About HIF

Health Innovation Forum (HIF) designs, conducts and disseminates research, consultations and events to inform policies and practices that will shape the future of health care and support ongoing improvements. HIF works closely with healthcare providers and administrators, taking front line challenges as the starting point for policy analysis.

Partner to the MUHC-ISAI

Since 2007, HIF has partnered with the McGill University Health Centre’s Institute for Strategic Analysis and Innovation (MUHC-ISAI) to work with leaders at the MUHC, under the guidance of Director General and CEO Mr. Normand Rinfret, to explore challenges arising within the health centre.

Susan Usher, Director of the HIF, Co-Chairs the MUHC-ISAI alongside the MUHC’s Director of Nursing, Patricia O’Connor. They work alongside Special Advisor to the MUHC-ISAI, Mr. Bernard Lord, and members of the Administrative Committee, Mr. Harris Poulis, General Counsel and Director of Legal Affairs, and Mr. Richard Fahey, Director of Public Affairs and Strategic Planning, to research targeted issues, bring external expertise and models to the attention of MUHC personnel and showcase MUHC accomplishments to the world outside.

Activities help to clarify how health policies in Québec and Canada affect efforts to provide excellent care, and create opportunities to highlight innovative programs and practices and the policies that support them. The ideas and messages that emerge from this work support healthcare organizations  in taking  steps, both internally and in the broader community, to sustain excellence and inform a policy framework that supports continued improvements.

Innovations are explored in different ways:

Case studies are designed to showcase not just innovative programs, but how they came together and what is needed for them to be replicated in other centres or jurisdictions. Each study begins with a clear problem statement, explores the program or initiative through research and interviews with key players, and highlights the policy framework required for success.

Roundtable discussions are organized to bring together different perspectives for open and productive debate on health policy challenges.

Conferences provide an opportunity to explore a given theme in depth, with keynote presentations to frame an issue, international speakers to introduce different approaches, government representatives to clarify the policy issues at stake and healthcare providers and administrators to present promising initiatives and outline what’s needed for these to grow.

Discussion papers are commissioned to provide an expert perspective that can inform the exploration of a theme.

White papers are produced to determine actionable items in a given area.

Work products are circulated in print and electronically to relevant decisionmakers in clinical care, health administration and government across Canada and beyond.

The HIF  newsletter provides updates on new content and upcoming events.



The Health Innovation Forum


SUE MaySusan Usher, MA (Pol Econ), has over 20 years experience in developing and publishing health policy programs to explore challenges arising within the Quebec and Canadian healthcare context. Her aim is to bring together the ideas and expertise of people from all sides of the healthcare equation to help overcome barriers to progress in providing high quality care in a context of social solidarity.

In 1996, she initiated and, until 2013, ran the Health Policy Division at Parkhurst Publishing, a Division she acquired in 2013 and now forms part of the Health Innovation Forum. She also launched and edited, at Parkhurst, a number of publications for people living with chronic complex conditions, notably Our Voice: Living with Prostate Cancer in Canada, and Relay: Living better with HIV. She helped start the Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada with founder Pat Kelly and produced their first reports.

She is co-editor (with Kate Trant) of Nurse: Past, Present and Future (2011, U.K. Black Dog Publishing) and Do We Care: Renewing Canada’s Commitment to Health (1999, McGill Queen’s press). She has undertaken policy projects with organizations including the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, the Agence d’évaluation des technologies et modes d’intervention en santé (AETMIS, now INESSS), the Romanow Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada, APOGEE-Net and forward-looking private sector companies.

Interest in partnering with the McGill University Health Centre came from a conviction that policy discussions need to be firmly rooted in the care environment, as well as a family connection to the hospitals of the MUHC that dates back three generations.

Graphic design

Caroline Lussier-Schaffer


Derek Fong, Subtitle design


Robb Beattie