There’s nothing like real life

From patient engagement sessions to showcasing OSSU IMPACT Award expansion in Ontario, OSSU’s Research Day was a major success.

For Dr. Dean Fergusson, Scientific Lead at OSSU, the stand out highlight was the opportunity to see people in person.

“It was just good to see people in person,” said Dr. Fergusson. “There’s no substitute for being in person for these types of initiatives.”

With dedicated patient engagement sessions and other presentations that spoke to the impact of patient partnership, it was evident that patient partnership is well-integrated in the OSSU research network and beyond.  

“It’s clear we’ve moved beyond the “why do it” to the “how to do it”; it was very satisfying to see that reflected in the presentations. We still have work to do, but a lot of researchers and institutions are figuring out best practices, having richer discussions, and the quality of patient engagement is enhanced. That’s a big highlight for me.”

Other sessions, such as the implementation science panel showcasing the scale-up of Dr. Douglas Lee’s heart failure project and Dr. Christian Vaillancourt’s C-Spine rule to improve transportation of trauma patients across Ontario, were concrete examples of OSSU’s impact.

“This work is having tremendous impact with projects being rolled out across Ontario. The OSSU stamp, its fingerprints are all over those projects which is great,” said Dr. Fergusson.

What’s next?

Implementation is a clear priority, continuing to build on the success of the IMPACT Awards, which range from a Francophone health navigator program to an innovative youth mental health program and more. He cites these projects as building blocks that helped researchers in Ontario secure additional peer-reviewed funding including CIHR and innovative clinical trial grants.

“We’ve set the stage for success by championing patient engagement, the use of big data, and integrating equity considerations in the research design and analysis. Patient-oriented research represents a new approach to doing research and we’ve had a large role to play – I believe that’s why Ontario has been successful in these national competitions.”

And regarding OSSU’s Research Day, he’d like to make the event bigger and better, with hundreds of participants engaged or interested in patient-oriented research from not only Ontario but across Canada.

In case you missed it

You can access the videos of each session from Research Day 2023 on our dedicated webpage here.