Faculty of Health Sciences PhD candidate Kate Hosford (center) received a 2022 Health System Impact Fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

FHS PhD candidate granted 2022 Health System Impact Fellowship

November 23, 2022

By: Sharon Mah

Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) PhD candidate Kate Hosford was named as a 2022 Health System Impact Fellow by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research on November 18, 2022. She is one of 18 PhD students in the country to receive this prestigious award.

The fellowship provides PhD candidates with an embedded research opportunity to apply their research skills to advance the work of an organization within the health system. 

During this fellowship, Hosford will focus on creating a process that will allow community-based organizations to utilize data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). She hopes that empowering organizations with evidence-based data will allow organizations within the seniors’ services sector to advocate for and deliver effective programming for older adults across BC. She is partnering with the Health Aging Team at United Way BC to carry out this investigation, continuing an ongoing research relationship that began in September 2021.

“The CLSA is this incredibly rich database funded by CIHR that is longitudinally tracking over 50,000 individuals between the ages of 45 to 85 over a 20-year period. It has captured the transitions, trajectories, and profiles of healthy aging,” says Hosford. “Despite the clear value of CLSA data for informing healthy aging programming, it remains largely untapped by the community-based seniors’ services sector. In addition to developing a process pathway for organizations like United Way to access the CLSA, I also hope to build research collaborations with community organizations supporting seniors across BC.”

For the fellowship, Hosford is being jointly supervised by Cities, Health and Active Transportation Research (CHATR) Lab lead and FHS professor Dr. Meghan Winters and United Way Healthy Aging Team’s Senior Regional Community Developer Dr. Beverley Pitman.

This fellowship dovetails with Hosford’s PhD dissertation research which aims to inform the design of built environments and transportation services that support older adults to age in place and thrive. To achieve this, she is analyzing data from the CLSA and providing evidence to inform policy and program solutions to address seniors’ transportation challenges.

“The Health System Impact Fellowship supports the development of research talent within health organizations to transform our health care system towards a learning health systems model,” noted Dr. Tammy Clifford, vice-president of research – learning health systems at CIHR. “[We are] pleased to lead a program that is focused on informing and transforming Canada’s health systems through evidence.”