Robert Conn, M.D.

Founder, SMARTRISK

Robert Conn, M.D., is a former children's heart surgeon who put down his scalpel to launch SMARTRISK, a national organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives.

Dr. Conn's groundbreaking vision is to never preach, to never use the word "don't" and to never talk about "safety" to teenagers, who are the most vulnerable age group for suffering injury due to risk-taking activities. Dr. Conn understands that to teens, safety is boring, but managing risk can be exciting. His philosophy is to communicate to teens that they can take risks in the smartest ways possible and enjoy their lives to the fullest.

The SMARTRISK philosophy has been praised and adapted throughout and beyond Canada. At Expo 2000 in Germany, Dr. Conn was recognized for having created one of the most innovative programs in the world for sustaining human life. Responding to international demand, SMARTRISK has expanded into the U.K. to bring programs throughout Britain.

Dr. Conn has worked with numerous corporations and organizations to develop programs and strategies to reduce injury, including the Ontario Provincial Police and the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal. His ideas and programs have been implemented by many organizations in fields as diverse as aviation, the lumber industry, heavy construction and mining.

After 17 years at the helm of SMARTRISK, Dr. Conn led the organization through a search process to find his replacement. Five years later, SMARTRISK amalgamated with three other national organizations to become Parachute.

Dr. Conn has been bestowed with many honors and awards in recognition of his work, including being selected by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds to become an honorary member of this prestigious air demonstration team.

Dr. Conn is currently the CEO of the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario, which represents 4,800 young doctors training to be specialists in Ontario. He also teaches injury prevention and social marketing to University of Toronto medical students and is a guest lecturer at McMaster University's Public Health and Preventive Medicine program.