The Honourable Jane Philpott, Canada’s Minister of Health, and Terry Lake, British Columbia’s Minister of Health announced today a major investment in research that will strive to improve patient care for those living in British Columbia.
The Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia announced a combined $80 million in funding and in-kind contributions towards a new British Columbia Support Unit for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (BC SUPPORT).
BC SUPPORT Unit (the Unit) is a multidisciplinary cluster of specialized personnel in the areas of research, policy, and patient care, who will engage patients to identify their needs and set priorities for research. It is expected to increase patient-oriented research throughout the province and help improve health-care services for British Columbians. BC SUPPORT Unit will collaborate with its counterparts in other provinces and territories to create a pan-Canadian platform for supporting patient-oriented research through the sharing of information and best practices. Together with its partners, the BC SUPPORT Unit will provide services for researchers, patients, health-care providers, and health system decision-makers.
The BC SUPPORT Unit was developed under Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), with support from the Governments of Canada and British Columbia, and provincial partners.
Jane Philpott, Federal Minister of Health —
“I strongly believe that innovation is essential to improving health care. Through initiatives such as Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, we are promoting innovation, fostering collaboration, and helping ensure that we address the health care needs of Canadians.”
Terry Lake, B.C. Minister of Health —
“Patients are at the heart of our health-care system, so it’s time to focus on research that meets their needs best and that is what the SUPPORT Unit is all about. The Unit will build on the work already underway through our #BCTECH strategy, which is implementing key actions that will improve researchers’ access to data and support more patient-oriented research right here in B.C.”
Dr. Jane E. Aubin, chief scientific officer and vice-president, Research, Knowledge Translation and Ethics, Canadian Institutes of Health Research –
“British Columbia has remarkable strengths in health research. We are enormously pleased to be leveraging these strengths in establishing a SUPPORT Unit in the province. The SUPPORT Unit will make important contributions to the SPOR initiative and make a difference for patients in B.C.”
Dermot Kelleher, board member, BC SUPPORT Unit/BC Academic Health Science Network
dean, UBC faculty of medicine —
“Our main role is to support these groups in engaging patients much more often in how research is planned and how it’s conducted. We’re also taking on important roles in helping researchers do their work faster and transfer the knowledge they gain to the health system sooner.”
Kent C. Loftsgard, member, BC SUPPORT Unit Patient Engagement Working Group —
“I’m proud to be contributing my personal, professional, and patient-journey experience to the development and operation of the BC SUPPORT Unit. By increasing meaningful integration of patient collaborators into the design and delivery of health research, the BC SUPPORT Unit provides another needed reminder to all health-care sectors that patient-benefit is the ultimate point of everything they do.”
- SPOR is a pan-Canadian coalition of partners from the public and private sector – all dedicated to the integration of research into care.
- Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Units are one of the core elements of the initiative.
- These units provide the resources, services and expertise necessary to pursue patient-oriented research and help lead reforms in response to locally-driven health care needs.
A backgrounder follows.