Keynote Speakers

Professor Bev J Holmes

Bev is Vice-President, Research & Impact at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), a provincial funding and research support agency in British Columbia (BC), Canada. She is responsible for funding programs, impact analysis, knowledge translation, and provincial initiatives whose aims range from increasing coherence and reducing duplication within BC’s health research system, to working with research users – including patients and the the public –to maximize the benefits of health research.  Examples of these provincial initiatives include facilitating the development of a health research strategy for BC, and serving as interim leader for a new unit to support patient-oriented research (part of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research initiative involving all Canadian provinces and territories). Bev holds adjunct professor appointments at the University of BC’s School of Population and Public Health and at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences. She has developed and taught courses in knowledge translation (KT) for population and public health – the province’s first graduate courses focused solely on KT –  for both these schools. She received her MA and PhD from SFU, where she studied knowledge translation and health communication.  Prior to joining MSFHR in 2010, Bev was a health communications and KT consultant, researcher and writer.  She has also held communications management positions in several not-for-profit organizations including The Arthritis Society and United Way of the Lower Mainland.  Bev’s research interests are knowledge translation, implementation science, discourse analysis, health communication, risk communication, and public involvement in health research.   

Professor John N Lavis

John N. Lavis, MD PhD, holds the Canada Research Chair in Evidence-Informed Health Systems. He is the Director of the McMaster Health Forum, Co-Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre on Evidence-Informed Policy, Associate Director of the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, Professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Associate Member of the Department of Political Science at McMaster University. He is also Adjunct Professor of Global Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research focuses on how to support the use of research evidence in health policymaking, both in high-income countries like Canada and in a broad range of countries internationally. He founded and continues to direct the McMaster Health Forum (, Health Systems Evidence (, and Health Systems Learning ( and he leads one of the five teams contributing to the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal ( He is Co-Chair of the WHO-sponsored Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Global Steering Group and a member of the WHO Advisory Committee on Health Research. He holds an MD from Queen's University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a PhD (in Health Policy) from Harvard University.  ‌

Professor J.A.M (Hans) Van Oers

 KE Conference

Professor Hans van Oers studied statistics and epidemiology, and obtained his PhD with a study on the applicability of geographical information in the development and support of local public health policy (1993, Erasmus University). “In my view, policy-making without sufficient knowledge of the facts is unacceptable. That’s why I want to ensure that policy makers have all the necessary facts. I see this as the essence of my work: making the connection between policy and science in the field of public health.” From 1986 to 1998, Hans van Oers worked as an epidemiological researcher at the municipal health service in Rotterdam. Since 1998 he has worked at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), first as a project leader in Public Health Status and Forecasts Report (VTV), and from 2002 as head of the Centre for Public Health Forecasting (cVTV). This centre is responsible for the publication of the VTV report every four years, and related websites such as Compass, Atlas and Cost of Illness, all important building blocks for the development of national health policy.  In 2012 he was appointed Chief Science Officer of System Assessments for Policy Support. Since 2004, Hans van Oers is also Professor of Public Health at Tilburg University’s Tranzo Scientific Center for Care and Welfare. In this capacity, he is involved in the Academic Collaborative Centre for Public Health in Brabant, a partnership between RIVM, Tilburg University and three regional health services in the Province of Brabant. In 2009 and 2010, he was seconded to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, where he contributed to the development of the Global Health Observatory. Connecting science, policy and practice is the central theme in his work.

 Professor Rosemary Rushmer

 KE conference

Rosemary is an organisational theorist and has spent nearly 20 years researching how people work collaboratively, across professional, organisational and sector boundaries to achieve complex tasks in health and social care settings and on well-being issues. She is interested in exploring if the way people are organised to work together, permits or constrains, their capacity to do a ‘good job’.  With a background in patient safety and quality improvement in the acute sector and primary care, she moved to the messier contexts covered by public health research: knowledge exchange; wicked issues; and complex systems. She is interested in the types of knowledge that are used in decision-making and taking research activity closer to the end user of that research (co-creation approaches). Currently she leads the Fuse Translational Research programme and Chairs the Fuse Knowledge Exchange Group (KEG), previously she was a member of the NIHR Public Health Research Funding Board. In addition to her academic career, Rosemary has worked in a policy context with the Scottish government, to design the research programme to support the 2003 Mental Health Act, and in practice, as joint head of R&D at NHS 24 (the out-of-hours emergency telehealth advice and referral service in Scotland).

Dr Claudia Stein

Dr Claudia Stein

Claudia Stein MD, MSc, PhD, FFPH is a German trained physician and epidemiologist with the World Health Organization (WHO), which she has been serving since 1998. Claudia took up her current position as Director of the Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation at the WHO Regional Office for Europe in 2010, when she and her team embarked on a quest to close the gap between evidence and policy establishing the WHO European Health Information Initiative.

Claudia qualified from Essen University Medical School in Germany in December 1989. Her area of post-graduate training includes a residency in Internal Medicine, a Master’s degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Southampton (MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit), UK, and a further residency in Public Health Medicine with Specialist Certification at the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians, London, UK.

Prior to her career at WHO she worked for several years as a public health physician and epidemiologist at country level in Europe, as well as for several years in India and China, the latter two under the auspices of the Medical Research Council, MRC

Claudia first joined WHO in 1998 as a secondment from the United Kingdom; in 2000 she became a fixed term staff member to work in the Information, Evidence and Research Cluster at WHO HQ in the area of burden of disease and health information. Following this, she became Unit Head of the Leadership, Management and Fellowships unit which housed the Health Leadership Service.

Professor Kieran Walshe

Professor Kieran Walshe

Kieran Walshe is Professor of Health Policy and Management at Manchester Business School. He is also associate director of the National Institute of Health Research health services and delivery research programme, which exists to serve the research needs of managers and clinicians in the NHS ( He is editor of the journal Health Services Management Research (, board member of the UK Health Services Research Network and a board member and scientific committee chair of the European Health Management Association ( . From 2003 to 2006 he directed the Centre for Public Policy and Management in Manchester Business School, and from 2009 to 2011 he directed the university's Institute of Health Sciences.

Kieran Walshe has twenty years experience in health policy, health management and health services research. He has previously worked at the University of Birmingham, the University of California at Berkeley, and the King's Fund in London, and has a professional background in healthcare management. He often works at the interface between research and practice and values the opportunities it offers to engage with the policy and practitioner communities and to put ideas into action. He has particular interests and expertise in quality and performance in healthcare organisations; the governance, accountability and performance of public services; and the use of evidence in policy evaluation and learning. He has led a wide range of research projects funded by the ESRC, Department of Health, NIHR, and EU FP7 programme, and other government departments and NHS organisations. He has advised a wide range of government agencies and organisations, in the UK and internationally.

He has written for a wide range of academic and professional journals, including the British Medical Journal, Health Service Journal, Health Affairs, Milbank Quarterly, Public Money and Management, and Quality and Safety in Healthcare. His books include Regulating Healthcare: A Prescription for Improvement (2003); Patient Safety: Research into Practice (2005); Healthcare Management (2006, 2011); Health Policy and Management: A Reader (2009); and From Knowing to Doing: Connecting Knowledge and Performance in Public Services (2010).