NOAHE News is Good News vol. 4

Welcome to NOAHE News is Good News volume 4! If you have information you wish to share with NOAHE members, email us at THANK YOU to all of you for your interest, for attending NOAHE events, and for your support!

Upcoming Events:

Health Economics and Technology Assessment Rounds II

Administrative Data Analytics at Alberta Health

Erin Kirwin profile pictureSpeaker: Erin Kirwin, Advanced Analytics, Alberta Health
Erin Kirwin holds a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Alberta, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Development Studies from McGill University. She leads the Advanced Analytics team at Alberta Health, and has held the position of Public Health Economist with Alberta Health since 2011.
Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. MT
Event Live Stream

DYK: The first NOAHE Health Economics and Technology Assessment Round was viewed by
approximately 92 people, including international audiences - some as far abroad as Egypt?

NOAHE Health Economics and Outcomes Research Student-led Seminar

“People in states worse than dead according to the EQ-5D UK value set: would they rather be dead?”

Nathan McClure profile pictureDiscussant: Nathan McClure
Senior Facilitator: Dr. Fatima Al Sayah
Date: January 29, 2019
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (MT)
Venue: Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) Room 1-447, University of Alberta

Introduction to Applied Health Economic Modelling 3-Day Intensive Course

Presented by: Drs. Chris McCabe, Jeff Round, Andrew Sutton and the IHE health economics team
Dates: March 4 – 6, 2019
Time: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm (MT)
Venue: Institute of Health Economics
Location: 1200 – 10405 Jasper Ave NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 3N4

NOAHE Thesis Throwdown Pan-Canadian Edition

Date: April 15, 2019
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm (MT)
Venue: 99Ten Live Music and Event Venue
Location: 9910 109 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 1H5

Recent NOAHE Events

Alberta Health Economics Study Group 2018

The SOLD-OUT Alberta Health Economics Study Group (AHESG) 2018 was a great success. Thank you to all attendees and presenters!

Our thanks to plenary speakers Dr. Miqdad Asaria and Mr. Kienan Williams. If you would like to review the agenda or plenary speaker presentations, please click the following link:

Congratulations to each of the 2019 NOAHE Health Economics Graduate (Internship) and Scholar (Fellowship) Award Recipients!

NOAHE received many excellent applications for the internship and scholarship awards and is delighted to introduce the following four award recipients. Congratulations to each of you, and we look forward to the results of your work!

2019 NOAHE Health Economics Graduate (Internship) Award Recipients

Nathan McClure profile picture Mr. Nathan McClure, University of Alberta
Nathan McClure is currently a doctoral student in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. Mr. McClure’s PhD research objective is to demonstrate if, and how, the concept of a minimally important difference (MID) in health utility score may be operationalized in a health economic analysis. He has experience with Alberta Health Services, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the World Health Organization involving health status measurement, communicable disease surveillance and case management. He seeks to ensure replicable and meaningful study results using a combination of customized approaches and sound methodology.

Shainur Premji profile pictureMs. Shainur Premji, University of Calgary
Ms. Shainur Premji is currently a doctoral student at the University of Calgary. Shainur has experience as a Senior Analyst with the Population, Public, and Indigenous Health (PPIH) portfolio of Alberta Health Services (AHS), where she led health economics initiatives related to PPIH programming, including a study examining screening, diagnosis, and treatment patterns related to postpartum depression (PPD) in Alberta. Ms. Premji's goal is to become a senior health economist and professor, capable of leading research initiatives designed to improve evidence-informed health resource allocation decisions.

2019 NOAHE Health Economics Scholar (Fellowship) Award Recipients

Jian Wang profile pictureDr. Jian Wang, University of Alberta
Dr. Wang recently completed her PhD in Health Services and Policy Research at the School of Public Health, University of Alberta. Dr. Wang’s PhD thesis focused on mental health services and economics. She has presented abstracts at international conferences in health economics, including presentations at the International Health Economics Association (iHEA) World Congress and at the Thirteenth Workshop on Costs and Assessment in Psychiatry. The focus of her NOAHE Fellowship project will be to examine the supply-side effect of financing psychotherapy services for children and youth in Alberta.

