Public Health is at a crossroads. Organizations are facing austerity budgets. The internet, smartphones and mobile apps have entered our daily life. Surveillance is omnipresent … and chronic disease risk factor surveillance will look different tomorrow than it does today.

The Canadian Alliance for Regional Risk Factor Surveillance (CARRFS) — originally mandated to enhance the capacity of regional risk factor surveillance — will need to adapt to the new environment. We need to renew our mandate … explore new options, experiment with new technologies, and incorporate a new epistemological paradigm.

The CARRFS 2016 Innovation Summit is a face-to-face meeting that will take place in January 2016 (exact date to be announced) in Toronto. The goal is to develop a new strategic direction and a new mandate for CARRFS, with a new organizational and governance structure, and a sustainable funding mechanism. 

We are expecting about 20 to 25 participants. Participants will be by invitation only as our available funding for travel support is limited. They will include CARRFS members, as well as the broader network of public health professionals, health practitioners, academics, public health leaders, social media and technology experts, and public health innovators and thinkers who are interested in the renewal of CARRFS.

Please fill out an online application form at as soon as possible. 

Please indicate in the online application form if you require travel funding to attend the meeting. Consideration for travel support will be based on your geographical location, and what type of expertise and potential resources you plan to bring to the Summit. We would appreciate it if you can indicate in the online application form if you are able to fund your own travel to Toronto through your own organization or other means.

Participants of the CARRFS 2016 Innovation Summit are also invited to sit on the summit’s planning committee, which will involve a number of conference calls and regular email discussions during the months of September to December 2015. 

Currently, the summit planning team consists of Jostein Algroy and Bernard Choi - both members of CARRFS’ Canadian Coordinating Committee (CCC). We invite you to join us in the planning of the CARRFS 2016 Innovation Summit.

We need to hear from you as quickly as possible, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Visit the CARRFS website for important information about the CARRFS January 2016 Innovation Summit. By filling out the application form you can indicate your interest in participating in the CARRFS 2016 Innovation Summit at Also follow us on Twitter through @carrfs.

We look forward to hearing from you soon. Let us explore together some fresh ideas and innovations on how public health surveillance can be  improved in the future - allowing CARRFS to continue to contribute towards  better health for all Canadians.

Best regards,

Jostein Algroy and Bernard Choi