We are pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for two prestigious awards for outstanding achievement in the field of health technology assessment in Canada.The charter clauses of Patients Included provide organizations like CADTH with “a means of demonstrating their commitment to incorporating the experience and insight of patients into their events by ensuring that they are neither excluded nor exploited.” The 2020 CADTH Symposium, which has the theme Decision-Making in an Age of Uncertainty, is an accredited Patients Included event that fulfills the five Patients Included charter clauses in the following ways: We are pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for two prestigious awards for outstanding achievement in the field of health technology assessment in Canada.

  1. “Patients or caregivers with experience relevant to the conference’s central theme actively participate in the design and planning of the event, including the selection of themes, topics, and speakers.”
    • CADTH supports patient participation in the Symposium planning committee. This year, we are grateful to have Jacquie Micallef of Parkinson Canada and Erin Boudreau of the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario to ensure that the selection of themes and sessions reflects the interests of patients and their families.
    • In October 2019, CADTH held a webinar entitled CADTH Symposium 2020: Top tips for sharing your knowledge and ideas, featuring patient advisor Annette McKinnon and researcher and mentor Shannon Kelly. Their efforts resulted in a major increase in the number of abstracts received for Symposium from the patient community.
  2. “Patients or caregivers with experience of the issues addressed by the event participate in its delivery and appear in its physical audience.”
    • We will have patient representatives participating as plenary speakers at two plenary sessions. These speakers will be announced in February 2020. In 2019, we were grateful to Carole McMahon, patient member of the pan-Canadian Oncology Expert Review Committee, for speaking at the Opening Ceremony and Plenary (on Monday, April 15, 2019) on the topic of Disruptive Innovation: The Hope and Hype of Transformation.And to Maureen Smith, patient member on Ontario’s Committee to Evaluate Drugs, who spoke at the Closing Plenary (on Tuesday, April 16, 2019) in a presentation entitled The Transformation Challenge.
    • Patients are eligible to submit abstracts to the Symposium, as well as attend, and may identify themselves as patients or members of the public. In 2019, 77 patients or patient group representatives attended the CADTH Symposium (28 of them received Travel Awards and two additional patients had their expenses paid as plenary speakers).
    • The theme of this year’s Symposium, Decision-Making in an Age of Uncertainty, is concerned with the problem of uncertainty for every decision-maker in the health care system, including patients. Presenters may choose Patient Engagement as a focus when submitting their abstract.
  3. “Travel and accommodation expenses for patients or carers participating in the advertised program are paid in full, in advance. Scholarships are provided by the conference organizers to allow patients or carers affected by the relevant issues to attend as delegates.”
    • Travel and accommodation expenses are paid in full, in advance, for patients or caregivers who are part of the advertised program (e.g., plenary speakers).
    • CADTH also has a Travel Award Program that helps cover applicants’ Symposium costs, including travel, accommodation, conference meals, and registration fees. Anyone belonging to a not-for-profit, patient-related organization, or a citizens’ group interested in health policy, is eligible to apply. Successful applicants will receive up to $2,000.
    • In addition, for all patients who are not part of the advertised program and who do not receive a Travel Award, we provide a 96% reduction in conference registration fees. The remaining fee that is required helps to cover the administrative cost generated by every Symposium participant. We hope local patients and patient group representatives can take advantage of this discount.
  4. “The disability requirements of participants are accommodated. All applicable sessions, breakouts, ancillary meetings, and other program elements are open to patient delegates.”
    • All sessions and presentations are open to patients.
    • The CADTH Symposium has dedicated conference planning staff experienced in accommodating patient needs, such as reserved seating, dietary requirements, and other arrangements.
    • The 2020 CADTH Symposium will be held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. The Centre is a wheelchair-accessible facility, including main entrances, meeting rooms, and guest rooms. There are meeting rooms with assistive listening devices, and service animals are welcome.
    • The facility is designed to accommodate patrons of all mobility levels, with elevator access to every floor and wheelchair-accessible bathrooms located on every floor.
  5. “Access for virtual participants is facilitated, with free streaming video provided online, wherever possible.”
    • In 2020, all plenary sessions will be streamed live from Toronto at no cost and six or more concurrent sessions will be available as webinars.
    • Videos from the CADTH Symposium 2020 will be uploaded to CADTH’s YouTube channel.
    • The Twitter hashtag #CADTHSymp will be actively promoted prior to, and during, the event so that everyone ― whether able to attend the event or not ― can join the conversation and discuss presentations, ideas, and reactions.
    • CADTH will obtain as many presentations and notes from speakers as possible and host them on its website for free viewing and downloading.