Yewande Ogundeji profile pictureDr. Yewande Ogundeji, University of Calgary
Dr. Ogundeji is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Calgary, whose research interests include health system policies and the role rigorous evidence plays to improve decisions towards better health outcomes. She is particularly interested in how health financing decisions can lead to better quality and equitable health care. Dr. Ogundeji has also investigated the impact of performance-based payment in health care in the United Kingdom and other European countries. Her fellowship research will focus on factors that influence specialist physicians’ choice of payment model and the association with quality and utilization.

Is your organization looking to take on a health economics intern and/or fellow? Do you support health economics students with scholarships and/or grants? Need some help getting the word out? We would be happy to help! Email us at!

Showcased Publications on!

PublicationsNOAHE proudly showcases work from its Health Economist Members – on our website and via social media (@NetworkofABHE)! Here are the last five publications showcased. New publications shared every week! Want to showcase your work? Email us at!

Please note: The publications listed on this page serve to showcase the work of our individual members only, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Network of Alberta Health Economists (NOAHE), NOAHE Members, and/or NOAHE funders.

Showcased Publications by NOAHE Members

Temporal changes in diet quality and the associated economic burden in Canada
It is the first whole diet comparison using Canada’s best dietary data spanning from 2004 to 2015 and showing a modest improvements in diet quality. The economic burden of unhealthy eating is enormous. In 2004 this was estimated for Canada to be $ 3.2 Billion per year. Due to the modest improvements in diet quality it came down with $ 219 million by 2015. Policy and decision makers are encouraged to expand nutrition programs and policies in order to prevent chronic diseases and reduce health care costs.
Authors: Léon Nshimyumukiza, Jessica Lieffers, John Paul Ekwaru, Arto Ohinmaa, Paul Veugelers
Publication Date: November 2018

Continued vs. interrupted direct oral anticoagulants at the time of device surgery, in patients with moderate to high risk of arterial thrombo-embolic events (BRUISE CONTROL-2)
Guidelines recommend warfarin continuation rather than heparin bridging for pacemaker and defibrillator surgery, after the BRUISE CONTROL trial demonstrated an 80% reduction in device pocket haematoma with this approach. However, direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are now used to treat the majority of patients with atrial fibrillation. We sought to understand the best strategy to manage the DOACs at the time of device surgery and specifically hypothesized that performing device surgery without DOAC interruption would result in a reduced haematoma rate.
Authors: David Birnie, Jeff Healey, George Wells, Felix Ayala-Paredes, Benoit Coutu, Glen Sumner, Giuliano Becker, Atul Verma, François Philippon, Eli Kalfon, John Eikelboom, Roopinder Sandhu, Pablo Nery, Nicholas Lellouche, Stuart Connolly, John Sapp, Vidal Essebag
Publication Date: July 2018

A Review of Measures of Aggregate Mental Health Costs in Canada
Since 2000, 5 studies have been published that each purported to estimate aggregate national mental health costs in Canada. Each of these studies used a different method. Our aim was to compare the studies, and we created a framework for the different elements used to assess mental health costs (direct costs, indirect costs, transfer payments, and “human” costs). In addition, each study used different parameters (population covered, diagnosis) and cost components to estimate the economic impact of mental health. Our framework can help analysts to understand the purpose of different cost components. We conclude that to achieve a consensus on the magnitude of mental health costs, we need to use more standardized approaches.
Authors: Philip Jacobs, Francine Knoops, Alain Lesage
Publication Date: June 2018

The Standardization of Diagnostic Criteria for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): Implications for Research, Clinical Practice and Population Health
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a preventable disorder caused by maternal alcohol consumption and marked by a range of physical and mental disabilities. Although recognized by the scientific and medical community as a clinical disorder, no internationally standardized diagnostic tool yet exists for FASD.
Authors: Jasmine Brown, Roger Bland, Egon Jonsson, Andrew Greenshaw
Publication Date: June 2018

Resource Use and Burden of Hospitalization, Outpatient, Physician, and Drug Costs in Short- and Long-Term Care after Acute Myocardial Infarction
Little is known about resource use and cost burden of Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) beyond the index event. We examined resource use and care costs during the first and each subsequent year, among patients with incident AMI.
Authors: Dat Tran, Robert Welsh, Arto Ohinmaa, Thanh Nguyen, Padma Kaul
Publication Date: June 2018

DYK: Did you know that NOAHE currently has 60 members and over 200 subscribers?

The Network of Alberta Health Economists was supported financially and in-kind by Alberta Health, through the Health Funding and Economics Capacity (HFEC) Grant. For more information please visit:

For questions, comments, or to subscribe to NOAHE, please email