Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture

The annual Alf Nachemson Lecture was established in 2002 by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) to honour the significant contributions of Dr. Alf Nachemson to the use of research evidence in clinical decision-making. Dr. Nachemson was a distinguished orthopaedic surgeon and researcher from Sweden, and a founding member of the Institute’s Scientific Advisory Committee. When he passed away in 2006, the lecture was renamed the Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture. The lectureship is awarded to a prominent national or international individual who has made a significant and unique contribution to: causes or management of work-related musculoskeletal pain; evidence-based practice in the prevention of work-related injury, illness or disability; emerging challenges in the interface between work and health; or the role of evidence in policy-making.

Upcoming presentations

No event is scheduled at this time. Please check back regularly for new information or sign up to receive notifications of upcoming events.

Past presentations

High-hazard industries: addressing safety culture, climate and leadership to improve outcomes

  • Dr. Linda M. Goldenhar, Director of Research and Evaluation, CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, Maryland

A celebration of Wolfgang Zimmermann and the work of NIDMAR

The Institute for Work & Health’s 2016 Nachemson lecture celebrates the important work of Wolfgang Zimmermann and the organization he leads. Joachim Breuer, Andrew King and The Honourable Wayne G. Wouters will talk about his important contribution both in Canada and beyond to improving the circumstances of people with disabilities in the working world.

Using research evidence to help prevent work disability in Ontario

  • Judy Geary, Former Executive, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)

Assessing the impact of NIOSH research on worker health protection

  • Dr. Paul Schulte, Director, Education and Information Division, U.S National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH)

Research informing policy: How to make an impact

  • Dr. Mieke Koehoorn, Professor, School of Population & Public Health, University of British Columbia
Dr Koehoorn, Director of the Partnership for Work, Health & Safety at the University of British Columbia, shares examples of the contribution of research to informing regulatory and compensation policy in worker health protection in British Columbia.

Thirty years after OHSA: Keeping pace with the changing world of work

  • Dr. Michael Silverstein, Professor, University of Washington, School of Public Health
As a long-time public administrator of occupational health and safety programs, Dr. Michael Silverstein will offer his views on how we might modernize our regulatory standards and practices to keep pace with the changing world of work. He will also address the challenge of using research to inform and implement occupational health and safety policies and programs.

Research informing public policy: Workers’ compensation in California

  • Dr. Robert T. Reville, Senior economist, RAND
As the leader of the permanent disability study and other studies on the performance of the California workers’ compensation system over this past decade, Dr. Robert Reville will show how research informed public policy. He will give examples in the areas of improving return-to-work outcomes for disabled workers, the adequacy of benefits for workers experiencing permanent impairment and challenges in ensuring fairness in the adjudication of workers’ compensation benefits.

Improving quality and performance in health services: Reflections from Cancer Care Ontario

  • Dr. Terrence Sullivan, CEO, Cancer Care Ontario
Initiatives to improve the quality of care in Ontario’s publicly funded health-care system are a prominent focus of current policy, with the introduction of the Excellent Care for All legislation. Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) commissions the full range of ambulatory cancer treatments along with surgical wait time reduction efforts. Within Ontario, CCO has been a leader in quality improvement initiatives in the past 10 years, using a number of strategies to continually improve the performance of cancer services. These include regularly reviewing the performance of each regional cancer centre and working with regional vice presidents and clinical leaders to address problems. These strategies also include the provincial-regional alignment of leadership objectives, provision of funding contingent upon results, and the reporting of results to cancer care providers and the public. From his perspective as the leader of a health-care commissioning agency with a core commitment to quality improvement, Dr. Sullivan will speak on lessons learned and possible considerations for the commissioning of health services more broadly.

No small matter: Unpacking the problem of health and safety in small workplaces

  • Dr. Joan Eakin, Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Quality improvement in health-care services for injured workers

  • Dr. Thomas Wickizer, Professor of Health Services, University of Washington
For the 2008 Nachemson Memorial Lecture, Dr. Thomas Wickizer will discuss how Washington State has improved the quality of health care in its workers’ compensation system. He will describe the evolution of these efforts since 1995, leading to a major system intervention that provided financial incentives to physicians and introduced structural changes in the workers’ compensation health-care delivery system. An evaluation of this intervention indicates these changes are associated with reductions in disability for injured workers, and decreased costs. Dr. Wickizer will also speak about the importance of collaboration among researchers, the state’s Department of Labor and Industry, and business and labour stakeholder groups in order for research to influence policy.