BC SUPPORT Unit welcomes new scientific director

8 June 2022

Health research in British Columbia will receive continued support from a scientific director focused on patient experiences and improving health systems.

BC SUPPORT Unit, part of Michael Smith Health Research BC, welcomes Dr. Lindsay Hedden as its scientific director, effective immediately. Lindsay will lead research services to improve health systems for the unit, which brings patients, caregivers and families into the research process.

“Partnering with patients and caregivers in research is a vital way to improve health care,” says Dr. Stirling Bryan, chief scientific officer, Michael Smith Health Research BC. “The BC SUPPORT Unit works to deliver impact and foster sustainability, with a growing focus on improving health systems. We are pleased Lindsay is stepping into this work.”

Lindsay previously served as assistant scientific director for the BC Academic Health Science Network and succeeds Dr. Danielle Lavallee in the role. Danielle was recently appointed vice-president, research for Health Research BC and led foundational work for the BC SUPPORT Unit in her role as scientific director.

“People need to be meaningfully involved in research about their own care,” says Lindsay. “I’m grateful to be leading BC’s work to prioritize patient experiences in health research.”

Lindsay will play an important role in Health Research BC. Her portfolio includes the BC SUPPORT Unit’s learning health systems program, research services for stakeholders, building capacity in patient-oriented research and promoting patient engagement.

Lindsay is an assistant professor of Learning Health Systems in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. She has a PhD in population and public health, and MSc in epidemiology from the University of British Columbia. Her work in primary care focuses on improving access for patients, addressing physician workforce issues and measuring current and future health care needs.


The BC SUPPORT (Support for People & Patient-Oriented Research & Trials) Unit is one of 11 SUPPORT Units established across Canada as part of SPOR.

The BC SUPPORT Unit, housed within Michael Smith Health Research BC, provides provincial expertise and infrastructure for patient-oriented research by:

  • funding health research in areas of importance to patients;
  • providing research services for stakeholders; and
  • building capacity in patient-oriented research and promoting patient engagement.

The Unit works as a provincially distributed team across five regions aligned with the regional health authorities. The Unit also works with a provincial network of patients and the BC Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research.