Algoma University was the site of a day-long forum on Wednesday on Transforming Northern Health. Doctor Carolyn Bennett was one of the speakers at the Great West Life Amphitheatre — she says rural communities must have specific medical care services for residents to stay there…not necessairily a full service hospital. Bennett says this will require valuable research from functions to make up for the absence of variables like transportation to demographics — or who those facilities should serve. Bennett, a former family physician, also suggested one of the keys to improving health and health care in the region is social inclusion. She feels the older adult population is the best segment that can come up with ideas to remedy problems such as transportation — one suggestion included having school buses exclusively for seniors during the middle of the day. Another factor mentioned was better communication, something that has already happened in Cuba. In that country, polyclinics have also become health care ‘teaching sites’ for the university and every family doctor can refer any patient to a team of psychologists to change behaviour. In Sweden, civic participation has become the number one health care goal, resulting in what Bennett calls a ‘much better outcome’.