People we've funded

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Addressing HIV/AIDS, sexual health, and substance use among gay and other men who have sex with men

New HIV diagnoses are 71 times higher among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM) than other men in Canada. Since 2010, BC has adopted Treatment as Prevention (TasP) as a policy to increase HIV testing and engage more HIV-positive individuals in effective treatment to reduce transmission at a population level. However, the number of new diagnoses among GBM in BC has remained largely unchanged. Further, surveillance shows an increase of HIV diagnoses among the youngest birth cohorts of GBM.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Improving substance use treatment trajectories for men who have sex with men

British Columbia is currently in the process of developing and implementing new evidence-based policies and clinical reforms to address problematic substance use, including new: (i) pharmacotherapy approaches (e.g., replacement therapies); (ii) clinical practice guidelines; and (iii) integrated service delivery models of care.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Innovative addiction research program: Addressing polysubstance use

British Columbia (BC) faces a mental health and addiction crisis with an estimated cost of $100 million annually. In April 2016, a public health emergency was declared due to an alarming increase in opioid-related overdose deaths in recent years.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Incentivizing the delivery of sustainable care of chronic diseases in Canada: Case studies in musculoskeletal disease

Concerns about the sustainability of publicly funded health systems and the rising cost of care abound, yet there is little research that explores health care efficiency. Simple cost-saving exercises (i.e. cutting services) may risk harming patients, while more sophisticated, efficiency-saving approaches aim to provide health care at a greater benefit per unit of cost. Encouraging quality and value of health care delivery, whilst reducing waste, is also an indirect way to control health care costs.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Improving the implementation and impact of evidence-based health promotion interventions in real world settings

Findings from health promotion research that could help Canadians live healthy lifestyles are often not applied in practice. This gap between health promotion research and health promotion practice is particularly concerning for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Despite people with SCI's urgent need for interventions that respect their unique challenges and barriers to health behaviour change, there are very few health promotion interventions designed for people with SCI.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Breaking the link between obstructive sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease using a translational experimental approach

Previous research by Dr. Foster has illustrated that angiotensin receptor blockade can abolish the blood pressure response to intermittent hypoxia (IH), reduce oxidative stress and increase nitric oxide bioavailability. In addition, recent work suggests heightened peripheral neurovascular transduction in response to baroreflex activation.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Examining the addiction treatment and recovery trajectories of youth in British Columbia's Lower Mainland

Addiction treatment is critical to addressing the tremendous health and social harms experienced by street-involved youth (SY) with substance use disorders (SUD), including the current fentanyl overdose crisis.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Opioid addiction research program to improve prescribing practices and reduce overdose

Canada is amid an opioid crisis, with six or seven deaths a day due to opioid overdose. Prescription opioid misuse can also transition to illicit opiate and intravenous drug use, substantially increasing the risk for overdose and blood-borne infections. Rates of overdose death due to counterfeit fentanyl have also risen and represent a growing crisis in most regions in Canada, with British Columbia (BC) being particularly hard hit. Half of the 800 anticipated overdose deaths for 2016 in BC are expected to involve fentanyl.

Dr. Fairbairn's research will:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Partners: 
Health Category: 

Development and assessment of strategies to promote social integration into new communities

Social connections and social support networks are essential for physical and mental health. In fact, recent research suggests that how long people live is better predicted by the quality of their social relationships and how well they are integrated in their community, than it is by how much they smoke and drink, or whether they are obese. Loneliness, on the other hand, is linked to negative health outcomes including depression, poor sleep quality, more hospital and doctor visits, and compromised immune system functioning.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Cardiovascular genetics: Phenotypes, genotypes and cellular mechanisms

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death of Canadians, and is strongly influenced by genetic factors. Integrating basic biomedical research into how specific gene variants influence the function of cardiac cells, with clinical research of patients and families with early onset CVD, will lead to important advances in translating the results of genetics research to improved care for patients and families with CVD.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Towards a provincial policy framework for substance use services in BC

Opioid use disorder is one of the most challenging forms of addiction facing the health care system in BC and is a major driver of the recent surge in illicit drug overdose deaths in the province. In the context of the current public health emergency, Provincial Health Services Authority agencies the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) have identified an urgent need for a policy framework articulating the full range of therapeutic options for the optimal treatment and harm reduction measures those with opioid use disorder.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Integrating equity and cultural safety lenses to promote Indigenous health in BC’s southern interior

