IMHA On The Move – March 2012

Table of Contents

Message from the Interim Scientific Director

March is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month. Juvenile arthritis (JA) affects about 1 in 1,000 Canadian children under the age of 16; it can be difficult to detect and may sometimes go unrecognized by even the most experienced physicians. I would like to acknowledge the researchers and stakeholders who are committed to increasing knowledge and awareness of juvenile arthritis. It is important that IMHA-CIHR and other funders continue to support research in juvenile arthritis – one of the most common chronic diseases among young people in Canada.

On March 1-2, 2012, the IMHA Institute Advisory Board (IAB) met in Ottawa to discuss new and ongoing IMHA initiatives and to hear about some of the CIHR Strategic Updates including proposed changes to the Open Suite of Programs and enhancements to the Peer Review process. Strategic planning was another significant item on the agenda for this meeting and we thank our board for their valuable input.

The evening before the board meeting CIHR, IMHA and the Cochrane Collaboration hosted a Café Scientifique entitled: A Burning Question: Inflammation in chronic disease. The turn-out was good and the question/answer portion of the evening was very engaging. It was great to be able to highlight the Inflammation in Chronic Disease Signature Initiative as well as the valuable work that the Cochrane Collaboration does. If you were unable to attend, a video of the Café will be posted on the CIHR YouTube Channel; the link will be published in the upcoming edition of IMHA: On The Move!. Please also check out the Cochrane Corner on the IMHA website which has recently been updated to include the 2011 reviews.

In other inflammation news, materials from the Inflammation in Chronic Disease Consensus Conference are now online, including:

  • the conference report which provides a summary of the presentations and discussion and presents a list of draft strategic priorities
  • a consumer video which was screened at the conference

Finally, I encourage you to nominate your peers for the CIHR Partnership Award which has been won by the IMHA community a number of times since its inception in 2003.

As always, IMHA welcomes your comments and questions. Please feel free to contact us at

Phillip Gardiner PhD, Interim Scientific Director
Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis

Other News

Skin Deep: Report Card on Access to Dermatological Care and Treatment in Canada 2012

Skin patients in Canada are suffering due to a lack of access to physicians, to medication and timely access to effective care. Through the Canadian Skin Patient Alliance (CSPA), people living with skin conditions, diseases and traumas are appealing for action on the substandard state of access to dermatological care and treatment in Canada.

Skin diseases are rarely 'skin deep' and often have a profound effect on the lives of millions of Canadians who suffer with them. Many patients go to extreme lengths to hide their skin conditions and many are ashamed of their own skin. This can have a severe psycho-social impact on their lives often resulting in patients withdrawing into themselves and sometimes even become shut-in's unable to contribute to society in any meaningful way.

The CSPA has released Skin Deep: Report Card on Access to Dermatological Care and Treatment in Canada 2012 to inform Canadians and to provide policy-makers and influencers with the facts they need to help improve access to effective care for skin patients.

"This Report Card was born out of a need for us — the patients — to understand where the gaps are in access to care across the country. We have a sense that there are problems, but this report sets out a platform from which we, the CSPA, can advocate for patients where it is needed most. This is the first time Canadian skin patients have organized as a collective group to try to effect change." writes Allan Stordy – president of the CSPA and consumer representative on the IMHA advisory board – in his introduction to the report.

Some of the important issues addressed in the report include the need to increase the number of medical school spaces for dermatology residents and training facilities for dermatologists across the country and the need for increased unrestricted funding for all medications and procedures deemed the standard of care in all provinces and territories.

Importantly, the CSPA is seeking increased support for the advancement of skin patient care by advocating the need for more dermatologists across the country.

The CSPA is reaching out to Canadian health associations with facts about skin patient care in Canada to open a dialog on how the lives of thousands of Canadians can be improved. Their hope is that patient representatives be invited to the table when discussions are held about these issues and that through discussion both creative and conventional solutions can be found to the long wait times that plague Canadians with skin diseases, conditions and traumas.

Cochrane Corner

The Cochrane Collaboration is an international network of more than 28,000 dedicated people from over 100 countries. They work together to help health care providers, policy-makers, patients, their advocates and carers, make well-informed decisions about health care, based on the best available research evidence, by preparing, updating and promoting the accessibility of Cochrane Reviews – over 4,600 so far, published online in The Cochrane Library. Cochrane reviews are internationally recognized as the benchmark for high quality information about the effectiveness of health care. IMHA has a Cochrane Corner on our website which has recently been updated to include the 2011 reviews from the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group and the Cochrane Back Group. Many of the reviews are in the areas of pain, disability and chronic disease.

Take a look at the newly published special collection that brings together a selection of Cochrane Reviews assessing exercise for musculoskeletal conditions including: osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia, juvenile idiopathic arthritis; regional musculoskeletal conditions in the knee, low back, neck and shoulder; and chronic musculoskeletal pain.

