On behalf of the BC Academic Health Science Network (BC AHSN) Board of Directors, Chair Dr. Charles Jago is pleased to share the following update:
New members join BC AHSN Board
Last fall, BC AHSN confirmed its permanent governance structure, which calls for a board of directors of no more than nine members who represent the public interest.
We have now recruited four new directors to expand our founding group of five members. We welcome Dr. Brendan Byrne, Ms. Delia Cooper, Mr. Richard Rees and Ms. Tamara Vrooman to the BC AHSN Board (see member bios). The addition of these accomplished individuals will bring important new expertise to our board and we thank them for offering their valuable perspectives to the further development of BC AHSN.
BC AHSN included in mandate letter
We are pleased to note the express inclusion of BC AHSN and the BC SUPPORT Unit within the provincial government’s recent mandate letter to BC health authorities. Under the heading Budget and Operational Management, health authority boards are directed to “support the health research and innovation agenda, including the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Support Unit, Academic Health Sciences Network and the BC Tech Strategy, in order to foster improved patient outcomes and health system performance. Health authorities will collaborate and integrate programs and initiatives to achieve optimal value for money.”
Stakeholder engagement report complete
Since October, BC AHSN has been conducting a series of meetings with key stakeholders to discuss network development to date and share details of a draft strategy framework. This has also provided an excellent opportunity for us to learn of current innovation activities and strategies among other organizations. Our executive team was very pleased to be able to meet with more than 30 organizations/groups as part of our initial stakeholder engagement.
Comments and feedback have now been synthesized into a Stakeholder Engagement Report. This report will serve as a foundational document for informing further network development: it will be shared with key decision makers and will help guide the development of an operating model that addresses critical success factors.
The report is currently with engagement participants for their review and feedback, and will be posted on the BC AHSN website in April.
BC SUPPORT Unit forges ahead
The BC SUPPORT Unit continues to grow and develop its services provincially. Now co-located with BC AHSN in a dedicated office, the Vancouver hub serves as the first province-wide point of contact for stakeholders, and is one of five regional centres in British Columbia along with the Fraser, Interior, Northern and Island centres. Each regional centre is the first point of contact for stakeholders locally.
Initial services are now in place, focusing on four key areas: patient engagement, training and capacity development, knowledge translation and methods clusters. The Unit is also a major financial supporter of the emerging provincial health data platform and is closely involved in its planning and development. The data-related goal for the BC SUPPORT Unit is to increase the availability and utility of data and related services to support high quality patient-oriented research, including clinical trials. Read the latest news about the BC SUPPORT Unit.
Workshop addresses clinical research
A priority for BC AHSN is to advance the initial mandate of the BC Clinical Infrastructure Network (BCCRIN) to cultivate and strengthen the clinical research environment within BC. In the fall, BC AHSN commissioned a report to assess BCCRIN’s status and resources, and to provide recommendations to the BC AHSN board for continuing and expanding upon this work. On March 9, BC AHSN hosted a strategic planning workshop to obtain input from key stakeholders for developing a vision for provincial clinical research support as part of BC AHSN.
Thank you for your support
On behalf of the BC AHSN Board of Directors, I’d like to thank you for interest in BC AHSN’s work and your continued support as we move forward.
We remain committed to ensuring that the BC AHSN framework enhances the impact of the BC SUPPORT Unit, BCCRIN and other core activities to advance health innovation.
Dr. Charles Jago, Chair
BC AHSN Board