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Futures Policy Forum Webinar #7

Topic: Optimizing Technology and Innovation in the Future Delivery of Seniors’ Services

The seventh FREE webinar of the AAG Futures Policy Forum took place on Wednesday, February 22, 2023. View the recording, Webinar #7 Speaker Slides and other resources below.


Technology is a potential game changer for improving the delivery of seniors’ services and providing alternate methods of care for older adults, which can enhance their quality of life. The MNP Facility-Based Continuing Care Report recommended that Alberta develop and implement a research, innovation, and technology strategy for continuing care to transform the continuing care system. Many assistive technologies are currently available to support activities of daily living and health monitoring among older adults. These technologies can contribute to a more efficient use of human resources within the seniors’ services sector. However, there is a general lack of awareness of the potential of technology and barriers to innovation, widespread implementation, and equitable access to technologies in most countries. A culture of change is needed to embrace the use of technology in the delivery of seniors’ services and remove barriers.

Goals of this Webinar:

  1. To increase public awareness about the potential of technology and innovation in enhancing the future delivery of seniors’ services.
  2. To learn how Denmark has used technology to enhance the delivery of seniors’ care services.
  3. To provide examples of existing technology that can support independence, care, and quality of life for older adults living at home or in continuing care centres, as well as improve efficiency and productivity of the seniors’ services workforce.
  4. To discuss strategies that could accelerate the use of technology in the delivery of seniors’ services in Alberta.
  5. To discuss challenges and opportunities to better support aging in communities for older Albertans through technology and innovation.

Read Webinar #7 Report

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Watch the recording!

Webinar #7 Speakers

Christian Harsløf
Chief Executive Officer, Local Government Denmark
2019-Present – Senior Vice-President, Local Government Denmark
2019 – Director, Head of Local Government Accounts, Deloitte Consulting
2016-19 – Senior Vice-President, Municipality of Roskilde
2015-16 – Vice-President, Social Service and Health, Local Government Denmark
2012-16 – Head of Department, Health and Senior Services, Local Government Denmark
2011-12 – Head of Health Policy Unit, Local Government Denmark
2011 – Senior Advisor, Confederation of Danish Industries
2009-11 – Senior Advisor, Danish Ministry of Health
2007-09 – Head of Section, Danish Ministry of Health

Speaker Slides – Christian Harsløf


Dr. Alex Mihailidis
Associate Vice-President, International Partnerships, University of TorontoScientific Director, AGE-WELL
Professor Mihailidis is the Associate Vice-President for International Partnerships at the University of Toronto (U of T), and the Scientific Director of the AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence, which focuses on the development of new technologies and services for older adults. He is a Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and in Biomedical Engineering, with a cross appointment in the Department of Computer Science (U of T).
Professor Mihailidis has been conducting research in the field of technology to support older adults for the past 17 years, having published over 200 journal papers, conference papers, and abstracts in this field. Dr. Mihailidis is also very active in the rehabilitation engineering profession, currently as the Past-President for RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America). He was also named a Fellow of RESNA in 2014, which is one of the highest honours within this field of research and practice, and a Fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Science in 2021 for his contributions to the health and well-being of older Canadians.
In 2022, Dr. Mihailidis was recognized by the UN as one of the Healthy Ageing 50-50 leaders working to transform the world to be a better place in which to grow older.
Professor Mihailidis received a B.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 1996, a M.A.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering in 1998 from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in Bioengineering (Rehabilitation Engineering) in 2002 from the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland).

