Pictured from left, BC SUPPORT Unit Data Lead Kim McGrail, UBC School of Population and Public Health Co-Director Carolyn Gotay, BC SUPPORT Unit/BC Academic Health Science Network board member Dermot Kelleher, Federal Minister of Health Jane Philpott, BC SUPPORT Unit Executive Director Minnie Downey, BC Minister of Health Terry Lake, BC SUPPORT Unit Patient Engagement Working Group member Kent C. Loftsgard, and Canada Research Chair in Patient-Oriented Knowledge Translation Linda Li
November 9, 2016
BC SUPPORT Unit partners and members of
BC’s research community gather for official launch
A large and enthusiastic group of BC SUPPORT Unit partners and members of BC’s research community gathered today for the Unit’s official launch announcement hosted at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health.
The launch marked the official start of our work to provide services to researchers, patients, health care providers and health system decision makers to increase patient-oriented research throughout BC, and our work to help identify and advance provincial research priorities.
Federal Minister of Health Jane Philpott and BC Minister of Health Terry Lake announced federal and provincial investments and in-kind contributions of almost $80 million over five years. The two Ministers also spoke about their governments’ commitment to patient-oriented research and innovative approaches to improving health and the health care system.
“I strongly believe that innovation is essential to improving health care,” said Minister Philpott. “Through initiatives such as Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, we are promoting innovation, fostering collaboration, and helping ensure that we address the health care needs of Canadians.”
“Patients are at the heart of our health care system, so it’s time to focus on research that meets their needs best and that is what the SUPPORT Unit is all about,” said Minister Lake. The Minister added that the Unit will build on work already underway through the BC government’s technology strategy to improve researchers’ access to data and support more patient-oriented research in BC.
BC SUPPORT Unit/BC Academic Health Science Network board member Dermot Kelleher and BC SUPPORT Unit Patient Engagement Working Group member Kent C. Loftsgard also spoke at the event providing additional insight into the roles of the BC SUPPORT Unit and what patient-oriented research is all about.
“Our main role is to support these groups in engaging patients much more often in how research is planned and how it’s conducted,” said Dr. Kelleher, speaking on behalf of the Unit. “We’re also taking on important roles in helping researchers do their work faster and transfer the knowledge they gain to the health system sooner.”
“I’m proud to be contributing my personal, professional, and patient-journey experience to the development and operation of the BC SUPPORT Unit,” said Mr. Loftsgard. “By increasing meaningful integration of patient collaborators into the design and delivery of health research, the BC SUPPORT Unit provides another needed reminder to all health care sectors that patient-benefit is the ultimate point of everything they do.”
BC SUPPORT Unit services are being offered through a collaboration of many partners, each with their own existing expertise. In addition to our provincial hub based in Vancouver, four regional centres are also being developed – Fraser, Interior, Northern and Vancouver Island – to serve those outside the Vancouver region.
For more about today’s announcement, see the news release and backgrounder distributed by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.