Five FHS members received funding from Michael Smith Health Research BC to support knowledge translation (KT) activities that will help increase the impact of research discoveries. Researcher are (clockwise from top right): Associate Professor Maya Gislason; Assistant Professor Travis Salway; Associate Professor Bohdan Nosyk; University Research Associate Helen McTaggart-Cowan; Assistant Professor Kiffer Card.

FHS researchers secure MSHRBC Convening and Collaborating, Reach awards

October 14, 2022

Michael Smith Health Research BC (MSHRBC) announced the receipients of its Convening and Collaborating, and Reach awards earlier this week. Five Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) researchers and their teams were successful in their application for these funds. 

The Convening and Collaborating, and Reach awards provide health research teams with support to pursue Knowledge Translation (KT) activities that will enable them to close the gap between health research and implementation by improving the use of research evidence in practice, policy and further investigation.

Please join us in congratulating the following FHS faculty members on their MSHRBC award!

Assistant Professor Kiffer Card

Kiffer Card - MSHRBC Convening and Collaboration Award

Undertaking the co-design of climate distress services for young people in British Columbia

Co-lead: Arden Henley

Partner(s): Mental Health Research Canada

This proposal aims to facilitate a new partnership between the Green Technology Education Centre (GTEC), the Mental Health and Climate Change Alliance (MHCCA/SFU), and youth and young adults, aged 16-24. Leveraging this partnership, we will convene and collaborate with youth to inform the development of potential GTEC campus- and digitally-based interventions for climate-related distress. The convening and collaboration activities will include two multi-stage focus groups and ongoing meetings between GTEC and MHCCA researchers. Each focus group cohort will consist of 6-12 young people, recruited through the MHCCA and GTEC professional networks and advertisements on Twitter and Facebook. Each focus group will be interviewed twice to: 1) Explore current reactions to climate change and 2) Develop ideas about educational and support services that GTEC can offer to support young people. These focus group interviews and ongoing meetings between GTEC and MHCCA team members will be leveraged to develop a CIHR project grant proposal that will aim to develop, pilot, and evaluate an intervention for climate change related distress among young people, aged 16-24.

Associate Professor Maya Gislason

Maya Gislason - MSHRBC Reach Award

Sharing knowledge to strengthen climate action and community health: connecting researchers, trainees, and health authorities

Co-lead: Raina Fumerton

Research location: First Nations Health Authority

The Environment, Community Health Observatory (ECHO) Network is a five-year research program (2017-2022) bringing together over 130 researchers, trainees, knowledge exchange partners, and community members. ECHO Network members have developed and refined a suite of integrative tools and processes aimed at taking notice of, analyzing, and responding to the health impacts of resource extraction, with specific emphasis on rural, remote and Indigenous communities. Acknowledging the existing research to action gap, as well as the applicability of many of our tools to addressing the climate crisis (an identified area of focus in health authorities), we are interested in hosting a reciprocal learning and sharing event between health researchers (ECHO Network), research users (health authority personnel), and trainees. We aim to: 1) Foster direct and reciprocal knowledge exchange pathways between researchers and health authorities to share and extend the reach of climate change-related tools; 2) Adapt research outputs to increase applicability of tools for health authorities; and 3) Promote intersectoral knowledge exchange training and capacity building among trainees, researchers, and health authority personnel.

University Research Associate Helen McTaggart-Cowan

Helen McTaggart-Cowan - MSHRBC Convening and Collaboration Award

Developing a collaborative research agenda to improve the care of patients living with metastatic breast cancer in British Columbia

Co-lead: Stephen Chia

Host institution: BC Cancer

Research location: BC Cancer Research Centre

Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) affects up to 30 percent of women with early breast cancer and represents up to 10 percent of new breast cancer diagnoses. It is one of the most common causes of death from cancer amongst females. The availability of new treatments has improved survival; however, the treatments are very toxic. There is a trade-off between managing treatment toxicity for these patients, in terms of extending survival and maintaining a decent quality of life. Constant treatment and monitoring are required; this results in a burden at the patient and at the health systems levels. Through a series of virtual meetings, we will bring together front-line cancer care providers, academic researchers, and patients and families to reflect and share their experiences about the MBC care in BC. The meetings will aim to discuss the facilitators and barriers to accessing specialized MBC care. Our goal is to establish partnerships, encourage knowledge exchange, and develop a collaborative research agenda to ensure quality care for individuals living with MBC in BC.

Associate Professor Bohdan Nosyk

Bohdan Nosyk - MSHRBC Convening and Collaborating Award

Peer supports for Indigenous clients initiating opioid agonist therapy (OAT): Early concept and proposal for an experimental study

Co-lead: Kirsten Ellingson

Research location: Centre for Health Evaluation & Outcome Sciences (CHEOS)

In order to foster collaboration and co-development of research by researchers and research users throughout the research cycle, we plan to address one of BC’s health system priorities — the evaluation of the impact of peer support programs in BC — by engaging people with lived experience, opioid agonist therapy (OAT) providers and policymakers in workshops, focus groups, and key informant interviews to define feasible peer support models. Recruitment for these workshops will be facilitated by engagement with drug user advocacy groups such as the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), the Peer Engagement and Evaluation Project (PEEP), and the BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors (BCYADWS). Workshops will be co-led by researchers and research users, to collaboratively define the ‘active ingredients’ of the proposed intervention, considering elements of cultural safety and the extent of adaption necessary to suit client needs across the province.

Assistant Professor Travis Salway

Travis Salway - MSHRBC Convening and Collaborating Award

The 2S/LGBTQ ‘therapeutic spectrum’: Establishing a BC team and research strategy to connect 2S/LGBTQ people with affirming mental health practitioners

Co-lead: Meera Dhebar

Research location: Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity

Finding affordable and accessible professional mental health support in BC is difficult. It can be even more difficult for Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (2S/LGBTQ) people, who must navigate mental healthcare with uncertainty about professionals’ attitudes toward 2S/LGBTQ identities and expressions. In this project, we will bring together a team of researchers, students, health professionals, and service users to start BC-based research on the spectrum of approaches adopted by mental health professionals in BC to affirm 2S/LGBTQ people. The project is based on our team’s experience with, a mental health service finder that prioritizes 2S/LGBTQ-affirming services. Using MindMapBC, we will invite professionals at various places on this spectrum (e.g. those already adopting affirming practices, and those who wish to adopt affirming practices but do not know how) to tell us what is needed to create more mental health services that meet the needs of 2S/LGBTQ people. We will take what we learn to launch research that further builds our ability to encourage professionals to develop 2S/LGBTQ-affirming practices and communicate these practices to the service users who seek them.