Interior Health (IH) serves more than 215,000 km² of BC’s southern interior. This part of BC falls within the traditional, unceded territories of the Secwepemc, Ktunaxa, Syilx, Nlaka’pamux, Ulkatcho, Tsilhqot’in and St’at’imc peoples. Within these territories are people, both on and off reserve, who live in small urban, rural or remote communities. The First Nations, Metis, and Inuit populations served by IH are disproportionately affected by health inequities. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017

Understanding a potentially common upper airway disorder: Empty nose syndrome

Empty Nose Syndrome (ENS) is thought to be an unusual outcome of sinus surgery due to excessive loss of nasal tissues, particularly from a pair of structures called the inferior turbinates. Turbinates usually function to warm and humidify air flowing into the nose. Patients with ENS often have severe nasal symptoms and develop very poor quality of life as well as mental health problems. As a result of these mixed symptoms, ENS patients are often misdiagnosed, mismanaged, and left to their own devices.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Understanding the aging HIV lung from dysbiosis to cell injury

Patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are now living to older ages thanks to effective anti-HIV medicines. Despite these gains, many of them suffer from chronic lung disease that greatly impacts their ability to carry out their daily activities and impairs their quality of life. The type of lung disease they face is similar to what longtime smokers develop, a progressive narrowing of the airways and destruction of the lung. However, in HIV, the process appears to be accelerated and more severe.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Canada-wide comparison of patient reported outcomes by complexity of radiotherapy technique for bone metastases

Radiotherapy (RT) is a common and cost effective treatment for patients with painful bone metastases (BoM). Complex and lengthy RT courses are increasingly used for BoM, despite substantial evidence and Choosing Wisely Canada guidelines recommending the use of single fraction RT (SFRT) over lengthy courses. Reluctance to adopt SFRT is based on lack of evidence of its effectiveness in patients ineligible for trials, such as those with poor performance status and BoM complicated by fracture or neurological compromise.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Health related quality of life following road trauma: An emergency department inception cohort study

Each year in Canada, road trauma causes over 2,000 deaths and 10,000 serious injuries. Disability after an injury is a major public health concern, but the long term health outcome after road trauma is poorly investigated and based mostly on older research that does not reflect modern vehicle safety features or modern medical treatment. In addition, there is almost no research that helps health care providers know which patients are most likely to have a bad outcome following a crash, making it difficult to provide them with the care they require.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Developing personalized anti-arrhythmic drug therapy for atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disorder. With an aging population, the number of people with AF is expected to rise dramatically. People with AF are twice as likely to die, are five times more likely to have a stroke, can develop worsening heart muscle function, and have a lower quality of life. We have learned that a person's genetic makeup, or DNA, has a major impact on their risk of developing AF; but we have a limited understanding of why, or how to use this information to treat people in a safer and more effective way.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Towards individualized treatment for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)

Pancreatic cancer kills almost 5,000 Canadians each year and if progress is not made to improve outcomes, the annual number of deaths will double by 2030. In 80% of patients, the cancer has spread at the time of diagnosis, and is not operable. Most of these patients die within one year due to the lack of effective therapies and the fact that clinicians have no clear guidance on which existing treatment option would work best for individual patients.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017

Women taking charge of changing childbirth in BC

Childbearing women in Canada are speaking out about their desire for respectful maternity care. The Vancouver Foundation funded Phase 1 of our provincial, community-led participatory action research project entitled "Changing Childbirth in BC: Women exploring access to high quality maternity care". A steering group of women from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds worked with researchers and community agencies to study access to preferred models of maternity care and experiences of autonomy, respect, discrimination, or coercion when participating in a decision-making process.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017

Implementing concussion return to activity guidelines in primary care

Throughout the history of medicine, patients who had a disease that was poorly understood were advised to rest. As scientists and doctors learned more, early mobilization and active therapies (e.g., exercise) gradually replaced rest as the conventional treatment for a variety of medical conditions, such as chronic fatigue, whiplash, stroke, low back pain, and cardiac arrest. We have now reached this same juncture for concussion care. The proposed project aims to figure out how to support doctors in implementing new science-informed return to activity guidelines for concussion.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017

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