BC health professionals awarded funding to improve health outcomes

27 April 2023

A new cohort of 16 health professional investigators funded by Michael Smith Health Research BC are conducting and applying research to ultimately improve health outcomes in BC and beyond.

Research is the foundation that leads to life-saving and innovative medical treatments, practices and policies that benefit of all British Columbians. What we know about health and disease today—and what we can do with that knowledge—comes from decades of research. Under the Health Professional-Investigator (HP-I) Program, each health professional is actively involved in patient care, and will develop and advance research with the goal of bringing research evidence into practice.

This year’s recipients are tackling a broad range of health challenges including: food as an intervention to reduce effects of woodsmoke exposure on respiratory health; integration of shared decision-making in heart failure pharmacotherapy; accelerating diagnosis of glioma (a type of brain cancer) in BC; and updating guidelines deprescribing medications based on needs and current evidence.

Improving health outcomes

Recipient Dr. Faisal Khosa and a team of physicians, researchers, patients and community partners are collaborating to assess the impact of a 10-year model of service at Vancouver General Hospital, where specialist doctors capable of reading X-ray, ultrasound and computed tomography are available around the clock to improve access to diagnostic tests and improve patient care. The research results will help improve timely patient care, efficiency and conserve hospital resources. They will also provide an example for enhanced and culturally fitting patient care which can be applied to emergency department services throughout Canada.

These 16 health professionals join a community of more than 70 HP-I awardees who are helping bridge the gap between research and care. This includes Dr. Kendall Ho, whose home health monitoring research is reducing hospital visits for patients with heart failure by enabling them to measure their health at home. The research is now being applied in practice and findings used to inform ongoing implementation of home health monitoring in BC.

Engaging patient partners

Health Research BC recognizes the vital role patients, people with lived experience and community partners play in supporting research to help improve health outcomes. Our 2022 application process included patient partner and community review. The BC SUPPORT Unit supported this review and are working with applicants to develop patient and community partner engagement in their research programs.

Building research talent

Supporting research talent helps attract, retain, and grow a diverse health research workforce that is critical for better health and health care and a stronger economy. By supporting BC’s health researchers, Health Research BC demonstrates our commitment to building research talent for BC’s future. “With our ambition to inspire and connect curious, creative and passionate minds to drive discovery and innovation for better health and health care, it’s exciting to see the caliber of our 2022 awardees. I’m inspired by the breath of research topics, but all with the same ultimate aim — to improve health outcomes,” says Dr. Danielle Lavallee, vice-president, research programs at Michael Smith Health Research BC. “Many congratulations to all the award recipients!”

Thank you to our partners

Strong partnerships are integral to fostering world-class health research in BC. We are partnering with a number of organizations to co-fund four HP-I researchers this year. This includes Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation partnering on Dr. Steven Reynolds’ award on phrenic nerve pacing to improve outcomes in mechanically ventilated patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Learn more about partnerships.

Stay tuned for details of the 2024 HP-I competition coming in the fall!

Learn more about Health Research BC funding programs.