Speaker Slides – Alex Mihailidis


Tim Murphy
Vice-President, Health, Alberta Innovates
Tim Murphy has more than 30 years of senior executive leadership experience in the health care sector. Currently, he is the Vice-President, Health at Alberta Innovates and prior to this role, he was the Vice-President, Provincial Platforms and SPOR. Prior to joining Alberta Innovates, Tim established an independent consulting practice and worked with clients such as: the CHILD Foundation, the Institute for Health System Transformation and Sustainability, and the Movember Foundation. His other roles include being the inaugural Senior Vice-President at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) ‐ a provincial research organization based in Vancouver, and 10 years in senior management positions with two comprehensive Academic Oncology Centres ‐ Princess Margaret Hospital (1992‐1997) and the British Columbia Cancer Agency (1997‐2002). Tim holds a Bachelor of Science Degree, Life Sciences from Queen’s University (1989), a Master of Health Administration from the University of Toronto (1992), and a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University (2006). In 2007, he received his Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation.

Speaker Slides – Tim Murphy


Dr. Haidong Liang
Executive Director, Westend Seniors Activity Centre
Dr. Haidong Liang is a gerontologist with three degrees in Canada focusing on Gerontology and Community Development. Currently the Executive Director of the Westend Seniors Activity Centre and the WESeniors Strathcona County Community Hub, Dr. Liang was named Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2019, the recipient of the 2021 Minister’s Seniors Service Award, and the recipient of the 2022 Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal. He is a Member of the Minister’s Advisory Committee for Seniors, a Member of the Interim Collective Leadership Group for the City of Edmonton, a Member of the Strathcona County Social Framework Leadership Table and the Strathcona County Community Safety and Wellbeing Steering Committee.

Speaker Slides – Haidong Liang & Barbara Gibson


Barbara Gibson
President, Board of Directors, Westend Seniors Activity Centre
Barbara feels honored to be the Westend Seniors Activity Centre’s President. She has been a member of the centre for nine years and joined the Board seven years ago. Barbara has chaired several Board Committees and has been a member of others. While a Board Member she also served a three year term as Secretary on the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council.

Prior to retirement, Barbara enjoyed a very successful 44-year career in the field of Nursing, 41 years of which were focused on Nursing Education. Four of those years were spent serving as the Undergraduate Assistant Dean in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. When asked about her motivation for becoming a Board Member Barbara said, “she wants to utilize her professional knowledge, experience, and energies by volunteering to enhance the well being of seniors.”

Barbara is proud of the outstanding programming that the Westend Seniors Activity Centre offers its members and the community. She looks forward to working with her fellow Board Members to provide the governance needed for the centre to thrive and flourish in the future.



Conny Avila
Chief Innovation Officer, Covenant Health
As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, Conny leads the strategy for the Covenant Family (Covenant Health, Covenant Care and Covenant Living) to enhance Covenant’s position as a key leader in supporting the Government of Alberta’s vision for health care transformation and enhance the organization’s ability to provide the highest quality, most effective and efficient care and services to Albertans.

A proud member of the Covenant team since 2014, Conny has been instrumental in developing Covenant’s innovation strategy and was appointed to this new role in April 2021. In addition, Conny provides direction, oversight and leadership in the design, implementation and evaluation of integrated internal and external communications, community engagement and branding strategy. She also serves as the lead for external relations, where she builds strong relationships with Government, Alberta Health Services, Christian Ministries, Industry Partners as well as other key stakeholders to foster and enhance awareness and public trust in Covenant.

Conny is a mission-inspired leader who has been accountable in previous roles at Covenant for oversight of the Board of Directors and Senior Leadership effectiveness as well as serving as the lead for a number of major strategic projects. Conny brings extensive experience to this role. She has also served in roles with Alberta Health Services, the Government of Alberta as well as in private industry. She holds a Master of Science in Business Administration (MScBA) and is certified in Lean 6 Sigma methodologies, Change Management as well as Project Management (PMP).

Conny immigrated to Canada from Germany in 2008 and is the proud mother of two children. Motivated by helping those in need, Conny loves to make a difference through strong advocacy for system change at community, point of service, system design and government policy levels. Conny enjoys challenging the status quo through building teams and coalitions, creative thinking, strategic action and a focus on innovation to support Covenant’s rich legacy of service.

Speaker Slides – Conny Avila