Adam Vaughan is a PhD Candidate at SFU Criminology, project manager with the Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies, and MSFHR Health Policy Fellow.

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Adam Vaughan awarded MSFHR Health Policy Fellowship

August 11, 2017
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By Phil Cunningham

Adam Vaughan, PhD Candidate in the School of Criminology, is one of two researchers to have been awarded the newly created Health Policy Fellowship by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

Adam will spend 12 months working at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), both agencies of the Provincial Health Services Authority. During his time as Health Policy Fellow, Adam will create a provincial policy framework for substance use services in BC and outline a continuum of care for those who require harm reduction, overdose prevention and opioid treatment services.

The Health Policy Fellowship Program allows candidates to experience and contribute to the health policy development process in BC by applying their health research knowledge, expertise, and analytical skills as part of a policy team, while also providing health system decision-makers with access to their scientific and technical expertise. Ultimately, this Fellowship promotes both evidence-informed policy and policy-relevant research. It is one of eight MSFHR funding awards designed to develop BC’s health research talent and contribute to addressing BC health system priorities.

“Right now, BC has a fragmented system of care for people with concurrent mental health and substance use issues and no coordinated policy framework,” explains Dr. Johann Brink, Vice-President, Medical Affairs and Research at BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services, and Adam's supervisor. “Many organizations are working to address this and Adam’s work will contribute to the goal of a provincial continuum of care, supported by sound policy.”

Specifically, Adam will be working towards a provincial policy framework for opioid use, one of the most challenging forms of addiction facing the BC health care system. For Adam, this urgent work is accelerated by the Health Policy Fellowship. “This fellowship is a unique collaboration between BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services and the BC Centre for Disease Control,” says Adam. “It creates a great opportunity to enhance communication between multiple service providers and generate policy that will hopefully have a positive impact on people and patients.”

With files from Lori Last, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.