IHSPR Newsletter - December 2003
Volume 1, Issue 6
Message from the Scientific Director
It seems hard to believe that CIHR is now half-way through its fourth year, and that I and my Scientific Director colleagues have been at it for a full three years. It has been a whirlwind three years, with little time to stop and reflect on what has been accomplished. And yet this fall we have been consumed with events that do warrant a bit of reflection, and that are featured in this newsletter. Most obvious was our just-completed inaugural symposium, which was an overwhelming success. Indeed, there was so much interest in the event that we were unfortunately forced to turn away many from our community in order to stay within the venue constraint of 350 participants. We will know better in the future….One of the enduring impressions left by the event was of the wonderful energy and new ideas of the many young researchers whom the Institute and its partners have been able to support through capacity-building tools such as training programs, ICE teams and career awards.
The other major Institute priority this fall has been the development of the latest Request for Applications in the area of health services and genetics (see below). This RFA reflects a watershed moment in the short history of our efforts to energize a community of researchers drawn from both the genetics and health services/policy research communities, and to bring them together with policy-makers from across the country for whom genetics-related policy and service delivery issues are becoming a preoccupation. From a point a few years ago when these research communities were, by and large, two solitudes, we have been able to catalyze interactions that now offer prospects of exciting new and important interdisciplinary and knowledge translation-rich collaboration in response to this RFA.
Looking ahead, 2004 promises to bring many more exciting advances for our community, not least of which will be the first conference of the newly established Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR) in May. We are anticipating being able to make important announcements, regarding funding tools and publication outlets, among other things. Stay tuned. Let me take this opportunity, in closing, to wish you all a healthy and productive new year.
New Funding Opportunities:
Addressing Health Care and Health Policy Challenges of New Genetic Opportunities
The Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (IHSPR) is pleased to announce the December 2003 launch of the "Addressing Health Care and Health Policy Challenges of New Genetic Opportunities" Request for Applications (RFA).
Research funded through this competition will be supported through a novel partnership between IHSPR, the CIHR Institutes of Genetics (IG) and Population and Public Health (IPPH), the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Task Group on Genomics and Health, the Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Discussions intended to add other partners are ongoing; at the time of writing, total funding available through this competition is about $5 million over three years. The purpose of this RFA is to provide operating grant funds of up to $250,000 per year for up to three years, in support of research projects, the results of which will better equip health care providers, administrators and policy makers to take advantage of the potential in, and address the considerable challenges associated with, the rapid growth in new genetic-related knowledge, technologies, and clinical possibilities.
IG and IHSPR have taken a lead role in Canada in developing a strategic approach to funding peer-reviewed research regarding genetics and health services and policies; this RFA represents the latest stage in this forward-looking agenda. For more details, see CIHR's website.
Knowledge Translation Strategies for Health Research (Cross-cutting CIHR initiative)
Building on CIHR's commitment to advancing research on the use of evidence in clinical, policy and managerial decision-making, CIHR's Knowledge Translation Branch is pleased to announce the December 2003 launch of another strategic funding opportunity in knowledge translation research, entitled "Knowledge Translation: Strategies for Health Research". The purpose of this RFA is to increase understanding of the theory and practice of knowledge translation, to create new knowledge translation tools and strategies aligned with CIHR Institutes and their research priorities, to support the development of measures to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of knowledge translation tools and strategies and to promote research on how best to integrate knowledge translation principles and practice into training and continuing education. For more details, see CIHR's website.
The International Opportunities Program
The International Opportunities Program is intended to assist Canadian researchers to develop and establish new international collaborations with foreign researchers, through one-time Development/Planning Grants of up to $25,000 and one-time Collaborative Research Project Grants of up to $100,000. These one-time grants exist as a mechanism for Canadian researchers to engage in relationship development and to explore new international collaborative opportunities in health research priority areas of mutual interest to CIHR Institutes, and the foreign researchers. For more details, see CIHR's website.
Additional opportunities for support through CIHR's Open Competition process - Spring 2004 Competitions
IHSPR is pleased to participate in the Spring 2004 Priority Announcements Program. Once the peer review process for the Open Competition is completed, priority announcements enable CIHR's Institutes and its Ethics Office to fund highly rated applications found responsive to their mandate or priorities. Priority announcements are aimed at stimulating applications in the areas of health research of importance to Institutes and to the Ethics Office.
