MOU SigningDSC_1725_0008DSC_4959_0177DSC_3160_0283DSC_2925_0084DSC_5316_0504Surrey: Canada India Network Society 2014 conference on South Asian health and civil society was held in Surrey last week. The conference was co-hosted by Fraser Health and Simon Fraser University.

150 Leaders in academia, research, health, innovation, industry and public policy from Canada and India participated in the conference and provided major health recommendations and outcomes.

The events at the conference focused on health and civil society and examined four key areas, including nursing and allied health education, health-technology and the economy, chronic disease management, including innovations for sustainable health care, and the role of yoga, science and modern medicine in mental, social, and physical wellness.

The conference was designed to support and facilitate links between Canada and India through specific projects. The main sessions were held from June 20 -21 at Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel. A gala and interaction session was held at Royal King Palace and Convention Centre on Jun 20 in evening where 400 members of community and opinion leaders from industry, public life, academia and health interacted. Part of conference itinerary included an open house at South Asian Health Centre on Jun 22 where Community and opinion leaders from industry, public life, academia and health converged to build on the ideas of health and innovation and take tour of the facility.

During the conference a landmark study was also launched on key health issues of Surrey’s South Asian Population. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Surrey Innovation Boulevard, the Fraser Health Authority, the South Asian Health Institute and the Sagol Neuroscience Research Center of Sheba Medical from Israel. The joint research project will explore the links to diabetes that lead to dementia, with a focus on the South Asian population. The partnerships on this project are a direct result of the City of Surrey’s recent Trade Mission to Israel.

“The Memorandum of Understanding signed speaks directly to the necessity for collaboration in research,” said City of Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. “We know that through the work of the South Asian Health Institute we see issues around diabetes and the link to dementia. We need to be proactive in terms of living healthy lifestyles. The joint research project between Israel, India and Canada is a rare opportunity for this level of collaboration to take place and I’m really proud to have it done here in Surrey.”

“This international effort will bring expertise that has been developed in the last 10-15 years,” said Dr. Michal Beeri, Director of the Sagol Neuroscience Research Center with Sheba Medical of Israel.

“This sort of initiative where we can interact globally allows us the opportunity to see how others have tackled the issue.  Israel is the first for innovation and their ability to implement innovation is leading edge in the world,” said Dr. Andrew Webb, VP of Medicine for the Fraser Health Authority.

“CINI 2014 is pleased to facilitate and support strong civil society programs between Canada and India and build global collaboration with international joint projects like this landmark South Asian study. We are excited that these first steps are being taken to study the links between diabetes that leads to dementia,” says Dr. Arun Garg, Chair of CINI 2014 and CINS.

The partnership will link to the comprehensive Israel Diabetes and Cognitive Decline study with the ongoing Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, a large long-term study that follows 50,000 people aged 45-85 for more than 20 years.