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Meet Bill Pratt, new Public Advisory Council Chair

At right, an image of Bill Pratt, a smiling white bald man with a light blue shirt and dark blue jacket. Text reads: Welcome Bill Pratt. Public advisory council chair. Logo for Health Data Research Network Canada is at top left.
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HDRN Canada announced Bill Pratt as the new chair of its Public Advisory Council (PAC) after a months-long Canada-wide search. The PAC comprises a diverse group of people from across the country who provide guidance on how best to communicate with the public, advise on organizational priorities, and respond to emerging themes and trends in health data generation, access and systems.

Mr. Pratt is the CEO of Eden Care Communities, an intergenerational, community-based supportive housing organization and one of Saskatchewan’s largest charities committed to housing people facing challenges. He joined the PAC in 2022, inspired by HDRN Canada’s mission to bring together people and organizations across Canada for transformative and world-leading health data use.

“As a charity leader, it has been my role and passion to bring people together to reduce barriers and find ways for everyone to belong. Understanding health data and ensuring health data are used in ways that make sense aligns with my background.” ~ Bill Pratt

“HDRN Canada has a powerful mission. When people and organizations like HDRN Canada come together to build bridges for the common good, it’s invigorating to think about what could be,” said Mr. Pratt. “Health data are a cornerstone of helping people live a good life. Keeping those data in a parking lot where they never leave is an enormous frustration of Canadians. It’s a complex challenge worth resolving.”

Mr. Pratt brings a wealth of experience as a leader in the charitable sector, where he finds similarities with the work of the PAC. “For more than 25 years, I have been connected to individuals who face challenging — and in some cases enormous — obstacles, whether it was a person experiencing homelessness or someone who was transitioning from prison living to community living,” he explained. “As a charity leader, it has been my role and passion to bring people together to reduce barriers and find ways for everyone to belong. Understanding health data and ensuring health data are used in ways that make sense aligns with my background.”

One of the foremost challenges when working with health data is trust, Mr. Pratt continued. “Trust is paramount in all conversations about health data. Trust encompasses intention of use, willingness to share, and appreciation for the balance between the greater good and individual benefits. HDRN Canada’s Public Advisory Council will use its collective insights to continue to influence these conversations.”

Mr. Pratt said he is keen to get to work in his new role: “The Public Advisory Council is a highly capable, diverse and thoughtful group of people.  Frank Gavin, the outgoing chair, did a fantastic job of leading the PAC and helping it find its pivotal role within HDRN Canada. Building upon the successes Frank ushered in, it is my intention to keep the momentum moving forward in meaningful ways.”

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