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UNB’s NB-IRDT part of a renewed regional project that focuses health research on patients’ priorities

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Mar 17, 2022

Category: UNB Fredericton

Dr. Ted McDonald

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced on March 17 an investment of $16.1M in funding and in-kind contributions from the Government of Canada and the provincial governments of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to support the work of a Maritime hub for patient-oriented research.

The funding has been provided as part of Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Support (SPOR) a pan-Canadian initiative dedicated to integrating the voices of patients in research and health care. The initiative is led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) with support from partners across the country.

Within SPOR, Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) units, are provincial and territorial-based centres that provide access to health data and apply knowledge generated through research. These centres aim to improve health care practices, provide training on conducting and using patient-oriented research, and engage patients as active partners throughout the entire research process. Since 2013, the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU) has played an important capacity building role for patient-oriented research in the region.

Big questions need big ideas, and these big ideas need big data. That’s where the New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training (NB-IRDT) at UNB comes in. The institute is known as an expert group in the protection and use of administrative data in research, and leverages this knowledge to support evidence-informed decision-making across a wide range of fields and houses the province’s administrative datasets.

UNB’s NB-IRDT is one of the five teams leading this important research and one of three located in the province. Dr. Ted McDonald, a professor of political science at UNB and director of the NB-IRDT, is the MSSU’s principal investigator for New Brunswick.

“Health is a universal, complex and multifaceted concern affecting every person in unique ways. Determining how to advance our ability to maintain and improve the health of New Brunswickers, Maritimers and all Canadians, is no small task,” said Dr. McDonald.

“This is a strong endorsement by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and our province in the value of patient-oriented health research to improve our health system in New Brunswick.”

The investment will help the MSSU continue this important work and elevate it to a new level. It will ensure patients have a greater say in setting research priorities they are involved in and that the knowledge from research is applied to improve health care and patient outcomes.

Media contact: Jeremy Elder-Jubelin

Photo: Dr. Ted McDonald