News Release: Patient-partnered research in Ontario the focus of a special Healthcare Quarterly issue

Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit’s EMPOWER awards highlighted

A special issue of Healthcare Quarterly focuses on the impact of patient-partnered research in Ontario, with case studies of 15 EMPOWER Awards funded by the Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit (OSSU) showcasing a diverse range of patient-partnered research.

The projects include research into pediatric metabolic disorders, supporting children and vulnerable youth with chronic pain, understanding the effects of COVID-19 on children and families, patient partnerships in clinical trials, supporting First Nations elders, improving healthcare communications for people with disabilities, and more.

The EMPOWER (Engaging Multi-stakeholders for Patient Oriented research Wider Effects & Reach) Awards, launched in 2019, aim to create meaningful change for patients, policy and practice by leveraging OSSU’s expertise and infrastructure to move promising patient-oriented research to the next level to impact the health system.

“Through the experiences of EMPOWER award recipients, we see the promise and value of patient-partnered knowledge mobilization,” said Dr. Dean Fergusson, Scientific Lead, OSSU. “Importantly, we also see challenges and areas for further attention as we continue to cultivate patient-oriented research across Ontario.”

This special issue of Healthcare Quarterly shows how patient partnership has evolved in Ontario from its early days when conducted at a few centres to its broad adoption by researchers across the province.

“Sharing our successes and challenges and learning from our missteps is essential as we persevere to develop patient partnerships and strategies that truly enable patients and caregivers to be integral in research that can have incredible impact on our lives,” said Maureen Smith, a member of the editorial board and Chair, Patient Partner Working Group, OSSU.

“This special edition of Healthcare Quarterly has been developed through a novel partnership between OSSU and Longwoods Publishing. The concept emerged from an alignment of interests between the partners. OSSU’s mandate is to support patient-oriented health and health services research in Ontario and to facilitate the uptake of research evidence to improve health policy and decision making. Healthcare Quarterly’s mission is to recognize, nurture and champion excellence in the Canadian healthcare system by sharing leading practices in health services delivery and policy development. As we look toward the future of healthcare and health system transformation, leading practices will be increasingly defined by the degree to which they are designed and implemented in full partnership with patients and caregivers. This perspective, shared by both OSSU and Longwoods, is at the heart of this publication.” – Anne Wojtak, Editor-in-Chief, Healthcare Quarterly

About OSSU

The Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit (OSSU) is a network of 14 leading health Research Centres, supported by a Coordinating Centre located in Toronto, that engages researchers, patients and other partners in patient-oriented research to improve the health of Ontarians and the health care system. Jointly funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Ontario and partner Ontario hospital foundations and institutes, OSSU provides supports such as expertise, infrastructure, training and resources to people conducting patient-oriented research to help implement Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research in Ontario.

About Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly recognizes, nurtures and champions excellence in the Canadian healthcare system. Its objective is to document and disseminate leading practices in health service delivery and policy development. Excellence is achieved through constant innovation, motivated people and inspired leadership at all levels of the organization. Healthcare Quarterly helps Canadian health system managers anticipate and respond to changing environments, demands and mandates.