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CIHR Fall 2023 Project Grant Competition results announced 

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The results of the CIHR Fall 2023 Project Grant Competition have just been announced. Advancing Health Scientists are leading three of the projects funded in this round, including two projects under this competition’s Priority Announcement. An additional eleven projects are being supported by Advancing Health Scientists as co-investigators. 

Clinicians wishing to provide medication abortion for people living in remote locations do not have the evidence or guidelines to know how to predict, or avoid, a rare complication where a blood transfusion might be necessary after taking the medication. There is also little evidence on when it is a safe time for a patient to return home from the city, as current guidelines prevent providing it to patients unless they are in close to emergency services for at least two weeks. Advancing Health Scientist Dr. Sarah Munro is co-leading a team to create evidence-based guidelines to determine how far from emergency services this medication can be safely administered. The project will create summaries and tools to support national organizations and experts responsible for creating clinical guidelines for health care providers and improve access to medication abortion.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder and a treatable cause of morbidity, mortality, and poor quality of life. The prevalence of comorbid conditions associated with obstructive sleep apnea is high among people experiencing homelessness. However, there is no study looking at the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in this population, which suggests a low treatment rate. For this Priority Announcement: Population and Public Health project, Advancing Health Scientist Dr. Najib Ayas is co-leading a team which received bridge funding to look at diagnosis and interventions for equitable access to sleep apnea care in people experiencing homelessness.  

Research has shown that middle-aged females demonstrate significant decline in their cognitive abilities and detrimental neural changes as they go through perimenopause, which may increase their risk for dementia. Exercise is a promising strategy to help bolster brain health and prevent dementia; however, there is no research available on whether it can specifically improve cognition and brain health in perimenopausal females. For this Priority Announcement: Aging project, Advancing Health Scientist Dr. Linda Li is co-leading a team, supported by Advancing Health Scientist Dr. Joel Singer, which will study the effects of a six-month home-based exercise program on thinking abilities, brain health, sleep quality, heart health, mental well-being, menopausal symptoms, and quality of life in perimenopausal females.

Advancing Health Scientist Dr. Davina Banner is a co-investigator on a study aiming to generate new resources, tools, and knowledge needed to infuse Canada’s global health resource ecosystem with the capacity and leadership needed to advance health equity.

Advancing Health Scientists Drs. Skye Barbic and Steve Mathias are co-investigators on a study developing and evaluating a digital knowledge translation toolkit to support youth decisions to access mental health services at integrated youth services in Canada. 

Advancing Health Scientist Dr. Brian Grunau is a co-investigator supporting the multi-center implementation of an educational program to increase the cardiac diagnostic accuracy of ambulance telecommunicators and improve survival outcomes for sudden cardiac arrest victims across Canada.

Advancing Health Scientist Dr. Rita McCracken is a co-investigator on two cross-provincial projects focusing on primary care. The first project is a multi-method study aiming to provide critical new data on the impact of family physician payment models on access to care, and on patient and physician experiences of care and care delivery in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba. The second project will use province-wide population data to track factors that reflect primary care need and capacity, and build analytical models to compare primary care needs and capacity under different future scenarios to guide system planners.

Advancing Health Scientist Dr. Adeera Levin is a co-investigator on a pilot randomized control trial evaluating the safety of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, an effective treatment for diabetes, in diabetic people living with advanced kidney disease who are receiving dialysis.  

Advancing Health Scientists Drs. Eugenia Ovideo-Joekes and Martin Schechter are co-investigators on the ongoing Cedar Project, which has received funding to use the Strengthening Our Spirit Intervention for Indigenous peoples who use drugs in Vancouver, BC.

Advancing Health Scientist Dr. Frank Scheuermeyer is a co-investigator on a project aiming to develop better risk-prediction tools to help emergency doctors and patients make personalized decisions about whether a patient should undergo additional cardiac testing after a heart attack has been ruled out, and whether that testing needs to happen immediately or at a more convenient time as an outpatient.

Advancing Health Scientist Dr. Hubert Wong is a co-investigator for a randomized controlled trial evaluating psilocybin as a treatment for the depressive phases of Bipolar II Disorder.

Advancing Health Scientist Dr. Linda Li and Research Associate Alison Hoens are co-investigators for a randomized controlled trial which will use a new virtual, education, and exercise-based program SOAR (Stop OsteoARthritis) that targets young people at risk of old knees, caused by knee injuries sustained playing sports annually. This trial will test if those who received the SOAR program have larger gains in knee health, including pain, symptoms, function, and quality of life.

Advancing Health Scientist Dr. Nadia Khan is a co-investigator for a project to elicit patient and caregiver priorities for improvement on general medical hospital wards, in order to drive quality improvement projects that are aligned with their preferences.


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