwy 2 North, Macleod Trail Northbound
• Turn left on 10th Avenue
• Right on 1st Street SW
• Right on 9th Avenue


Valet Parking:
• Please park your vehicle in front of the hotel's main entrance on 9th Avenue. Rates extended to patrons who enjoy hotel dining outlets or facilities only.

Overnight* includes in and out access
• Sunday - Thursday, $40
• Friday - Saturday, $25

• Monday - Friday, up to 4 hours $20, more than 4 hours, $40 (full-day rate applies)*
• Saturday - Sunday, up to 4 hours $10, more than 4 hours, $15*

Prices include GST. *Rates are subject to change.

Self -Parking:
Impark lot with access off of 10th Avenue West or East or off of 9th Avenue (east of hotel). Take elevators to third floor and walk west to hotel mezzanine entrance. Please note that the hotel does not own or manage the Impark lot and prices are subject to change without notice.

Early Bird (Tuesday – Thursday, enter before 9 a.m., valid until 6 p.m.) - $5
All Day (Tuesday-Thursday, valid until 6 p.m.) - $27
All-Day Special (Monday and Friday, valid until 6 p.m.) - $18
Evenings (from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. next day) - $6
Weekends (Saturday to Sunday and holidays, 6 a.m. to 6 a.m.) - $6


Francesca Allman

Lauren Harris
Emma Ramsey