If applicants deem their research application to be relevant to IHSPR's announced priorities, a responsiveness form must be completed and included in the Open Competition application. IHSPR is interested in funding projects that align with its research priorities for the following competitions:
- Operating Grants: Registration February 1, 2004
- Fellowships: Registration February 1, 2004
For more information about IHSPR research priorities and these funding opportunities, please visit the CIHR website.
Listening for Direction II:
Refreshing National Health Services and Policy Research Priorities
The Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF) is spearheading a second round of "Listening for Direction" (LfD) consultations, aimed at identifying national research priority themes in applied health services and policy research.
The first LfD process in 2001 was a partnership between five national organizations, including IHSPR. It identified eight primary research themes and seven secondary research themes, used to prioritize research funding and policy development in organizations across Canada. Lessons learned from this process were published earlier this fall in Milbank Quarterly in an article called "On Being a Good Listener: Setting Priorities for Applied Health Services Research." The paper can be found at the Milbank Quarterly web site.
Partners for the second LfD consultations (LfDII) include CHSRF, IHSPR, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment, the Advisory Committee on Governance and Accountability of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Conference of Deputy Ministers of Health, and the Health Statistics Division of Statistics Canada.
The process for LfD II began with an environmental scan that took place as part of the November 2003 IHSPR inaugural symposium described elsewhere in this newsletter. The process, to continue through to the end of May 2004, will include:
- a consultation encompassing one national and five regional workshops, one meeting with the Deputy Ministers of Health and one meeting with the F/P/T Advisory Committee on Governance and Accountability and chairs of the other F/P/T Advisory Committees. The workshops will take place in Ottawa (Jan. 22), Toronto (Jan. 28), Edmonton (Feb. 2), Vancouver (Feb. 6), Quebec City (Feb. 11) and Fredericton (Feb. 13). Participation is by invitation and it is anticipated that each will include researchers, decision makers and a variety of stakeholders representing organizations such as professional associations, provincial and federal governments, regional health authorities and voluntary sector groups.
- a translation and sorting session to convert priorities into research or synthesis themes/questions
- a draft report
- a validation process
- release of the final report
For more information, please contact Mylène Dault by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In parallel to the LfDII process, IHSPR is currently developing a web-based survey that will offer an opportunity for individuals not participating in the workshops to provide us with input regarding research priorities for the next two-five years. Check the IHSPR website toward the end of January 2004 for instructions and directions to the web survey.
Building on the momentum and success of last summer's successful Summer Institute for new and emerging health services and policy researchers, IHSPR is pleased to announce that a second Summer Institute is being planned for summer 2004. The event will be held in mid-June, in British Columbia. The 2004 Summer Institute is being supported by IHSPR, IPPH, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (Population Health Program) and the IHSPR-CHSRF Western Regional Training Centre for applied health services research (WRTC). The WRTC, along with two other training centres supported by IHSPR and based at the University of British Columbia, have taken on the responsibility of organizing and running the Summer Institute. Invitations will be forwarded to all CIHR University delegates and University research offices in February regarding the application process. Details will also be available on the IHSPR web site.
IHSPR Inaugural Symposium - Strengthening the Foundations
The Institute is pleased to report that its inaugural symposium in Montreal in November was a resounding success. The symposium Strengthening the Foundations: Health Services and Policy Research Canadian Health Care was attended by about 350 people including researchers, research users, students, fellows, and members of the public.
Tom Noseworthy from the University of Calgary chaired the event, which featured plenary panels, concurrent presentations, and poster presentations. The Institute and CHSRF ran a consultation session involving all delegates, as the initial phase of a refreshing process for the LfD strategic priority-setting initiative described elsewhere in this newsletter.
Peter Coyte rolled out the new Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR), and encouraged everyone to become a member of the new Association. Details on how to become a member, or on CAHSPR's upcoming (May 2004) conference, as well as other information, can be found at the following web site. Past Presidents of the Canadian Health Economics Research Association, from which the new association has grown, were acknowledged for their significant contributions over the past decades.
