Officials from different levels of government announced a joint investment announced a combined investment of more than $68 million over five years to support the ongoing work of patient-oriented research in Ontario through its SPOR SUPPORT Unit.
The SPOR Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Unit connects research with patient needs so that evidence-based solutions can be applied to healthcare.
This investment is provided as part of Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), a pan-Canadian initiative dedicated to integrating the voices of patients in research and health care. SPOR is led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) with support from partners across the country.
SPOR SUPPORT Units are patient-oriented research centres in the provinces and territories that improve patient outcomes by enabling equitable access to data for health research, applying knowledge to improve health care practices, systems, and patient outcomes, providing training to conduct and use patient-oriented research, and engaging patients as active partners throughout the entire research process.
“To provide Canadians with high-quality health care, we need research evidence to tell us what works," said Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos. "Patients, caregivers, and families help get at this evidence by adding their lived experience to the research process. Through this collaboration, we are strengthening health care systems and improving patient care for Ontarians.”
The announcement was made in Ottawa on Oct. 24.
The Ontario provincial partners include the Government of Ontario, St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation, The Hospital for Sick Children, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and Hôpital Montfort – Institut du Savoir.
"This helps engage patients and family members across the province to have a say in health research that is conducted," said Dr. Dean Fergusson, the scientific lead of the SPOR SUPPORT Unit at the Ottawa Hospital on The Sam Laprade Show on Oct. 24.
Maureen Smith, a former teacher with a rare disease and patient partner at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, told The Sam Laprade Show on Oct. 24 that the funding will go a long way to advancing patient oriented research across the province of Ontario.
"This makes sure that patients and their families and their caregivers are engaged in research and make research more relevant and make sure we are studying the outcomes that are relevant to them," she said.
Listen to the full interview with Dr. Dean Fergusson and Maureen Smith below: