Strengthening health research in the Maritimes - SUPPORT Unit builds foundation for patient-oriented research

MONCTON, NB, May 25, 2015 /CNW/ - Robert Goguen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament for Moncton–Riverview–Dieppe today announced the launch of the Maritime Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research SUPPORT Unit on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Canada's Minister of Health. Parliamentary Secretary Goguen was joined by the Honourable Victor Boudreau, New Brunswick's Minister of Health, Michel Perron, Vice-President, External Affairs and Business Development, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Dr. Adrian Levy, Executive Director of the SUPPORT Unit.

SUPPORT (Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials) Units are provincial or regional centres that connect patients, researchers, policy makers, funders, and health care professionals to facilitate patient-oriented research and to help attract, train, and mentor patient-oriented researchers.

Ultimately, the SUPPORT Units are about improving health outcomes for patients. They provide the guidance and resources needed for health research to improve health care practices, therapies, and policies.  They ensure new and innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches are applied when and where needed, and best practices are shared across jurisdictions for the benefit of Canadian patients.

The Maritime SUPPORT Unit is located within the Nova Scotia Health Authority and it involves universities, hospitals and health ministries in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The SUPPORT Unit team will work with its provincial partners to identify and address research priorities for patients in the region. As an example of their work, the SUPPORT Unit will evaluate the impact of regionalization on total hip and knee replacement and cardiac surgical procedures across the Maritime provinces.

Quick Facts

  • The Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) is a national coalition of federal, provincial and territorial partners (patient advocates, provincial health authorities, academic health centres, charities, philanthropic organizations, pharmaceutical sector) dedicated to the integration of research into care. CIHR is leading this effort on behalf of the Government of Canada.
  • SPOR is about ensuring that the right patient receives the right treatment at the right time.
  • The Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit will receive $17.2 million from the Government of Canada and the governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, as well as the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation. With this funding, the SUPPORT Unit will facilitate research on health care practices, therapies, and policies to better improve patient care.
  • SUPPORT Units help lead system changes to respond to locally-driven health care needs, and also support the development of new and innovative research methods. 
  • Data platforms will be put in place within the SUPPORT Unit to ensure that researchers have access to quality data.
  • All provinces and territories are working collaboratively on this cross-Canada initiative, with SUPPORT Units to be established in regions throughout the country.
  • The Government of Canada is the largest single investor in health research in Canada and the largest single investor in SPOR.  Currently, CIHR is supporting more than 13,700 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

Quotes

"Our Government is pleased to support the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research and the roll-out of the SUPPORT Units across the country.  This Maritime SUPPORT Unit is a collaborative effort of the three Maritime provinces and exemplifies the spirit of cooperation that is fundamental to the success of SPOR. By joining together to share innovations and best practices, we will build better health systems and improve health outcomes for patients."
Robert Goguen
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament for Moncton–Riverview–Dieppe

"This collaborative effort between all three Maritime provinces will enhance the health and well-being of individuals and populations in the Maritimes, including New Brunswick through research. Our investment will help create jobs to support research capacity building in New Brunswick and expand the use of health data and application of patient-centered outcomes research."
Victor Boudreau
Minister of Health, Government of New Brunswick

"Our health care system must find better ways to help people get well, and stay healthy. By investing in research and applying those findings to our policy and practice, we know we are finding the best ways to improve patient care and the health of our residents, and sharing that information across the Maritimes."
Leo Glavine
Minister of Health and Wellness, Government of Nova Scotia

"As a region, we share many health challenges and opportunities and we appreciate this opportunity to learn from each other through Maritime-based health research." 
Doug Currie
Minister of Health and Wellness, Government of Prince Edward Island

"The Maritime provinces have been enthusiastic supporters of SPOR since the very beginning of this initiative, and I commend the research communities of each province for their leadership and commitment to work together.  Patients throughout the Maritimes will benefit from the SUPPORT Unit that we are announcing today, which will ensure that evidenced-based research can be best used to improve health care delivery and patient care."
Michel Perron
Vice-President, External Affairs and Business Development, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

"As we have demonstrated with our first project, SPOR units like ours have great potential to harness the innovation of the strong community of researchers in the Maritimes. By helping build their collaboration and expertise, we are working to ensure every patient in the Maritimes has access to the best care."       
Dr. Adrian Levy
Executive Director, Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit

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Fact Sheet

Associated Links

Canada's Strategy on Patient-Oriented Research

Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit

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 health care system for Canadians. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 13,700 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

 

 

Fact Sheet

Maritime SUPPORT Unit
(Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials)

Government of Canada funding: $8.6 million

Governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, and New Brunswick Health Research Foundation funding: $8.6 million

Total funding: $17.2 million, over five years

Description:
Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Units are locally accessible, multidisciplinary clusters of specialized research resources, policy knowledge, and patient perspective. SUPPORT Units provide the necessary expertise to pursue patient-oriented research and help lead reforms in response to locally-driven health care needs. They also lead and facilitate decision-making within the health services setting, foster the implementation of best practices, and promote collaboration among researchers engaged in patient-oriented research.

The objectives of a SUPPORT Unit are to:

  • Identify and address the needs of patients and knowledge users by connecting them with researchers and involving them in research;
  • Provide specialized and multidisciplinary expertise in conducting patient-oriented research and applying results to health services;
  • Assist decision makers and investigators to identify and design research studies, conduct analyses, manage data, provide and teach project management skills, and ensure studies meet regulatory standards;
  • Advance methods and training in research that provides evidence on the comparative benefits of different treatment options;
  • Provide timely access to data, and maximize the power of a wide array of data to answer health care questions.

About the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR):
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 health care system for Canadians. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 13,700 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 613-941-4563, mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca

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