Connections >> October 2014

16 October 2014

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:




MSFHR People

Strategy document provides road map for BC’s health research future

Over the past two years, a concerted effort has been underway to develop a provincial strategy that will support greater coherence and a common understanding of priorities among BC’s health research community.

A new summary document published this month — Directions for Health Research in BC — represents the culmination of the first stage of this process.

The document provides insight into BC’s health research landscape and sets out a vision, strategic directions, and actions that are vital to establishing a strong, coherent, and effective research enterprise. It aims to create a road map for building on BC’s accomplishments over the past decade while anticipating changes to the evolving health and research landscapes.

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Partnership opens the door to new schizophrenia research

By pointing the way to better diagnosis and treatment — and hopefully an eventual cure — research is vitally important to improving the lives of the more than 40,000 British Columbians living with schizophrenia.

Since 2013, MSFHR and the BC Schizophrenia Society Foundation have jointly funded three BC researchers whose work is helping to reveal the underlying mechanisms of schizophrenia and enhance the treatment of this devastating illness. The shared goal is ultimately to mitigate schizophrenia’s human and economic toll.

University of Victoria neuroscientist Dr. Leigh Anne Swayne, a 2014 MSFHR Scholar, is the latest beneficiary of this partnership.

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CCM guidelines serve as case study for health system change

A new report examines the implementation of clinical care management (CCM) guidelines as a case study for understanding how to achieve large-scale change within British Columbia’s health system.

The report outlines factors that help or hinder province-wide implementation of CCM guidelines in different contexts. It is informed by focus group sessions and interviews with CCM implementation experience, including clinicians, administrators, senior executives, and board members from every health authority in the province.

The study was conducted by InSource Research Group following a competitive call for applications facilitated by MSFHR. Funding was provided by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council and administered by MSFHR.

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Workshop will help MSFHR Scholars build KT skills

MSFHR and Genome BC are partnering to bring the highly regarded Scientist Knowledge Translation Training (SKTT™) workshop back to Vancouver.

The two-day course, scheduled for November 6 and 7, is open to individuals who have received a 2014 MSFHR Scholar Award or are part of a research project funded by Genome BC. Participants will develop the skills required to create a knowledge translation (KT) plan that can help promote the use of research results and ensure that research findings reach the appropriate audiences.

The workshop is an important part of MSFHR’s commitment to enhancing the KT skills of its funded researchers.

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MSFHR Board of Directors welcomes two new members

The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research is pleased to announce the appointment of Suromitra Sanatani and Joan Young to its board of directors.

The incoming directors bring with them a wealth of experience from across the health, business, and government sectors. Their appointments were approved by MSFHR’s board at its September 26 annual general meeting.

The meeting also marked the retirement of Dr. Martin Taylor from MSFHR’s Board of Directors. Over the course of nine years, Taylor served terms as chair, vice-chair, and past-chair, in addition to chairing the board’s finance committee and nominating and governance committee. His considerable efforts have made a lasting impact on MSFHR, and the Foundation thanks him for his many contributions.

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Putting arts and health activity on the map

If you incorporate the arts in your health or health research-related work, please take a moment to complete On The Map: Arts & Health in BC, a province-wide survey project to learn more about arts and health programming in BC. Of particular interest are initiatives with an intentional relationship between arts and health, within health care, medical education, research and community settings.

The survey is spearheaded by Arts Health BC, a not-for-profit that promotes the field of arts and health in BC through outreach and education, engagement, collaboration and professional development.

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MSFHR-sponsored internships provide teens with health research experience

For the fifth consecutive year, MSFHR is proud to have partnered with Shad Valley to support their annual summer enrichment program. With MSFHR’s support, two Shad Valley students were given the opportunity to intern with two MSFHR Scholars. During their internships, Robyn Lee and Amy Han were exposed to new experiences outside classroom walls, and received valuable hands-on experience in a health research environment.

A new blog post and video by MSFHR’s Sherel Loo and Chelsea Noel profile this year’s interns and their experiences.

MSFHR People

  • Adeera Levin
    Dr. Adeera Levin (2006 MSFHR Team Planning Award) is the recipient of the 2014 Kidney Foundation of Canada Medal for Research Excellence. Levin, a nephrologist and researcher at St. Paul’s Hospital, Providence Health Care, and the University of British Columbia, is the first British Columbia researcher to receive this award.

  • Wendy Norman
    MSFHR Scholar Dr. Wendy Norman was awarded the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)/Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Chair in Applied Public Health Research dedicated to Family Planning Research. This prestigious award will support five years of research salaries including graduate students, research support staff and related research activities.