Connections >> June 2015

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Latest MSFHR News


Ethics harmonization takes another step forward

BC's work to harmonize research ethics review took another step forward this month with the launch of a pilot for the review of above minimal risk studies.

The model, developed under the ongoing BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative (BCEHI), provides a mechanism for streamlined approval of studies that span multiple BC jurisdictions and require full-board ethics review.

Under the current approach to multi-jurisdictional ethics review, separate applications are submitted to each research ethics board. The harmonized approach developed by BCEHI will allow researchers to submit one application and receive consolidated feedback. The result will be a faster and more efficient process that encourages multi-jurisdictional research and removes impediments to collaborative studies.

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Engagement in research brings benefits

British Columbia has a significant opportunity to leverage public interest in research for the benefit of our health system, writes Dr. Bev Holmes, MSFHR vice-president, research & impact, in a new Vancouver Sun op-ed.

Holmes points to the findings of a recent Research Canada public opinion poll that found 70 percent of British Columbians are interested in helping to set priorities for funding health research. Only 15 percent, however, are aware of opportunities to do so.

This disparity between interest and awareness suggests a need to channel the public's support for research into actions that can make meaningful contributions to improving our health research system.

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Knowledge brokers to enhance use of evidence in policy and practice

MSFHR is teaming up with the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies to help ensure cutting-edge health research evidence is used to solve real-world problems.

For the current Wall Solutions Initiative competition, MSFHR will fund knowledge brokers on up to four projects that relate to clinical practice or public health and can demonstrate a benefit to BC. These knowledge brokers will engage with diverse stakeholders and will use knowledge translation (KT) models, strategies, and activities to enhance the use of health research evidence in policy and practice.

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From idea to impact

A great idea can change the world. But even the best ideas need to be nurtured by a supportive research ecosystem as they travel the long road from discovery to validation, dissemination, and adoption.

In the second issue of MSFHR's digital publication Spark, we look at how four MSFHR-supported researchers have transformed made-in-BC ideas into products and policies that are improving health worldwide. Their experiences reveal British Columbia's tremendous potential for research with global impact, as well as the myriad challenges awaiting researchers who wish to bring locally produced innovations to market or clinical practice.

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Learn more about the BC SUPPORT Unit

Are you curious about the BC SUPPORT Unit? Members of the Unit's Interim Operations Team are meeting with a variety of interested stakeholders who want to learn more about CIHR's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) and the development of the BC SUPPORT Unit.

These in-person meetings provide context for the Unit's development, foster discussion, and highlight opportunities to become more involved in the future as the Unit is established. To book a presentation, please see the BC SUPPORT Unit Contact page.

A Resources page has also been established on the BC SUPPORT Unit website to share the standard slide deck that supports these presentations, as well as other information related to the national SPOR initiative.

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Connecting the dots on health research in BC: Building the foundations

Key stakeholders involved in the consultation process to develop a health research strategy for BC identified nearly a dozen actions that they felt would help create a more vibrant, thriving health research community in the province.

One of these, Standardizing Best Practice Research Processes across BC, is supported by two province-wide projects — standardizing research contracts and harmonizing ethics approvals.

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PHSI awards support research to address health system priorities

An inter-regional research project focused on improving patient flow has 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 facilitated by MSFHR.

The successful project involves partners from 10 urban health regions in Western Canada, including Vancouver Coastal Health, represented on the project by co-investigator Janet Joy.

For the 2015 PHSI competition, MSFHR is pleased to once again partner with CIHR to support research that is relevant to BC health system priorities. Full application instructions and guidelines are now available on the MSFHR website.

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Symposium to explore role of networks in policy and practice

This September, senior government, research, and organizational leaders from across Canada, the United States, and Europe will gather at the Network Leadership Symposium in Edmonton to explore the role of inter-organizational networks in addressing critical policy issues and practice challenges.

Networks are used for many purposes, including supporting learning, leveraging organizational growth, building community capacity, encouraging cross sector planning or service delivery, sustaining connections during times of change, and supporting quality improvement.

Bev Holmes, MSFHR vice-president, research & impact, is a member of the symposium steering committee.

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