Annual Report 2007-2008

[ Table of Contents ]

Message from the Acting President

Partnerships give life to health research. They stimulate new ways of thinking, connect policy makers and practitioners with researchers to put research results to use and make the most out of limited resources. Partnerships are at the core of CIHR's success; our partners are our family.

Through our partnerships, CIHR has been able to draw upon a deep pool of expertise within the research community, the voluntary sector and policy makers. Our partners have contributed valuable and unique perspectives and have played a key role in shaping CIHR's activities.

In this report, you will read about some of the innovative and exciting initiatives that CIHR and our partners are undertaking together. The range of our partnerships is large, spanning the Canadian landscape and beyond. Universities, the voluntary health sector, other research funders, governments, the private sector, international bodies and Canadians from all walks of life are our valued collaborators.

The ultimate purpose of these partnerships is to further the work of nearly 12,000 researchers and trainees whom CIHR is so proud to support. Ultimately, we are all partners with these researchers and trainees, joined in our commitment to maintaining and expanding Canada's worldwide reputation for excellence in health research.

I would like to pay tribute to the vital role played in that reputation by CIHR's inaugural President, Dr. Alan Bernstein. His leadership, vision and commitment to excellence have helped CIHR to earn international acclaim and have contributed to the ability of Canadian researchers to improve the health of Canadians and of people around the world.

Today, as CIHR looks to the future, our hopes are for even stronger partnerships and collaboration. Partnerships are one of the four key principles guiding the Government of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy, which cites partnerships as essential to levering Canadian efforts into world-class successes and to accelerating the pace of discovery and commercialization in Canada. Through partnerships, the unique capabilities, interests and resources of various partners can be brought together to achieve better outcomes.

Those partners include CIHR's fellow research funding agencies. As stressed in the Government of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy, we are working toward building stronger links with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Collaboration among our agencies will enable us to support cross-cutting, multidisciplinary research initiatives that address important scientific opportunities and problems that matter to Canadians.

We are also turning our attention to Blueprint, CIHR's Strategic Plan to carry it through 2008 and updating it for the coming years. CIHR's Governing Council has approved three broad strategies for achieving our mandate: capturing the excellence in the Canadian health research community; addressing research priorities to improve the health of Canadians, support effective health services and products and strengthen our health-care system; and translating knowledge into benefits for health and the economy. Our partners will be of central importance in implementing these strategies.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Dr. Alain Beaudet, whose appointment as President of CIHR was announced in March 2008. Dr. Beaudet's term commences July 1, 2008. I thank all of our partners for their support during my tenure as Acting President and I look forward to continuing to work with you after Dr. Beaudet's arrival, as Vice-President of Research of CIHR.

Pierre Chartrand, PhD
Acting President
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Introduction

Partnerships are at the core of CIHR. CIHR partners with the entire research community to produce results that matter to Canadians - new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, so that we are all healthier; better ways to operate our health-care system, so that we, our families and our friends can get the care we need, where and when we need it; and increased economic growth, as the results of discoveries in the laboratory are translated into new services and products for the marketplace and jobs for highly qualified personnel, and as research contributes to a healthy, productive population.

CIHR collaborates with its partners to create opportunities for researchers, through initiatives such as the Small Health Organizations Partnership Program, which has supported Mark Erwin's transition from a chiropractor to a biomedical researcher - Dr. Erwin is using a different approach but with the same goal, helping his patients.

CIHR collaborates with its partners to translate the results of health research into practical policies and programs, such as the Injury Prevention Initiative, which is giving Yvan Chalifour and the Canadian Red Cross the research evidence to ensure its programs are meeting needs.

It collaborates with its partners to engage Canadians in health research, so that community members like Shirley Dzogan can take part in the peer review process, bringing to it her love of and fascination for the research going on across Canada - research that, she says, makes her proud to be Canadian.

CIHR is proud to present, in these pages, portraits of the people who, by collaborating with CIHR, are helping to realize the potential of health research, potential that will improve the lives of Canadians and of people throughout the world.

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