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Memorial University forum to explore average citizen's influence on governance of health, education, municipalities and economic development

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September 29, 2005

Source: Memorial University of Newfoundland:

Memorial University forum to explore average citizen's influence on governance of health, education, municipalities and economic development

Note to editors:

The province has recently announced changes in the regional structure of health and education boards and has established new regional councils for promoting economic development. Will these changes help citizens to participate in decisions on a local level and develop better solutions to regional development challenges?

A forum titled A Dialogue on Social Innovation: Regional Approaches to Governance in Health, Education, Municipal Government and Economic Development will explore these issues. Hosted by Memorial University's Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, the public forum will be held on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2005, at 8 p.m. in the Inco Innovation Centre Lecture Theatre (IIC-2001), off Irwin's Road St. John's campus.

The centerpiece of the forum is a presentation by Dr. Stephen Tomblin, professor of Political Science and Medicine. Dr. Tomblin will discuss the role that local people, stakeholders and policy-makers can play in decisions relating to economic development and delivery of public services in health, education and municipal government in their regions.

A panel discussion will follow the presentation and will feature Joan Dawe, chair of the Eastern Regional Integrated Health Authority, Education professor Dr. David Dibbon, and geographer Kelly Vodden.

The forum will be moderated by Dr. Robert Greenwood, director of the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development. The public is invited to attend and participate in a dialogue in the question and answer period. There is no admission charge and free parking is available in area 18. A live Web cast of the event will be shown on Questions and/or comments can be e-mailed to Reception to follow.

Media agencies are encouraged to send representatives. Biographies of panelists follow below. Photos of panelists are available at

Dr. Stephen G. Tomblin

Stephen Tomblin is an associate professor of Political Science, cross appointed with Community Health in the Faculty of Medicine at MemorialUniversity. He received a BA (Political Science) from the Universityof Calgary, a MA (Political Science) from Dalhousie and a PhD (Political Science) from the Universityof British Columbia. His areas of research are Canadian politics and health policy.

Dr. Tomblin has published widely on the issue of regional integration. In 1995, he authored Ottawa and the Outer Provinces: The Challenges of Regional Integration in Canada, published by Lorimer Press. In 2004, he co-edited and contributed to Regionalism in a Global Society: Persistence and Change in Atlantic Canada and New England, published by Broadview Press. He has been a frequent media contributor and produced discussion papers for the Romanow Commission and the Newfoundlandand Labrador Royal Commission on Renewing and Strengthening Our Place in Canada. Both of these were peer reviewed and the Romanow discussion paper is being published by Universityof Toronto Press.

Joan Dawe

Joan Dawe is a former deputy minister of the Departments of Health and Community Services and Social Services/Human Resources and Employment with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and assistant deputy minister, Community Health, Department of Health with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. In these positions she was instrumental in a host of initiatives including the reorganization of the province's health and community services system and the development of provincial Strategic Social Plan.

Ms. Dawe also chaired the Freedom of Information Review Committee which reported to government in 2001. She was a recipient of the 2001 Public Service Award of Excellence in Newfoundland and Labrador and the 2004 recipient of the Canadian Healthcare Association Award for Distinguished Service. A nurse by training, she has held senior positions in nursing and hospital administration, as well as regional health planning before accepting a position as assistant deputy minister, Community Health, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1991.

A strong and visionary leader, she has served with distinction at local, provincial, and national levels throughout her extensive career in the health-care system. She is currently chair of the newly created Eastern Regional Integrated Health Authority.

She had held positions in nursing service, nursing administration, hospital administration and regional health planning before accepting the position of assistant deputy minister, Community Health. Ms. Dawe has served as a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the Canadian Hospital Association; member of the Council of Governors and Executive Board of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety; and member of the board of directors and executive committee of the Institute for Health Care Facilities of the Future.

Kelly Vodden

Kelly Vodden is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University (SFU) and a distance education instructor for SFU's Centre for Sustainable Community Development. She is also a consultant to government, non-government and private sector organizations, communities, First Nations and academic institutions. Ms. Vodden's recent publications include the book Second Growth: Community Economic Development in Rural and Small Town British Columbia (co-authored with S. Markey et al.), along with numerous book chapters, journal articles, and reports related to sustainable community/regional economic development and community-based resource management.

Ms. Vodden currently resides in Indian Bay, Newfoundlandand Labrador. Her PhD research examines models of multi-level, collaborative governance in Canadian coastal regions, including regional economic development boards and watershed management organizations in Newfoundlandand Labrador. Most recently she has explored examples of regional cooperation in the field of municipal government, authoring a series of case studies on behalf of the Newfoundlandand Labrador Federation of Municipalities' Community Cooperation Resource Centre.

Dr. David Dibbon

Dr. David Dibbon is a recognized leader in the Newfoundlandeducation community. He is currently an associate dean with the Faculty of Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland where he teaches in both graduate and undergraduate programs. His teaching is in the areas of school reform, change management, leadership, school development and effective teaching. His research is primarily in the area of policy related to innovation and change, professional learning communities, learning in online communities, issues related to teacher workload and teacher supply and demand. Dr. Dibbon has also recently taken on the role of acting director with the Schoolof Human Kineticsand Recreation.

Prior to joining the faculty in 2000 he was a high school principal. While he was principal his school was recognized as an innovative school by the Canadian Network of Innovative Schools and selected as a national winner in the Conference Board of

Canada's Partners in Education program. His creative and innovative leadership has been recognized by The Canadian Association of Principal's with their Distinguished Principal Award for 1999 and he is a former recipient of the Fortis Leadership Award for Newfoundland Educators (1994). He was recently elected to the School Board in the EasternSchool District.

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For more information contact: Deborah Inkpen, communications co-ordinator (research), Memorial University, at 737-4073,



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