Harper Government Invests in a Stronger Health Care System

Researchers to study programs for FASD and autism in Atlantic Canada

HALIFAX, July 26, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced funding for research that aims to help the parents of children diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

"Our Government is committed to continuously finding ways to improve the health care system for Canadians," said Minister Aglukkaq. "We are pleased to invest in this research, which will provide new information to guide policies and programs for children with FASD and autism and their families."

The funding will support two projects to be led by researchers at IWK Health Centre and Dalhousie University.

  • Dr. Patrick McGrath and his team will develop and evaluate a telephone-based program to help parents of children with FASD manage behavioural problems associated with the disorder. The project is co-funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), IWK Health Centre, Public Health Agency of Canada, Queen's University, and NeuroDevNet.
  • Dr. Isabel Smith and her team will study the effectiveness of early intensive behavioural intervention programs for children with ASD in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The project is co-funded by CIHR, New Brunswick Health Research Foundation, and Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

The two projects are among 27 projects recently funded through CIHR's Partnerships for Health System Improvement program. The program supports teams of researchers and health care decision makers that work together to develop and implement solutions to health care challenges. Projects are co-funded by partners in the public and private sectors. The program is an example of how the Harper Government is working with partners to improve health care across the country.

"We and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation are proud to partner with CIHR to offer this important opportunity to Atlantic Canada's health research community and specifically Dr. Smith's research," said Krista Connell, CEO, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation. "The collaborative spirit of the PHSI program is not only highlighted in the funding of the research, it's also seen in the partnerships the research teams form with decision makers and end users, ultimately creating valuable research that doesn't sit on the shelf and can be put into practice right away."

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada. www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca

Fact Sheet

Harper Government Invests in a Stronger Health Care System

CIHR's Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI) program supports teams of researchers and health care decision makers that work together to develop and implement solutions to health care challenges. Projects are co-funded by partners in the public and private sectors.

The two projects announced today are funded through Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI) program. They are part of 27 projects that recently received funding.

The Government of Canada and partners from across Canada are providing a total of $10.7 million to fund the 27 successful projects. The Government of Canada will be providing $8.5 million, and partners are providing an additional $2.2 million.

Projects:

Dr. Patrick J. McGrath and his team will study parent training for challenging behaviour in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). In partnership with the Nova Scotia Ministry of Health, the IWK Health Centre and Public Health Agency of Canada, their objective is to engage parents, guardians, and experts in FASD, as well as the parent training specialists, to develop and evaluate a new version of a distance parent-training program using a rigorous randomized controlled trial.

1. Project title: Parent training for challenging behaviour in children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): Strongest Families for FASD

Funding:

  • Government of Canada funding: $414,858
    • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
    • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Partner funding: $118,486
    • Queen's University, IWK Health Centre, NeuroDevNet

Dr. Isabel M. Smith and her team will evaluate the effectiveness of intervention models for preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They will compare two provincial intensive behavioural intervention programs for children with ASD, one in New Brunswick and the other in Nova Scotia. Their objective is to obtain information about the costs of these programs and the aspects that are helping children to make the most progress before they enter school.

2. Project title:  Intervention models for preschoolers with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD): A population-based comparative effectiveness study

Funding:

  • Government of Canada funding: $465, 987
    • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Partner funding: $149,959
    • Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, New Brunswick Health Research Foundation

Total funding:  The Government of Canada and its partners have committed $1.1 million.

The remaining 25 projects and funding amounts will be announced in due course.

SOURCE: Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information:

Cailin Rodgers, Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, 613-957-0200
David Coulombe, CIHR Media Relations, 613-941-4563 Cell: 613-808-7526
Melanie MacKay, Public Relations Coordinator, IWK Health Centre, 902-470-6740

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