SUDBURY – A senior services agency, in partnership with College Boreal, hosted the first ever Health Care Summit in Sudbury on November 7.

Around 60 people attended to talk about the health care system and to learn more about where exactly people can go to receive the proper services.

"Where to get the appropriate services… who to speak to, who to contact, when they need some of the services or programs that are provided within our community rather than having an older adult flip through a phone book," explained Nicole Blais, Health Care Summit Organizer.

Among the key messages was one delivered by Doctor Sarita Verma, who is the new Dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

"We are a research institution as well so we want to partner with College Boreal and with the hospitals and with all the key stakeholders involved in health care to actually look at solutions for all of the people in northern Ontario," explained Verma.

Also emphasized was the importance of reaching out to rural remote communities.

One research associate spoke to the audience on how the needs in northern Ontario are different from the needs in southern Ontario.

"Although we are only 6% of the population that lives in the north, if that message never gets put across that's 6% of the population who will continue to get more and more unhealthy. There are differences between the south and the north… if you ignore them we will continue to get worse," said Patrick Timony, Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research.

Students were also in attendance as a way to network with other health care professionals.

"I was just really interested in where the health department is going. A lot of questions I was able to ask and it was a very awesome opportunity… a lot of new ideas, innovative and creative ideas went on and as a student, it was an awesome opportunity to meet all these great people," expressed Melodie Dubuc, College Boreal student.

Organizers say with the amount of people who attended and from the feedback they have received so far, they are definitely planning a second summit in the future.