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Citizen Panels


Programs targeted primarily at health-system leaders

Health Systems Evidence

The world's most comprehensive, free access point for evidence on how to strengthen or reform health systems and on how to get cost-effective programs, services and drugs to those who need them, is a self-serve resource that can help policymakers and stakeholders rapidly identify research evidence related to their work. Learn more.

Rapid response

Introduced by the McMaster Health Forum to fill the gap between the ‘self-serve’ option of using Health Systems Evidence, and the ‘full-serve’ option of requesting a stakeholder dialogue informed by a pre-circulated evidence brief, this service offers a summary of research evidence on a particular health system issue within three, 10 or 30 business days. Learn more.

Stakeholder dialogues

One of the Forum’s signature programs, each dialogue consists of a multi-stage process that consolidates relevant research evidence on a specific topic in an evidence brief to inform off-the-record deliberations at a day-long gathering of key policymakers, stakeholders and researchers, with the goal of spurring action on pressing health challenges. Learn more.

Citizen panels

The Forum convenes panel deliberations, each informed by a citizen brief, to provide the opportunity for citizens to share their views and experiences on high-priority issues, which can uncover unique understandings of these issues and spark insights about viable solutions that are aligned with citizens’ values and preferences. Learn more.

Health Systems Learning

The Forum provides online and in-person training about how to reform, renew or strengthen health systems, and how to get cost-effective programs, services and drugs to those who need them, based on the best available research evidence. The training is for policymakers and stakeholders, as well as researchers, journalists, students and citizens at large. Learn more.

Visiting leaders

The Forum invites scholars from around the world to spend time working at the Forum to advance their own research or knowledge translation programs, while participating in the Forum’s various initiatives. Learn more.

Programs targeted primarily at citizens

McMaster Optimal Aging Portal

The Portal offers evidence-based information about how to stay healthy, active and engaged, and how to manage our health conditions as we grow older, through direct and easy self-serve access for citizens, clinicians, public health professionals and policymakers. Learn more

Public events

The Forum provides opportunities for the public at large and the McMaster community to learn more about important issues related to personal health as well as health systems, by organizing public talks, panel discussions and debates, featuring a range of speakers with particular expertise on the topics being addressed. Learn more.

Programs targeted at students

Student courses

In keeping with its commitment to prepare action-oriented leaders to address pressing health challenges creatively, the Forum provides three courses each year to give students the chance to learn about the process of making and influencing decisions at different levels and both within and across health systems. Learn more.

Student-led events

Our student subcommittee oversees the organization of a variety of events aimed at fostering learning, discussions and collective action among students regarding key health challenges. Many of the activities are of interest and open to the community at large. Learn more.


The Forum’s Fellows program is an opportunity for senior undergraduate students to work closely with Forum staff and faculty, and interact with visiting stakeholders to see how pressing health challenges can be solved creatively. Learn more.

Health Impact Lab

The Forum’s Impact Lab undertakes cutting edge research and research synthesis about how to support the use of research evidence in health systems, and it trains students and researchers to undertake such work. The Impact Lab capitalizes on the numerous research and evaluation opportunities created by the Forum’s innovative programs and by its partners internationally, which collectively provide a ‘natural laboratory’ within which to study innovations in supporting evidence-informed health systems. Learn more.

Download a PDF of the Forum Programs Handout.

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