Harper Government Supports Health Care Innovation in Saskatchewan

Single-Largest Investor in Canadian Health Innovation

SASKATOON, SK, July 20, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification), visited with researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) today where she highlighted how federal investments are helping strengthen healthcare across the country. Minister Yelich 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 the University of Saskatchewan," said Minister Yelich. "I was delighted to meet these researchers and find out how their work is helping to improve the health of people in Saskatchewan 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.

Minister Yelich met with the following CIHR-supported researchers at the U of S:

  • Dr. Colleen Anne Dell is examining the practice of traditional First Nations culture as a healing force within substance abuse programs. By understanding what practices work and how they achieve success, the research community involved in this project aims to improve health programming for First Nations peoples struggling with addiction.
  • Dr. Margaret Crossley, a member of a team led by Dr. Debra Morgan, is working with community health providers to develop culturally appropriate assessment tools for use in the U of S Rural and Remote Memory Clinic, particularly for Aboriginal seniors (the Northern Cultural Assessment of Memory or N-CAM).
  • Dr. Andrew Potter leads the U of S Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization - International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), a world leader in addressing infectious diseases in humans and animals.

"Our researchers are working toward solutions for health challenges that affect all of us, and in particular, some of the most vulnerable people in Canada and around the world," said Dr. Karen Chad, U of S vice-president research. "We applaud the continued support of the Government of Canada, through the CIHR, that makes this vital work possible."

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 Government has invested $64 million in health research in Saskatchewan through CIHR.

SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information:

Michael Robin, U of S Research Communications, 306-966-1425
David Coulombe, CIHR Media Relations, 613-941-4563

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