Connections >> May 2012

16 May 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

MSFHR People

Survey results highlight BC’s knowledge translation training and resource needs

Producers and users of health research evidence in BC have a strong interest in enhancing their knowledge translation (KT) skills, according to the findings of an MSFHR online needs assessment.

The survey, distributed in March to stakeholders throughout the BC health research community, was undertaken as part of MSFHR’s commitment to increasing the use of health research evidence in practice and policy. More than 1,200 respondents provided input on their current KT activities and interests in KT skills training and resources.

A health research strategy for BC

MSFHR is facilitating the development of a provincial health research strategy in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health, Health Research BC and other key stakeholders.

With the steady growth of BC’s health research ecosystem in size and complexity, it has become increasingly important to promote coherence and strategic coordination among a broad range of actors that includes academic institutions, health authorities, research centres, corporations, and not-for-profit organizations. A provincial health research strategy will enhance synergy across research pillars, sectors, and disciplines while positioning BC as a leader in health system transformation, innovation, and economic development.

The Ministry of Health, in partnership with MSFHR and Health Research BC, recently brought together representatives of BC’s health authorities, research universities, and health authority research institutes for preliminary discussion about a health research strategy for BC. Participants agreed on the need for a provincial strategy and will collaborate in its development.

In fall 2012, MSFHR will work in partnership to convene stakeholders for consultations. Immediate next steps include striking a steering committee, developing a project plan, and designing a consultation process.

MSFHR KT article published in Implementation Science

MSFHR’s KT team recently published a paper in the journal Implementation Science discussing the role of health research funders in translating evidence into practice. The paper describes how MSFHR is defining our KT role and outlines a conceptual model of five functional areas in which funding organizations can support KT.

MSFHR-supported study reclassifies breast cancer subtypes

A recent BC Cancer Agency study supported by MSFHR sheds new light on the classification of breast cancer tumours and has the potential to improve diagnosis and treatment. The research team includes four past or current MSFHR-funded researchers.

Ethics harmonization update

The BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative (BCEHI) has a new and improved online home. We’ve recently expanded the BCEHI section of the MSFHR website to provide detailed, up-to-date information on this province-wide collaboration.

BCEHI is an MSFHR-facilitated and funded process that aims to develop a more effective, coordinated approach to ethics approval of research involving human subjects in BC.

HSPRSN Partnership Award recipients announced

MSFHR congratulates the recipients of the Health Services & Policy Research Support Network (HSPRSN) Partnership Award. Three research projects have been selected to receive matching funds up to $100,000 to investigate issues that evaluate health redesign or change initiatives. The awards are offered by MSFHR in conjunction with CIHR’s Partnerships for Health System Improvements competition.

Unlocking the potential of health data

MSFHR is pleased to be sponsoring “The Data Effect,” a one-day conference in Vancouver on June 5. This event will bring together government decision makers, research institution leaders, and other leading thinkers to discuss how to make use of BC’s health data. These data, collected under the stewardship of successive provincial governments, can be a valuable resource to save lives, reduce health care costs by billions of dollars, and further develop a powerful life science sector.

Research with Impact

  • Understanding immunity: MSFHR-funded team applies lessons of H1N1 to inform future pandemic response
    An MSFHR-funded research team led by Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an epidemiologist at the BC Centre for Disease Control, is building on what it learned during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic to understand the risks posed by a new swine-origin influenza virus that could also pose a pandemic threat. The World Health Organization has labeled this variant, an H3N2 subtype, as “H3N2v.”>> Read more

MSFHR People

  • Sue Paish
    Sue Paish, chair of MSFHR’s Board of Directors, has been appointed CEO of LifeLabs Inc., Canada’s largest provider of community laboratory services. Paish previously served as CEO of Pharmasave Drugs (National) Ltd.
  • Dr. Michael Hayden
    Dr. Michael Hayden, MSFHR board member and 2011 Aubrey J. Tingle Prize recipient, has been named president of global research & development, and chief scientific officer of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
  • Dr. Danuta Skowronski
    Dr. Danuta Skowronski, lead on two MSFHR-funded rapid response research teams, was presented with the James M. Robinson Memorial award for her significant contributions to public health. The award was presented by the School of Population & Public Health, UBC.
  • Dr. E. Paul Zehr
    Dr. E. Paul Zehr, a 2003 MSFHR scholar and former chair of MSFHR’s Research Advisory Council, was recently awarded a University of Victoria’s 2012 Craigdarroch Research Award for Excellence in Knowledge Mobilization for his efforts to engage general audiences in scientific research.