Connections >> September 2013
24 September 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.
In this issue:
- MSFHR welcomes new chair and board member
- Funding opportunity to study clinical care guidelines implementation
- BC researchers express strong interest in SPOR SUPPORT Unit
- BC health research strategy project in final stages
- CIHR launches health services and policy research survey
Shad Valley internships help teens build research skills
For the fourth consecutive year, MSFHR is proud to partner with Shad Valley to support the placement of outstanding high school students in research programs at BC universities.
The four-week Shad Valley program provides summer enrichment opportunities to some of Canada's best and the brightest students. This year, more than 600 students had the opportunity to live on campus at one of 12 Canadian universities and take part in a wide variety of workshops and lectures focused on the sciences, engineering, technology, and entrepreneurship.
Following the enrichment program, students can apply to take part in an optional internship. This year, MSFHR's support enabled three students to gain valuable hands-on experience working alongside established BC researchers.
MSFHR welcomes new chair and board member
The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Sally Thorne as chair of MSFHR's Board of Directors.
Thorne (pictured at left), a professor in the UBC School of Nursing and associate dean of the UBC Faculty of Applied Science, assumed the role September 13 at MSFHR's annual general meeting. Former chair Sue Paish will continue to serve on the board as past chair, and Dr. John O'Neil has been appointed vice-chair.
MSFHR is also pleased to welcome Dr. Elinor Wilson to its board of directors. Wilson has worked in the academic, public, and private sectors, and served most recently as president of Assisted Human Reproduction, a federal regulatory agency established to promote health, safety, dignity, and rights for Canadians who use or are born of assisted human reproduction technologies.
MSFHR thanks retiring board member Karimah Es Sabar for her service to the Foundation.
Funding opportunity to study clinical care guidelines implementation
MSFHR, in partnership with the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council, is requesting proposals for a research project that will study the implementation of clinical care guidelines to better understand the mechanisms that enable and constrain health system transformation in BC.
This project will fund one research team to collect and analyze data from each health authority regarding clinical practice guideline implementation. Up to $185,000 in funding is available over a maximum period of six months.
BC researchers express strong interest in SPOR SUPPORT Unit
BC is one step closer to developing a regional service centre for patient-oriented research after completing the first phase of a call for expressions of interest.
Forty-seven registrations were received by the September 4 deadline from researchers or research teams interested in participating in BC's Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Unit. The unit is being developed as part of CIHR's national Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) and will provide specialized expertise and infrastructure for patient-oriented research in BC.
BC health research strategy project in final stages
The BC health research strategy planning team is working hard on the emerging strategy, based on input from a broad consultation.
Next steps include update meetings with key stakeholders — those who will have a role in the strategy's successful implementation — to seek endorsement for the emerging direction. A workshop for the health research strategy reference group is also being planned for later this fall to help prioritize the actions for the health research strategy, after which the strategy's advisory board will meet to discuss next steps, including an implementation plan.
For the latest updates on the BC health research strategy, visit http://bchealthresearchstrategy.ca.
CIHR launches health services and policy research survey
A new online survey is seeking input from health researchers to help shape a pan-Canadian vision for health services and policy research.
The survey, launched this week by the CIHR Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (IHSPR), was developed in partnership with the provincial health research funding organizations and many of Canada's health charities. Feedback will inform a Priorities Forum in 2014 that will involve partners and stakeholders in the development of a national vision and strategy for health services and policy research.
- Terry Boyle
A healthy lifestyle can dramatically improve colorectal cancer survival rates for women, according to new research by Dr. Terry Boyle. The study examined outcomes for 879 colorectal cancer patients and found that physically active women were 60 percent less likely to die from the disease.
- Teresa Liu-Ambrose
Strength training may help combat cognitive decline in older adults, according to new research led by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. Participants in a six-month study who performed weight training twice weekly showed improved performance on tests of cognitive ability and memory compared to individuals who performed only aerobic exercise.
- Wendy Norman
New research led by Dr. Wendy Norman examines the barriers to accessing abortion services faced by women in rural areas of British Columbia. The study found that around 60 percent of abortion services in rural hospitals disappeared between 1995 and 2005, due to a variety of barriers such as operating room scheduling, high demand, professional isolation, and a sense of stigma.
>> "Getting an abortion in rural Canada isn't easy" – VICE
- Bruce Vallance
UBC researchers led by Dr. Bruce Vallance have identified a protein (SIGIRR) that helps maintain healthy gut flora by maintaining a balance between good and bad bacteria. Their research shows the protein dampens the body's immune response to allow beneficial bacteria to populate the gut, preventing invasion by harmful bacterial pathogens.
>> "Protein balances 'good' and 'bad' bacteria in the gut" – United Press International