BC’s SPOR SUPPORT Unit moves forward

30 January 2013

Representatives from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the BC Ministry of Health participated in a workshop hosted by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) earlier this month focused on CIHR's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) SUPPORT (Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials) Units.

SUPPORT Units are one element of SPOR. They are intended to be regional centres of excellence that can stimulate, facilitate, support and enhance the conduct of patient-oriented research. Several units are planned across the country, including one that serves BC.

The CIHR workshop, attended by provinces and territories, was an opportunity to learn how other jurisdictions are structuring their SUPPORT Unit applications. The most important message from the workshop was that CIHR is committed to working with provinces and territories through SPOR to signal a paradigm shift in what drives research to benefit Canada's health care system. There is a need to ensure that patients and the public, practitioners, health system decision makers and policy makers are involved.

In the coming weeks, MSFHR and ministry staff will be meeting with stakeholders to get feedback on a draft vision, mission and approach for BC's SUPPORT Unit. These meetings will help identify priorities for BC's application.

More information about CIHR's strategy for patient oriented research is available on CIHR's website.