Shaping the future of health research in BC

22 April 2015

It is an exciting time for health research in British Columbia. MSFHR is pleased to be involved in several initiatives that are shaping health research in this province going forward.

Thanks to a collaborative effort on the part of many organizations, BC is laying the foundation for a strong, vibrant health research environment that will use research to address priority health challenges and improve the health of British Columbians.

One of the initiatives is Directions for Health Research in BC, a provincial strategy facilitated by MSFHR and developed with input from researchers, health-care providers, decision-makers and patient representatives from across the province. The goal of the strategy is to support greater coherence and a common understanding of priorities among BC’s health research community.

Actions recommended in the strategy are at varying stages of progress, but work is happening in coordination and with recognition of the interdependencies of the various pieces. For example, a key action in the health research strategy references work to establish an academic health sciences network (AHSN) underway by the Ministry of Health as part of the implementation of Setting Priorities for the B.C. Health System. The AHSN will drive effective teaching, placements, and applied health research that will promote and encourage improved quality and innovation linked to identified health care and service needs.

BC is also moving forward with the BC SUPPORT Unit, a multi-partner provincial unit to support patient-oriented research that is part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research.

An interim team is working on the start-up of the unit, whose work will also drive additional actions described in Directions for Health Research in BC. These include actions relate to patient engagement in health research and building capacity to share and use research evidence. More information on the BC SUPPORT Unit, which will be closely tied to the AHSN, can be found at