Connections >> March 2013

26 March 2013

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 Roundup

MSFHR People

Research challenge sparks CIHR-funded study of cardiac care innovation

Why are frail, elderly patients willing to travel long distances and submit to a battery of tests in order to access a new heart valve replacement procedure?

This question, posed by a front-line nurse, has evolved from a point of curiosity into a CIHR-funded research project due in large part to research capacity supported by MSFHR’s Nursing Research Facilitator (NRF) Program.

Seeking to understand the factors that motivate patients to undergo an innovative cardiovascular intervention, a clinical team from St. Paul’s Hospital was funded to undertake a 12-month study through the Providence Health Care Research Challenge. Coordinated by Aggie Black, one of seven MSFHR-funded nursing research facilitators, the challenge provides an opportunity for nurses to answer research questions related to their clinical practice.

The results of the study informed a follow-up proposal that was recently funded with a $98,000 CIHR Catalyst Grant.

Research drives healthy economy, says MSFHR Board Chair in op-ed

A Vancouver Sun column published March 19 by MSFHR Board Chair Sue Paish argues that health research is an important driver of BC’s knowledge economy.

The article offers several examples that illustrate the benefits of health research. A vibrant research infrastructure helps recruit and retain the brightest minds while supporting the creation of skilled, well-paid jobs. By leveraging provincial investments, BC’s health research sector has been able to attract additional funding from private, federal, and non-profit sources to support valuable commercialization opportunities with economic benefits for the province.

The application of research evidence also helps avert health care costs by finding efficiencies that save money while improving the effectiveness of patient care.

InspireNet funding renewed

The MSFHR Board of Directors has approved a one-year extension of funding to the nursing health services research network InspireNet. The network, supported by MSFHR through the BC Nursing Research Initiative, will now be funded through October 31, 2014.

InspireNet is a province-wide network of more than 2,600 researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, educators, and students working to support greater involvement of nurses in health services research. InspireNet supports coordinated provincial research planning and priority setting, which helps build capacity for practice relevant research.

To learn more about specific activities and opportunities, visit the InspireNet website.

MSFHR recruiting for two positions

MSFHR is seeking to fill two newly created positions.

The Director, Projects will oversee and support a team of project leads working on a range of initiatives related to the generation and application of health research in BC. Applications for this position close April 3.

The Director, Marketing & Stakeholder Relations will oversee and direct MSFHR’s marketing, government relations, communications and partnership activities, with the aim of enhancing MSFHR’s brand and enhancing relationships with key stakeholders. Applications for this position close April 15.

View the job postings for more information.

Research Roundup

  • Dr. Jean-Sébastien Blouin
    Dr. Jean-Sébastien Blouin (2008 Scholar, 2004 Trainee) and colleagues at the UBC School of Kinesiology are working to reduce the effects of whiplash. In a new video posted by the Vancouver Sun, Blouin explains that rear-end automobile impacts induce an “overreaction” response in neck muscles, leading to a range of injuries associated with whiplash. His research has revealed that due to this overreaction, car seat design plays a major role in determining the extent of whiplash injuries. Blouin and his team are working to develop a “smart” car seat that will be able to sense an impact and adjust in real time to minimize injuries in a collision.
  • Dr. Richard Carpiano
    The spoils of victory do not necessarily include better health and a longer life, according to a new study co-authored by MSFHR Scholar Richard Carpiano. In an article published recently in the American Sociological Review, Carpiano and colleagues examined the longevity of individuals who win one of three high-profile recognitions — an Emmy Award, Baseball Hall of Fame induction, or a US presidential election — to see if gains in status are associated with better health and increased life expectancy. Despite evidence linking socioeconomic status to lower mortality, the researchers found no consistent survival advantage for the winners of these awards compared to nominated losers of the same competitions.>> Read more
  • Dr. Peter Dodek
    A team led by Dr. Peter Dodek (2005 HSPRSN Investigative Team Award, 2005 HSPRSN Partnership Award) has won a UBC Faculty of Medicine quality improvement award for demonstrating that daily blood tests are not necessary to ensure optimal care for hospital patients. A study of 900 intensive-care unit patients found no significant difference in clinical outcomes between those who received daily blood tests and those who were tested less frequently. The findings have the potential to inform new hospital procedures that could reduce costs and improve the use of resources.>> “Daily blood tests for all critically ill patients deemed unnecessary”Vancouver Sun, March 20, 2013

MSFHR People

  • Dr. Bruce Verchere
    Congratulations to Dr. Bruce Verchere (2006 MSFHR Senior Scholar and Research Advisory Council member) on receiving a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for contributions to diabetes research. The medal was presented by the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) at a special ceremony hosted by UBC’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences on February 28. Verchere is one of 30 Canadians nominated by CDA to receive Diamond Jubilee medals for helping to improve the lives of those living with diabetes.>> Read more
  • Dr. Charlotte Waddell
    Congratulations to Dr. Charlotte Waddell (2002 MSFHR Scholar) on the renewal of her Canada Research Chair in Children’s Health Policy. Waddell is director of the Children’s Health Policy Centre and an associate professor at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences. Her research addresses mental health disparities, starting in childhood, by improving the connections between research and policy.