The CIHR Partnership Award

The CIHR Partnership Award annually recognizes a partnership that exemplifies excellence. The recipients receive a $25,000 award in the form of a one-year research grant for advancing the research or knowledge translation activities of the partnership.
These partnerships involve organizations from the private, voluntary or public sectors. They bring health research communities together:

  • to create innovative approaches to research questions;
  • to develop research agendas that are responsive to the health needs, concerns and priorities of Canadians; and
  • to accelerate the translation of knowledge for the benefit of Canadians.

The IMHA community has won this award several times over the years including The Arthritis Society in 2003, the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute in 2007 and The Scleroderma Society of Canada and The Canadian Scleroderma Research Group in 2009.

The deadline for nominations is May 1, 2012. Find out how to nominate a partnership that displays excellence.

Did You Know?

The most prevalent form of juvenile arthritis is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), previously known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. According to Web of Science (WoS), Canada is one of the top 5 producing countries in terms of publications related to juvenile arthritis in the last 10 years. Also, according to WoS, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Canadian funding agency listed most often as the funder of research publications related to juvenile arthritis.

Funding Opportunities

For information on current funding opportunities, please visit IMHA's Funding Opportunities.

Team Grant : Community-Based Primary Healthcare (CBPHC) (The Transformative Community-based Primary Healthcare Initiative)

CBPHC covers the broad range of primary prevention (including public health) and primary care services within the community, including health promotion and disease prevention; the diagnosis, treatment, and management of chronic and episodic illness; rehabilitation support; and end of life care. CBPHC involves the coordination and provision of integrated care provided by a range of health providers, including nurses, social workers, pharmacists, dieticians, public health practitioners, physicians and others in a range of community settings including people's homes, healthcare clinics, physicians' offices, public health units, hospices, and workplaces. It is delivered in a way that is patient- and population-centred and responsive to economic, social, cultural and gender differences.

CBPHC Innovation Team Objectives
The objectives of the CBPHC Innovation Teams are to:

  • Develop and compare innovative models for CBPHC across jurisdictions within Canada (i.e., multiple provinces and/or territories, provincial/territorial and federal) and/or internationally (i.e., Canada, or a province/territory within Canada, and another country) that target the:
    • prevention and management of chronic diseases;
    • reduction of inequities in access to CBPHC and health outcomes in vulnerable populations; and/or
    • optimization of outcomes in CBPHC in specific subpopulations or with specific interventions identified by this funding opportunity's partners.
  • Identify the conditions and strategies that would be necessary for scaling-up innovative models of CBPHC if they are successful;
  • Build inter-disciplinary and inter-professional capacity for the generation, synthesis and application of CBPHC research including training and mentoring of new CBPHC trainees, investigators and health professional scientists;
  • Evaluate and improve the impact of Team innovations for CBPHC by reporting on a common set of outcome measures and collaborating to form the Patient-Oriented CBPHC Network; and
  • Improve the competitiveness of CBPHC investigators by increasing the quantity and quality of funded applications and publications.

Within the two relevant research areas Chronic Disease Prevention and Management in CBPHC and Access to Appropriate CBPHC for Vulnerable Populations, CIHR and its partners will provide funding for teams examining the optimization of outcomes in CBPHC in specific subpopulations including persons with musculoskeletal, skin and/or oral conditions to improve chronic disease prevention and management and/or improve access to care for vulnerable populations for persons with musculoskeletal, skin and/or oral conditions.

The application deadline for this competition is May 1, 2012. For more information please see the funding opportunity details online.

Meetings of Interest

Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research
March, 21-24, 2012
Tampa Bay, FL

Canadian Rheumatology Association Conference
March 28-31, 2012
Victoria, BC

Osteoporosis Canada Spring Forum: "Building Strong Bones"
April 21, 2012

Canadian Pain Summit
April 24, 2012
Ottawa, ON

Canadian Pain Society Annual Conference
May 23-26, 2012
Whistler, BC

Canadian Connective Tissue Conference
June 8-10 2012
Toronto, ON
The abstract deadline is March 31, 2012.

The ASBMR 2012 Topical Meeting, Bone and Skeletal Muscle Interactions
July 17-18, 2012
Kansas City, MO
ASBMR Topical Meetings present leading research on timely, top-of-mind scientific topics. Held regularly, the Topical Meetings disseminate and discuss specific, in-depth research on one scientific area of interest. Abstract submission opened on February 1, 2012.

Contact Us

CIHR - Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis
Department of Molecular Genetics
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
The Banting Institute
100 College St., Room 207B
Toronto, ON, M5G 1L5
Tel: 416-946-7243

If you would like to subscribe to IMHA On The Move please email and write "subscribe to newsletter" in the subject line. You will receive all future IMHA newsletters.

Date modified: