Connections >> June 2014

23 June 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

SPOR update: Support Unit business plan approved for submission to CIHR

MSFHR and the BC Ministry of Health are very pleased to announce that the business plan for BC’s SPOR Support Unit has been approved by the project’s Interim Governing Council. At a review meeting held June 17, IGC members indicated strong support for the vision and model set out in the Support Unit business plan.

The approved business plan will be submitted to CIHR by the end of June. CIHR will conduct an iterative review of the business plan, consisting of both internal and external evaluation. More details on this process will be posted to the BC Support Unit website as they become available.

BC’s Support Unit will build a foundation for transforming our health system through research by engaging patients as key members of a new partnership including decision-makers, health care providers, and researchers. This partnership will set research priorities and work together to plan, design, conduct, apply, and learn from research that is meaningful and beneficial for patients, and that drives innovation and change in our health system.

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KT activities building capacity, advancing science

MSFHR is continuing its work as a provincial leader in KT with a range of activities focused on building KT capacity and advancing KT science:

  • A new workshop co-sponsored by MSFHR and Vancouver Coastal Health will help researchers and trainees learn how to develop an end-of-grant KT plan. The half-day workshop, scheduled for October 23, 2014, is now accepting applications. Learn more.
  • MSFHR’s KT team recently published a new article in the journal Implementation Science. The article outlines the value of a province-wide online survey conducted by MSFHR in 2012 to assess the KT training needs of researchers and research users. Read the article.
  • Gayle Scarrow, MSFHR knowledge translation manager, was a panelist on a recent CIHR-IHSPR Policy Round webinar discussing the Evidence-Informed Healthcare Renewal (EIHR) Portal. MSFHR is a key funding partner of this portal, which allows policy analysts, health system decision-makers, and researcher to access the latest health care renewal evidence.

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Aubrey J. Tingle named to Order of British Columbia

Dr. Aubrey J. Tingle, founding president & CEO of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, is one of 25 exceptional individuals appointed last month to the Order of British Columbia.

Dr. Tingle is recognized for his outstanding contributions to advancing health research in British Columbia. Through his critical role in the creation of MSFHR, Dr. Tingle helped create a strong health research environment that attracts and retains the best researchers and supports them to produce innovative discoveries. He served as MSFHR’s president & CEO from 2001 until his retirement in 2008.

Dr. Tingle and this year’s other recipients will be formally inducted into the Order of British Columbia November 6 at a special ceremony in Victoria.

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Partnership awards support health system improvement

Three research projects focused on improving the delivery of health care have been selected to receive funding through CIHR’s Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI) Program and the Health Services & Policy Research Support Network (HSPRSN) Partnership Program.

Launched in 2005, the HSPRSN Partnership Program supports BC researchers in applying to peer-reviewed national or international competitions that address BC health services and policy research priorities and require matching funds as a condition of award.

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MSFHR program review underway

MSFHR has begun a comprehensive program review to help it develop a suite of regular competitions that align with the research needs identified in the BC health research strategy.

This process involves detailed environmental scanning in BC, Canada and internationally, and key informant interviews to help it gain a better understanding of the needs that exist in BC with respect to health research funding programs and the strengths that could be augmented. These two steps will be followed by broader consultation with the BC health research community in the fall

All of this input will help MSFHR staff develop a final report with recommendations for review by its board of directors in November 2014. For more information on the program review, contact Greg Martyn, director, projects and interim director, programs (

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Career opportunities

MSFHR is currently recruiting for the following positions:

  • Manager, BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative (term)
    Reporting to the Director, Projects, this position is responsible for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative.
  • Data Analyst (one-year term)
    This position will manage and analyze health research data from multiple sources and present it in a variety of formats for internal and external end-users.

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Jennifer Gardy

Dr. Jennifer Gardy, a member of MSFHR’s Research Advisory Council, has been honoured with a Women of Distinction Award by YWCA Metro Vancouver. Gardy was recognized in the “Technology, Science and Research” category for her work as a senior scientist at the BC Centre for Disease Control and her contributions as a science communicator and mentor.

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Dr. Ryan McNeil

Dr. Ryan McNeil, 2013 MSFHR Trainee award recipient, is the co-author of Homelessness and Health in Canada, a new book exploring how social, structural, and environmental factors impact the health of Canada’s homeless population. The book is available as an open-source publication and can be accessed online for free.

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Martin Schechter

Dr. Martin Schechter, MSFHR chief scientific officer, was honoured June 4 by peers and colleagues for his decades of contributions to HIV/AIDS and opioid addictions care, teaching, and research. The reception included remarks by prominent representatives of the health, academic, and research communities, as well as reflections on the highlights of Schechter’s 21-year leadership of the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network from which he stepped down earlier this year.

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