Connections >> June 2012

20 June 2012

Connections is MSFHR’s monthly e-newsletter. Each issue highlights the top MSFHR news from the past month and showcases the impact of research we’ve funded.

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In this issue:


Research with Impact

Research Roundup

MSFHR People

Using data to support research

British Columbia has the opportunity to be a world leader in harnessing the power of data to improve health and build a better health system. Over the past three decades, the province has assembled one of the world’s best public health-care databases, representing a gold mine of information.

Yet this valuable resource remains underused due to privacy concerns. MSFHR President & CEO Diane Finegood argues that a paradigm shift is needed in our approach to data privacy

BC’s provincial health research strategy moving ahead

Working closely with stakeholders, MSFHR is moving forward on the development of a provincial health research strategy — a project manager is now in place and an advisory board will be named by the end of June.

Following a meeting in late April that brought together representatives from the Ministry of Health (MoH),  BC’s health authorities, research-intensive universities, and health authority research institutes for preliminary discussion about a health research strategy for BC, participants agreed MSFHR should work with stakeholders to facilitate the development of a provincial health research strategy.

Since that meeting, MSFHR has formed a planning team that includes representatives from MoH and Health Research BC. That team has developed a high level project plan, dividing the strategy development into three main phases:

  • Planning and preliminary research (summer)
  • Consultation (September – March)
  • Analysis and writing (March – June)

A project manager has been hired and  participants from the April 26 meeting were sent a survey asking them to nominate members of an advisory board that will support the strategy development. Nominations are now closed and the advisory board should be named by the end of June.

To learn more about the provincial health research strategy, contact Bev Holmes, VP, External Relations & Business Strategy or Balraj Bains, Business Strategy.

Knowledge translation workshops – do they work? MSFHR and VCH Research Institute to find out

MSHFR is partnering on a recently-funded study that will look at the effectiveness of various knowledge translation training programs on a researcher and research user team’s ability to put scientific evidence into practice.

MSFHR has been hosting knowledge translation (KT) workshops for researchers and research users for the last year and a half. To date, the feedback from participants has been positive. What’s needed now is evidence that these workshops enable participants to use what they learn to change practice.

To find out, MSFHR is partnering with investigator Dr. Sharon Straus, director, knowledge translation program, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital and University of Toronto, and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute on a first-of-its-kind study.

Funded by a $181,816 Canadian Institutes of Health Research “Knowledge to Action” grant, the study will assess the impact of a two-day knowledge translation workshop followed by additional sessions six and 12 months later to find out what is working and what isn’t in their knowledge translation activities. The participants will also have access to online resources, a community of practice, and mentoring on their KT projects. The study will help further the understanding of what types of educational resources will best support researchers and research users to bring scientific evidence into everyday practice.

To learn more about this study, please contact Megan Schellenberg at or Juliana Chelliah at

2012 Scholar Awards

MSFHR received 93 full applications for the current competition. The peer review process has just finished and the 2012 scholars will be announced in early July.

Research with Impact

  • Adding life to years: MSFHR-supported research program will help make cities work for older adultsA new MSFHR-supported program led by researchers at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility (CHHM) is working to enhance the ability of urban spaces to accommodate people of all ages and promote active, independent living for seniors.>> Read more

Research Roundup

  • Dr. Peter Dodek
    Dr. Peter Dodek, a team recipient of the 2005 MSFHR partnership award, looks at the different aspects of how hospital culture affects a family’s satisfaction with intensive care units.
  • Dr. John Oliffe
    Dr. John Oliffe, a 2006 MSFHR Scholar, examines the increase of depression rates in college-aged men and the need for new tools to help them and those around them deal with the stigma of this mental illness.
  • Dr. Jayachandran Kizhakkedathu
    Dr. Jayachandran Kizhakkedathu, a 2011 MSFHR Scholar, learns that being able to make certain cells stick has a very practical use — using them as drug delivery agents.

MSFHR People

  • Karimah Es Sabar
    Karimah Es Sabar, MSFHR board member, has been appointed president and chief executive officer for The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD). Es Sabar was previously senior vice-president, business and strategic affairs at CDRD.
  • Daniel Werb
    Daniel Werb, 2008 research trainee, has been awarded a 2012 Trudeau Foundation scholarship to support his doctoral thesis research that seeks to identify factors that predict the initiation and cessation of injection drug use.