More than fifty students, post-doctoral fellows, and early-in-career researchers presented posters over the two days of the symposium. Without exception, the posters were of a very high calibre. Prizes of $300, $200 and $100 were presented for the most outstanding posters:
- Evelyn L. Forget
- Lorelei Lindgard
- Rebecca Sutherns
- Sarah Bowen
- James Kennedy
- Whitney Berta
- Dominique Tremblay
We would like to thank Martha MacLeod, Michelle Gagnon, Suzanne Lawson and Louise Lemieux-Charles for judging the posters.
We are working on making as many of the plenary and parallel session presentations as possible available to those interested in receiving copies; stay tuned.
Analysis of Canadian Community Health Survey on Mental Health and Well Being
CIHR and partners recently funded 17 projects to improve the availability of evidence for decision-making in provision of care, program development and support for mental illness and addictions. Analyses are primarily intended to enhance understanding regarding: mental well-being among Canadians, prevalence of morbidity and co-morbidity among people with mental disorders, and access to and use of health care services by these individuals.
The following are examples of funded applications that align with IHSPR's mandate
Health services use by Canadian seniors with major depression
Principal Investigator: Martin G. Cole, McGill University
A mental health divide? Rural-urban and intra-rural differences in mental health and use of mental health services
Principal Investigator: Carl D'Arcy, University of Saskatchewan
Concurrent substance use and mental disorders in Canada: prevalence and impact on service utilization
Principal Investigator: Brian R. Rush, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
CIHR - Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, Institute of Gender and Health, IHSPR, Statistics Canada, Rural and Northern Health Research Initiative and Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre collectively contributed $656,475 towards funding this research. All initiatives will involve analysis of the mental health and well being portion of the Canadian Community Health Survey from 2002. This comprehensive survey was implemented by Statistics Canada in collaboration with the World Health Organization and includes national and provincial level data for a selection of major mental illnesses, addictions and problems.
For a complete listing of funded applications, please visit the following CIHR web site:
Population-Based Health and Health Services Data in Canada: Current Status and Future Health Research Potential
As pre-announced in our last Newsletter, IHSPR, IPPH and partners have funded a team of investigators, led by Cathy Fooks, from the Canadian Policy Research Networks, to describe the current status of population-based health and health services databases in Canada that are being used, and show the potential for use, in innovative and important health research.
Specifically, the research team will address the following four areas with respect to population-based health and health services research databases, registries and repositories in Canada:
- Conceptual framework and taxonomy
- Key issues and challenges to enhancing access and use
- Classifying and building capacity for an ongoing inventory
- Planning for strategic investments
Work is currently underway and the project is expected to be complete over the next year.
Institute Advisory Board (IAB)
As part of the CIHR IAB renewal process, six outstanding members have reached the end of their mandates. We would like to thank Dr. Renaldo Battista of the Health Services and Technology Assessment Agency, Dr. Christopher Ham of the University of Birmingham, Dr. Paul Hébert of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Dr. Jeremiah Hurley of McMaster University, Dr. Noralou Roos of the University of Manitoba and Dr. Ian Shugart of Health Canada; for their exceptional contribution over the past three years. Their dedication and wisdom has been instrumental in IHSPR’s development and progress.
At the same time, we are very pleased to welcome our new IAB members:
- Dr. Neena Chappell of the University of Victoria
- Dr. Naomi Fulop orf the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK)
- Ms. Suzanne Lawson of the Hospital for Sick Children
- Ms. Chantal Maheu of Health Canada
- Dr. Ingrid Sketris of Dalhousie University
IHSPR’s Annual Report of activities for fiscal year 2002/2003 will be posted by mid January, 2004 at the following IHSPR web site.
Morris Barer, Scientific Director
Diane Watson, Assistant Director
Craig Larsen, Institute Manager
Frederick Garrow, Administrator
David Gehrmann, Information Technology Systems Administrator
Michelle Gagnon, Senior Associate, Partnerships and Knowledge Translation
Michèle O’Rourke Associate, Strategic Initiatives
Kim Gaudreau, Project Officer