Kitchen table justice: Co-developing Indigenous-informed food justice participatory action research strategy to support holistic health and redress health inequities with paroled women in BC

This grant will support research planning with women who have been recently incarcerated and will directly support future research guided by Indigenous approaches to holistic health and health equity through food-based program development. We will build relationships with paroled research users through the making and sharing of food, and the inclusion of research users, stakeholders and Indigenous Elders in all activities. Specifically, we will: (i) conduct a literature synthesis on the potentials of food justice to support holistic health equity for women on parole, and (ii) meet bi-weekly to: (a) collaboratively develop a terms of reference and governance structure that outlines team roles and responsibilities and decision-making processes; (b) engage in co-learning about food-related health and social inequities to develop a shared understanding of the potentials of food to support health; and (c) explore potential solutions and actions to redress overlapping health, prison and food inequities. Additionally, we will: (d) collaboratively plan and develop a grant application to support subsequent research to co-develop a food justice health intervention with and for women leaving prison in BC.


Team members: Angel Willard (Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver); Kelsey Timler (UBC); Lisa Bowden (Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver); Nyki Kish-Field (University of Fraser Valley); Lyana Patrick (Simon Fraser University); Valerie Napoleon (University of Victoria)

Exploring Indigenous community access to airway health prevention and care: Towards the development of community-driven interventions

Indigenous peoples across Canada continue to be disproportionately impacted by respiratory diseases (RD) (i.e. asthma, COPD, long COVID); however, there is limited evidence describing their Indigenous peoples respiratory healthcare needs and ways in which respiratory healthcare services can be improved. Given this knowledge gap, this project seeks to engage Indigenous peoples with RD to understand their experiences living with RD; to explore Indigenous peoples’ healthcare experiences; and to identify promising practices that can improve the treatment experiences and outcomes among Indigenous peoples with RD. In order to accomplish this, we plan to hold a minimum of five talking circles with Indigenous peoples with RD across urban and rural areas of the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region. A graphic facilitator will guide a journey mapping exercise with community members in order to understand community members’ experiences when attempting to access services, while also elucidating promising practices in the treatment of RD. In addition to the benefits that this project may have for the health of Indigenous peoples in the VCH region, findings also have implications for Indigenous peoples living in other parts of British Columbia.


Team members: Christopher Carlsten (UBC and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute); Andreas Pilarinos (Vancouver Coastal Health and UBC); Shannon Field (Vancouver Coastal Health and UBC); Karen Rideout (Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute); Pat Camp (UBC); Phalgun Joshi (Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute); Shiloh Joe (Sechelt First Nation); Coreen Paul (Musqueam First Nation); Michael Dumont (Lu’ma Medical Centre); Krisztina Vasarhelyi (Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and Simon Fraser University); Roberta Price (Snuneymuxw and Cowichan First Nations); Leslie Bonshor (Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and Simon Fraser University;)

Digital health to guide the transition to menopause: Recognizing normal and abnormal changes during reproductive aging

During the years leading up to menopause, women often experience menstrual cycle and flow changes. This is usually part of normal aging, but can also be the first symptom of endometrial cancer, the most common gynecological cancer in Canada. Few women are aware of the risk factors for endometrial cancer, can recognize abnormal bleeding, and/or seek medical help. Predicting cancer risk and determining which abnormal bleeding is associated with endometrial cancer is a top priority for clinicians and women alike, because if detected early, this cancer is curable and has exceptional outcomes. Digital health technology (e.g. mobile phones apps) and analytics can help women track and monitor risk factors and symptoms and be alerted when suspicious patterns arise. In this project, we will collaborate with women in the community, patients, clinicians, and women’s health researchers to co-design digital health tools that can help women learn about and assess their risk factors for endometrial cancer, discern symptoms of cancer from those of normal aging, and provide opportunities for education, prevention, and early detection, especially among women at high-risk for cancer.


Team members: Jerilynn Prior (UBC); Lauren Tindale (UBC); Malak Ibrahim (UBC); Lori Brotto (UBC); Gurm Dhugga (UBC); Shirley Weir (Community Partner); Ali Zentner (Revolution Medical Clinic); Elise Abi Khalil (UBC); Shanzhao Wang (OVCARE, BC Cancer Agency); Sabrina Wong (UBC); Candice Taguibao (Women’s Health Research Institute); Nicole Prestley (Women’s Health Research Institute)

Collaborating with Indigenous northern communities to develop a SmartMom prenatal education texting program for teens

Teenage pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of poverty, mental health problems, and substance use. In the Northern Health Authority, rates of teen births are twice as high as elsewhere in BC. Prenatal education is known to reduce unhealthy pregnancy outcomes, but few women attend in the north and the number of teens that attend is unknown. As an alternative, we have developed a prenatal education program, (SmartMom), that delivers three SMS text messages each week related to participants’ week of pregnancy. Over one year, we will engage and convene partners in Northern Health to develop a supplemental stream of messages that is relevant and engaging for teen mothers. Through two information gathering meetings in each of several communities, we will develop content that is age-appropriate and appealing to young mothers. We will also develop a Youth Advisory Council to review our messaging and plan evaluation activities. We plan to monitor teen participation in the program and measure changes in knowledge, adoption of healthy behaviours and rates of adverse pregnancy outcomes. While the primary focus is not Indigenous health, we aim to ensure Indigenous teens and their unique lived experiences are considered in our program.


