Harper Government Supports Health Care Innovation in Alberta

Single-Largest Investor in Canadian Health Innovation

CALGARY, July 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Devinder Shory, Member of Parliament for Calgary Northeast, visited with researchers at University of Calgary today where he highlighted how federal investments are helping strengthen healthcare across the country. Mr. Shory joined other members of the Harper Government who made similar visits with health researchers across the country.

"Our Government is proud to support the outstanding health researchers at University of Calgary," said Mr. Shory. "I was delighted to meet these researchers and find out how their work is helping to improve the health of people in Alberta and across Canada."

There are more than 10,000 health research projects underway in Canada right now that receive Harper Government funding. Some recent initiatives announced include:

  • Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples, in which researchers will partner with aboriginal communities to carry out initiatives linked to suicide reduction and other key health priorities;
  • Funding 13 projects to improve the efficiency of front-line healthcare delivery, whose results will be available for provincial and territorial governments to use to strengthen their systems; and
  • Funding for a national transplantation research program

Mr. Shory met with the following CIHR-supported researchers at University of Calgary:

  • Paul Kubes, PhD, a Canada Research Chair in Leukocyte Recruitment in Inflammatory Disease, is a professor at the university's Faculty of Medicine and Founding Director of the Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, who examines how white blood cells can prevent and reverse infection caused by sepsis.
  • George Chaconas, PhD, a Canada Research Chair in the Molecular Biology of Lyme borreliosis, is a professor at the university's Faculty of Medicine and member of the university's Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, who studies Borrelia burgdorferi, in an effort to effectively diagnose, treat and prevent Lyme disease.

"We are extremely grateful for the financial contributions made by the federal government to the University of Calgary," says Ed McCauley, Vice President (Research) at the university. "We are our proud of our hard-working researchers, such as George Chaconas and Paul Kubes, who are dedicated to improving the health of Canadians and better our world. Their internationally recognized work will help us reach our goal of becoming one of Canada's top five research universities by 2016, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community of Calgary."

Federal support for health research primarily flows through its health research investment agency - the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). CIHR supports the best in peer-reviewed health research with the vision of creating a healthier future for Canadians.

"Canadian health researchers across all research disciplines and themes continue to have a significant impact on the country's international scientific excellence and competitiveness," said Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR. "At CIHR, we prize the many achievements and contributions our researchers make to resolving pressing health challenges and to improving the health outcomes of patients and supporting a robust and sustainable health care system."

Since 2005-06, the federal government has invested $500 million in health research in Alberta through CIHR.

SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information:

Marta Cyperling, Media Relations Manager, Faculty of Medicine, 403-210-3835
David Coulombe, CIHR Media Relations, 613-941-4563

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