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PHABC Conference 2019 – Simplifying Complexity: Public Health Approaches & Practice to Complex Systems

November 14 - November 15

The Public Health Association of BC is proud to announce our annual fall conference:


Simplifying Complexity:

Public Health Approaches and Practice in Complex Systems

Conference & Annual General Meeting

November 14th & 15th, 2019

The Sutton Place Hotel

Vancouver, BC

Draft Program at a Glance Released! Click here to view it.


Registration on now, click here to register today!



Once again, the Public Health Association of BC would like to invite everyone to attend our fall conference and annual general meeting, happening this year at the Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Vancouver on November 14th and 15th, 2019. This year’s theme will build on that of our annual summer school, “Simplifying Complexity: Public Health Approaches & Practice in Complex Systems,” and will explore sub-themes of food systems & security, immunization & infectious disease control, wicked problems in health equity, and overdose response & safe supplies.


The PHABC conference provides the opportunity for professionals throughout the province to meet, mingle, and learn through a unique combination of keynote presentations, case studies, symposia and hands-on workshops. The conference aims to teach attendees how to identify complex systems in their work using complex adaptive systems thinking while simultaneously showcasing innovative and collaborative methods of promoting health at the population level.






Complexity science is the study of systems and problems that are dynamic, unpredictable and multi-dimensional, and have interconnected relationships and parts. The study of complex adaptive systems (CAS) occurs within the paradigm of complexity science. In the challenging and changing times of public health practice today, practitioners can benefit from embracing and understanding how complexity science can support improved and proactive quality of care. There are many examples of complex public health issues, including pandemics and climate change. The problems targeted by preventive interventions are often complex, embedded in multiple levels of social and environmental context, and cover the developmental lifespan. The norm for much of public health services is to address complex issues in silos restricting potential for real change. Common individual responses to complex problems can be to give up, assign blame, or oversimplify solutions. Instead, we need to approach complex problems together, using our best collective responses and resources. Understanding CAS theory can be useful for public health practice. CAS frameworks can put complex problems into context, and promote shared understandings and approaches that recognize interconnectedness, interdependence, and collective responsibility.


The theme and sub themes were introduced at our annual summer school, if you missed out, we have posted presentations from summer school speakers on our website; click here or follow the below link to check them out (please note not all presentations are available).







Early Bird registration has now closed and regular registration rates now apply.  Click here or copy the link below to register today.



2019 Registration Rates*  
2 days PHABC member $390.00
2 days Non-member $485.00
2 days senior/student PHABC member $315.00
2 days senior/student Non-member $350.00
1 day registration PHABC member $200.00
1 day registration non-member $275.00
1 day senior/student PHABC member $175.00
1 day senior/student NON member $205.00

*including GST


The Sutton Place Hotel is pleased to offer discounts of up to 35% for conference participants who book more than 15 days in advance of the conference dates.* To access the discount either call 1.866.378.8866 and ask for the “Advance Booking Offer” or use Promo Code ‘ADVP’ when booking online at https://www.suttonplace.com/hotels/sutton-place-hotel-vancouver-van.

*Subject to Availability 

Call for Abstracts


Thank you to everyone who has submitted their abstract, our reviewers have completed their work and our draft program at a glance has been released.


Please check your email inboxes for the status of your abstract submission and please submit all requested information by October 25th, 2019.



Program at a Glance – DRAFT


We are pleased to release the draft program at a glance for our upcoming conference, filled with excellent presentations from a variety of public health perspectives on both days. If you were on the fence about attending please have a look at our line up of stellar speakers and engaging workshops designed to provide public health professionals with the latest tools and research to affect positive change on a variety of topics.


Check out the program at a glance below and then click here to register today!


Please note that the program is subject to change and more speakers will be announced, detailed information on all presentations to be released.



Networking Event, Exhibitor Booths and Poster Sessions


In the afternoon of November 14th, 2019 we will be hosting our networking event for all conference attendees. During the event, we welcome delegates to network with like minded individuals in a casual atmosphere, learn about the important work our partner organizations have been doing in the exhibitors’ room and review the latest research on a variety of public health issues through the poster sessions; presenters will be on hand to answer any questions you may have regarding their work

A cash bar will be open for those wishing to sip on a glass of wine or beer during the event and we will have complimentary non-alcoholic refreshments available as well. Servers’ will bring out a variety of delicious appetizers, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, for everyone to enjoy.


NEW FOR 2019!

At the start of the networking event we will be hosting our 2019 PHABC Awards ceremony in the main ballroom. We ask that everyone join us in congratulating the award winners on their dedication to public health in BC. Winners will be announced in November.



PHABC Annual General Meeting


During lunch on Thursday November 14th, 2019, we will hold our annual general meeting in the main ballroom. Come and learn what our association has been doing this past year and what our plans are for the coming year. We will also be welcoming our new board members and thanking our departing board members for their dedication to our association.

If you want to understand more about what PHABC does and what we stand for, this meeting will provide you with all the answers.




Thank you to all of our 2019 Conference Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors


Our conference would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors each year. If you are interested in sponsoring this year’s conference please contact Christina Harding at coordinator@phabc.org to learn about our sponsorship tiers and incentives. All sponsors will have their logo’s printed on the conference program & other promotional material (online & in print), will receive special recognition during the conference, and will receive at least one complimentary 2-day registration.




Keep checking back for more information as it becomes available and we look forward to seeing everyone in Vancouver this fall!


November 14
November 15
Event Category:


The Sutton Place Hotel
845 Burrard Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6Z 2K6 Canada


Public Health Association of BC