Team members: Randi Parsons (Northern Health); Shaina Pennington (UBC); Vanessa Salmons (Northern Health); Jennifer Murray (UBC)

Walking together in the same direction: Co-developing a culturally rooted model for diabetes prevention for Coast Salish and Nuu-Chah-Nulth communities of southern Vancouver Island

The nine Coast Salish and Nuu-Chah-Nulth nations of southern Vancouver Island have supported diabetes prevention and management with a variety of programs; however, the rate of diabetes continues to rise. Our goal is to engage with the nine First Nations communities through one-day gatherings to identify the assets, experiences, barriers, and gaps within each community, and integrate culture and language into a community-led model for diabetes prevention, treatment and management. We aim to co-create a framework for a diabetes prevention and care model that is community-driven, improves diabetes services at the local level, and supports nation-based self-determined approaches to diabetes prevention and management. It is imperative that we prioritize this work and align our efforts to explore a collaborative, decolonized approach to diabetes care. Our model will enhance the culture and resilience that is already present within our communities and bridge gaps in care to develop a diabetes strategy that can support our question of “How can we be who we are as First Nations people while integrating our Traditional knowledge with the best of Western approaches to diabetes care?”.


Team members: Valerie Bob (Simon Fraser University); Gwen Underwood (Saanich First Nations Adult Care Society); Marie Va’a (Tsartlip First Nation); Emily Doehnel (Tsartlip First Nation); Lois Williams (Tsawout First Nation); Kelli Telford (Tseycum First Nation); Kinsey Goertz (Tseycum First Nation); MaryAnn Daniels (Pauquachin First Nation); Jessie Jim (Songhees Nation); Hayley Moreau (Songhees Nation); Chris McElroy (Songhees Nation); Jeneen Hunt (Esquimalt Nation); Stephanie McMahon (Esquimalt Nation); Krista Johnny (Scia’new First Nation); Angie Gibson (Scia’new First Nation); Rose Dumont (T’sou’ke Nation); Jennifer Routhier (T’sou’ke Nation); Grant Robinson (Island Health); Penny Cooper (Island Health); Ashley Simpson (University of Victoria); Jennifer Murray (UBC); Brenda Bartleman (Tsartlip First Nation); Judith Atkin (Island Health); Amanda Henry (Island Health); Carol Hill (Pacheedaht Nation); Tara Claxton (Pacheedaht Nation); Rachel Dickens (Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council); Mathew Dueck (First Nations Health Authority)

Creating a partnership for obstetrical health services research in BC

Childbirth is the most common reason for a hospital visit in BC, accounting for 1 in 10 hospital visits. To make sure that pregnant women receive the best care possible, we need to evaluate how the way in which we provide care — our obstetrical policies and practices — affects the health of women and newborns.

BC has all the building blocks needed for world-class obstetrical care research — including a large database with detailed pregnancy records, university experts in policy analysis, and a single academic department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. However, we have no mechanism for bringing these assets together.

This award will catalyze the creation of a partnership that brings together BC’s expertise and resources for evaluating obstetrical care. Key outcomes are to:

  1. Establish procedures for a working partnership of researchers, health care providers, and patient partners interested in conducting research to improve obstetrical care in BC, learning from partnerships in other fields.
  2. Bring together partnership members to co-identify research priorities for improving obstetrical health care in BC.
  3. Give students an opportunity to engage with care providers, patient partners, and experienced researchers.

Team members: Jessica Liauw (UBC); Ellen Giesbrecht (Perinatal Services BC); Julie van Schalkwyk (BC Women’s Hospital); Ken Lim (BC Women’s Hospital); Chantal Mayer (PHSA); Jason Burrows (Surrey Memorial Hospital); Sheona Mitchell (University Hospital of Northern BC); Raz Moola (Kootenay Lake Hospital); Luc Beaudet (Cowichan District Hospital); Val Rychel (St. Paul’s Hospital); Gillian Hanley (UBC); Laura Schummers (UBC); Charles Litwin (UBC); Amy Hobbs (UBC); Kenny Der (Perinatal Services BC)

HIV In My Day: Destigmatizing HIV through theatre, living history, and storytelling

Despite advancements in HIV treatment and care, HIV stigma remains a challenge today. “HIV In My Day” is a community-based research project that has collected and digitally archived 100+ interviews with long-term HIV survivors and caregivers across British Columbia. It is crucial to share these stories more widely with communities who are still disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS as well as healthcare providers who serve these communities in order to continue destigmatizing HIV.

