The BC SUPPORT Unit (the Unit) is a multi-partner organization transitioning from start-up phase to regular operations, preparing to support, streamline and increase patient-oriented research throughout BC. We define patient-oriented research as research that engages patients as partners and focuses on patient-identified priorities with the goals of improving patient experiences, health outcomes and the health system overall. The Unit will have two main roles: providing services to researchers, patients, health care providers and health system decision makers, and facilitating initiatives identified as provincial priorities. The BC unit is one of several being established across the country as part of Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
BC SUPPORT Unit joins BC AHSN for shared governance and coordinated development
We would like to share some good news that the BC SUPPORT Unit is joining the BC Academic Health Science Network (BC AHSN) newly established this week. As outlined in the BC SUPPORT Unit business plan, the Unit had planned to join the emerging BC AHSN once the network was established. Sharing governance and coordinating our development is a logical step since both organizations aim to significantly improve patient experiences and outcomes and the health system by connecting and supporting each of the province’s regions and facilitating province-wide priorities.
The timing is excellent as the BC SUPPORT Unit, including our regional centre development working group, is in the process of developing plans for our four regional centres with a meeting set for later this month and additional meetings in the regions to take place starting in April. At the same time, the BC AHSN is in the process of planning to consult with the regions about its development, and we can now do so together at the same series of meetings.
To learn more about the establishment of the BC AHSN, please see a memo from Heather Davidson, assistant deputy minister, partnerships and innovation division, Ministry of Health. In addition, here are a few more notes about these developments:
- BC SUPPORT Unit Interim Leader, Bev Holmes, now reports to the interim BC AHSN board.
- As outlined in our business plan, the Unit’s Interim Governing Council will continue to support Unit planning and development in the near term until a Unit steering or advisory committee can be established.
- We will be moving our website to be housed within a new BC AHSN website later this month, so please keep an eye out for our new online look and location. (The URL will continue to be www.bcsupportunit.ca.)
We look forward to providing you with more updates soon, and in future newsletters will report on other progress being made as we prepare for regular operations.
Interim patient & stakeholder engagement lead receives national award
Please join us in congratulating the Unit’s Interim Patient & Stakeholder Engagement Lead, Colleen McGavin, who is the recipient of the Partners in Research national 2016 Ronald G. Calhoun Science Ambassador Award for her outstanding research and outreach activities over her career. Colleen started with the Unit in 2013 as a patient partner on our Interim Governing Council, and since spring 2015 has been an integral part of our Interim Operations Team and a number of our advisory and working groups. She also makes significant contributions to many initiatives beyond the Unit in BC and on a national level. Congratulations Colleen!