Call for Abstracts

This year’s theme is…

Creating the Winning Conditions for Change

NHLC 2018 will celebrate success and showcase how change is happening now – and in the future – to improve the health of all Canadians. Health leaders from across Canada and internationally will share their achievements in overcoming barriers to change and identify the critical enablers that made these changes possible.  The role of leadership in advancing transformational change agendas – from addressing the social determinants of health to improving digital health – will be highlighted. Key issues to be examined include:

Government and policy – What is the role of government to set the tone, direction and policy for change? How do health leaders work with political leaders to ensure buy-in for change? How do they ensure ongoing sustainability of change? How do organizational/regional boards engage with government to achieve alignment with strategic priorities?
• Governance – What role do Boards play in supporting change at the organizational, local, and systems level?  How do they establish expectations for improvement and collaboration in their strategic directions?
Engagement – How do leaders encourage risk taking as part of an improvement strategy, setting the stage for larger and more disruptive change? How do they create a culture of engagement with front-line staff to make change happen in the care setting? How do they ensure a stronger voice for patients, families, and communities at every stage of change?  
• Technology and digital health – What is the role of technology and digital health in transformational change? What is the role of industry and the private sector in enabling change? How do we ensure that the right care happens in the right place at the right time?
• Social determinants of health – How do health leaders address critical factors outside the health care system – the social determinants of health – influencing health and well-being? How do health system leaders work with community partners to improve the health of patients, families and communities? 

Join us at NHLC 2018 – a pivotal opportunity for health leaders to come together to identify, examine, learn and debate the winning conditions for improving the health of all Canadians.    

Submission Instructions

Before starting the online submission process, please prepare your abstract in MS Word format including the title, abstract, authors and organizations. Once your abstract is finalized, please complete the online submission form. The abstract should be prepared in paragraph format keeping in mind the word count for the type of abstract you are submitting. The word count excludes the title. You can cut and paste the text from your MS Word document to the abstract form. Do not include the author information in the abstract text. You will require the following information to complete the abstract submission form:

  • Target audience (i.e. senior leaders, middle management, emerging leaders);
  • Presentation level: introductory, intermediate, or advanced. This is reflective of the level of knowledge or experience about the topic the learner is expected to have before coming;
  • LEADS framework domain (i.e. Lead self, engage others, Achieve results, develop coalitions, or systems transformation);
  • Primary and secondary topic (Government and policy, Engagement, Governance, Technology and digital health, and Social determinants of health);
  • List of authors including organizations;
  • 50 word biography for each presenting author (for introductory purposes);
  • Primary contact person (As the primary contact, only this person will receive correspondence and is expected to share it with their co-presenters);
  • Presentation format (please select only one format).

Submission Formats

Panel, oral and rapid fire submissions

Panel, oral and rapid fire submissions should be prepared in paragraph format and structured as follows:

  • Learning objectives and how it fits the theme and selected stream;
  • Activities, methods, innovations;
  • Outcomes, results;
  • Leadership lessons learned;
  • System change(s); and
  • Conclusion.

Panel submissions must not exceed 500 words (3,200 characters including spaces). Oral and rapid fire abstract submissions must not exceed 150 words (950 characters including spaces).

Workshop submissions

Workshop submissions should include the following: 

  • Background
  • Overall objective for workshop
  • Workshop goals
  • Ideas to be explored, skills to be acquired, or problems to be addressed
  • Intended learning outcomes for participants
  • Timings that clarify the structure of the workshop and activities, including opportunities for reflection
  • Originality and innovation
  • Steps aimed at engaging the audience and facilitating interaction
  • Relevance to the conference theme
  • Practical application of learning through such takeaways as tools, templates, checklists, etc.


We welcome submissions from private sector partners, provided that they address (a) cooperative venture(s) with a non-profit sector partner and include the latter as a co-presenter. The abstract should present an unbiased description of a certain method or service, discussing both pros and cons. Both obvious and subtle advertisement of any products or services is in direct conflict with the spirit of the conference. examples of the former include repeated references to products or trade names and excessive use of corporate logos and trademarks in graphic illustrations. photographs of commercial equipment are not permitted unless they add educational value. The planning Committee insists that all authors and presenters understand without exception, that commercialism is inappropriate and will not be tolerated. Authors are asked to abide by these constraints when preparing their abstracts, and presentations.  

To ensure your abstract meets all of our criteria, take a look at our rubric below.



lead self – self motivated leaders …

Are self aware – They are aware of their own assumptions, values, principles, strengths and limitations.
Manage themselves – They take responsibility for their own performance and health.
Develop themselves – They actively seek opportunities and challenges for personal learning, character building and growth.
Demonstrate character – They model qualities such as honesty, integrity, resilience, and confidence.

engage others – engaging leaders …

Foster development of others – They support and challenge others to achieve professional and personal goals.
Contribute to the creation of healthy organizations – They create engaging environments where others have meaningful opportunities to contribute and ensure that resources are available to fulfill their expected responsibilities.
Communicate effectively – They listen well and encourage open exchange of information and ideas using appropriate communication media.
Build teams – They facilitate environments of collaboration and cooperation to achieve results.

achieve results – goal-oriented leaders …

Set direction – They inspire vision by identifying, establishing and communicating clear and meaningful expectations and outcomes.
Strategically align decisions with vision, values, and evidence – They integrate organizational missions, values and reliable, valid evidence to make decisions.
Take action to implement decisions – They act in a manner consistent with the organizational values to yield effective, efficient public-centered service.
Assess and evaluate – They measure and evaluate outcomes, compare the results against established benchmarks and correct the course as appropriate.

develop coalitions – collaborative leaders …

Purposefully build partnerships and networks to create results – They create connections, trust and shared meaning with individuals and groups.
Demonstrate a commitment to customers and service – They facilitate collaboration, cooperation and coalitions among diverse groups and perspectives aimed at learning to improve service.
Mobilize knowledge – They employ methods to gather intelligence, encourage open exchange of information, and use quality evidence to influence action across the system.
Navigate socio-political environments – They are politically astute, and can negotiate through conflict and mobilize support.

systems transformation – successful leaders …

Demonstrate systems / critical thinking – They think analytically and conceptually, questioning and challenging the status quo, to identify issues, solve problems and design, and implement effective processes across systems and stakeholders.
Encourage and support innovation – They create a climate of continuous improvement and creativity aimed at systemic change.
Orient themselves strategically to the future – They scan the environment for ideas, best practices, and emerging trends that will shape the system.
Champion and orchestrate change – They actively contribute to change processes that improve health service delivery.  



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