In collaboration with “In My Day”, a verbatim theatre production adapted from these stories, our proposed knowledge translation activities will be part of a larger arts-based event in December 2022 at The Cultch in Vancouver, including post-show interactive audience engagement; multimedia presentations of the findings from “HIV In My Day”; intergenerational forums with “HIV In My Day” participants; storytelling workshops for people living with HIV; performances of the “Viral Monologues”.

Together these activities will benefit attendees, including community members and healthcare providers, by teaching HIV history, building storytelling skills, and fostering intergenerational dialogue around HIV within and between affected communities.


Team members: Ben Klassen (Community-Based Research Centre); Michael Montess (University of Victoria); Kelli Stajduhar (University of Victoria); John Paul Catungal (University of British Columbia); Leah Tidey (University of Victoria); Rick Waines

 

The safer washroom campaign: Disseminating best practices in the public and private sectors

For people who use substances who cannot or do not have access to a supervised consumption site, washrooms can provide a private space that feels safe. However, when people use in washrooms, they can face serious risks including the risks of overdosing alone and potentially not receiving life-saving help in time. There are ways of making washrooms safer, but it can be difficult to know how. Best practices have been developed in the past few years to provide guidance to community-based organizations, businesses, health care institution, and other settings where washrooms are publicly accessible. Despite best efforts to make these best practices known, gaps remain. This project is designed to make share this information more broadly and improve washroom safety across the province. To make this happen, we plan on conducting consultation with various groups and developing a safer washroom campaign.


Team members: Shannon Riley (Vancouver Coastal Health); Kali Sedgemore (Vancouver Coastal Health); Trevor Goodyear (University of British Columbia)

 

Developing educational resources to support patients and clinicians to identify and use self-management apps for bipolar disorder

Over half a million Canadians live with bipolar disorder (BD), a long-term, serious mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings from depression to mania. With optimal treatment, care, and empowerment, people with BD can flourish, but this requires more than just medication. Mobile phone applications (‘apps’) can deliver knowledge on effective self-management strategies for BD and provide real-time support. Despite high interest in mental health apps, a CREST.BD survey showed that in practice few people with BD are using such tools, and clinicians do not feel well equipped to recommend apps to their patients.

This project will develop a suite of patient and clinician-facing educational resources (e.g. webinars, videos, blog posts) in collaboration with people with lived-experience and clinicians. A co-ordinated social media strategy will be developed to increase awareness of these resources.

Expected outcomes include: patients will better understand the potential benefits and risks of mental health apps; patients will improve their digital health literacy by learning strategies to identify safe and secure mental health apps; clinicians will improve knowledge about app evaluation frameworks and informed decision making.


Team members: Natalie Dee (CREST.BD); Emma Morton (UBC); John Torous (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre); Rosemary Xinhe Hu (CREST.BD); Caden Poh (UBC); Laura Lapadat (UBC); Linda Yang (UBC)

 

Tokes in the throat: Health practitioner education on the effects of smoking cannabis in the upper airway

Cannabis was legalized in Canada with the introduction of the Cannabis Act in 2018. This rapid legalization has led to a knowledge gap in doctors. Although most users smoke cannabis, few doctors know the health effects of smoking cannabis in the upper airway. In previously funded work, our team has reviewed the scientific literature and summarized these health effects, both positive and negative. During the COVID19 pandemic, innovative knowledge translation activities are needed. We propose a two-part initiative to educate health practitioners about cannabis, targeting family doctors who are the patient’s gateway to the Canadian health system. First, we will co-design a webinar with the research users on our newly launched provincial ENTCME.org platform. This event will be recorded for asynchronous access. Second, we will co-create infographics to summarize the information and launch a social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Reach and effectiveness will be assessed by registration for the webinar and pre- and post-engagement surveys. Performance data from each social media platform will also be analyzed. Our goal is to help doctors guide patients to make informed, evidence-based choices on cannabis usage.


Team members: Brenna Lynn (UBC); Andrew Thamboo (UBC); Emily Deane (UBC); Joel Howlett (UBC); Jobanjit Phulka (UBC); James P. McCormack (UBC); Dinusha Peiris (BC Cancer Agency); M-J Milloy (British Columbia Centre on Substance Use and UBC); Christie A Newton (UBC)